Dairy-Free Cookies and Desserts

Little boy sneaking cookies
chuckcollier/Getty Images

Most traditional cookie and dessert recipes contain large amounts of butter, milk, or other dairy, which puts them out of reach for people who have allergies or chose a dairy-free diet for another reason. Cooking dairy-free has become very easy thanks to the various alternative non-dairy beverages and butter substitutes, but also due to the increasing number of cooks and pastry chefs who choose to drop dairy from their diets and have shared their recipes and cooking secrets.

Our curated collection of dairy-free recipes includes some that are vegan and others that are vegetarian, but all are equally delicious.

  • 01 of 15

    Almond Biscotti

    Honey almond biscotti
    Mokkie/Wikimedia Commons

    As indicated by their name –"bis" (twice) and "cotti" (cooked or baked) – these melt-in-your-mouth cookies are baked twice. Scented with almond and cinnamon, they go in the oven first as a whole log and then again cut into their well-known oval shape. Keep them vegan by using agave nectar, or add honey instead for a vegetarian option.

    They're the ideal accompaniment to your favorite coffee and a tasty, healthy little snack. Ready in 1 hour and 5 minutes.

  • 02 of 15

    Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

    Peanut butter cookies
    Lisa Kyle Young/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    With peanut butter as their only fat, these rich vegan cookies are chewy and totally irresistible. Use crunchy peanut butter or, for better texture, freshly ground peanut butter, mix with a non-dairy beverage, flour, and sugar, and bake for 14 minutes.

    High in protein, and really nutrient-dense, these treats are great for kids who need to amp up their intake of calories. Use two cookies and strawberry or blackberry jam to make peanut butter and jelly "sandwiches." Ready in 22 minutes.

  • 03 of 15

    Vegan Gingerbread People Cookies

    Gingerbread men on wax paper
    Timothy Kirman/EyeEm/Getty Images

    Holiday parties are tough when you don't eat dairy because most sweets use butter or milk, and certainly most cookies are packed with these two ingredients. Luckily these gingerbread cookies are easy to make, very festive, and of course, dairy-free. Make bigger batches and bring to parties or give as gifts.

    The warm, inviting aromas of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg will fill your home. Ready in 25 minutes.

  • 04 of 15

    Vegan Peanut Butter, Oatmeal, Banana Cookies

    Food Dessert
    Brian Macdonald/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Simple, satisfying, and healthy, these cookies use fresh bananas, peanut butter, soy milk, flour, and rolled oats to make a dough. They're sweetened with maple syrup; add cinnamon to sweeten up the sugar-free recipe and bake them to a delicious golden brown in just 15 minutes.

    Use sun butter if there are peanut allergies, and oat flour to make them gluten-free. Ready in 25 minutes.

    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15

    Vegetarian Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Chocolate chip cookies
    James And James/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    You won't miss a thing when you bake this recipe. These cookies are chewy and soft, filled with a generous amount of chocolate chips. They contain eggs, but you can make a vegan version by using egg replacers like apple sauce, flaxseed egg, or chia seed egg.

    Mix flour, vegetable shortening, eggs, chips and spices into a dough. Bake for 20 minutes and have them ready from beginning to end in just 30 minutes.

  • 06 of 15

    Vegan Russian Tea Cakes

    Russian tea cakes
    Stacy Spensley/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    These dairy-free Russian tea cakes are a beautiful addition to any dessert table, especially when paired with rich dark chocolate desserts or cakes. Also called Mexican wedding cookies or moon cookies, they're perfect for the holiday season.

    Our recipe happens to be vegan and can also be gluten-free if you substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free mix. Ready in 30 minutes.

  • 07 of 15

    Vegetarian Coconut Macaroons

    Coconut macaroon
    Claire Cohen

    These light, yet crisp, ​coconut delights feature shredded coconut, sugar, and egg whites.​ The recipe requires just five ingredients and four basic steps, so it's beyond easy and convenient for a dessert when you're pressed for time.

    If you've shied away from making macaroons because you thought they're too difficult, this recipe is a great place to start. Just mix all of the ingredients and bake for 15 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Ready in 20 minutes.

  • 08 of 15

    Vegan Whoopie Pies

    Whoopie pies
    Joy/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Even a whoopie pie can be transformed into a vegan delight. These vegan whoopie pies are made of a moist chocolate cake sandwich and a creamy, dairy-free filling. Embedded in the American culture, these treats are part of most of our childhood memories.

    Mix a non-dairy beverage, cocoa, soy margarine, sugar, and spices. Use powdered egg replacer to give the batter a thicker consistency and bake round scoops for 12 minutes. Use vegan cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vegan yogurt to make a thick and sweet filling. Make, assemble and serve in 32 minutes.

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15

    Vegan Banana Brownies

    Vegan banana brownies
    Chris Everard Photography/Taxi/Getty Images

    Using bananas as a binder, rather than eggs, these chocolatey squares are creamy and thick, and totally delicious thanks to the unsweetened cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Make a batter using a non-dairy beverage, and add fat in the form of canola or coconut oil.

    Bake for 35 minutes and let cool before serving. Ready in 40 minutes.

  • 10 of 15

    Vegetarian Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

    Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
    Claire Cohen

    Although most flourless cookie recipes call for tons of butter, these are absolutely dairy-free. Combine peanut butter, sugar, eggs, and a non-dairy beverage to make a dough. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes.

    Add dark chocolate chips or rolled oats to your dough for a flavorful twist. Ready in 20 minutes.

  • 11 of 15

    No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

    Vegan no-bake chocolate cookies
    Diane Labombarbe/E+/Getty Images

    Perfect for after-school snacks, these quick, healthy treats are ready in no-time. Mix the wet ingredients over the stove and add the oats, drop dollops of batter into a baking pan and let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Use almond butter if preferred, or sun butter if there are allergies to legumes and tree nuts.

    To dress them up a bit, drizzle some melted chocolate over the cookies after they've cooled. Ready in 20 minutes.

  • 12 of 15

    Vegetarian Chocolate Chip Blondies

    Dairy free blondies
    Claire Cohen

    These deliciously moist ​dairy-free chocolate chip blondies are perfect for a holiday party or school events, where a variety of dietary restrictions may arise. Our recipe includes eggs, so it's vegetarian, but you could make it vegan adding 3/4 of a cup of silken tofu instead of the 3 eggs the recipe calls for.

    Make a thick rich, batter with margarine, flour, and chocolate chips, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Ready in 40 minutes.

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15

    Raw Vegan Chocolate Bars

    Raw vegan chocolate bar recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak 

    There is nothing better and simpler than a couple of squares of chocolate with a nice cup of coffee as an afternoon pick me up. Our recipe for vegan chocolate bars requires just 3 ingredients, but be sure to have a nice chocolate mold for better results.

    Use cacao or carob powder, cacao butter, and your preferred liquid sweetener. Once in the mold, you just need to put them in the fridge and wait until they're set before trying out a piece. Make in 5 minutes and wait an extra 30 to 45 before eating.

  • 14 of 15

    No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

    Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
    slgc/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Mix oats, dates, and other wholesome ingredients with melted dairy-free dark chocolate, cashews, and maple syrup. Place dollops of the batter in a baking pan covered in parchment paper and let set in the fridge for about 2 hours.

    Use pepitas or sunflower seeds if there are any nut allergies. Ready in 2 hours and 10 minutes.

  • 15 of 15

    Vegan Date Macaroons

    Breakfast Cookies

    Joff Lee-Getty Images

     

    These cookies are made out of three superfoods: iron and potassium-filled bananas, fiber-packed dates and vitamin-rich coconut. Simply combine in a food processor until you end up with a moist and malleable mixture, and bake for 15 minutes. This easy recipe doesn't need any egg or egg-like binders because the bananas fulfill that need while the coconut flakes provide the dryness the mixture needs to have a doughy consistency.

    Add chocolate chips for a decadent treat. Ready in 15 minutes.