From Chocolate To Fruity: 21 Dairy-Free Desserts For Every Type Of Sweet Tooth
While the word dessert may bring bowls of ice cream, whipped-cream-topped brownies, and milk chocolate chip cookies to mind, delicious desserts don't need to be dairy-loaded—in fact, many of our favorite dessert recipes skip the dairy in favor of other flavorful ingredients with benefits.
By nature, many of the recipes on this list are vegan, and a few are gluten-free, keto-friendly, or even free of refined sugars. Here are some of our favorite dairy-free desserts.
Our favorite dairy-free ice creams and sorbets:
Vanilla bean ice cream
If you thought this list would start with anything other than our go-to vanilla ice cream, surprise! This simple no-churn recipe is vegan, paleo, and keto-friendly. It's made with real vanilla beans, coconut milk, and a thickening agent (your choice of tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, xanthan gum, or gelatin).
Creamy cold brew ice cream
If you're a coffee lover, this one is for you. Made by steeping coffee in coconut milk overnight and then blending in agave, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt, it does require using an ice cream machine, but it's worth it.
Pineapple basil sorbet
More of a summer dessert, this sorbet is made with just four ingredients: frozen pineapple, canned pineapple, agave, and basil. You could try other herbs, if basil isn't appealing.
What's better than plain ice cream? An ice pop! These creamy chocolate pops use a base of avocado to replace the dairy and are naturally sweet thanks to dates.
Banana nice cream sundae
Nice cream is a standout staple when it comes to easy homemade dairy-free ice creams. This recipe also gives you instructions for creating a dreamy (no-dairy!) chocolate sauce to layer with your nice cream, for a delicious sundae.
Dairy-free chocolate treats:
Dark chocolate truffles
No-bake chocolate almond butter bars
As much a nut butter treat as they are a chocolate treat, these five-ingredient bars are reminiscent of one of our favorite childhood candies.
Hazelnut fudge brownies
No-bake brownies are the ultimate chocolate treat. These use ground hazelnuts in the mix so they nearly taste like a delicious, classic chocolate spread.
Keto-friendly chocolate mousse
Doubling up on the creamy dairy-free ingredients, this recipe from functional medicine practitioner Will Cole, IFMCP, DNM, D.C., uses avocado and coconut milk
Chocolate chip & blueberry cookies
Don't let the quirky addition of blueberries to these chocolate chip cookies scare you—it's actually a fabulous flavor combination that takes a plain chocolate chip cookie to the next level.
Chocolate oatmeal chunkers
If you're looking for a more classic chocolate chip situation, this chocolate oatmeal cookie recipe from the creator of Sweet Loren's will fit the bill.
Macadamia nut cookies
Another classic flavor, these simple cookies are technically totally vegan and use a mix of coconut oil and applesauce to bind the dough together and still get the perfect texture.
Pumpkin pie spice cookies
Pumpkin spice may be popular in fall, but that doesn't mean we can't also enjoy the flavor in the "off" season. Just choose coconut oil for the fat in the recipe (it calls for your choice of that or ghee) and you've got a fall-flavored dairy-free recipe.
Other dairy-free desserts:
Passion fruit pudding
There are simple desserts, and then there's this super-simple pudding. Having only three ingredients, this pudding is packed with protein because the base is made with silken tofu.
No-bake key lime pie
At first glance this recipe may not appear to be dairy-free, but keep scrolling—registered dietitian Jess Cording, M.S., R.D., CDN, shares exactly what to change to make it just that. Simply swap in coconut oil for the ghee and use a dairy-free yogurt.
Guava coconut bars
Staying with the tropical fruit theme, these gluten-free bars are also dairy-free as they use vegan butter and a touch of olive oil for fats, plus plenty of almond flour and oats, too.
Many crumbles would require butter to get that satisfying texture, but this triple-berry dessert is totally vegan (and therefore totally dairy-free). Feel free to switch up the berries, if you so choose—even if that means using just one favorite.
Salted vanilla bean & cashew butter fudge
Skip butter in fudge for nut butter instead, and you're rewarded with more flavor and a way-better-for-you final product that's dairy-free and vegan, too.
Normally, a tiramisu involves layers of mascarpone-infused cream. To veganize it, this recipe uses firm tofu, plant-based milk, some vanilla, and sweetener instead and of course includes the required coffee flavor, too.
Plus a few dairy-free staples:
Salted maca caramel
If you're looking to make a favorite dairy-free dessert a little fancier, this five-ingredient caramel gets that gooey texture of a lovely dairy-based caramel, without the obvious ingredient (it uses nut butter instead!).
Flaky olive oil dough
If you're looking to cut the dairy from a fruit pie or other pastry-based dessert, the key component is often the crust (which uses butter to get the signature flakes). This recipe uses a Mediterranean staple, olive oil, instead for a perfect dairy-free flake.