Little Miss Muffet sat on a Tuffet…




…..eating her dairy free curds and whey…..

Yesterday I was going through my online newsfeed, and I came across a recipe for flourless chocolate cake.  I clicked on it, and the first ingredient was heavy cream.  My heart sank.

Now granted, the recipe did not say dairy free, but my hopes are dashed  more often than not when I find a great gluten free dessert recipe, only to realize that I can’t make it because some of the ingredients are not dairy free.  This is one of my biggest pet peeves: why can’t producers of products and writers of recipes be just as vigilant with dairy as they are with gluten?

Over 75% of the human population is lactose intolerant.  Yes, that is correct.  We are not meant to drink cows milk.  Baby cows are meant to drink cows milk.

Yes, I could go ahead and substitute non-dairy milk in that cake recipe, but after my recent disaster with potatoes au gratin, I am reluctant to sub non-dairy milk for cream.  I am sure that I could substitute earth balance dairy free spread for the butter in the recipe, but cream and non-dairy milk just don’t act the same way in recipes.

I have had no problem substituting non-dairy milk in cake recipes before, but they usually call for a smaller amount of milk; and I have never substituted it for heavy cream.

It is the same with pre-made desserts in the supermarket.  You have to read very carefully;  some of the cake and brownie mixes list milk as an ingredient. Newer labelling has made finding this easier. But not everyone is compliant, especially store made goods. I have sometimes been made sick because I had no idea something contained dairy.   It is really difficult to avoid both gluten and dairy.   Sometimes it is almost impossible.

Desserts are not the only place you will find hidden dairy.  All prepared foods are a risk.

There are ways to avoid this problem:

  • Look for recipes that are gluten and dairy free instead of trying to sub ingredients
  • Read comments to see if anyone successfully used dairy free milk
  • Look for “contains milk” under the allergen listing on the label
  • If you are not sure if something contains milk, either Google the ingredient, or don’t buy it
  • If you are just lactose intolerant, you have more options.  Hard cheeses such as cheddar and swiss might be ok for you
  • Avoid soft cheeses like cottage cheese and cream cheese if you are lactose intolerant.

In my case, it is the whey protein that I can’t tolerate.  For you, it might be lactose or casein.  It depends on the individual.  I found it easier to give up all dairy, rather than try to figure out what bothers me and what doesn’t.

Here is a list of where hidden dairy might be lurking:

Ingredients that contain milk:

Butter [including artificial butter, artificial butter flavor, butter extract, butter fact, butter flavored oil, butter solids, dairy butter, natural butter, natural butter flavor, whipped butter]

Casein and caseinates [ammonium caseinate, calcium caseinate, magnesium caseinate, potassium caseinate, sodium caseinate, hydrolyzed casein, iron caseinate, zinc caseinate]

Cheese [cheese (all types), cheese flavor (artificial and natural), cottage cheese, cream cheese, imitation cheese, vegetarian cheeses with casein]

Cream, whipped cream



Dairy product solids



Half & Half

Hydrolysates [casein hydrolysate, milk protein hydrolysate, protein hydrolysate, whey hydrolysate, whey protein hydrolysate]

Ice cream, ice milk, sherbet

Lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate

Lactate solids

Lactyc yeast

Lactitol monohydrate




Milk [acidophilus milk, buttermilk, buttermilk blend, buttermilk solids, cultured milk, condensed milk, dried milk, dry milk solids (DMS), evaporated milk, fat-free milk, fully cream milk powder, goat’s milk, Lactaid® milk, lactose-free milk, low-fat milk, malted milk, milk derivative, milk powder, milk protein, milk solids, milk solid pastes, non-fat dry milk, non-fat milk, non-fat milk solids, pasteurized milk, powdered milk, sheep’s milk, skim milk, skim milk powder, sour milk, sour milk solids, sweet cream buttermilk powder, sweetened condensed milk, sweetened condensed skim milk, whole milk, 1% milk, 2% milk]

Milk fat, anhydrous milk fat

Nisin preparation, Nougat




Rennet, rennet casein

Simplesse (fat replacer)

Sour cream, sour cream solids, imitation sour cream

Whey [acid whey, cured whey, delactosed whey, demineralized whey, hydrolyzed whey, powdered whey, reduced mineral whey, sweet dairy whey, whey protein, whey protein concentrate, whey powder, whey solids]

Yogurt (regular or frozen), yogurt powder

In addition, these ingredients might contain milk:

Natural flavoring


Caramel flavoring

High protein flour

Lactic acid

Lactic acid starter culture

“Non-dairy” products that may contain casein

Rice cheese

Soy cheese

This is a lot to look out for, and it can be exhausting.  It’s particularly difficult when you are dining out.  Being dairy free really limits your choices from the gluten free selections.

It can be done, but it takes more vigilance than just being gluten free does. You have to be doubly sure.  And it will slip by you.

As I always say, Google is your best friend, whether in the store or in the restaurant.  Use whatever tools you can to help you.

I can always be contacted if you need a helping hand.




6 Comments Add yours

  1. Jessica Adam says:

    Wow! Thank you for that list! 🙂


    1. glutenfreelady says:

      You’re welcome. It’s pretty extensive isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have so many things I can’t eat I have to do my own substitutions or there wouldn’t be anything I could eat, so I sympathize. I have a chocolate cupcake recipe here:

    You could use EnjoyLife chocolate chips (I’m sure there are other dairy free choc. chips as well) or you could just leave them out. I’ve also made this as a single layer cake. I never frost my cakes but you could frost if you prefer.


    1. glutenfreelady says:

      Thank you so much for the recipe. I have used enjoy life chips-they are awesome!


  3. Really informative read. I think one thing any Free-From recipe blogger should strive to do is to tag every allergy that a recipe covers. It can be time consuming, but it really helps. Like you I’m a celiac with other intolerances/allergies and I know the disheartening feeling when you see a recipe is GF, but not, for me at least, nightshade free. I like to experiment with different ingredients so I end up with a lot of other dietary needs being covered by my recipes outside of my own. I like to think it’ll help someone, even if it’s just a little.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. glutenfreelady says:

      I totally agree. It would make it much easier and much less disappointing if all posted recipes were labeled with all allergens.
      Thank you for your comments.

      Liked by 2 people

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