no dairy

Gluten AND Dairy-Free Baking

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Gluten AND Dairy-Free Baking

A lot of us gluten free bakers are also faced with the challenge of baking dairy free. Lactose is the biggest culprit (did you know that 60% of the adult population is lactose intolerant? Did you know that number is much higher for the celiacs amongst us?!). Want to know more about dairy and why it might be bothering you? Read my post all about it! If you’re looking to bake dairy and lactose free, I have a few recommendations for you.

Making the switch from butter

If you’re used to baking with butter and really crave that buttery flavor in your baked goods, there is really only one dairy free solution: Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks. This product contains soy but no dairy, and works seamlessly as a substitute for butter in recipes calling for butter.  I try to avoid unhealthy fats, hydrogenated oils, unnatural preservatives, emulsifiers or trans-fat, and this product works for me in everything.

If your family needs to avoid soy and dairy, I suggest palm oil shortening. Products like Spectrum® Palm Oil Shortening are a great substitute, although they lack the butter flavor. Straight up coconut oil is another option for you. Coconut oil brands like Kelapo® Coconut Oil (coconut oil is a solid at room temperature) is a great baking alternative to shortening, or even butter. Another option is Earth Balance® Coconut Spread. It acts a lot like shortening, but has a really nice flavor that is lacking in most shortenings. It’s also soy and dairy-free, as well as free from trans-fats or hydrogenated oils.

Other Dairy-Free Substitutions

When confronted with recipes calling for milk, yogurt, sour cream or even whipped cream, don’t despair. There are loads of dairy free alternatives that will make your gluten free, dairy (or lactose free) baking delicious!

Dairy Free (soy, almond, coconut or other-based) milk, kefir, yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, sliced cheese, shredded cheese, whipped toppings,  and more are readily available for recipe substitutions. Look to brands like Daiya™, So Delicious®, Follow Your Heart®, Teese™, Tofutti®, Lisanatti®,  MimicCreme™  and others for  every conceivable dairy-free ingredient need. Dairy-based, but lactose free options are also springing up with more frequency. If the products suit your needs, brands like Green Valley Organics® offer organic, humane, hormone-free and lactose-free dairy-based products. Even Yoplait® has now introduced a lactose free yogurt!

Another option to replace yogurt or sour cream as an ingredient is to use 1 cup full-fat coconut milk (shake it well before measuring) + 1 tablespoon vinegar (not malt vinegar) or lemon juice.

More ingredients, products and recipe substitutions for dairy (and nearly every other conceivable food allergen) can be found in my newest book, Free for All Cooking: 150 Easy Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Recipes the Whole Family Can Enjoy.

Don’t ever let dairy stand in your way of having healthy, safe gluten-free recipes!

There are some truly amazing vegan and lactose free cheeses available now, so don’t despair! From ricotta to cream cheese to yogurt to artisanal cheeses, mac & cheese and ice cream … you can find just about anything you need now, dairy-free!


Some of my favorite dairy-free &/or lactose-free & gluten-free products & ingredients*:

(check ingredients to ensure they suit your particular dietary needs)ricotta-kite-hill

Follow Your Heart® Slices (Gouda; Pepperjack; Provolone)

Miyoko’s Kitchen™ Vegan Mozzarella; Vegan Butter; Artisanal Cheeses

Kite Hill™: almond milk cream cheese, yogurt, ricotta, soft-ripened artisanal cheeses

GO Veggie!® Lactose Free or Vegan shredded cheese, cream cheese, blocks, bars, parmesan, slices

GO Veggie® Vegan Parmesan; Parma! Vegan Parmesan; Follow Your Heart® shredded vegan Parmesan

Field Roast® Vegan Chao Slices

Daiya™ Cheddar and Mozzarella-Style shredded & sliced dairy-free cheese

go veggie cheddarLisanatti Foods® Almond Mozarella or Cheddar-Style Shredded Cheese; Rice Cheeze Sticks


Earth Balance® Vegan Buttery Sticks & Soy-Free Buttery Sticks

Earth Balance® Coconut Spread (vegan & soy-free)


So Delicious® Coconut Milk Beverage

So Delicious® Almond Milk + Protein

So Delicious® Coconut Yogurt

Bhakti Vegan NogGreen Valley Organics® Lactose Free Yogurt

Follow Your Heart® Cream Cheese Alternative (soy)

Tofutti® Better Than Cream Cheese (soy)

Daiya™ Cream Cheese Style Spread (soy-free)

So Delicious® Coconut or Almond Milk Creamer

So Delicious® Vegan Holiday Nog; Silk® Vegan Nog; Bhakti® Holiday Spiced Nog -vegan

Coconut Milk Powder

Vegan Gourmet-SourCreamSvelte™ Protein Drink (soy)

Orgain® Protein Shake (vegan & gf)

Follow Your Heart® Sour Cream Alternative (soy)

Tofutti® Better Than Sour Cream (soy; non-hydrogenated)

Vegan Gourmet®/Follow Your Heart Sour Cream (soy)So Delicious Minis

Green Valley Organics® Lactose Free Sour Cream

Annie’s® Homegrown Vegan, Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

Healthy Vegan & Gluten Free Mac and Cheese recipe

Dairy Free Dessert Options:

So Delicious Coconut Milk, Cashew Milk, Almond Milk or Soy Milk Ice Cream

Luna & Larry’s® Coconut Bliss ice creams 

So Delicious® Minis

So Delicious® CocoWhip Coconut Whipped CreamCocoWhip

For more top-of-the-line dairy-free cheese alternatives, check this article from Delicious Living Magazine.

*some items may include affiliate links. If you choose to purchase an item through one of these links, your cost remains the same but I may receive a small portion of the price to use to fund this website. See my full disclosure policy here. As always, all opinions are my own.

Gluten and Dairy Free Baking - gfJules


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42 thoughts on “Gluten AND Dairy-Free Baking

  1. I’ve only been gluten/dairy free for about 6 months. I find it hard to buy things that taste good. Your website is helping find things that I can eat. Thank you for that. I am finding that learning to read the labels, has been tricky, especially when I think things are safe, but then finding the possibility of cross contamination.

  2. Also, Nature’s Charm makes a Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk and Evaporated Coconut Milk and these two products changes my world during the holiday season. Have you tried them?

  3. What about eggs? My grandson cannot
    have eggs and the substitutes I have
    tried (egg replacer and flaxseed)
    just don’t seem to work. Any ideas?

    Thank you.


  4. I am completely lactose intolerant, however, I have no problem eating butter or yogurt. So, even if you are lactose intolerant you can eat butter and yogurt if you so choose.

    • I’m glad you’re able to tolerate butter and yogurt — two products with typically lower lactose levels. Everyone must find their own levels that work for them, though, since “sensitivity” means that there can be a spectrum of acceptable intake levels. Thanks for sharing yours!

  5. I made the white cake mix tonight with cream of coconut in place of milk. I diluted the c of c to 1/2 water/1/2 c of c, since it is condensed. I then added coconut, about 3/4 cup and made a chocolate frosting with the remaining c of c, cocoa and powdered suger ( I never measure this, just go for consistency). It was a big hit! People had a couple of pieces and took cake home! Can’t ask for better than that!

  6. I have found a wonderful flavored olive oil store in Arizona. They have a butter flavored olive oil that I have used on baked potatoes, etc. Could I use that instead of palm oil, since it would still have the butter flavor? I can’t have coconut or any soy products, along with the dairy free! Finding no soy is the most challenging! Thanks, I am excited to try your products!

    • Joan, that sounds amazing! I use olive oil for lots of cooking and baking – I would certainly give it a try in any recipe calling for oil. In recipes calling for shortening or butter, the consistency will differ when using a liquid fat, but it still might turn out well. You never know until you try! The melting point will also be lower than some other “high heat” oils, so if you’re sauteeing with that oil, it may get smoky. It’s a worthy experiment, though – let me know how some recipes turn out!

  7. Jules,

    What do you think about Cabot Cheddar cheeses? They say that they are lactose free and my daughter-in-law (who is lactose intolerant) can eat them with no problem.


    • Pat, if a manufacturer advertises cheeses as being lactose free, they are adding lactase enzymes to the product, so if lactose is your only problem, the cheese should be well-tolerated. Hope that helps!

  8. I am excited about your website! My daughter and I have lactose-free problems and she has ,in addition to the lactose intolerance, celiac, glucose, and frutose intolerance. I probably have the last three as well but I have not been to a doctor for an official diagnosis! I (we) would love to find recipes that have all if these nemises (nemisis) in each recipe(s). Any help? If we discover any we will gladly share them! My daughter gets very sick if she consumes any of these ingredients! Thank you! Kathy Tiney( Baker). [email protected]