Do McDonald’s biscuits have dairy?

McDonald’s biscuits are a popular breakfast item on their menu. Many customers enjoy these fluffy biscuits, but some may wonder if they contain dairy. This is an important question for people with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies.

The quick answer is yes, McDonald’s biscuits do contain dairy. Specifically, they contain milk and butter. People with dairy restrictions need to avoid McDonald’s biscuits.

Ingredients in McDonald’s Biscuits

McDonald’s biscuits contain the following main ingredients:

  • Enriched bleached wheat flour
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate)
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Preservatives

As you can see, the two dairy ingredients are milk and butter. McDonald’s uses milk to make the biscuits soft and rich. The butter adds more fat and flavor.

Why McDonald’s Biscuits Contain Dairy

There are a few reasons why McDonald’s chooses to put dairy in their biscuits:


Milk and butter contribute significant flavor to biscuits. They make the biscuits taste rich, creamy, and indulgent. Customers expect a certain buttery biscuit flavor from a fast food breakfast.


The milk gives McDonald’s biscuits a soft, fluffy internal texture. Without milk, the biscuits would be dry and crumbly.

Cooking Function

The milk and butter help the biscuits cook up light and airy. The steam from the milk gives rise to the biscuits as they bake. The fat from the butter tenderizes the dough.


Milk and butter are relatively inexpensive ingredients for McDonald’s. This keeps their total food costs down while still providing a tasty product.

Nutrition Information in McDonald’s Biscuits

Here is the basic nutrition information for a McDonald’s sausage biscuit with egg:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 450
Total Fat 28g
Saturated Fat 11g
Trans Fat 1.5g
Cholesterol 225mg
Sodium 930mg
Total Carbohydrates 30g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 3g
Protein 21g

As you can see, the biscuit contains significant amounts of fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. This comes largely from the dairy ingredients.

Dairy Allergy Concerns with McDonald’s Biscuits

Since McDonald’s biscuits contain dairy, people with dairy allergies need to avoid them. Dairy allergies affect about 2.5% of children under age 3, and about 0.5% of adults.

An allergic reaction to the dairy in a McDonald’s biscuit could cause symptoms like:

  • Hives or rash
  • Swelling of the lips, face, tongue, or throat
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Runny nose
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Stomach pain

In severe cases, a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis could occur. People with known dairy allergies should always avoid McDonald’s biscuits.

Cross-Contamination Risks

Even people with a dairy allergy who don’t directly eat a McDonald’s biscuit could get exposed through cross-contamination. Trace amounts of milk or butter from biscuits could get onto other McDonald’s menu items if proper precautions are not taken.

People with severe dairy allergies may want to avoid McDonald’s altogether, even if they don’t order biscuits. The potential for cross-contamination may be too great.

Lactose Intolerance and McDonald’s Biscuits

People with lactose intolerance can also have problems digesting the dairy in McDonald’s biscuits. The biscuits contain milk, which has the sugar lactose.

People with lactose intolerance lack enough of the enzyme lactase to properly digest lactose. When they eat dairy products, symptoms may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Gas and bloating
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea

The amount of dairy in a McDonald’s biscuit is likely to cause gastrointestinal symptoms in someone with lactose intolerance. They should be avoided.

Differences in Lactose Content

Some people with lactose intolerance can tolerate small amounts of lactose. Buttermilk, for example, has less lactose than regular milk. McDonald’s may use buttermilk in their biscuits rather than regular milk.

The amount of lactose can also vary depending on factors like:

  • Individual tolerance levels
  • Amount of dairy consumed
  • If dairy is eaten with other foods
  • If lactase enzyme supplements are taken

Each person with lactose intolerance reacts differently to lactose in their diet. Most will likely have problems tolerating a McDonald’s biscuit.

Dairy-Free Breakfast Options at McDonald’s

For people avoiding dairy, the McDonald’s breakfast menu still has options besides biscuits. Some dairy-free choices include:

Egg McMuffin® without Cheese

Order an Egg McMuffin sandwich and hold the cheese to leave off the dairy. The remaining ingredients are the egg, Canadian bacon, and an English muffin, which does not contain milk.

Sausage Burrito

The sausage burrito has sausage, eggs, onions, peppers, and salsa wrapped in a tortilla. Leave off any cheese or creamy sauce.

Fruit & Maple Oatmeal

The fruit and maple oatmeal does not contain any dairy ingredients. It’s made with oats, apples, cranberries, and maple syrup. Make sure to order it without brown sugar.

Hash Browns

A side order of McDonald’s hash browns makes a tasty dairy-free addition to your meal. Hash browns are made from potatoes, oil, and seasonings.

Coffee & Juice

McDonald’s serves various juices, coffees, and other basic beverages that are dairy-free. Stick to black coffee and drinks that don’t contain creamer.

Vegan McDonald’s Biscuit Options

Vegans avoid all animal products, including dairy. This means McDonald’s regular biscuits are off limits. However, there are some creative ways vegans can enjoy biscuit-style sandwiches at McDonald’s.

McMuffin with Hash Browns

Order an egg McMuffin without the cheese and Canadian bacon. Then substitute the meat with a hash brown patty. This gives you a vegan biscuit-style sandwich.

Bagel with Jam

Some McDonald’s locations offer bagels on their breakfast menu. Order a toasted plain bagel with jelly or jam for a sweet biscuit-like meal.

English Muffin & Fruit

An English muffin with fresh fruit or applesauce on top makes a healthy vegan-friendly biscuit alternative at McDonald’s.

Non-Dairy Cheese Options

To make their breakfast biscuits truly dairy-free, McDonald’s would need to use non-dairy cheese. There are a few potential options:

Soy Cheese

Cheese made from soy milk offers similar texture and melting properties. Popular brands like Daiya provide cheddar and American-style soy cheese slices.

Almond Cheese

Cheese made from almond milk can mimic the taste and texture of real dairy cheese. Major brands include Kite Hill and Miyoko’s Creamery.

Coconut Cheese

Some vegan cheese products are made using coconut milk or oils. These provide a mild flavor that works well in savory biscuits.

Nutritional Yeast Cheese

Nutritional yeast can be combined with nuts or beans to create a thick, spreadable vegan “cheese.” This can stand in for dairy-based biscuit cheese.

Cost and Availability

The biggest hurdles would be cost and consistent availability. McDonald’s serves millions of customers daily, so producing or acquiring enough non-dairy cheese could be challenging. The specialized ingredients also cost more than traditional dairy cheese.

McDonald’s Allergen and Nutrition Information

For customers with food allergies or dietary restrictions, McDonald’s provides some helpful resources online:

Ingredient Information

Detailed lists of ingredients for menu items are available on the McDonald’s website. This allows customers to evaluate items for allergens.

Allergen Tool

An allergen filter tool on McDonald’s website lets you select specific allergens like milk to see which foods contain or don’t contain those ingredients.

Nutrition Facts

Complete nutrition facts listings for all McDonald’s foods are accessible online. This info includes calories, fat, sodium, sugar, and more.

Asking in the Restaurant

Don’t hesitate to ask questions to McDonald’s staff about ingredients, cross-contamination risks, prep procedures, and more. They should be able to assist you.

McDonald’s Biscuits in Other Countries

The ingredients and availability of McDonald’s biscuits can vary between countries. Some key differences include:

United Kingdom

UK McDonald’s locations offer porridge and bagels but no American-style biscuits. Breakfast sandwiches come on muffins or rolls.


Indian McDonald’s feature a range of breakfast wraps along with veggie patties on biscuits to accommodate cultural and religious dietary restrictions.


Chinese McDonald’s have rice porridge, fried dough sticks, and egg tarts on the breakfast menu rather than biscuits.


Australians can get biscuits with sausage patties or bacon as well as McOz, a sandwich with eggs, beets, and bush tomato relish.


In Mexico, McDonald’s serves local breakfast options like quesadillas, burritos, chilaquiles, and hearty sandwiches on telera bread.

Future Menu Possibilities

McDonald’s is responding to consumer trends toward fresh, customizable options. For breakfast, this could mean:

  • Build-your-own breakfast sandwiches and biscuits
  • More non-meat protein options like eggs and veggie sausage
  • Natural and organic ingredients when feasible
  • Addition of ancient grains like quinoa or amaranth
  • Expanded fruit selections beyond apples and bananas

While McDonald’s needs to balance consumer demand with operational practicalities, they are exploring healthier, customizable breakfast choices.


McDonald’s biscuits contain milk and butter, so they are not suitable for vegans or people with dairy sensitivities. Dairy-free breakfast options are available, but those with severe allergies may want to avoid cross-contamination risk. People can consult McDonald’s allergen and nutrition information online or in-store to best accommodate dietary needs. As consumer interest grows, McDonald’s may expand their selection of customizable biscuits and breakfast sandwiches in the future.

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