What are the ingredients in a non-dairy Dilly bar?

A non-dairy Dilly bar is a plant-based version of the classic Dilly bar ice cream treat. It swaps out the dairy milk and cream for vegan alternatives, providing a way for people with dietary restrictions or preferences to still enjoy the nostalgic flavored ice pop on a stick.

The main ingredients in a non-dairy Dilly bar are:


The base provides the creamy texture and bulk of the bar. Since dairy ingredients like milk and cream are off limits, the base is typically made from:

  • Coconut milk – This plant milk has a high fat content, which makes it thick, rich, and creamy when frozen.
  • Cashew milk – Like coconut milk, cashew milk can mimic the texture of dairy due to its fat and protein content.
  • Oat milk – Oat milk has a more neutral flavor that works well in frozen desserts.
  • Soy milk – Soy milk was one of the first plant-based milk alternatives and is frequently used in non-dairy ice creams.
  • Vegan creamer – Specialty vegan creamers help replicate the smooth, creamy mouthfeel of dairy cream.

Plant-based milks need extra ingredients added to achieve the ideal frozen dessert consistency:

  • Thickeners like guar gum or xanthan gum
  • Emulsifiers and stabilizers such as vegetable glycerin or locust bean gum
  • Nut butters like cashew or almond butter to add healthy fats
  • Vegetable shortening for creamy texture


What sets a Dilly bar apart is its tangy dill pickle flavor. To infuse non-dairy ice cream with dill flavor, the recipe relies on:

  • Fresh dill – Chopped dill adds authentic flavor and flecks of green
  • Dill extract – This concentrated liquid provides potent dill taste
  • Dill pickle juice – The briny liquid from a jar of dill pickles packs a flavor punch

Other possible flavorings include:

  • Lemon juice – Accents the tart, sour notes
  • Garlic powder – Enhances savory flavor
  • Onion powder – Provides subtle onion aroma
  • Salt & vinegar chips – Crushed chips lend crunch and zing


To balance out the strong dill taste, non-dairy Dilly bars need a touch of sweetness. Natural sugar substitutes commonly used include:

  • Maple syrup
  • Agave nectar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Dates
  • Brown rice syrup


Binders help hold the Dilly bar ingredients together for a sliceable, ice pop-like treat. Options include:

  • Tapioca starch
  • Arrowroot
  • Cornstarch
  • Potato starch
  • Psyllium husk


For visual appeal, non-dairy Dilly bars often get their color from:

  • Plant-based green food coloring
  • Liquid chlorophyll
  • Spinach or matcha powder

This gives the ice pop its iconic light green hue.


To mimic the crunchy chocolate coating on an original Dilly bar, the vegan version may use:

  • Dark chocolate or chocolate-flavored vegan drizzle
  • Chopped nuts like peanuts, almonds, or walnuts
  • Crushed cookies or graham cracker crumbs
  • Shredded coconut
  • Crushed pretzels

Sample Non-Dairy Dilly Bar Recipe

Here is one recipe for a homemade non-dairy Dilly bar:

Ingredient Amount
Full-fat coconut milk 2 cups
Avocado oil or melted coconut oil 3 Tbsp
Cashew butter 1/4 cup
Agave or maple syrup 3 Tbsp
Vanilla extract 1 tsp
Fresh dill, chopped 1/4 cup
Dill pickle juice 2 Tbsp
Tapioca starch 2 Tbsp
Salt & garlic powder 1/4 tsp each
Green food coloring As needed
Dark chocolate or coating 1/2 cup

The ingredients would be combined in a blender, then frozen in a popsicle mold before dipping in the chocolate or crunchy coating.

Comparisons to Dairy Dilly Bars

Dairy Dilly bars were originally created and produced by Dairy Queen starting in 1955. The frozen ice milk bars are still sold today at Dairy Queen locations. Here’s how non-dairy Dilly bars compare:


With creative combinations of plant-based ingredients, non-dairy Dilly bars can achieve a very similar tangy, savory, and sweet flavor. They may not taste exactly the same, but can come close.


The creamy density of frozen coconut or cashew milk makes non-dairy Dilly bars rich and scoopable like the original. They can be a bit more brittle, but still hold their shape well.


Colors and coatings can mimic the look of a traditional Dilly bar very closely. Both have a light green color and chocolatey coating.


Non-dairy Dilly bars made from whole ingredients are much lower in saturated fat and higher in fiber compared to the original ice cream bars. They also avoid cholesterol, hormones, and antibiotics from dairy.

Non-Dairy vs Dairy Ice Cream

Looking beyond just the Dilly bar, non-dairy ice creams in general differ from traditional dairy ice cream in a few key ways:


Dairy ice cream is made from cream, milk, whey, and/or milkfat. Non-dairy ice cream uses plant milks, oils, thickeners, and emulsifiers.

Nutritional profile

Non-dairy ice cream is lower in saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories while providing fiber and nutrients from plants. Dairy ice cream has more calcium.


Standard dairy ice cream is known for its smooth, creamy, rich mouthfeel. Non-dairy can be slightly icier but still replicates creaminess well.

Melting properties

Thanks to gum and starch thickeners, non-dairy ice cream maintains its shape well when melted. Dairy melts faster and softer.


Non-dairy options are available in virtually any flavor imaginable. Dairy ice cream has a more distinctly milk-based flavor profile.


Specialty non-dairy ice cream is generally more expensive than standard dairy ice cream.

Pros and Cons of Non-Dairy Dilly Bars

Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of choosing non-dairy over dairy Dilly bars:


  • Dairy-free – Suitable for vegan, lactose intolerant, or allergy-prone diets
  • Lower in saturated fat and calories
  • Provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Free of growth hormones, antibiotics, and other concerns associated with dairy
  • Available in many fun flavors
  • Customizable with different coatings


  • More expensive than dairy
  • Texture may be slightly icier
  • Need to avoid some additives like palm oil or carrageenan
  • Not exactly like the original Dilly bar taste and texture

Are Non-Dairy Dilly Bars Healthier?

Non-dairy Dilly bars made with whole, natural ingredients can provide some nutritional advantages over dairy Dilly bars, but they are still essentially a sweet treat.

Nutrition pros

  • Higher in fiber, vitamins, minerals
  • No cholesterol, lower saturated fat
  • Lower in calories in some cases
  • No exposure to hormones or antibiotics

Nutrition cons

  • Higher in sugar and carbs than dairy in some recipes
  • Lower protein levels
  • Often use refined coconut oil
  • Lack nutrients like calcium unless fortified

When enjoyed in moderation, non-dairy Dilly bars can be a better option than the dairy version. But they should still be considered an occasional treat, not an everyday health food.

Availability of Non-Dairy Dilly Bars

While you won’t find non-dairy Dilly bars stocked in most grocery freezer aisles yet, they are becoming more widely available as plant-based eating grows. Ways to get your hands on dairy-free Dilly bars include:

  • Ordering online through vegan specialty brands like NadaMoo
  • Visiting vegan-friendly ice cream shops
  • Making them at home
  • Requesting them from local restaurants/ice cream parlors

It may take some searching, but with interest increasing, non-dairy Dilly bars are popping up in more and more places.

Future Outlook

The future looks bright for non-dairy Dilly bars and other plant-based ice cream novelty treats! As demand increases, expect to see wider distribution, more unique flavors, and better texture and quality. Manufacturers will continue innovating with ingredients to improve nutrition, taste, and functionality. Costs may also decrease over time making them more accessible. All signs point towards the new wave of vegan Dilly bars and ice creams sticking around and growing for years to come.

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