What candy does not have dairy in it?

Candy is a delicious treat that many people enjoy. However, those with dairy allergies or intolerances often have to be careful about the candy they choose, as many popular candies contain milk, cream, butter or other dairy ingredients. Thankfully, there are still plenty of dairy-free candy options to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Chocolate Candy Without Dairy

For chocolate lovers, finding candy without dairy can be tricky, as many chocolate bars contain milk. However, there are still many delicious dairy-free chocolate options:

  • Dark chocolate – Most dark chocolate contains no dairy at all. Opt for bars with 70% cocoa content or higher. Some brands to look for include Endangered Species, Theo Chocolate and Pascha Organic.
  • Milk-free milk chocolate – Brands like Enjoy Life, Amanda’s Own and Sun Cups make dairy-free milk chocolate bars using alternate ingredients like rice or almond milk.
  • Non-dairy chocolate chips – These are great for baking and eating straight from the bag. Brands like Enjoy Life, Guittard and Tropical Source make non-dairy chocolate chips.
  • Hot cocoa mixes – Look for dairy-free cocoa mixes from CaPao, Teeccino and Golde Cacao.

Always check the label for dairy-free claims and inspect the ingredients list for any milk-derived ingredients like milk, milk powder, milk fat, etc. If unsure, contact the company.

Traditional Non-Chocolate Candies Without Dairy

Many classic non-chocolate candies are already dairy-free or have dairy-free varieties available:

  • Skittles, Starburst, Swedish Fish, Sour Patch Kids, Haribo gummy bears – These colorful fruit chews contain no dairy.
  • Dum Dums and Tootsie Pops – These basic pops contain sugar, corn syrup and flavoring, but no dairy ingredients.
  • Original Life Savers – The original 5 flavors (pineapple, cherry, orange, lemon, lime) are dairy-free, but other varieties may contain dairy.
  • Airheads – These chewy fruit taffies contain no dairy.
  • Smarties – These tart little fruit-flavored candies are dairy-free.
  • Jolly Ranchers – These hard fruit chews are usually dairy-free, except for varieties like ‘Cookies n Cream.’

Always double check labels for dairy-free claims or inspect ingredients for any potential milk ingredients.

Sour and Spicy Candies Without Dairy

For those who like their candy to pack some punch, sour and spicy candies are a great option. Luckily, most are dairy-free:

  • Lemonheads, Shock Tarts – These sour candies contain citric acid but no dairy.
  • Red Hots, Hot Tamales – These intense cinnamon candies are dairy-free.
  • Warheads – These ultra-sour exploding candies are dairy-free.
  • Chile Mango Pops – These sweet-hot suckers contain no dairy.
  • Toxic Waste – These sour candies with gross-out names like ‘Snots’ and ‘Alien Ooze’ are dairy-free.

The spicy heat and/or intense sour flavors in these candies comes from ingredients like citric acid, malic acid, chili pepper extract, cinnamon oil and cayenne pepper. No dairy needed!

Dairy-Free Halloween Candies

Trick-or-treating can be tricky for those avoiding dairy. Watch out for common culprits like chocolate with milk ingredients and chewy candies containing caramel or marshmallow. Some good dairy-free Halloween candy options include:

  • Mini boxes of raisins or Craisins
  • Fruit leathers
  • Peanut butter kisses or cups (check label for possible milk ingredients)
  • Pirate’s Booty or other puffed corn snacks
  • Dark chocolate bars
  • Skittles, Starburst or gummy bears
  • Smarties
  • Lollipops like Tootsie Pops and Dum Dums

The Teal Pumpkin Project promotes food allergy awareness on Halloween by having people put teal pumpkins on their porches to indicate they offer non-food treats. Look for these homes for dairy-free options like glow sticks, slinkies, stamps and more!

Vegan Candy Without Dairy or Other Animal Products

For people who eat a vegan diet, dairy as well as other animal products like eggs and gelatin are avoided. Here are some popular candies that are both dairy-free and vegan:

  • Airheads – Most classic fruit flavors are dairy-free and vegan.
  • Jolly Ranchers – These chewy fruit candies contain no animal products.
  • Original Life Savers – Again, the classic fruit flavors only.
  • Smarties – No artificial colors either.
  • Swedish Fish – Made with real fruit juice.
  • Sour Patch Kids – Both the soft and crunchy versions are vegan.
  • Haribo Goldbears – Most fruit flavors of these classic gummy bears are vegan.
  • Skittles – Also made without any artificial colors or flavors.
  • Starburst – The classic fruit chews and the jelly bean versions are vegan.
  • Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate Bars – These bars with at least 70% cocoa are dairy-free and vegan.

There are also many smaller brands offering vegan versions of chocolate candies, lollipops, gummies and more. Companies like Surf Sweets, YumEarth, GoMaxGo Foods and Chicago Vegan Foods offer a wide range of dairy-free and vegan candies.

Gluten-Free Candy Without Dairy

Many people who avoid dairy or are vegan also follow a gluten-free diet due to food allergies or Celiac disease. Here are some popular gluten-free candies that are also dairy-free and/or vegan:

  • Skittles
  • Original Life Savers
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Lindt 70%+ Dark Chocolate Bars
  • Enjoy Life Chocolate Bars, Chips and Baking Chips
  • Surf Sweets Gummy Bears and Fruit Snacks
  • Smarties
  • Most Haribo gummy candies

Always check ingredient lists carefully for gluten-containing grains, even if a ‘gluten-free’ claim is made.

Healthier Candy Options Without Dairy

For those looking for healthier candy options, there are a few things to look out for:

  • Dark chocolate – Opt for a cacao content of 70% or higher.
  • Fruit-flavored candy – This often has real fruit juice added or contains no artificial colors/flavors.
  • Less added sugar – Compare nutrition labels and choose options with less added sugars.
  • No artificial colors or flavors – Avoid controversial food dyes like Red #40.
  • Smaller serving sizes – Individually wrapped mini or mini size candies can help control portions.
  • Enhanced nutrition – Look for options with added vitamins, minerals or superfoods like chia, quinoa and turmeric.

Some ‘better-for-you’ dairy-free candy brands include: YumEarth Organic Pops, Surf Sweets gummies, SmartSweets gummy bears, Chocolove Chocolate and Hu Chocolate.

Homemade Candy Recipes Without Dairy

Making your own homemade candies is an easy way to control the ingredients and avoid dairy. Here are some recipes to try:

No-Bake Candies

  • Peanut butter balls – Mix peanut butter, powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Roll into balls and dip in chocolate if desired.
  • Haystacks or no-bake cookies – Mix chocolate chips with coconut flakes and optional nuts/seeds.
  • Chocolate bark – Melt chocolate chips and mix in nuts, dried fruit, coconut, seeds, etc. Spread on parchment paper to cool.
  • Puppy chow – Toss Chex cereal with melted chocolate, powdered sugar and peanut butter or almond butter.

Jellies and Gummies

  • Fruit jellies – Make jams with fruit juice and gelatin.
  • Gummy bears – Bloom gelatin in fruit juice, blend in sweetener, pour into molds.
  • Marshmallows – Whip gelatin with sweetener. Pour into a pan to set.
  • Jello jigglers – Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water. Pour into a pan to set, then cut into shapes.

Candied Nuts and Popcorn

  • Candied nuts – Boil nuts in a sugar syrup, roast until coated.
  • Kettle corn – Popcorn cooked with oil and sugar.
  • Cracker jacks – Popcorn, peanuts and molasses baked together.
  • Popcorn balls – Mix popped popcorn with syrup and shape into balls.

Get creative and try mixing, matching and customizing these homemade candy recipes to your taste and dietary needs!


Despite the prevalence of dairy ingredients like milk and cream in many candies, there are still loads of dairy-free options available. Chocolate candies, fruit chews, sours, Halloween and vegan candies can all be found without dairy. Reading labels carefully and contacting manufacturers is key. Additionally, healthier versions and homemade candies open up even more possibilities. With all these dairy-free candy choices, those avoiding dairy do not have to miss out on enjoying the occasional sweet treat.

Leave a Comment