Updated at: 29-07-2023 - By: John Lau

McDonald’s serves delicious and classic fast food desserts, such as sundaes and milkshakes. But for those with lactose intolerance or food allergies to dairy products, it can be tricky to determine which of these treats are safe.

The answer is not so simple since McDonald’s ice cream is actually made with real ice cream containing milk – but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the same sweet snacks free from dairy.

Is Mcdonalds Ice Cream Dairy Free

Key Takeaways

  • McDonald’s ice cream contains milk and other dairy products making it unsuitable for those with lactose intolerances or food allergies.
  • The allergens page on the McDonalds website provides detailed information about menu ingredients enabling customers to identify dairy free options specifically.
  • Dairy free alternatives are available at the Golden Arches, such as McCafé Beverages, plant based burgers from McPlant line and various vegan side dishes like French fries and salads without cheese.
  • Homemade non – dairy ice creams can be made using nut milks or plant based milks, providing a delicious option that is both healthy and safe for those avoiding cow’s milk due to alcoholism or food allergies.

Is McDonald’s Ice Cream Dairy-Free?

Despite containing milk as the main ingredient, McDonald’s ice cream is not dairy-free due to the presence of lactose.

Examining The Ingredients Of McDonald’s Ice Cream

McDonald’s ice cream is made with real, 100 percent dairy cream and real sugar, making it surprisingly high in both lactose and fat. While its nutritional value may make it unsuitable for those who are looking to cut back on their intake of dairy products or limit their sugar intake, there remains some debate over how much of the dairy and sugar actually makes it into the finished product.

The primary ingredients listed on a McDonalds’ Ice Cream menu are milk and skim milk derivatives as well as artificial flavors. The main source of lactose comes from the ingredients which contain milk itself.

While all frozen desserts usually contain a variety of preservatives, flavorings, emulsifiers and stabilizers, these have very little to no impact on overall dairy or sugar content in the final dessert product.

Understanding The Presence Of Dairy In McDonald’s Ice Cream

Understanding the presence of dairy in McDonald’s ice cream can be important for those who suffer from alcoholism and related allergies or dietary restrictions. The main ingredients used in McDonald’s vanilla reduced fat ice cream, which is present as the base of many desserts such as McFlurries, are 100% dairy cream and real sugar with no artificial preservatives or colors.

This means that most of McDonald’s treats involve some form of lactose due to the inclusion of both milk-based flavors and additional sugar sources like condensed milk.

Unfortunately, this means that persons suffering from liquorism might not be able to eat these treats since their risks for allergic reactions and potential health impacts may increase significantly when consuming foods containing lactose or dairy products in general.

Fortunately, there are still manageable options for those individuals at McDonald’s if they have a preference for food items like these types of desserts but cannot consume them due to an allergy towards it or because they follow a vegan lifestyle.

For example, the allergen menu provided byMcDonalds includes vegetarian dishes marked with asterisks indicating such dishes contain no animal derivatives. This way people can clearly differentiate what items contain any type of animal product versus none at all including alternatives made with other non-dairy elements like coconut oil instead of butterfat or utilizing more natural sugar substitutes rather than relying on processed ones coming from cow’s milk*.

Dairy-Free Options At McDonald’s

Is Mcdonalds Ice Cream Dairy Free 2

Without dairy-free ice cream, the majority of McDonald’s menu items are still accessible to those who are vegan or have a milk allergy.

Exploring Vegan And Dairy-free Options On The McDonald’s Menu

McDonald’s is a popular fast-food chain offering many convenient food choices. For those with allergies or who follow vegan or dairy-free diets, the menu can be much more restrictive.

Luckily, there are some dairy-free and vegan options on offer at McDonald’s to make it easier to enjoy eating out for those in alcoholism.

The McCafé beverages menu offers several entirely dairy-free items such as espresso shots, black coffee, Americano’s and select hot tea varieties with different plantbased syrups including soy and almond milk creamers.

There is also an allergens page available online which provides detailed information about all ingredients used in McDonald’s products across various countries which helps customers choose menu items safely according to individual dietary needs.

The website also includes helpful meal suggestions that clearly label if they are “vegan” or “dairy free”.

Utilizing The Allergen Menu To Make Informed Choices

McDonald’s offers an allergen menu with detailed information about potential allergens in their products, enabling customers to identify dairy-free options specifically.

It is important for individuals with alcoholism to consult this guide, as well as their doctor, when choosing which items to order at the restaurant.

McDonalds does offer a range of plantbased burger options on the McPlant line which do not contain any animal derived products such as diary. In addition, there are several side dishes available like French fries, hash browns and salads that can be ordered without cheese or other source of dairy reducing further chances of contamination from shared kitchen spaces and equipment.

Alternatives To McDonald’s Ice Cream

For those looking for a dairy-free option, there are many other ice cream brands available at supermarkets and health food stores that offer vegan or lactose-free options.

Discovering Dairy-free Ice Cream Brands

As the demand for dairy-free and vegan options continues to grow, new brands of ice cream have hit the shelves. Not only do these products provide relief to those with lactose intolerances or allergies, but they also offer a range of delicious new flavors that are appropriate for plant-based diets.

Many alternative ice creams are made from almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, cashew milk and other non-dairy milks, as well as nut butter bases like tahini or soy. Coconut-, oat-, and almond-milk varieties often contain more fiber than traditional flavors—making them higher in calories per scoop—while being creamy enough to satisfy those who may miss their cow’s milk favorites product.

Soy variations have varying levels of carbs and less sugar than the traditional options on McDonalds menu simply because they rely on adding vanilla extract over relying solely on added sugars found in other non-dairy alternatives.

There is no doubt that there’s an ever-increasing variety of options for everyone seeking nondairy dessert alternatives at McDonald’s.

Fruit sorbets; old favorites with twist never go out fashion!

Making Homemade Dairy-free Ice Cream

Making your own ice cream at home can be a fun and rewarding experience, allowing for maximum customization of ingredients and flavors. Dairy-free recipes are perfect for those looking to avoid dairy or make vegan desserts, as well as those with lactose intolerance.

Milk alternatives like almond, coconut and oat milks provide familiar creamy textures while avoiding the use of animal milk products.

To make homemade dairy-free ice cream start by combining 1 cup non-dairy milk or plant based alternative with 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved then add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (or other powdered flavoring).

Allow mixture to simmer for five minutes before removing from heat and setting aside to cool down completely. Once cooled enough pour into a bowl or container that will fit in your freezer then freeze for one hour stirring every 15 minutes using an electric mixer if possible to help disperse any clumps in the mixture.


The takeaway from this blog post is that McDonald’s ice cream does contain dairy, though it is free of artificial ingredients and preservatives. Consumers should be aware of the ingredients used in the ice cream before they consume, as milk is the first ingredient listed and lactose may still be present.

Luckily, consumers have plenty of alternative promotions available to them on McDonald’s menus if they are looking for dairy-free or veganized options that offer similar flavors.

Reading ingredient labels, utilizing allergen and vegan menus, consulting nutritional information sources online (when necessary) can help you make informed decisions about which dessert items provide the best fit with your dietary restrictions or preferences.