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non dairy dessert

I need to bring a dessert to a bbq tomorrow night. My SO is no dairy. On top of this he is no soy and soy lecithin is in a lot of products. This rules out butter or margarine. I have found one brand of chocolate here that does not have soy lecithin in it.

I was thinking of a crumble and a sorbet. Do you think I could use oil or lard for the crumble topping?

any other ideas for dessert?

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  1. How about a combination of oil and applesauce? You really just need something moist to hold it together.

    2 Replies
    1. re: susan1353

      been doing some research, coconut oil might be a good choice.

      I wonder if you could use coconut oil and lard to make a pastry?

    2. It's very easy to make carrot cake with just plain sunflower oil, or olive oil for an interesting flavour note - if that sounds like something he'd enjoy?

      I think you'll have a hard time finding a chocolate dessert you can make for him given his dietary restrictions. But perhaps you could make a summer berry strudel and use oil brushed between phyllo pastry layers to keep the sheets light and separated.

      If either of those sound like possibilities, let me know and I'll post recipes for you!

      12 Replies
      1. re: Elster

        phyllo would be lovely but wouldn't it be made with butter or shortening (which is usually soy based)

        1. re: Elster

          looks like phyllo is without butter, I did not know that. I would love a recipe for the summer berry strudel if you have one you trust/like. I did find this one that looks good and has good reviews. It's an apple one, but that is okay too, and it has raspberries on top (I would skip the yogurt obviously)

          1. re: cleopatra999

            Apple would be good and more traditional, I just thought a berry strudel might be a bit more barbeque-worthy! This recipe from Epicurious looks great. At any rate, all you need is a pack of phyllo pastry and your oil of choice for the strudel wrapping, layered up with oil between each layer (6-7 layers). Then mix a selection of fresh berries, about a pound (or frozen, though this will be a lot wetter) with 1 tbsp cornstarch and 1 tbsp lemon juice and the zest of the lemon and spread out in the middle of the pastry. Then roll the pastry up in a big sausage and tuck the ends under, and bake as the recipe you found suggests. And serve it with sorbet!

            I really recommend slashing the top of the strudel with a breadknife, before baking, in the places you are likely to slice it later, by the way, as this makes it way easier to portion up once baked without the pastry disintegrating :)
            I hope it works out!

            1. re: Elster

              I am trying to come up with a sorbet to go with the epicurious recipe. I guess instead of the berries on top I could put them into a sorbet? There are lots of nice apple sorbet recipes, but I feel like it would be a bit redundant. Any inspiration?

              1. re: cleopatra999

                are you in the northern hemisphere? apple strudel just screams autumn to me. any apples in the store are at least 6 months old too.

                1. re: cleopatra999

                  Banana 'instant ice-cream'? Lemon sorbet is a classic. Or watermelon sorbet? Or mango? If you're using berries any of these would be great - if apple, I would do the banana one and mix in grated crystallised ginger, or the lemon one.

              2. re: cleopatra999

                If using oil rather than melted butter, it's neater (no ripping of phyllo sheets while brushing) and quicker to use baking spray (Pam) between the sheets.

                1. re: greygarious

                  I saw several sites recommend that, definitely would be easier, however Pam has Soy lecithin in it. At least mine at home does, I am going to look at the different ones at the grocery store.

                  1. re: cleopatra999

                    If you have one of those Misto oil sprayers or maybe an unused spray bottle (like for water), you could try filling that with your preferred oil and using it, that way you'd definitely be soy-free (unless you of course put soy in it to prove me wrong).

                    1. re: Cinnamonster

                      I was thinking of something like that, wondering if it is worth purchasing. I only use Pam to spray the inside of my rice cooker before use. I have a silicone pastry brush, I have a feeling it is going to be a pain in the arse for spreading oil on parchment. At the very least may need to get a new brush.

                      1. re: cleopatra999

                        I have bought Misto bottles twice over the years. Each time, they gummed up, irreparably, within a couple of weeks of use. When I tried a spray bottle that had contained one of those thin, butter-flavored sprays for popcorn, the oil was too thick for the nozzle.

                      2. re: Cinnamonster

                        whenever i use phyllo i work with spray oil between the layers. easier, no ripping and a MUCH lighter finished product.

              3. coconut milk might be a pinch hitter here; I don't *think* it has soy in it.

                About lard, yes....could do a dairy-free apple pie, using lard.
                Here's a recipe


                1. I can't really swear by any of the desserts on this site but for a while my son couldn't eat dairy so I would look here for ideas. Maybe this will help you.


                  1. Religious Jews eat non-dairy desserts all the time (no dairy after a meal that contains meat or chicken). There are many recipes out there - you are looking for something labelled "parve" or "pareve" (that means no meat or dairy in the recipe). Although many of these recipes do contain margarine, it isn't hard to find those without. Blog/websites to look for ideas include:


                    Just stay away from anything that is for Passover (could also be labeled Pesach or non-Gebrokts). That adds an extra level of restriction you don't need.

                    Also, if a recipe calls for soy milk (instead of real milk), you can easily substitute rice milk. The vanilla flavored one is often nice in a dessert.

                    1. How about a pudding? and if you use a high-quality butter, you can make butterscotch, or just vanilla made with vanilla bean, or a rice pudding with raisins?
                      I have a coconut rice pudding recipe made with canned coconut milk, if you want it.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Michelly

                        Butter unfortunately falls under dairy!

                      2. just found an amazing sounding Ginger Lemongrass Infused Coconut Sorbet, trying to think of what I could serve with that? maybe ginger cake? or ginger snaps and fresh mango?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: cleopatra999

                          Or all three ;)

                          Another suggestion (not just for your BBQ, but to put in your arsenal of dairy-free desserts) would be tembleque. It's a Puerto Rican coconut pudding--VERY rich!

                          1. re: nofunlatte

                            that looks yummy thanks!

                            I have now been put on dessert for tonight too, so I think I will do an apple/berry phyllo strudel for one night and the coconut sorbet/ginger cookie/mango parfait for the other.

                        2. I made a chocolate sorbet recipe yesterday to bring to a potluck meeting (so that my friend, who has to avoid gluten and dairy, could have a dessert without worry). I found a gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate (frankly, the chocolate wasn't the greatest, but the sorbet was quite delicious when it was freshly churned, so maybe it's more of a cooking chocolate than one to eat out-of-hand).

                          I THINK the Endangered Species 72% Chocolate is dairy-free. I can check when I get home. I used the Enjoy Life brand yesterday.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: nofunlatte

                            dairy free dark chocolate is usually not the hard part, most dark chocolate has soy lecithin in it though. I did find cocoa camino was okay (but crazy priced!)

                            Can you post your chocolate sorbet recipe for me please?

                            1. re: cleopatra999

                              Sorry--missed the soy part. My apologies!

                              The recipe is at home (I'm at the office right now), but I will send it to you.

                              1. re: nofunlatte

                                No rush, it would be for future use, think I am good for the next 2 dinners :)

                                1. re: cleopatra999

                                  BTW, I just went to the Enjoy Life website--the Mega Chunks (which is what I bought) is dairy, nut, gluten, and soy-free.

                              2. re: cleopatra999

                                If you can find Theo chocolate, I am pretty sure they do not use soy out of concerns about GMOs, and ingredients on the shopping part of their website do not list lecithin, soy or otherwise. It is very good chocolate, but is manufactured on shared equipment with dairy, hopefully that's not a problem.


                                1. re: cleopatra999

                                  Here you go!

                                  Chocolate Sorbet (from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book, by Bruce Weinstein) Makes 1 quart (can be halved)

                                  3 c water
                                  1.5 c sugar
                                  3 Tbsp light corn syrup
                                  2/3 unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hersheys Special Dark)
                                  2 oz semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (I used a tad more)
                                  1 Tbsp vanilla extract
                                  1/8 tsp almond extract*

                                  Put water, sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan. Cook over low-to-medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Raise the heat to medium and bring to boil. Cook this mixture for about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the cocoa, whisking it in until it is fully combined. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted. It should be well incorporated. Cool to room temperature and then add the extracts. Chill then entire mixture in the fridge. Then freeze in your ice cream maker (took me about 20-25 min.)

                                  *this is optional and not in the original recipe, but I wanted an almond undertone. I also halved the recipe and used 1/8 tsp of almond extract—if making the full recipe, you might want to start with 1/8 tsp and add if you think it needs more. I find that almond extract can easily become overpowering, so it’s best to add a little at a time.

                                  FWIW, the Weinstein book has not only ice creams, but also sorbets and granitas. I found this book indispensable when I was learning to make frozen desserts.

                              3. I pinned this recipe this morning for future reference - a non-dairy sweetened condensed milk. it's made with coconut milk and agave nectar...

                                now to find a non-dairy dessert recipe I can use it in! :)

                                1. How about you work with the restrictions and go for an olive oil cake? They're simple, tasty, you can always add fruit or even whipped cream for those who do dairy but they're good on their own.

                                  Here's an example but you can google olive oil cake for an abundance of recipes:

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: alitria

                                    I went on a bit of an olive oil cake kick a couple weeks ago when I wanted cake and was out of butter. This one is great and doesn't need a frosting or glaze because of the crunchy sugar layer on top: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... It would be great served with fresh fruit and a scoop of sorbet.

                                    This Nigella recipe is great as well: http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/C... I made it with flour, but it would probably be excellent with the original ground almonds too (or a combination of the two). I'd serve with berries and creamy coconut sorbet.

                                    1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                      You know I tried this lemon olive oil cake for dessert at Easter, we were all quite unimpressed. Maybe I will try the Nigella one another time. I love the idea of olive oil cake.

                                      1. re: cleopatra999

                                        May I ask what you didn't like about it? I know there are a couple of comments describing it as bland, but I've never found it so. For me, the key is a really nice olive oil and tons of sugar sprinkled over the top before baking for a nice crust. In my mind, it's similar to an angel food cake and is meant to be served with fruit.

                                        There's also a grapefruit olive oil cake in the Smitten Kitchen cookbook that I've been wanting to try. If you're interested, I'm sure the recipe is online somewhere.

                                  2. A rice pudding made with coconut milk although somewhat of a wintery dessert.

                                      1. I wound up making what amounted to a pudding, by accident.
                                        There was a little fruit and a LOT of sweetened liquid containing tapioca flour and exuded rhubarb juice left in the bowl after I filled pastry-lined tartlet shells before baking them. I decided to "stew" those dregs in the microwave and then mixed in some Trader Joe's Just the Clusters, which is a fruit-less granola-type crumble containing nuts. Once it cooled, it was a firm pudding rather than a compote, and I like it a lot. I intend to try this with other fruit juices. Obviously, when I was eyeballing the tapioca flour for the original fruit mixture, I used too much. It will take some experimenting to recreate the desired pudding consistency.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: greygarious

                                          any recipe that uses cocoa powder, rather than bars or bits, will fit your restrictions.


                                          i make these often and have subbed coconut oil for the butter and they come out great. add some unsweetened coconut flakes for texture.

                                          the classic wacky cake is infinitely adaptable as far as making cupcakes, layer cake, etc.

                                          do a search for vegan cakes and you'll get good results too.

                                        2. just googling around and realized angel food cake is dairy-free too. great with berries for summer.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                                            I wasn't sure if the OP considered eggs as "dairy" since some do and some don't. If eggs are acceptable, it opens up a lot more desserts, eg, pavlova, meringue, macaron, olive oil cakes (as mentioned above), all sorts of cakes/pastries that can be made w/ lard or shortening. sponge/genoise/ or chiffon. It's probably too late but this would be good w/ berries:


                                            Probably too late for the OP, though.

                                            1. re: chowser

                                              that looks lovely. Definitely another time. Eggs are fine.

                                              Who the heck thinks that eggs are dairy? just because they are in the dairy section of the grocery store???

                                              1. re: cleopatra999

                                                i know and i know choswer knows better too. this comes up A LOT. dairy only comes from 4-legged ruminants. :)

                                                1. re: cleopatra999

                                                  "Who the heck thinks that eggs are dairy?"

                                                  It's come up, not just here on CH but on diet/lifestyle boards. I don't consider them to be, but you probably know, having been around here long enough, that there is nothing that is obvious to everyone.

                                            2. You could purchase a non dairy and soy ice cream to go with that crisp.