No, Cool Whip is not dairy-free. It contains some dairy ingredients, such as skim milk and light cream. However, dairy-free alternatives, made from plant-based milk, are available on the market. Always check labels and ingredients to ensure a product meets your dietary requirements.
Cool Whip Ingredients
- Hydrogenated vegetable oil
- High fructose corn syrup
- Sodium caseinate (a milk protein)
- Natural and artificial flavor
- Xanthan and guar gums (stabilizers)
- Polysorbate 60 (an emulsifier)
- Sorbitan monostearate (an emulsifier)
- Beta carotene (a coloring agent)
- Corn syrup
- Skim milk
- Light cream
Non-Dairy Substitutes for Cool Whip
So Delicious CocoWhip: A popular non-dairy alternative made from organic coconut milk. It is light, fluffy, and free from artificial flavors or preservatives.
Trader Joe’s Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert Topping: Made from coconut milk, this substitute is similar in texture to Cool Whip and is great for those following a dairy-free or vegan diet.
Reddi-wip Non-Dairy Whipped Topping: Available in almond and coconut milk varieties, Reddi-wip Non-Dairy Whipped Toppings are dairy-free and vegan-friendly.
Gay Lea Coconut Whipped Topping: Another dairy-free option made from coconut cream, it is light, fluffy, and suitable for vegans and those avoiding dairy.
Homemade Whipped Coconut Cream: You can make your dairy-free whipped topping by chilling a can of full-fat coconut milk, scooping out the solid cream, and whipping it with a sweetener your choice, like powdered sugar or agave syrup.
Tips to Select Dairy-Free Cool Whip Alternatives
Check the ingredients: To ensure a Cool Whip alternative is dairy-free, read the ingredients list carefully. Look for products made from plant-based ingredients like coconut, almond, or cashew milk, and avoid those containing milk, cream, or casein.
Look for certified vegan labels: Products labeled as vegan are typically dairy-free. Certified vegan labels on packaging ensure the product does not contain dairy or other animal-derived ingredients.
Be aware of cross-contamination risks: Most companies make dairy-free and dairy versions on the same machines. Hence, they put a “may contain milk” warning on their products. The milk may or may not be present in tiny amounts. If this is an issue, you can buy from a 100% vegan brand or make whipped topping at home.
Consider texture and taste: Dairy-free whipped toppings can have different textures and flavors. Some options, like coconut-based alternatives, may have a subtle coconut taste, while others might be lighter or denser. Choose one that suits your preference and the recipe you’re using it for.
Opt for brands with fewer additives: Some dairy-free alternatives may contain additives, preservatives, or artificial flavors. Look for options with fewer additives and more natural ingredients for a healthier choice.
Try homemade alternatives: If you can’t find a store-bought dairy-free Cool Whip alternative that meets your needs, consider making your own using coconut cream or another plant-based milk. Homemade whipped toppings give you control over the ingredients, taste, and texture.
Dairy-Free Cool Whip Recipe
This dairy-free whipped topping can be used in place of Cool Whip in recipes or as a topping for your favorite desserts.
- 1 (14-ounce) can of full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar (or sweetener of your choice, such as maple syrup or agave syrup, adjusted to taste)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
- Chill the can of full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream in the refrigerator overnight. This allows the coconut cream to separate from the liquid and solidify.
- About 15-20 minutes before making the whipped topping, place a mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer to chill.
- Carefully open the chilled can of coconut milk or coconut cream, and scoop out the solidified cream that has risen to the top, leaving the liquid behind. Place the solid cream in the chilled mixing bowl.
- Using an electric mixer or a whisk, start whippikng the coconut cream at medium speed. Gradually increase to high speed and Whip until it becomes fluffy and forms soft peaks. This may take about 3-5 minutes, depending on the power of your mixer.
- Add the powdered sugar (or your choice of sweetener) and vanilla extract if using. Continue whipping until the ingredients are well incorporated, and the whipped topping reaches your desired level of sweetness and firmness.
- Use your homemade dairy-free whipped topping immediately, or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a few days. It may lose some of its volumes over time, so you might need to re-whip it before using it again.
What’s the difference between Cool Whip and Whipped Cream?
Cool Whip and whipped cream differ in ingredients, texture, and taste. Cool Whip is a pre-made whipped topping containing water, hydrogenated vegetable oil, high fructose corn syrup, skim milk, light cream, and additives.
Whipped cream is made from heavy cream and sugar, whipped until it forms soft peaks. Cool Whip is shelf-stable, while whipped cream requires refrigeration.
In terms of taste, whipped cream has a richer, creamier flavor, while Cool Whip is sweeter and lighter. Whipped cream is more natural, whereas Cool Whip contains artificial ingredients, making it a less healthy choice.
Is Cool Whip Lactose-Free?
No. Cool Whip is not lactose-free. It contains skim milk, light cream, and sodium caseinate. All these ingredients are unsafe for a lactose-free diet.
Is Cool Whip Vegan?
Cool Whip is not vegan. It contains plenty of ingredients that are animal-derived. Vegans don’t eat or use anything coming from animals.
Is Cool Whip Vegetarian?
Yes. Cool Whip is vegetarian. Vegetarians are okay with milk, honey, and eggs. They don’t eat foods that involve killing animals.
Is Cool Whip Gluten-Free?
Yes. Cool Whip is gluten-free. However, you cannot be certain processed recipes with Cool Whip. Hence, it is better to check the ingredients or labels before buying.