Does McDonald’s Ice Cream Have Dairy? (Answered)

McDonald’s soft serve ice cream is a popular treat that many people enjoy, but few know exactly what goes into it. Given its distinctive texture and taste, some may wonder if there’s actual dairy in it.

If you’re curious about the ingredients in McDonald’s ice cream and wonder if it contains dairy, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss the ice cream’s ingredients and tell you the specific dairy ingredients in it, if any.

Is There Dairy in McDonald’s Ice Cream?

Yes, McDonald’s ice cream has dairy.

The ice cream used as the base for many McDonald’s desserts is called vanilla reduced fat ice cream. It is used for cones, shakes (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, shamrock, etc.), and McFlurries.

This soft serve ice cream is made with milk and cream as it primary ingredients. Both of these ingredients are dairy products.

Here are the full ingredients for McDonald’s vanilla reduced fat ice cream:

Milk, Sugar, Cream, Corn Syrup, Natural Flavor, Mono And Diglycerides, Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Vitamin A Palmitate.

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Non-Dairy McDonald’s Desserts

Unfortunately for people that want to avoid dairy, the McDonald’s dessert menu lacks a lot of dairy-free options. Most desserts contain the ice cream discussed above and therefore have dairy ingredients.

Even most baked goods have dairy. McDonald’s chocolate chip cookies have dairy in them from the semi-sweet chocolate chips. Furthermore, all McCafe Bakery items that you might think of selecting for a sweet treat have dairy. These items include the apple fritter, blueberry muffin, and cinnamon roll with icing.

The one dessert menu item that was dairy-free at the time of this article was the classic apple pie. The McDonald’s website indicates that the only major food allergen of concern in it is wheat.

Here are the full ingredients for McDonald’s apple pie:

Apples (apples, Ascorbic Acid, Salt, Citric Acid), Enriched Flour (bleached Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Sugar, Palm Oil, Water, Apple Juice Concentrate, Modified Food Starch, Invert Syrup, Contains 2% Or Less: Yeast, Salt, Cinnamon, Sunflower Lecithin, L-cysteine (dough Conditioner), Yeast Extract, Enzyme, Beta-carotene (color).

Final Thoughts

Be aware that ingredients can change at any time. Be sure to review the ingredients offered by McDonald’s before you dine if avoiding certain ingredients is important to you. Do not rely on the above to make a final buying decision based on ingredients. We do not and cannot guarantee the accuracy of any ingredients as a 3rd party.

Furthermore, consider the possibility of cross-contamination when dining out where dairy or potentially other unwanted ingredients inadvertently end up on your food through shared equipment, spillage, etc. If you are strictly avoiding certain ingredients, you may wish to avoid dining at places where cross-contact of various foods can occur.

Overall, McDonald’s is a poor places to visit for dairy-free desserts. You are limited to the baked apple pie, which undoubtedly doesn’t please all taste buds.