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Desserts Without Palm Oil and What to Know

Desserts Without Palm Oil and What to Know

You can easily make your own sweets and desserts without palm oil. When baking from scratch, be sure to AVOID USING SHORTENING which most always contains palm.

Store-bought desserts and baked sweets — everything from cookies and cupcakes to donuts and pies — use Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil and palm oil derivatives, including Mono- and Diglycerides, Glycerin, Polysorbate 80 and more.

Boxed cake and dessert mixes often contain palm oil as well. Frosting in cans contains palm oil, even when it’s organic or when they highlight “coconut” on the label.

As with everything, the less ingredients something has, the less chance there will be palm oil in it. We avoid all store-bought desserts because my son has a palm oil allergy and intolerance. 

Baking Ingredients that Contain Palm Oil

When baking desserts from scratch to avoid palm oil, know these items likely contain it. Learn more about them below and further down in this article.

whipped cream on strawberries

Homemade whipped cream on strawberries makes an easy dessert

Whipped Cream and Whipped Toppings

Whipped cream is made with higher quality ingredients than whipped topping. However, they both contain palm oil when you buy them premade.

  • Whipped cream and whipped dairy cream in spray canisters typically contain palm oil derivatives in the form of Mono- & Diglycerides.
  • Frozen whipped toppings contain palm kernel oil, Polysorbate 60, and Sorbitan Monostearate.

It is very easy to learn how to make whipped cream. Choose organic heavy whipping cream (non-organic whipping creams contain palm oil). Using heavy whipping cream or heavy cream (they are the same thing), you can whip some up in less than 5 minutes. 


Shortening contains palm oil and palm oil derivatives. Use real butter instead of shortening in your favorite recipes and especially when making pie crust. 

shortening in desserts contains palm oil

Read labels. In shortening, palm oil is common.


You will find palm oil ingredients in margarine and other “like butter” substitutes. Use real butter in desserts to avoid palm oil. 

Butter Substitutes

If you are vegan and looking for vegan butter, be sure to read labels. Many contain palm oil because of the mouthfeel and texture palm oil offers.

Sprinkles and Jimmies

Watch for palm oil and palm kernel oil. Colored sugar, such as Wilton Sugar — it’s available in Red, Pink, Dark Green, White Sparkling Sugar, and Blue — is palm oil free. (It’s available at Target.)

Baking and Cooking Spray

Be sure to read labels; you can find baking spray without palm oil. It’s also easy to use a canola, soybean or other oil and grease the pan with a paper towel.

Canned Frosting

You will see canned frosting ALWAYS contains palm oil or palm kernel oil among many other palm oil derivatives, including Monoglycerides, Mono & Diglycerides, Polysorbate 60, and Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate. Make your own with the easy frosting recipe below.

Learn how to make canned frosting better without adding more palm oil. You can use candy to decorate, etc. See our holiday candy post.

Almond Bark, Candy Melts, Baking Chips

Chocolate almond bark, vanilla-flavored almond barks, candy melts, vanilla chips, and white morsels typically all contain palm oil and palm kernel oil. Instead, melt real milk chocolate. Products described as “chocolately” and “chocolate-flavored” contain palm oil.

When it comes to vanilla chocolate, unless it states “white chocolate,” the baking chips will mostly contain palm oil in some form.

The same is true for flavors of baking morsels and chips such as raspberry, peanut butter, and butterscotch, etc., which contain palm oil. You will have a much better chance if you buy milk chocolate, semi-sweet, and dark chocolate baking chips.

Read labels to be sure you are buying real chocolate. Chips marked “chocolate flavored,” “made with chocolate,” and “chocolately” usually contain palm oil.

Some chocolate chips I use: 

  • Enjoy Life Mini Chips: Semi-Sweet; Dark; Semi-Sweet Mega Chunks
  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Chips

I believe these chips are palm oil free because my son can enjoy them safely. Read ingredients before buying.

I often use a mix of Enjoy Life Semi-Dark Mini Chocolate Chips (they contain just three ingredients and no palm oil) along with Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Chips because they are sweeter. 


To the best of my knowledge, Red Star Active Dry All Natural Yeast in the 3-pack doesn’t contain palm oil. Other yeast contains Sorbitan Monostearate, often made using palm oil. More information below.

Imitation Vanilla Extract and Clear Vanilla

Use pure vanilla extract, almond extract, peppermint extract, not imitations. It should say “pure” on the label. Imitations typically contain Propylene Glycol, which is made from palm oil. “Vanilla flavor” contains propylene glycol as well.

McCormick Vanilla Flavor Clear

I wrote to McCormick asking what their McCormick Vanilla Flavor Clear contains. The ingredients listed on the website state: Water, Alcohol (13%), Vanillin, and Other Artificial Flavorings, and Citric Acid.

I asked if there were any palm oil ingredients in the vanilla, including any Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, or any other palm oil derivatives in the Vanillin, Citric Acid, etc. They responded saying, “It was formulated to contain propylene glycol.”

Where is Propylene Glycol on the label?!

Food Coloring and Food Dyes

These contain Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Glycerine, and Polysorbate 80.

Refrigerated Cookie Dough

While the mainstream brands contain palm oil ingredients, you may find a specialty brand or organic cookie dough that doesn’t include palm oil. Read labels.

Cookie Pieces

Make your own cookies and crumble them up if you want to add them to cakes and cupcakes. Oreo Cakesters are fun, and peanut butter cookies are easy to make, including peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Instead of buying smashed cookie bits, if you don’t have time to make your own, use this list of palm oil free cookies.

Refrigerated Pie Crusts

Premade pie crusts at grocery stores contain palm oil. Note: Pies you buy at bakeries may also contain palm oil, even if they make the crust from scratch. If they use real butter instead of shortening, it won’t contain palm oil. Learn how to make pie crust without palm oil.

Pillsbury Pie Crusts (2 pie crusts where you unroll, fill, and bake, used to not contain palm oil. The ingredients changed in 2019 or 2020. (The last time I bought it, the box had an expiration date of January 2019.)

The ingredients used to be: Enriched Flour Beached (wheat flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Lard and Hydrogenated Lard with BHA and BHT added to protect flavor, Wheat Starch, Water. Contains 2% or less of: Salt, Rice Flour, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Propionate and Potassium Sorbate (preservatives), Citric Acid, Annatto Extract (for color). 

Now on the label, it spells out Palm Oil.

Milk in Desserts

Vitamin A Palmitate — a palm oil derivative — is added to most milks, including nut and plant milks. Make your own! Or you can usually find whole milk without added Vitamin A Palmitate.


Unless you use pure maple syrup, most syrups contain palm oil in the form of Mono- & Diglycerides. These include chocolate syrup, strawberry syrup and more. If you are looking for the sweetness of maple syrup without the extra sugar, use a sugar free syrup recipe.

Ice Cream Toppings

Watch for Mono- & Diglycerides and Polysorbate 60 in all sorts of ice cream toppings. These include chocolate syrup, strawberry syrup, caramels and more. Make your own, including this peanut butter sauce recipe and sugar free caramel syrup. You can also make strawberry compote to top ice cream.

Desserts without Palm Oil

While convenience is great, with a little planning, you can easily make your own confections. It’s often less expensive, healthier and fairly simple to make desserts without palm oil at home, even if baking isn’t your passion.

These recipes take 5 – 15 minutes, and that includes the cleanup. I’ve included products I believe to be palm oil free. Please note, they are not guaranteed palm oil free unless they have earned Palm Oil Free certification. Use this as a starting point. Two non-profit organizations which certify Palm Oil Free ingredients are the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark and Orangutan Alliance.

Avocado cacao pudding

This recipe has the bonus of containing avocado, which is a healthy fat. After you add all the ingredients, your kids won’t even know. It contains just four ingredients.

It’s super creamy and best when it’s been chilled in the refrigerator.  It’s vegan and gluten free as well. Be sure to use pure maple syrup and pure vanilla extract… not imitation. You can also make easy substitutions for the sweetener as necessary.

  • 3 avocados
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup (or agave syrup or honey)
  • 6 tablespoons cacao powder (cocoa powder)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Slice avocados. Remove peel and seed. Mash together until smooth.
  2. Add pure maple syrup, cacao powder, and pure vanilla extract. Mix.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 3 – 4 hours.
  4. Enjoy!

For an even greater nutritional impact, use a higher quality cacao, such as Navitas Organics Cacao Powder. Navitas Organic Cacao Powder is fair trade certified and contains 25% daily value of Magnesium per 2.5 tablespoons.

You can easily use Hershey’s Cocoa, 100% Cacao which is easy to find and also palm oil free. Instead of pure maple syrup, you can substitute honey or agave syrup as well. Choose organic vanilla extract when possible. 

Another delicious treat is this chocolate mousse recipe which uses just three ingredients: organic heavy cream, confectioners sugar, and pure vanilla extract.

Chocolate cake without palm oil

This chocolate cake recipe is divine and uses 11 ingredients. My family and I have made this cake several times. Here it is for my son’s birthday. We make the frosting as well. It’s so easy!

bake without palm oil

Be sure to use palm oil free toppings. Here we use Milk Chocolate M&M’s and Mint with Dark Chocolate M&M’s (not Crunchy Mint or Crispy Mint).

It’s fluffy, moist, and delicious. This cake doesn’t use eggs, butter or dairy.

In addition to making a double-layer cake which worked perfectly, I used the batter in my two donut makers.

It’s exceptionally difficult to find donuts without palm oil so I wanted to see if this recipe would work. It worked great in both of them.

I used a plug-in mini donut maker. My other donut maker makes regular-sized donuts. It’s the type where you pour the batter in the donut-shapes and put the pan in the oven.

This cake recipe turned out really great in both makers, and now we can enjoy cakes, cupcakes and donuts without palm oil.

(Please note, M&M’s doesn’t make claims these are palm oil free; however, Milk Chocolate and Mint with Dark Chocolate — not their Crunchy Mint and not their Crispy Mint — are fine for my son who reacts to anything with palm oil and palm oil derivatives. We love to use them for decorating homemade cupcakes and cakes.)

Watch for Natural Flavors and Mixed Tocopherols in M&M’s which may contain palm oil. Especially watch Natural Flavors in new M&M’s flavors.

I also make a versatile and delicious buttermilk cake. It’s easy to add a sprinkling of confectioners sugar or a fruit topping to it.

Buttercream frosting without palm oil

desserts without palm oil

Frosting is so easy to make!

Canned frosting contains palm oil. This frosting takes less than five minutes to make.

  • 1 cup real butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 1 lb box/4 cups of confectioners sugar or powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Mix butter, sugar and cocoa powder. Add in vanilla and milk. Blend. Add additional milk as needed. Omit the cocoa powder for vanilla frosting.

It’s so delicious; you may want to make and eat it by itself! Here is the frosting recipe. We use it on the chocolate cake we love.

Chocolate covered bananas

This palm free dessert has the added bonus of starring a healthy fruit. You can make this a two-ingredient recipe, using just the banana and the chocolate. Be sure to find melting chocolate, chocolate bars, or chocolate chips without palm oil. In addition, you can add whatever toppings you want, just be sure they are palm oil free.

Some examples include nuts, shredded coconut, nut butter, chocolate chips, dried fruit, and Milk Chocolate M&Ms.

(Note to watch the M&Ms. The original/plain are palm oil free right now but be sure to read the label. They’ve recently changed ingredients and Peanut M&M’s now contain palm oil. Some of their other flavors do as well.) This is especially fun to eat in the summer.

Donut cake

All, and I mean all, donuts in stores and doughnut shops contain palm oil. Some popular donut places list their ingredients online (which is amazing). However, when you read the long list of ingredients, you may be shocked to see how many chemicals they include and how many times you will see “palm oil” in the ingredients. 

The great news is you can very easily make your own donut cake in a square baking pan. No special donut-shaped molds or anything are needed. The taste of nutmeg will bring you back to the days of old-fashioned donuts when things were much simpler! Try making your own donut cake with powdered sugar or an easy vanilla glaze.

Banana ice cream

Bananas are really great for their texture, especially when blended from frozen. Plus, it’s another dessert without palm oil that’s on the healthier side. It’s so easy to make from scratch.

If you’ve looked in the store for palm oil free ice cream, you know how hard it is to find. In addition to the easy-to-see-on-labels ingredients — palm oil and palm kernel oil — ice cream manufacturers use a common palm oil derivative known as mono- and diglycerides.

But if you have a food processor or blender, you will be amazed at how easy it is to enjoy this palm oil free ice cream, even if you aren’t particularly fond of bananas.

I use a Vitamix but any food processor will do. This tastes so unbelievably much like ice cream, you will be amazed. It’s so simple!

How to make banana ice cream

Slice bananas and freeze up to three or four bananas in a sandwich-sized Ziploc bag. Try to freeze them so they are in a single layer, rather than balled up.

Note: Several times, I sliced over a dozen bananas and put them in a gallon-sized Ziploc. I don’t recommend it. You don’t want the bananas to clump because it makes it really difficult for your food processor to whip them up.

Another tip is to cut the bananas every which way so they don’t nest together.

Not to complicate this simple recipe, but the idea is you really want it as easy as possible for your food processor to whip up the bananas. (Your food processor will thank you.)

Once the bananas are frozen — they don’t even need to be frozen solid — put them in the food processor or Vitamix.

Add vanilla extract to taste — approximately a quarter teaspoon per three bananas. Add cacao powder to taste. You can add a few tablespoons, depending on how many bananas you have. You can also make a larger batch of this banana ice cream and freeze for later.

Blend until it’s the consistency of ice cream. It’s a really tasty dairy-free and palm oil free ice cream treat that amazingly has the consistency of ice cream.

While it’s awesome with vanilla extract and the cacao, you can add anything to it. Instead of vanilla, use peppermint extract. You can blend in strawberries and/or slice them to mix in for strawberry ice cream. We use organic vanilla extract which has a much better chance of being palm oil free. You can add nuts, other fruit, etc. for more variety.

Like in the other recipes, you can use the easy-to-find Hershey’s 100% Cocoa powder. For an even richer flavor, use fair trade certified Navitas Organics Cacao or other 100% cacao powder. T

Love bananas in desserts, for breakfast and for snacks? I do too. Check out my banana muffins recipe and banana bread recipe.


You may have read my son gets sick from palm oil. Once, a friend came over for a play date. His mom looked very hard to find a “safe palm oil free dessert” my son could eat. (See this list of the foods he eats.)

Amazingly, she found one! It was a brand of vanilla biscotti. My son loved them. I looked for them at the grocery stores in the area and couldn’t find them. It turns out, the store she bought it from stopped selling them.

Since then, I had been looking for another biscotti brand at other stores. They either had way too many ingredients to worry about, or they were very expensive.

Still, months later, my son still talked about those biscotti. So I woke up one summer day and pulled up this biscotti recipe and made them with great success.

palm oil free desserts

Palm oil free biscotti

biscotti without palm oil

Homemade biscotti without palm oil is easy to make.

It took me a little longer than the 15 minutes prep time indicated, but it was still only 20 minutes or so. I substituted anise with the Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract we use safely.

If you use this recipe, be sure to take them out of the oven after 20 minutes, and then slice them with a pizza cutter.

Then put them in for another 7 – 10 minutes. This tip was from the first comment on the recipe, and it made it much simpler than the way the recipe instructs.

(The recipe states to bake it then let it cool, and then cut it, and then put back in the oven for 5 – 6 minutes. I imagine it would be very crumbly and also will take so much more time.) The biscotti will harden after it comes out of the oven and cools.

These turned out and taste SO GREAT!!! They were exactly as my son remembered them. He was stunned (I’m not the world’s best baker) and so was I. I made them another two times.

Chia pudding

Wow! Another easy, healthy dessert without palm oil. Chia seed pudding is easy to make. The recipes calls for unsweetened coconut, almond or cashew milk. Make your own so it is palm oil free.

I’ve usually make this recipe with homemade almond milk but the last time I combined walnuts and almonds. If you own a food processor or Vitamix, it’s fast.

  1. Soak the nuts for an hour or two and rinse them off. (Before using them, check the label to be sure they are free from palm oil derivatives.)
  2. Blend 20 – 25 almonds per cup of water in your Vitamix. The recipe calls for two cups of milk but you can make however many you want to. You can use walnuts, cashews, etc.
  3. Pour the 2 cups of almond or other nut milk into a mason jar. Add 6 tablespoons of chia seeds and any other flavors you want. The recipe suggests honey or maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  4. Shake.
  5. Set in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. When you are ready to eat it, you can top it with fruit or anything you want.

The best part about this — aside from being healthy, easy, and delicious — is you can add anything you want to it. You can even add cacao powder or palm free chocolate chips.

Sometimes when I’m making the almond milk, I add banana, raspberries, blueberries and/or strawberries for a sweeter taste. You can make it your own.

Chia seeds are good for you. Chia seeds provide protein, fiber, and Omega-3 fatty acids and are rich in antioxidants. Prior to making this recipe, I’d never bought chia seeds in my life. This makes for a tasty palm free dessert or snack as well as a great breakfast.

Chocolate mug cake

As with all of these recipes, this is a tasty dessert without palm oil. You use 100% pure cacao which is naturally free from palm oil. You can make vegan mug cake or see the non-vegan ingredient substitutions. This is one of the few mug cakes we found that didn’t include eggs. It tastes great!

Also, by using almond flour or Red Bob Mill’s 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour, you can make it gluten-free as well.

The thing to note about making this mug cake is that microwave times vary. Pay attention the first time you make it so you know the optimal time to get the consistency you like.

You will be amazed at how delicious, fast and easy it is to make! In the mug cake recipe above, I included a quick homemade frosting along with other topping ideas. Though the cake is excellent on its own. 

Sugar cookie recipe

Read this to find pre-made cookies without palm oil in stores. Even the ready-made tubes of cookie dough usually contain palm oil. Premade edible cookie dough does as well. You can make your own edible cookie dough for one without palm oil or eggs.

Instead, bake your own! There are many easy sugar cookie recipes available. What’s nice is the recipe from calls for just seven ingredients, one of which is coconut oil. Use her tip which is to separate the dough so it’s easier to roll out.

This recipe took just 15 minutes for me to get the dough in the oven and everything cleaned up. That’s a lot less time than running to the store. It’s lots healthier too.

These are easy to make as well are moist and delicious. I stored them in a sealed bag in my refrigerator, and they were good a week later. You could freeze them even longer which is perfect to make in advance for when you need them.

If you are looking for something other than sugar cookies, some of my favorite cookie recipes are peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter cookies 3 ingredients. For a no sugar cookie, check out sugar free peanut butter cookies 

Butterless cookie cake with ice cream

When we first found out my son reacted to palm oil, I panicked over what to do for his birthday cake. I always bought cupcakes or a cake from the grocery store.

Being that was no longer an option, I thought maybe I could make a cookie cake. In this way, I wouldn’t have to deal with frosting. I’ve only ever bought frosting in the can.

I’ve made the recipe five times. Instead of making it into cookies, we’ve only ever put the dough in a glass circular pan and made it into a cake.

palm oil free confections

Not the prettiest picture but this palm oil free cookie cake is amazing!

Follow the directions, and grease the bottom of a pan. Cook it for 18 – 20 minutes. Let it cool. Add the ice cream on top just before you are ready to serve it.

I used Milk Chocolate and Dark Mint M&Ms which don’t contain palm oil (not the Crunchy Mint) to decorate. You can use chocolate shavings as well.

The first few times I made it, I froze the cookie. Don’t do that. It becomes too hard to eat unless it’s much thinner. So if you use a larger pan so it’s thinner, that will work.

We use Breyer’s Natural Vanilla Ice Cream — only get the Natural Vanilla, not any of their other three vanilla flavors which may seem the same but they contain Mono- and Diglycerides. See our list of ice cream without palm oil for additional palm oil free options.

My family loves this cookie cake so much, my kids decided we can only make it for one of our birthdays so it remains special!

Chocolate tapioca pudding

I just made this palm oil free pudding from Allrecipes. It was my first time using tapioca flour which has the added bonus of being gluten-free. I only had Hershey Milk Chocolate bars on hand and will get better quality next time.

dessert without palm oil

Making chocolate tapioca pudding palm oil free

I kept it boiling for two minutes like the recipe instructed but I burned the bottom of it. I’m not sure if I wasn’t supposed to keep the lid on it (which I did) or if I needed to boil it for less time. Aside from that, the majority of it tasted wonderful.

Homemade shakes

It’s difficult buying milkshakes and shakes when out and about. I always make them at home. This is because ice cream typically contains palm oil. In addition, many chocolate sauces contain palm oil ingredients.

The great news is when you start with palm oil free ice cream, it’s super easy to make milkshakes at home. 

Check out this incredible peanut butter milkshake. My chocolate milkshake includes a quick recipe for a chocolate sauce which you can use for other desserts as well. Remember to top with homemade whipped cream.

Brownies without palm oil

If you are looking to make desserts without palm oil, brownies are an easy choice. We love these brownies made with avocado oil. So many recipes are created using canola oil, yet avocado oil is much healthier and also tasteless.

Prep time for these is about 15 minutes. Once you’ve boiled the water, it’s fast to make. It requires 10 common ingredients. However, while this recipe has more ingredients than the others listed, they are common ingredients you may already have or can easily get.

Some of them include cocoa powder, vanilla extract, sugar, eggs and baking soda. The brownies are moist and delicious.

We love homemade from scratch brownies best but we have found a very good brownie mix without palm oil: 

  • Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix
  • Pillsbury Milk Chocolate Brownie Mix

Homemade pies

Making pies from scratch, including the pie crust, is easier than you may think. Check out this delicious walnut pie. I also have a cherry pie recipe with a homemade cherry pie filling. There’s no need to rely on store-bought pie fillings. You can use the filling for all sorts of desserts as well. 

A note about fruit pies and other flavors of pie. They will typically contain palm oil when you purchase them in stores and bakeries. This is because most places use shortening which most always contains palm oil. It’s not common for restaurants, stores and bakeries, etc. to use butter for the pie crust because it’s more expensive.

Making palm oil free pie is possible. For something even easier, consider making cobbler. For the same taste and not exactly the same texture, but close, is cobbler. Cobbler is really easy to make. See my recipe for blackberry cobbler and old fashioned peach cobbler.

Homemade cobblers take just minutes to prep; these cobblers take 10 minutes. You can use fresh or frozen berries. (If using frozen berries, thaw them overnight and drain the juice before baking.) It’s easy and delicious!

Berries with homemade whipped cream

In addition to making fruit pies and fruit cobblers, another option that’s super easy is topping fresh berries with whipped cream you make from scratch. You can use strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc. alone or combine for more colors, textures, and flavors. 

Some of My Favorite Recipes

Some treats I’ve been making a lot are:

Brownie Mix without Palm Oil

  • Pillsbury makes many palm oil free brownie mixes
    • Chocolate Fudge
    • Milk Chocolate
    • Dark Chocolate
    • Classic Fudge
    • Purely Simple Chocolate Chunk

They are simple to make. Just add oil (canola, soybean, olive oil, etc.; just not palm oil), water and two eggs. Again, to the best of our knowledge, these are palm oil free, but they are not guaranteed.

Kudos to Pillsbury for having some boxed mixes without palm oil — this is rare indeed!

homemade palm oil free desserts

My son made this cake & frosting! We forgot to get a “before” picture.

Whipped Topping and Frosting

Make whipped topping and whipped cream without palm oil by using heavy cream without Vitamin A Palmitate. Choose an organic heavy cream.

Again, avoid canned frosting which contains palm oil. You can easily make your own with confectioners sugar and real butter. It’s easy and palm oil free.

See more ideas for Thanksgiving and holiday desserts.

Red Star Active Dry Yeast in packets

Ingredients: Yeast (nothing else)

Yeast without Palm Oil

The only yeast I found that lists only “yeast” in the ingredients is Red Star Active Dry Yeast in the packet form.

  • Red Star Active Dry Yeast packets

I looked at Instant Yeast, Bread Machine Yeast, and Quick Rise Yeast in jars and packets.

Yeast usually contain Sorbitan Monostearate. This can be made with palm oil. You won’t know if it’s derived from palm oil unless you check with the companies.

Read labels before buying yeast. We only ever buy this Red Star yeast in the 3-packet form.

Palm Oil Free Dessert Ingredients

These are some of the palm free ingredients we use when baking:

  • O Organics Organic Powdered Sugar
  • Enjoy Life Foods Mini Chips Semi-Sweet
  • Red Ape Premium Ground Cinnamon – This product is certified palm oil free.
  • C&H Confectioners Sugar
  • Simply Organic Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Red Star Active Dry Yeast packets

From emailing companies and doing our own due diligence, we believe these are palm oil free. However, they are not guaranteed because they haven’t been certified Palm Oil Free.

Tips for Baking Palm Oil Free Confections

It’s important to note, I’m not a baker! I am learning as I go. You can do it too. One of the best things I did was to buy containers to put baking ingredients in. I bought two dishpans from Target. It’s easy to pull them out and have the flour, sugar, vanilla extract, chocolate chips, etc. all in one place.

Palm Oil Free Bakery

Remember, store-bought desserts and baked confections — cakes, cookies, pastries, etc. — use palm oil ingredients.

Sometimes you will see palm kernel oil and palm kernel oil on the ingredient labels. In addition, there are often palm oil derivatives, including Mono- and Diglycerides, Glycerin, Polysorbate 80 and more.

Ingredients in 1/4 sheet white cake from grocery store

Ingredients in sheet cake from grocery store with multiple palm oil ingredients.

Yes, it’s hard to walk past the bakery departments in grocery stores being tempted by all the scones, cookies, cupcakes, brownies, donuts, pastries, muffins, cakes, tarts, pies and tortes.

But when you take a minute to look at the list of ingredients, you will be sure to find palm oil, palm kernel oil and other palm oil derivatives, especially if there are many ingredients in it.

Here are some of them from the cake ingredients in the image:

  • Sorbitan Monostearate
  • Polysorbate 60
  • Mono- & Diglycerides
  • Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate

So make your own! By knowing exactly what’s going into your desserts, you can be sure they are palm oil free.

Once you know the ingredients to watch out for, it’s much easier to choose palm oil free products. And if you feel like a snack, be it sugary or sweet, see our list of palm oil free snacks as well. 

Easy-to-Make Desserts

Please know, I don’t like to cook or bake but I am trying hard to make healthier choices for my family. But even though I am a very novice baker, I’ve made all of these recipes successfully, some multiple times. They are so easy to do.

And they all taste amazing. You will absolutely not miss the commercial bakery with artificial and chemical ingredients at your grocery store. There are so many great reasons to bake from scratch.

Palm oil wrecks havoc on our planet and also makes my son incredibly ill. By eating healthier and more “from scratch,” it’s a lot easier to avoid palm oil.

Learn about the ways companies use palm oil so you can avoid it. Here are easy ways to learn how to use less palm oil each week.

We will continue to update this post with more recipes for desserts without palm oil. Please share your favorites in the Comments. Again, thank you for supporting palm oil free desserts, baked goods, frozen novelties and treats. Please always read labels and be a proactive consumer.

By making desserts at home, you can be sure you are enjoying desserts free from palm oil and derivatives. You can also learn to make syrup and fruit preserves for baked goods. I just learned to make orange marmalade.

To the best of our knowledge, these products and recipes are free from palm oil and palm oil derivatives. Please use it as a reference point as you do your own due diligence. This is list not guaranteed.

You will only know for certain something is palm oil free if it has earned Palm Oil Free certification. Buy products with Palm Oil Free certification labeling from Orangutan Alliance or from the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark.

Learn why I never buy premade desserts.


Sunday 28th of March 2021

Dairies are feeding palm oil meal to dairy cows. Our butters here in Wisconsin don’t soften at room temperature. Watch your dairy products.


Friday 24th of February 2023

This is also true in Canada. I have also wondered about products being fed to chickens. I am trying to figure out if I am allergic to both palm oil and eggs or just the palm ingredients. Antihistamines help reduce my skin reactions in both cases, despite the allergists’ claims that food doesn’t cause cystic acne.


Sunday 28th of March 2021

Thank you for sharing this info. That's an interesting observation and all-around very unfortunate.