Thanksgiving Without Palm Oil: Enjoy a Palm Oil Free Holiday

Thanksgiving without palm oil


You can enjoy this food-centered holiday and still have a Thanksgiving without palm oil. Here we discuss some ways palm oil may be hidden in your celebratory dishes.

Once you know what to look out for, it’s much easier to make palm oil free choices.

When you read labels and make these easy substitutions, you can have a palm oil free holiday.

Thanksgiving without palm oil

Here are some Thanksgiving foods and ingredients which often contain palm oil. Below we explain what to watch for and offer palm oil free solutions.

  • Margarine, buttery spreads and butter alternatives
  • Milk
  • Refrigerated canned crescent rolls and biscuits
  • Crispy fried onions
  • Salad dressing
  • Instant potatoes
  • Stuffing mix
  • Cornbread mix
  • Gravy mix and gravy in jars
  • Shortening
  • Whipped cream, whipped frozen toppings
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Canned frosting
  • Pie crust
  • Desserts

Margarine, buttery spreads, butter alternatives

Depending on the brand, margarine and buttery spreads will typically contain palm oil, palm kernel oil, distilled monoglycerides, vegetable mono- and diglycerides, and Vitamin A Palmitate.

Instead, choose real butter for your bread and rolls, baking, and potatoes.


Unless you choose whole milk, there is probably palm oil in your milk. It’s in the form of Vitamin A Palmitate.

This is the case for skim milk, low fat, 1%, 2%, chocolate, soy, nut, and other milks as well.

When you use milk to make your mashed potatoes and scalloped potatoes, be sure to choose whole milk.

  • Horizon Organic Organic Grassfed Vitamin D Milk

Choose whole milk but read the label before buying. Some whole milk brands are also fortified with Vitamin A Palminate; however, the majority are not.

Refrigerated canned crescent rolls, biscuits

Any refrigerated bread dough in a can is sure to have palm oil ingredients listed many times.

Look at all of these palm oil ingredients in just one can of refrigerated crescent rolls:

palm oil, shortening (palm oil, hydrogenated palm oil, fractionated palm oil), mono- and diglycerides, monoglycerides

Instead, buy bread from your grocery store’s bakery. Just be sure to read the ingredients to ensure it’s free from palm oil and mono- and diglycerides.

Even better? Make your own rolls and breads in a bread machine. (It’s easier than you think!)

Crispy fried onions

Is green bean casserole one of your favorite Thanksgiving foods? It’s those crispy fried onions, isn’t it?

Typically, the French fried crispy onions contain palm oil.

We found a few brands made with sunflower, safflower, and canola oil instead of palm oil. Read labels.

  • Market Pantry French Fried Onions (Target brand)
  • Archer Farms Crispy Onion Strings

Remember to use whole milk in your green bean casserole.

Salad dressing

Many dressings list soybean oil so you may assume they are palm oil free.

Watch for hidden palm oil derivatives, including propylene glycol and mixed tocopherols.

If you buy salad dressing, choose the ones with the least amount of ingredients. You can easily make your own with olive oil, vinegar and fresh garlic and herbs.

Thanksgiving without palm oil
Photo credit

Boxed and instant mashed potatoes

Avoid buying packaged instant potatoes if possible.

Most boxes and packages of instant potatoes contain mono- and diglycerides, calcium stearoyl lactylate, and mixed tocopherol, all palm oil derivatives.

Citric acid may also be derived from palm oil and is used to preserve freshness.

Make your own mashed potatoes and scalloped potatoes with whole milk and real butter.

Stuffing mix in a box or bag

Do you make your own stuffing/dressing?

If so, make sure your bread doesn’t have mono- and diglycerides. When you choose broth and spices, the less ingredients the better.

If you buy a stuffing mix in a box or bag, read labels. Many store brand labels contain palm oil; however, some of the name brand ones do not.

  • Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Turkey

Cornbread Mix

When buying baking mixes, it’s essential to watch out for palm oil and palm kernel oil.

We found these cornbread mixes without palm oil:

  • Krusteaz Honey Cornbread & Muffin Mix
  • Krusteaz Gluten-Free Honey Cornbread Bread & Muffin Mix

Of course, you can make cornbread without palm oil on your own.

Gravy mix and gravy in jars

You must read labels when buying gravy. Most are free from palm oil; however, some brands contain it.

There are lots of chemicals in gravy mixes and gravy jars so it’s best to make your own. It’s easy with turkey drippings, flour and real butter.


Whether you choose canned shortening or shortening sticks, read labels. Don’t be swayed by labels that state “all vegetable shortening.”

The palm oil products in shortening will likely include more than one of these palm oil ingredients: palm oil, fully hydrogenated palm oil, and mono- and diglycerides.

You will find shortening in crispy fried foods, frosting, pie crusts and other baked goods — even homemade and from the bakery.

To avoid palm oil, replace shortening with butter.

Whipped cream, frozen whipped toppings

Whipped cream in cans and frozen whipped toppings in tubs contain palm oil.

They often may include polysorbate 60 and sorbitan monostearate, palm oil derivatives.

You can make your own using heavy cream — see below to choose one without palm oil — and sugar.

Heavy whipping cream

Whipping cream often contains mono- and diglycerides and polysorbate 80.

Read labels in order to choose these palm oil free options:

  • Horizon Organic Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Simply Balanced Heavy Whipping Cream (at Target)

You can use palm oil free heavy whipping cream in sauces and to make whipped cream (see above).

Canned frosting

Avoid buying canned frosting as it is laden with palm oil.

We pulled one random name-brand canned frosting off the shelves, and it contained all of these palm oil ingredients in descending order:

palm oil, mono- and diglycerides, propylene glycol monostearate, polysorbate 80, sodium stearoyl lactylate, ascorbyl palmitate, mixed tocopherols, vegetable oil (palm and palm kernel)

Another leading brand’s frosting contained these palm oil ingredients:

palm oil, distilled monoglycerides, polysorbate 60, sodium stearoyl lactylate

Even the organic versions typically contain palm oil. offers an easy recipe to make your own frosting using (real) butter, (whole) milk, vanilla extract, and confectioners’ sugar. It includes palm oil free ways to make vanilla, chocolate, coffee, mint, strawberry, peanut butter, and lemon frosting.

Pie crusts for pumpkin pie, pecan pie, apple pie, sweet potato pie

As stated above, your pie crust will most likely contain palm oil unless you make it from scratch without shortening.

There are many recipes for pie crusts using butter online from


Most all prepared desserts at the grocery store contain palm oil. This includes cakes, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, scones, tarts, and more.

If you make your own desserts, you can ensure they are palm oil free. As we stated above: Use real butter and whole milk, and avoid shortening.

Palm oil free Thanksgiving

Palm oil is in many of our favorite Thanksgiving foods.

When you prepare your shopping list, use the suggestions above to be sure you can enjoy your Thanksgiving feast without palm oil.

The turkey, sweet potato casserole, and cranberry sauce should be free from palm oil. When you make your sweet potato casserole, be sure to use real butter.

All year long, when you choose processed and pre-made foods, choose the ones with the least amount of ingredients. Read labels. You can choose palm oil free options most of the time.

See also:

Palm Oil Uses

Names for Palm Oil Derivatives in Everyday Products

Disclaimer: Read labels at the point of sale. Manufacturers change ingredients. This list isn’t guaranteed and is meant to be a starting point.




Halloween Candy Without Palm Oil: Palm Oil Free Candy

Halloween candy without palm oil


Before you buy Halloween treats, use this list to find candy without palm oil. By taking a few seconds to look at ingredient labels, you can choose orangutan-friendly Halloween candy.

Even on the same shelf, for the same type of product, the ingredients may vary. For example, BRACH’S has several different kinds of candy corn with palm oil and several without it.

This is also the case with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. They have different recipes — some contain palm oil and some do not — so it’s important to read labels and buy accordingly.

For a list, click to download and print Orangutan-Friendly Candy Without Palm Oil for 2019 then continue reading below for tips.

Candy without palm oil

Less ingredients = Less chance of palm oil

At Halloween, candy companies sell big bags with a mix of different candies. When you buy a bag with just one type of candy, it’s easier to avoid palm oil.

Read labels

Manufacturers change their labeling regularly. This list of candy without palm oil is intended to be a starting point. We researched online, in stores, and emailed companies and used this list of hundreds of names for palm oil. (Most don’t include “palm” in the ingredients.)

We regularly update this candy list. You make a big difference when you support orangutan-friendly palm oil free candy and treats at Halloween and all year.

Chocolate without palm oil

These convenient options make it easy for the Everyday Consumer to make an impact.

chocolate without palm oil

Hershey’s Bars: 
  • Milk Chocolate 
  • Milk Chocolate with Almonds 
  • Skor
  • Special Dark 
  • Special Dark with Almonds 
  • Halloween labeling: Glow in the Dark Snack Size Wrappers Milk Chocolate (shown)

Note: Avoid the bags of Hershey’s Miniatures, even with the flavors above. They often contain palm oil derivatives. See below. Mr. Goodbar now includes palm oil; Mr. Goodbar with palm oil and without palm oil are both in stores.

palm oil free chocolate

Hershey’s Kisses:
  • Milk Chocolate – silver foil
  • Milk Chocolate with Almonds – gold foil or holiday colors
  • Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate – purple foil
  • Halloween labeling:
    • Fall Harvest Milk Chocolate – autumn-colored foil
    • Monster Kisses Milk Chocolate – green, blue, purple (shown)
    • Spooky Kisses Milk Chocolate – purple, green, orange foil with Halloween patterns

Give a handful to trick or treaters!

Note: Avoid the packages that contain Hershey’s Hugs or the Hershey’s Hugs & Kisses together. Avoid the other flavors not listed above.

Hershey’s Nuggets:
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Milk Chocolate with Almonds
  • Special Dark
  • Special Dark with Almonds

Note: Avoid the Hershey’s Nuggets Assortment bags which contain a flavor with palm oil.
palm oil free Halloween candy

  • Milk Chocolate – plain, regular brown bag; all sizes plus holiday labeling
  • Almond – beige/tan bag
  • Dark Chocolate – purple bag and winter holiday bag
  • Mint with Dark Chocolate – green bag and winter Holiday Mint; (not the Crunchy Mint)
  • White Chocolate Peppermint holiday bag
  • Pretzel – blue bag
  • Mini’s Milk Chocolate Minitube – 1.08 oz
  • MEGA 3x the Chocolate
  • Halloween labeling:
    • M&M’s Fun Size Milk Chocolate Glow in the Dark Trick-or-Treat Packs (shown)
    • Cookies & Screem 
    • White Candy Corn 
    • White Pumpkin Pie 
    • Milk Chocolate Ghoul’s Mix (not Peanut Ghoul’s Mix)

Note: M&M’s Dark Chocolate Peanut – purple and yellow bag – contains palm oil.

In 2018, Peanut M&M’s (yellow bag) changed their recipe and now includes palm oil. Labels now list palm oil as an ingredient. However, Mars, Inc. — on their site — has still not updated this product. It doesn’t state “palm oil.”

Be sure to read all labels in case they start to change their other M&M’s flavors. Some newer flavors now include Tocopherols, which are often made from palm oil.

Please note, Mars Wrigley Confectionery does not make claims these M&M’s are palm oil free. In addition to researching labels, I am using personal experience to say these M&M’s flavors are palm oil free. My son gets very sick from palm oil and derivatives and has enjoyed these M&M’s safely.

  • Goobers Milk Chocolate Covered Peanuts
  • Raisinets Milk Chocolate Covered Raisins
  • Sno Caps Semi-Sweet Chocolate Nonpareils
  • Peanut Butter Cups: some individually wrapped snack size and standard size

Note: They’ve confirmed they have different recipes for their Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

You must read labels. Look for the BAGGED, INDIVIDUALLY WRAPPED snack size or standard-sized cups in the candy section without a holiday theme. Many are palm oil free.

See below for an explanation about Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

chocolate candy without palm oil

York Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Patties:
  • All varieties and sizes, including Halloween labeling:
    • Halloween Snack Size – purple spiderwebs on bag (shown)
    • Halloween Pumpkins – autumn-colored bag
DOVE Chocolate Simply Smooth:
  • Milk Chocolate Promises
  • Dark Chocolate Promises 

Candy without palm oil

  • Atomic Fireballs
  • Boston Baked Beans
  • Candy Corn – read labels to find it without palm oil; see below
  • Dots – including bag with 17 mini boxes for Halloween 
  • Dum Dums Original Pops – all flavors
  • Good ‘N Plenty 
  • lollipops without palm oilJolly Rancher:
    • Hard Candy – All flavors of their Hard Candy is free from palm oil derivatives. This includes their bags of Original, Fruit ‘N’ Sour, Fruit Bash, plus individual flavors. Give a handful!
    • Lollipops Spooky Sweets (shown)
  • Nerds:
    • Rainbow
    • Grape and Strawberry “For the Love of Nerds”
  • Red Hots Original Cinnamon Candy
  • Ring Pop:palm oil free candy
    • 22 Halloween Ring Pop bag
    • 36 Halloween Ring Pop box (shown)
  • Saf-T-Pops Lollipops
  • Wholesome Organic Lollipops – 30 count
  • Yum Earth Organic Pops – 80 count; at Target

Candy corn without palm oil

candy without palm oilBRACH’S:
  • Candy Corn Treat Packs – 55 and 70 treat packs bags (shown)
  • Classic Candy Corn
  • Mellowcreme Pumpkins
  • Mini Candy Corn & Chocolate Peanuts
  • Mini Candy Corn
  • Naturally Flavored Candy Corn
Yum Earth Organic Candy Corn

candy corn without palm oil

  • 24 pack Halloween packaging; at Target (shown)

You must read ingredient labels before buying candy corn.

You can find some flavors, shapes and varieties of brand name and store brand candy corn without palm oil and palm kernel oil but it often contains it.

Gummy snacks without palm oil

  • Black Forest Organic Fruit Flavored Snacks – 24 pack
  • Kirkland Signature Organic Fruity Snacks – 72 pack; at Costco
  • Surf Sweets by Wholesome Organic Halloween Spooky Shapes – 20 pack; at Target
  • Yum Earth Organic Gummy Fruits – 24 pack; at Target

Palm oil free Halloween trick or treating

Many candy companies report they are working toward sustainable palm oil. We support the candies and treats that don’t use any at all.

Click to download and print the 2019 list of Orangutan-Friendly Candy Without Palm Oil. Use it all year to choose candy without palm oil.

The non-profit organization, Orangutan Outreach, explains how the palm oil industry affects the orangutan population.

Chocolate without palm oil

  • Nuubia Chocolate:  Makes all of their chocolate without palm oil.
  • Nelly’s Organics: They make all of their chocolate bars without palm oil.
    • Caramel Nougat
    • Coconut
    • Double Chocolate
    • German Chocolate
    • Nutty Nougat
    • Peanut Butter Coconut

Also, it’s great The Hershey Company, Mars, Inc., and Nestle still make some palm oil free chocolate. This makes it easy and accessible for the Everyday Consumer to choose palm oil free chocolate.

When possible, choose fair trade chocolate to make an even greater difference.

Fair Trade Chocolate without palm oil

There are other chocolate manufacturers — usually Fair Trade Certified Chocolate — who make their candy without palm oil as well; however, they may not be as practical to hand out for trick or treating.

We will be adding more to this post to include Fair Trade Certified Chocolate.

Some brands to consider — that as of now we believe to be palm oil free — but haven’t thoroughly researched yet — are:

  • barkTHINS: Most of their flavors are palm oil free.
  • DAGOBA Organic
  • Divine Chocolate — All of their chocolate is palm oil free.
  • Endangered Species Chocolate — Checking on the source of the tocopherols/Vitamin E.
  • Equal Exchange Chocolates
  • Theo

How to find candy without palm oil

Read labels.

This is the very best thing you can do.

Do not buy products with the obvious “palm oil” words — palm oil, palm kernel oil, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, etc.

You make the biggest difference — at the store — when you choose the candy that is palm oil free.

Avoid big variety packs.

Around Halloween, you will see the “candy mix” bags. These are the big bags with a variety of candy types and flavors.

Do not buy them.

As an example, you might see a bag with Hershey’s Milk Chocolate combined with Twizzlers and Whoppers. Only one of these candies is palm oil free.

Instead, if you like a mix to offer to trick or treaters, you can buy the individual bags.

For example, you can buy a bag of Milk Chocolate M&M’s, a bag of Hershey Milk Chocolate Bars with Glow in the Dark Wrappers, a bag of Jolly Rancher Hard Candies, and a bag of Dum Dum Lollipops.

Look for less ingredients.

When you have a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup that’s then stuffed with Reese’s Pieces, you have even more ingredients to be concerned with.

With simple candies, you have a better chance of them being palm oil free.

Don’t buy chocolate-flavored.

The FDA has different requirements for “chocolate” vs “chocolate flavored.” Read the package description.

Less expensive holiday candy, especially at dollar stores, are often chocolate flavored.

Chocolate-flavored candy has imitation cocoa butter (mostly from palm oil) which we explain next.

Don’t buy candy with cocoa butter equivalents or substitutes.

Avoid candy with Cocoa Butter Equivalent (CBE) or Cocoa Butter Substitute (CBS) listed in the ingredients.

The FDA allows for these enzymatically-produced fats made from palm oil to be used in:

  • Coatings on soft candies
  • Confections and frostings
  • Sweet sauces and toppings

Real cocoa butter is expensive. It’s one of the most widely used raw materials in the chocolate and confectionery industries.

Palm oil mimics what cocoa butter can do. Cocoa butter is responsible for the flavor release, mouthfeel, snap, gloss and the shelf life (of the final product).

Learn more here. (Go to pages 17-19.)

Learn how candy companies use palm oil.

Most chewy, creamy, caramel, toffee, peanut butter, coated, and nougat type candies contain palm oil.

Palm oil derivatives — such as Magnesium Stearate — keep candy pieces from sticking to the machines.

If a company uses coconut oil or other higher quality oils in some of their products, there is a greater likelihood they aren’t using palm oil. Palm oil is a cheap oil, and it’s very versatile; that’s why companies use it.

The FDA’s ban on trans fats went into effect in July 2018; candy companies have been using palm oil as a replacement.

Learn common names for palm oil derivatives in candy.

In addition to avoiding candy with the word “palm” in it, take it a step further.

  • Don’t buy candy with Mono- and Diglycerides.
  • Next, don’t buy candy with Magnesium Stearate.
  • Then, avoid candy with Tocopherols.
  • If you can take one more step, work to avoid Glycerin on candy labels.
Print out this 2019 list of palm oil free candy. 

Click to download and print this list of Orangutan-Friendly Candy Without Palm Oil. Use it when you shop.

Palm oil ingredients in candy

Remember, just because it doesn’t say palm oil, palm kernel oil, or hydrogenated palm oil, it may still contain it.

There are many ways candy manufacturers use palm oil in candy. These ingredients are usually derived from palm oil.

In chocolate-type candy, these may appear as:
  • Cocoa Butter Substitute (CBS)
  • Cocoa Butter Equivalent (CBE)
  • Glycerin
  • Glycerine
  • Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil
  • Monoglycerides
  • Mono- and diglycerides
  • Mixed Tocopherols
  • Tocopherols
In non-chocolate candy, these ingredients may be/are usually derived from palm oil:
  • Calcium Stearate
  • Citric Acid – often but not always
  • Glycerin
  • Glycerine
  • Glycerol
  • Magnesium Stearate
  • Medium Chain Triglycerides
  • Mixed Tocopherols
  • Mono- and Diglycerides
  • Monostearate Glycerol
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Stearic Acid
  • Tocopherols
  • Vitamin A Palmitate

Finding ingredients online

The Hershey Company is a company who very clearly and transparently lists all of their ingredients online. It’s very easy to find the ingredients for all of their candy products.

Some of the other candy manufacturers list their ingredients but you really have to search for the information. Most of it is just colorful, animated advertising. Some candy companies’ websites don’t have ANY information about their ingredients.

The Hershey’s site is by far the most transparent system of any of these candy companies, including Mars, Inc., Nestle, Wrigley, Wonka, Ferrara Pan, Goetze, Spangler, Mondelez International, Tootsie Roll Industries, and the others.

Additionally, we researched in stores.

We also emailed the companies to confirm their candy is palm oil free. We are waiting for confirmation on some, especially as to where the “source” of their ingredients come from.

Meaning, it may say “citric acid” on the package but was that citric acid sourced from palm oil? (We have confirmed it is the red whips, licorice type candies.)

International Palm Oil Free Certification Accreditation Programme

palm oil free candy labeling
U.S. candy companies can apply to have their products assessed for Palm Oil Free certification.

The International Palm Oil Free Certification Accreditation Programme certifies products that are 100% palm oil free. To date, they are recognized in 19 countries, including the United States.

We used their list — which includes hundreds of palm oil derivatives — to research ingredients in candy.

Palm oil free Halloween candy

Please note, we continue to update this list to include palm oil free candy, chocolate and treats.

Our intention was to compile an updated list of Halloween candy without palm oil. We wanted it to be easy for consumers to find in stores so we focused on popular candies.

While there are many specialty candy companies who do make palm oil free candy, it’s not always practical to buy them, especially when you want to buy in bulk for lots of trick or treaters.

Also, while it’s tempting to buy a big bag with a variety of candies, it’s better to buy individual bags of each candy. It’s rare you will find a mix of candy without palm oil all in one bag.

Note, many manufacturers change ingredients for their Halloween and holiday candy. They may offer different sizes, packaging and flavors.

Disclaimer: We obtained this ingredient and product information from researching online and in stores. Please note, manufacturers change their labeling regularly. We have compiled this information for reference purposes only. Use this list as a starting point as you read labels and do your own due diligence.

This is not meant to be medical advice. As the consumer, please read ingredient labels for each product you plan to purchase. Sometimes even on the same shelf, for the same exact-looking product, the ingredients vary. (This is especially the case for Brach’s Candy Corn and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Some contain palm oil and some do not.)

Candies with palm oil

While this site strives to focus on and highlight products and candy without palm oil, we want you to know the candies we researched to show you how prevalent palm oil is popular candy brands.

We researched each of these candies and treats. If they are appear below it is because their labels list “palm oil,” “palm kernel oil,” “hydrogenated palm kernel oil,” or due to their ingredients, they contain what appear to be palm oil derivatives.

We emailed companies to confirm and will continue to update as they get back with us.

Many companies wrote to say they use sustainable palm oil and that they are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). However, we choose candy without any palm oil.

Remember, with so many orangutan-friendly candies to choose from (above) you can easily choose those that don’t contain palm oil.

List of Halloween treats and candies which contain and may contain palm oil

palm oil free candy
By reading labels, you can choose palm oil free.
  • Airheads – You have to read the label on each package and variety; most contain palm oil, glycerol, etc.
  • Almond Joy
  • Baby Ruth
  • Bit-O-Honey
  • BRACH’S:
    • Mellowcreme Autumn Mix
    • Harvest Corn
    • Football Candy Corn
  • Bull’s Eyes (all varieties)
  • Butterfinger
  • Candy bracelets:
  • Caramel Apple Pops (Tootsie)
  • Charms Blow Pops (all flavors)
  • Charleston Chew (all flavors)
  • 5th Avenue
  • Fruit Roll-Ups
  • Gobstopper
  • Haribo Gold-Bears

List of more candies which may contain and do contain palm oil

  • Heath
  • Hershey:
    • Candy Corn Bar
    • Cookie Layer Crunch Bar
    • Cookies ‘n’ Cream Bar
    • Hershey Gold
    • Kisses:
      • Candy Cane
      • Cherry Cordial
      • Cookies & Creme
      • Hugs
      • Mint Truffle
    • Milk Chocolate Caramels
    • Mr. Goodbar: Hershey’s Mr. Goodbar now includes palm oil (summer 2019). You may find both of these on the shelf:
      • Milk chocolate with peanuts – doesn’t list palm oil in ingredients
      • Chocolate candy with peanuts – includes palm oil in ingredients
    • Hershey’s Nuggets Milk Chocolate with Toffee & Almond
    • Hershey’s Miniatures Assortment

A note about Hershey Miniatures: This is a mixed bag of their mini candy bars. It will include some combination of Special Dark, Milk Chocolate, Mr. Goodbar, Krackel. The palm oil derivative usually found in this product is monoglycerides and/or tocopherols. Some varieties of Mr. Goodbar now contain palm oil as well.

  • Hot Tamales
  • 100 Grand
  • Jolly Rancher:
    • Crunch ‘N’ Chew
    • Filled Pops
  • Kit Kat (all types and flavors)
  • Krackel
  • Laffy Taffy
  • LifeSavers: may contain derivatives
    • Big Ring Gummies
    • Orange Mint
    • Pep O Mint
    • Win O Green
  • Mike and Ike: may contain derivatives
  • Milk Duds
  • Milky Way
  • M&M’s:
    • Cookies & Screem
    • Crispy
    • Crispy Mint
    • Crunchy Mint
    • English Toffee Peanut
    • Mexican Jalapeno Peanut
    • Peanut
    • Peanut Butter
    • Thai Coconut Peanut
    • White Chocolate Peanut
    • Peanut Brrr-ittle
  • Mr. Goodbar: See above under “Hershey”; it now contains palm oil
  • Nerds Rope
  • Oreo anything
  • Payday
  • Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll
  • Quaker Chewy Halloween Mini Chocolate Chip Granola Bars – 28 count for Halloween
  • Red Vines – They use much less palm oil than Twizzler but there is a minute amount in their citric acid which is derived from palm oil.
  • Reese’s:
    • Fast Break
    • Peanut Butter Cups: Miniatures, Halloween versions, etc.
    • Nutrageous
A note about Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Reese’s makes so many different versions and flavors, with different ingredients and suppliers.

They usually list palm oil, palm kernel oil, etc. so read the label in advance. If it says Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil and doesn’t cite the source, there may be palm oil in it, according to what it says on their website.

We wrote to them about their Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: Snack Size; 10.5 oz;  UPC: 3400040211

When we sent them the UPC code, their nutrition expert confirmed they do not contain any palm oil or palm oil derived ingredients.

Also, they went on to explain:

Not all of our REESE’S products, however, are made with the same recipe.

For example, we do include palm oil as an ingredient in our unwrapped REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups, Minis, and some of the other variations of REESE’S products such as our White REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups and our Halloween White REESE’S Peanut Butter Ghosts.

In addition, the REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups that we manufacture specifically for International markets may also contain palm oil.

The great news: You may be able to find Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups without palm oil!

However, you must be diligent about reading the labels. If it says palm oil, palm kernel oil, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, etc., put it back, and look for another one.

Look for the BAGGED, INDIVIDUALLY WRAPPED snack size or standard size cups in the candy section without a holiday theme.

More candies that may contain or do contain palm oil

  • Reese’s Pieces
  • Rice Krispies Treats Original – 12 count
  • Rice Krispies Treats Original Mini Squares – 60 count for Halloween and 32 regular pack
  • Rolo
  • Sixlets
  • Skittles (all)
  • Smarties
  • Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Gluten Free Minis – 8 count
  • Snickers (all)
  • Starburst (all)
  • Starburst Gummies
  • Sugar Babies
  • Swedish Fish – read label in store
  • Sweet Tarts: may contain derivatives
    • Chewy
    • Ropes
    • Skulls & Bones
  • Take 5
  • 3Musketeers
  • Tic Tacs (all flavors and varieties)
  • Tootsie Roll Midgees (all flavors)
  • Tootsie Roll Pops
  • Topps Ring Pops Gummies
  • Twix (all, including Twix Ghost)
  • Twizzler (all, including these); Red Vines is a superior choice to Twizzler products as they use less palm oil.
    • Bites
    • Filled Twists
    • Nibs Black Licorice
    • Pull ‘n’ Peel
    • Regular
  • Utz Halloween Pretzel Treats – Bat & Pumpkin shapes; 40 pack
  • Welch’s Fruit Snacks Mixed Fruit
  • Whatchamacallit
  • Whoppers
  • Zagnut

Zoos support orangutan-friendly candy

Many zoos have a Halloween event — Zoo Boo, Boo at the Zoo, Boo Zoo, etc. — in which guests are encouraged to wear costumes and trick or treat throughout Halloween-themed areas. These are fun, family-friendly events.

Oftentimes, zoos publish lists of orangutan-friendly candy in order to create awareness. However, sometimes these lists are outdated. Additionally, many of them focus on candies that use sustainable palm oil.

We want to highlight and showcase the candy companies and brands who have found ways to make candy without ANY palm oil. These are the companies we want to promote and tell consumers about.

Why choose candy without palm oil

In many areas in our world, and especially in Sumatra and Borneo, palm oil plantations are devastating tropical rain forests. Native people as well as populations of wildlife, including orangutans, Sumatran tigers, and more are affected.

orangutan-friendly candy
Photo by @darmfield

Learn more about the endangered species threatened by unsustainable palm oil production.

Companies sometimes use sustainable palm oil. Yet, when companies use any type of palm oil, it creates more demand.

Therefore, we support candy and treats without any palm oil.

Many people and innovative companies seek palm oil free alternatives for environmental reasons.

Learn more about the effects of palm oil related to Halloween candy.

Support palm oil free candy

  1. Reach out to companies to encourage them to make more palm oil free candy.
  2. Contact candy manufacturers via email and on social media to tell them you want them to stop using palm oil in candy.
  3. Thank companies for making their candy without palm oil.
  4. Remember, you vote with your dollars when you buy candy without palm oil.
  5. Learn how to find products without palm oil. It’s essential to read labels before you buy anything.

Remember, when you don’t buy products that list palm oil, palm kernel oil, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, and red palm oil, you will make a big difference!

We have compiled this information for reference purposes only. This list is meant to be a starting point in order to help you find palm oil free Halloween candy and candy throughout the year.

We also want to inform you about how prevalent palm oil is in the candy industry.

Click to download and print Orangutan-Friendly Candy Without Palm Oil for 2019.

Palm oil free treats besides candy


  • Lay’s Regular Potato Chips
  • Pepperidge Farms Goldfish – 24 count
  • Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Chips Ghosts + Bats – 12 count (shown)

Halloween treats without palm oil

Fruit-type snacks:

  • GoGo Squeez Fruit On the Go – Organic and non-organic
  • Stretch Island Organic Fruit Strips – 36 pack at Costco
  • Raisins, cranberries, dried fruit – must read labels

Note: Fruit Roll-Ups contain palm oil.

Granola bars

Granola bars usually contain palm oil and aren’t a good choice to pass out for Halloween.

palm oil free Halloween


  • Boom Chicka Pop Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn – 12 count; Halloween packaging
  • Kathy Kane Popcorn Balls – 12 count for Halloween; at Target
  • Skinny Pop Halloween Original Popcorn – 12 count (shown)

palm oil free Halloween


  • Synder’s of Hanover Halloween Pretzels – 30 count (shown)


  • Glee Gum:
    • Sugar-Free: Peppermint; Bubblegum; Wintergreen
    • Peppermint, Cinnamon, Bubblegum, Spearmint, Mixed (Triple) Berry

Note: Gum without palm oil is difficult to find as it usually contains glycerin or glycerine, typically palm oil derivatives.

Other things:

Think of other things to pass out besides palm free snacks and candy to trick or treaters. This can be nice for kids with food allergies.

  • Coins – Give a quarter, dimes or nickels. You can give a half dollar if you don’t have many trick or treaters.
  • Glow sticks, Halloween toys – Wal-Mart, Target, Oriental Trading all sell glow sticks, Halloween balls, necklaces and trinkets.

Here’s an alphabetical list of palm oil free candy.

List of Orangutan-Friendly Halloween Candy Without Palm Oil

  • Atomic Fireballs
  • Boston Baked Beans
  • BRACH’S:
    • Candy Corn Treat Packs
    • Classic Candy Corn
    • Mellowcreme Pumpkins
    • Mini Candy Corn
    • Naturally Flavored Candy Corn
  • Divine Chocolate
  • Dots 
  • DOVE Chocolate:
    • Milk Chocolate Bars
    • Milk Chocolate Promises
    • Dark Chocolate Bars
    • Dark Chocolate Promises
  • Dum Dums Original Pops
  • Endangered Species
  • Goobers
  • Good ‘N Plenty 
  • Hershey’s Bars:
    • Glow in the Dark Snack Size Wrappers Milk Chocolate
    • Milk Chocolate
    • Milk Chocolate with Almonds
    • Skor Toffee
    • Special Dark
    • Special Dark with Almonds
  • Hershey Kisses:
    • Fall Harvest Milk Chocolate
    • Milk Chocolate
    • Milk Chocolate with Almonds
    • Monster Kisses Milk Chocolate
    • Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate
    • Spooky Kisses Milk Chocolate
  • Hershey’s Nuggets:
    • Milk Chocolate
    • Milk Chocolate with Almonds
    • Special Dark
    • Special Dark with Almonds
  • Jolly Rancher Hard Candy
  • Jolly Rancher Lollipops Spooky Sweets 
  • M&M’s:
    • Almond
    • Cookies & Screem
    • Dark Chocolate
    • Fun Size Milk Chocolate Glow in the Dark Trick-or-Treat Packs
    • Milk Chocolate
    • Mini’s Milk Chocolate Minitube
    • Mint with Dark Chocolate
    • Pretzel
    • White Candy Corn
    • White Pumpkin Pie
  • Nerds Grape and Strawberry “For the Love of Nerds”
  • Nerds Rainbow
  • Raisinets
  • Red Hots Original Cinnamon Candy
  • Reese’s – must read labels; snack size, individually wrapped cups may be palm oil free
  • Ring Pop
  • Saf-T-Pops Lollipops
  • Skor
  • Sno Caps
  • Wholesome Organic Lollipops 
  • York Peppermint Patties
  • Yum Earth Organic Candy Corn
  • Yum Earth Organic Pops 

List of candy without palm oil

Is your favorite candy palm oil free? Do you know of others? What do you think about companies using palm oil in candy? Leave a message in the Comments.

candy without palm oil
Trick or treating haul: Can you guess which pile is palm oil free?

We continue to update this post. It’s important to buy palm oil free candy all year. When you shop for holiday candy — think Valentine’s Day candy and Easter candy — read ingredient labels. They often change for holidays.

You can have a Happy Halloween and still be orangutan-friendly.

Read all labels. Manufacturers change ingredients. This list is meant for reference only and to be a starting point. 





Desserts Without Palm Oil ~ Palm Oil Free Recipes

confections without palm oil


You can easily make your own sweets and desserts without palm oil. If you are 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 it as well. As with everything, the less ingredients something has, the less chance there will be palm oil in it.

When baking desserts from scratch to avoid palm oil, know these items likely contain it:


Because shortening most always contains palm oil, use real butter instead.

Whipped Cream and Whipped Toppings

These types of toppings in spray canisters most always contain palm oil derivatives in the form of Mono- & Diglycerides. Frozen whipped toppings contain palm kernel oil, Polysorbate 60, and Sorbitan Monostearate.


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

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 most always contains palm oil or palm kernel oil among many other palm oil derivatives, including Monoglycerides, Mono & Diglycerides, Polysorbate 60, and Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate.

It’s easy to make your own; see below.

Almond Bark, Candy Melts

These contain palm oil and palm kernel oil.


Only Red Star Active Dry All Natural Yeast in the 3-pack doesn’t contain palm oil; others contain Sorbitan Monostearate. More information below.

Imitation Vanilla Extract

Use pure vanilla extract; imitations contain Propylene Glycol, a palm oil derivative.

Food Coloring and Dyes

These contain Propylene Glycol, Glycerine, and Polysorbate 80.

Refrigerated cookie dough

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

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.

vanilla buttercream palm oil free frosting
Homemade vanilla frosting without palm oil.

These recipes take 5 – 15 minutes, and that includes the cleanup.

Many of these palm free dessert recipes are dairy-free. You won’t have to worry about the Vitamin A Palmitate — a palm oil derivative — which is added to most milks, even seemingly healthier ones, like nut milk.

Some of the recipes include chocolate chips and chocolate which contain milk but are palm oil free.

Buttercream frosting without palm oil

frosting 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.

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’s super creamy and best when it’s been chilled in the refrigerator. has posted a tasty recipe.

For an even greater nutritional impact, use a higher quality cocao, such as Navitas Organics. Their 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.

It’s also vegan and uses only four ingredients. You can also make easy substitutions for the sweetener as necessary.

Chia Pudding

Wow! Another easy, healthy dessert without palm oil. Thank you to for posting this awesome chia seed pudding recipe.

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.

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.)

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.

It’s fast and easy. Pour the two cups of almond or other nut milk into a mason jar. Add six tablespoons of chia seeds and any other flavors you want. The recipe suggests honey or maple syrup and vanilla extract. Shake.

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.

According to, chia seeds are good for you. They 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. I’m so grateful to Brittany at for posting this recipe.

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 find this easy recipe online from This is one of the few mug cakes we found that didn’t include eggs. It tastes great!

Also, by using almond 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 this is to make!

Chocolate cake without palm oil

This Crazy Cake recipe is from Just like the Chocolate Mug Cake above, I made this cake several times. Here it is for my son’s birthday.

bake without palm oil
Milk Chocolate M&M’s and Mint with Dark Chocolate M&M’s (not Crunchy Mint or Crispy Mint)

It’s fluffy and moist, easy to make, and delicious. The beauty of this cake is it doesn’t use eggs, butter or dairy. You won’t miss them.

In addition to making Crazy Cake cupcakes, 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.)


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.

Amazingly, she found one! She brought Biscotti Bros. 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 recipe and made them with great success.


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.

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.

Instead, bake your own!

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 prefect to make in advance for when you need them.

Chocolate covered bananas

This palm free dessert has the added bonus of starring a healthy fruit. has some great tips to make frozen bananas.

You can make this a two-ingredient recipe, using just the banana and the chocolate.

Just 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 regular 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.

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 this 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.

Not the prettiest picture but this 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 Mint M&Ms (not the Crunchy Mint or the Crispy Mint, both of which contain palm oil derivatives) to decorate. You can use chocolate shavings as well.

The first few times I made it, I froze the cookie. 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. 

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

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.

If you’ve looked in the store for palm oil free ice cream, you know how hard it is to find.

In additional 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.

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.

making chocolate tapioca pudding

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 wonderfully.

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 olive oil from So many recipes are created using canola oil, yet olive oil is much healthier.

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, chocolately and delicious.

We love homemade from scratch brownies best but we have found very good brownie mixes without palm oil.

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.

Learning to bake 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.

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

Avoid shortening

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

Avoid margarine

Margarine contains palm oil. Use real butter in your desserts.

Whipped topping and frosting

Doing online searches, you can find ways to make whipped topping without palm oil by using heavy cream without Vitamin A Palmitate.

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. There are many recipes online.

See more ideas for holiday desserts here.

Ingredients: Yeast (nothing else)

Yeast without palm oil

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

  • Red Star Active Dry Yeast packets

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

Yeast usually contain Sorbitan Monostearate. This is a palm oil derivative. 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.

Baking chips without palm oil

Avoid vanilla chips and white morsels as they typically contain palm oil and palm kernel oil. 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.

Palm oil free dessert ingredients

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

  • O Organics Organic Powdered Sugar
  • 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

Palm oil free bakery

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.




Popcorn Without Palm Oil ~ List of Palm Oil Free Popcorn

popcorn without palm oil


Finding popcorn without palm oil is possible. You must be sure to read the labels. As with everything, the less ingredients, the better.

You can always make your own from an air popper or on the stove top. However, it’s great to have the option to buy pre-popped popcorn for convenience, as an easy snack, and when you’re on-the-go.

How to find popcorn without palm oil

Yes, it’s convenient and delicious, but do not buy microwave popcorn as it most always contains palm oil.

Update: See below for one brand of microwave popcorn without palm oil.

Regarding bags of already-popped popcorn, unless you know for certain they’re palm oil free, it’s best to avoid more exotic flavors such as chocolate, cheese, and coated varieties.

Often holiday varieties of popcorn contain palm oil.

Remember, many popcorn brands and flavors contain palm oil derivatives that won’t have the word “palm” in the ingredients.

Common palm oil ingredients in popcorn include:

  • Palm oil
  • Palm kernel oil
  • Medium chain triglycerides
  • Tocopherols

Learn about how companies use palm oil so you can find it on labels.

Ask before buying popcorn at movie theaters, sports events, stadiums, and events. They usually contain palm oil.

Please support these choices of palm oil free popcorn.

Popcorn without palm oil

Skinny Pop

  • Original
  • Sea Salt & Pepper
  • Naturally Sweet
  • Sea Salt Mini Cakes
  • Salted Caramel Mini Cakes
  • Cinnamon & Sugar Mini Cakes

Popcorn review: We buy Skinny Pop Original a lot. It’s a great snack for home and on the road.

It only contains Popcorn, Sunflower Oil, and Salt.

The Skinny Pop Mini Cakes are amazing. They are a fun way to eat popcorn in a small version of a rice cake. They are excellent for lunchboxes and snacks.

We regularly buy the Sea Salt, Salted Caramel, and Cinnamon & Sugar Mini Cakes. Sometimes we mix the Sea Salt with one of the other flavors for a sweet and salty mix.

We look forward to buying their other palm oil free flavors when we see them in our local stores.

Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop

  • Sea Salt Popcorn
  • Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn
  • Light Kettle Corn
  • Salted Caramel Popcorn
  • Buttery Caramel Popcorn

Popcorn review: Ever since Costco started selling Angie’s Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn, our family buys several bags monthly. My family and I love this popcorn.

It’s unbelievably great — the perfect blend of sugar and salt. It’s a convenient and healthy sweet treat for our family.

This popcorn, made without palm oil, only contains Popcorn, Sunflower Oil, Cane Sugar, and Sea Salt.

We’ve also had Angie’s Sea Salt Popcorn, which is also delicious.

Do be aware some of their specialty seasonal flavors, like Candy Corn flavored Kettle Corn and Pumpkin Spice Kettle Corn each contain palm oil and palm kernel oil.

Lesser Evil Buddha Bowl

  • Classic Cheddah
  • Himalayan Pink
  • Oh My Ghee!
  • Himalayan Sweetness
  • Jalapeno ‘n Honey
  • Avocado-Licious
  • Himalayan Gold

Popcorn review: Look at these flavors! Lesser Evil doesn’t use any palm oil in their popcorn and other snacks.

Their organic popcorn uses quality ingredients. Depending on the flavor, some ingredients include Himalayan salt, organic extra-virgin coconut oil, and/or extra-virgin avocado oil.


  • Nearly Naked Popcorn
  • Caramel Corn
  • Kettle Corn

Popcorn review: We enjoy the large bag of Popcornopolis’s Nearly Naked Popcorn when we see it at Costco. Unfortunately, it’s not always available. We buy it when it is.

This popcorn is delicious and very flavorful. There are few kernels at the bottom of the bag. My kids, husband and I all love it.

Hopefully, Popcornopolis will include their ingredients on their website soon. Because they aren’t listed, and we aren’t able to find all of their flavors in stores, we can’t cross-reference their ingredients to check for palm oil.

We were only able to verify the ones above.

Via email, Popcornopolis confirmed these popcorn flavors below are free from palm oil. Again, do your own due diligence and read labels.

  • Nearly Naked Popcorn
  • Almond Caramel
  • Caramel Corn
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Cinnamon Toast
  • Fifty Fifty Popcorn
  • Jalapeno Cheddar
  • Cupcake
  • Kettle Corn
  • Lemon Heaven
  • Pecan Caramel
  • Red Velvet
  • White Cheddar

Simple Truth

  • Organic Sea Salt & Black Pepper Popcorn
  • Kettle Popcorn
  • Organic Low Sodium Popcorn

Popcorn review: We’ve tried Simple Truth Organic Low Sodium Popcorn and love it. This is also something we purchase when we are on road trips and going to friends’ homes.

Simple Truth is a Kroger brand, with organic and non-organic lines. While it’s not available everywhere, we were able to purchase this popcorn at Kroger-owned stores.

Please support these flavors of popcorn without palm oil. Let companies know you want products without it.

See our post which lists Palm Oil Free Products in different categories.

Microwave popcorn contains palm oil

Remember, you must avoid microwave popcorn unless you buy this one brand from Quinn as explained below. Otherwise, every single brand we researched contains palm oil or palm kernel oil.

If you look at the ingredients in stores, you will see this for yourself.

Microwave popcorn without palm oil

Quinn Snacks Microwave Popcorn

  • Real Butter & Sea Salt
  • Vermont Maple Kettle Corn
  • White Cheddar
  • Just Sea Salt
  • Aged Parmesan & Rosemary
  • Real Butter Tastes Better Truffle Butter
  • Real Butter Tastes Better Butter & Sea Salt

We are grateful to Quinn Snacks for being so innovative with their microwave popcorn. We appreciate them using such quality ingredients.

(Be sure sure read labels and buy the ones above. Their Real Butter Tastes Better Extra Butter contains organic red palm oil. Note it is organic, fair trade and sustainable.)

Pre-made popcorn at events

If you are at the movie theater or sports venue, etc., you will have to ask about the ingredients. We usually avoid it unless we speak to the manager. It might contain palm oil. Additionally, it is likely to contain many artificial ingredients.

Make homemade popcorn palm free

While at home, you can make homemade popcorn. It doesn’t take long, especially if you have an air popper. Then, you can add your own salt, butter, cheese or caramel creations, knowing exactly what it is.

popcorn without palm oil

We use a Hamilton Beach Hot Air Popcorn Popper. It’s simple enough for my kids to use, fast, and pops practically all the kernels.

Popcorn oil

Look for sunflower oil, safflower oil, and coconut oil popcorn.

Butter popcorn

When you are looking for palm oil free popcorn, you need to carefully read the labels for butter popcorn.

Many times, you will see ingredients such as tocopherols, and/or medium chain triglycerides. These typically contain palm oil.

Palm oil free popcorn

Popcorn is a healthy snack. Plain, it’s low in calories and fun to eat. Snacks without palm oil.

When you are at the store, just remember to read all labels. Look for simple ingredients such as popcorn, coconut oil, and salt so you know what you are getting.

Many times, the label won’t spell out “palm oil” but it still may contain palm oil derivatives.

We have reached out to these companies to confirm their popcorn is made without palm oil. We continue to update with post as companies return our emails.

Please support these brands and flavors of palm oil free popcorn.

See our other lists, including candy without palm oil and pretzels without palm oil.

Know that while we work very hard to live without palm oil, we aren’t food scientists or medical professionals. We gathered this information by researching popcorn in stores and online; reaching out to manufacturers; and learning all we can about the names for palm oil. Please always read ingredient labels when you are looking for popcorn without palm oil. This list is meant for reference only.

If you know of other brands, please let us know in the Comments. Why do you avoid palm oil? It it getting harder to find palm oil free options?

Snacks Without Palm Oil ~ List of Palm Oil Free Snacks

snacks without palm oil


The snack market continues to expand. Consumers routinely buy processed and packaged snacks. If you are looking for snacks without palm oil, we update this list regularly.

Here’s a list of easy, palm oil free snacks, especially in categories in which companies use palm oil often. Many are grab and go. Thank you for being an educated consumer!

Palm oil free snacks

Toward the bottom is a list of snacks that usually don’t contain palm oil and are typically safe snacks for people who are avoiding palm products.

Brownies without palm oil

What to look for: You might get lucky with so-called healthier brands, but brownies without palm oil are difficult to find.

  • Nature’s Bakery Double Chocolate Brownie

Be sure to choose Nature’s Bakery’s non-organic brownies. Their organic brownies contain palm oil, palm oil derivatives, and more ingredients overall than their regular, non-organic brownies listed above.

For more sweet treats, see desserts without palm oil. Sweet biscuits, packaged pastries, packaged cakes, and bakery snacks usually contain palm oil.

Chocolate and candy

Definitely read ingredients before you purchase. In addition to palm oil and palm kernel oil, manufacturers use tocopherols, mono- and di-glycerides, magnesium stearate, glycerin, and other palm oil derivatives.

We researched a list of Halloween candy without palm oil. You can choose palm free brands all year. Please check it out.

Cereal for a snack

Ready-to-eat cereal makes a great snack but it’s a challenge to find it without palm oil.

What to look for: It’s difficult to find them without palm oil because they are typically fortified with Vitamin A Palmitate.

Even granola often contains glycerin, glycerine, and/or tocopherols, all which are often made from palm oil.

We found one brand, Purely Elizabeth, which makes granola without it. They use pure ingredients in all of their products. You can find their products at Target, Kroger-owned stores, and more.

For a list of specific brands and flavors, see our list of cereal without palm oil. There are some Post and Kashi cereals without it.

Chips without palm oil

This is one category in which you should be able to find palm oil free snacks. Take a few moments to read labels, and choose the palm free option.

What to look out for: Avoid canned chips and snacks. They often contain palm oil, palm kernel oil, and mono- and diglycerides, which are typically made from palm oil.

veggie straws palm oil free

Some chips without palm oil include:

  • Cheetos Crunchy
  • Cheetos Puffs
  • Mission Tortilla Rounds
  • Sensible Portions:
    • Garden Veggie Straws – Sea Salt
    • Garden Veggie Chips – Sea Salt

See below for potato chips.

We are in the process of researching and adding to this list. Please check back often as we will have more options to look choose from.


What to look for: Look for crunchy and not chewy cookies. Both non-organic and organic store-bought cookies usually contain palm oil. Manufacturers introduce new flavors often. They typically contain palm oil.

See our list of cookies without palm oil and the ingredients to watch out for.

Crackers without palm oil

What to look for: Read labels. You will see “palm oil” in many crackers now. In addition, watch for mono- and diglycerides and DATEM.

Even saltine-type crackers use these ingredients. Buttery-type crackers do as well.

Here are some palm oil free crackers:

  • Nabisco Triscuit:
    • Original
    • Whole Wheat Original
    • Reduced Fat
    • Original Organic
    • Thin Crisps Sweet Potato & Cinnamon

We will be researching more palm oil free crackers.

Fruit and vegetable chips

What to look for: These make for great snacks without palm oil. However, the only ingredients should be the fruit or vegetable. Any other ingredients should be ones you recognize, such as cane sugar, sea salt, etc.

  • Bare Fruit Chips: Here’s a sample of their flavors without palm oil.
    • Apple Chips
      • Fuji & Reds Apple Chips
      • Cinnamon Apple Chips
    • Banana Chips
      • Simply Banana Chips
      • Cinnamon Banana Chips
    • Coconut Chips
      • Toasted Coconut Chips
      • Chocolate Coconut Chips
    • Vegetable
      • Sea Salt Carrot Chips
      • Salt & Vinegar Beet Chips

Fruit snacks and fruit strips without palm oil

What to look for: Many chewy foods contain palm in the form of glycerin, glycerine, glyceryl, and glycol. Avoid these ingredients completely because there’s no way of knowing if they are made with palm oil.

  • Kirkland Signature Organic Fruity Snacks
  • Stretch Island Organic Fruit Strips: Grape, Strawberry, Tropical

Ice cream

What to look for: Read labels; don’t just buy what’s on sale.

  • Ben & Jerry’s: all flavors

See our post Ice Cream without Palm Oil for additional brands and flavors.

Nut butter

Peanut and nut butters make a great on-the-go snack when it’s in its own container or pouch. At home, nut butters are easy to pair with apples, celery or toast.

What to look for: Peanut butter is another case when organic is not usually better. Most all of the store-brand, organic peanut butter at our local grocery store contains palm oil.

  • Wild Friends Nut Butter + Oats: Almond Cashew; Peanut Cashew; Almond Cranberry; Peanut Blueberry

See our list of peanut butter without palm oil. (There are some grab-and-go nut butters on this list as well.)


What to look for: Buy already-popped or popcorn kernels. Completely avoid microwave popcorn unless you buy the palm oil free flavors from Quinn Snacks. Most of their flavors are palm-free.

It was a nice surprise to see the iconic Cracker Jack is still made without palm oil. Even their Holiday Sugar Cookie Popcorn is palm oil free. (Many holiday versions mean more ingredients which means a greater likelihood the snack will contain palm oil.)

These are brands that offer some palm free snack options:

  • Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop
  • Cracker Jack
  • Lesser Evil Buddha Bowl Organic Popcorn 
  • Skinny Pop
  • Quinn Snacks: Most of their microwavable flavors are free from palm oil which makes them a convenient snack.

See our list of palm free popcorn here.

Potato Chips without palm oil

What to look for:  Watch organic brands. Many contain organic palm oil or red palm oil. Chips in cans typically contain palm oil ingredients, this includes shoestring potatoes.

  • Lay’s Potato Chips
    • Classic
    • Salt & Vinegar
  • Lesser Evil Green Elephant
    • Perfectly Salted
    • Jalapeno ‘n Honey
    • Salt ‘n Apple Cider Vinegar

We will be adding to this list. You CAN find potato chips without palm oil. Read labels.

Note: Lesser Evil makes ALL of their snacks without palm oil. They make organic popcorn, puffs, and potato chips.


What to look for:  Many gluten-free and regular pretzels contain tocopherols and/or DATEM, palm oil derivatives.  Watch out for yogurt-covered and chocolate-covered and other flavors which have more ingredients. Also, be aware of Halloween versions in the small packs. Depending on the company, it may contain palm oil.

You should be able to find these snacks palm oil free so be sure to read labels before purchasing.

This post lists pretzels without palm oil.

Protein Meat Snacks

What to look for: Many shelf-stable meat and jerky products contain palm oil derivatives. Unless you contact the company, you won’t know if the citric acid, flavorings, and spices are derived from palm oil.

Epic Bar makes all of their meat snacks without palm oil.

  • Epic Bar
    • Snack Strips:
      • Wagyu Beef Steak Strip
      • Smoked Salmon Maple
      • Turkey Cranberry Sage
      • Venison Sea Salt + Pepper
    • Bites:
      • Sweet Savory Bison & Uncured Bacon
      • Hickory Smoked Bacon
      • Sweet & Spicy Sriracha Beef
      • Sweet Sesame Ginger Chicken
      • Beef Liver
      • Maple Glazed & Smoked Salmon
      • Savory Herb Blend Turkey
      • Sweet Maple Uncured Bacon & Pork
      • Original Hunter’s Recipe: Tender Venison Steak
    • Pork Skins:
      • Sea Salt Pepper Rinds
      • Texas BBQ Pork Rinds
      • Maple Bacon Pork Cracklings
      • Himalayan Sea Salt Rinds
      • Chili Lime Rinds
    • Hunt & Harvest Mix:
      • Berry Blossom
      • Coconut Carnivore
      • Honey Harvest
      • Mountain Medley
      • Bacon Lust
    • Bits:
      • Hickory Bacon
      • Chicken Sesame
      • Maple Bacon


  • Lesser Evil Grain Free Paleo Puffs
    • “No Cheese” Cheesiness
    • Himalayan Pink Salt
    • Apple Cider Vinegar

Snack bars

What to look for: Avoid protein, nutrition, and snack bars with chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, fillings, and coatings as these typically contain palm oil. Most chewy bars use palm oil. Some crunchy snack bars do not, especially if they are fruit-flavored.

Look for nutritional type bars which use figs or dates to bind their ingredients instead of palm oil ingredients.

Glycerin, glycerine and tocopherols are common in snack bars. They are typically made with palm oil.

snacks without palm oil

A special shout out to Enjoy Life Foods, first in the US to have their snack line of Grain & Seed Bars and four flavors of their Protein Bites to be certified as palm oil free.

  • Enjoy Life Foods
    • Grain & Seed Bars (all flavors)
      • Chocolate Marshmallow
      • Banana Caramel
      • Maple Sweet Potato
      • Cranberry Orange
    • Protein Bites Chocolate (in these flavors)
      • Dipped Banana
      • Dark Raspberry
      • Cinnamon Spice
      • Sunseed Butter

snacks without palm oil

Companies which make their bars without palm oil include:

  • Honey Bunchies – These peanut and pecan honey bars are palm oil free.
  • RXBAR – All of their products are palm oil free.

For specific brands and flavors, see our post with an extensive list of snack bars and granola bars without palm oil.

Snacks without palm oil

Usually these types of kid-friendly snacks do not contain palm oil. Remember, the less processed, the better.

  • Applesauce
  • Cheese
  • Dried fruit: Look for packages that only contain one fruit and not a mix. Read the ingredients and look for fruit only. Watch for oils
  • Fresh fruit: Wash citrus fruit thoroughly; they can be coated in palm oil ingredients.
  • Fruit-squeeze pouches
  • Nuts, especially if it’s just one type of nut. Added salt is okay but there shouldn’t be other ingredients.
  • Rice cakes
  • Yogurt: Look for natural yogurts with live and active cultures. (Yogurt-covered fruit and nuts typically contain palm oil.)

Support snack products, brands and flavors that don’t use any palm oil. You will make a difference. See our ultimate list palm oil free products for more choices.

Snacking industry

The snack industry is $605 billion globally. Consumers snack regularly.

One trend in snacking is consumers are replacing meals with snacks. Consumers want exciting flavors with “fresh” packaging with clean labels and healthy and natural ingredients.

Snack companies are using alternative ingredients, including many plant-derived and plant-based ingredients. Know that these can contain palm oil.

Read labels to find snacks without palm oil

There are certain categories of foods and snacks in which palm oil ingredients are prevalent so always read labels.

As with everything, less ingredients is better. Foods usually taste better too. Also, companies change ingredients frequently. Sometimes you will see the exact same product on the shelf with different ingredients.

We are updating this list of palm oil free snacks regularly.

Please note, snack manufacturers change ingredients and vendors regularly. This is meant for reference purposes only. Please read ingredient labels at the point of purchase before buying snacks and processed foods. This list is not guaranteed and is meant as a starting point. Let companies know you support foods without palm oil.

What are your favorite palm oil free snacks? Please list them in the Comments.