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Dairy-Free Low-FODMAP Desserts

Q. Any suggestions for dairy-free, low-FODMAP desserts?

A. The obvious low-FODMAP desserts often revolve around lactose-free milk products, don’t they? Without all-purpose (AP) flour in the picture, custards, puddings, ice creams, and parfaits quickly come to mind. Since lactose is the only part of milk that is a FODMAP, most people on low-FODMAP diets can eat versions of these made with lactose-free cow’s milk. But some people on low-FODMAP diets avoid even low-lactose dairy products for various reasons; this makes desserts more of a challenge. Thankfully, eggs are not a dairy product, even though they are sold in the dairy case at the grocery store, so they can still be used in dairy-free desserts.

Alternative milks made from nuts, rice or coconut have so much less protein in them compared to cow’s milk that they function quite differently in recipes. If the main ingredient is milk, such as in a pudding or custard, the results may not be what you expect if you just substitute almond milk for cow’s milk.  And recipes that are all about the flavor of butter, such as butter cookies, fudge, or buttery lava cakes aren’t easily made dairy free, either! It is probably best to begin elsewhere, with recipes that don’t have milk products at their core. How about one of these?

  • Meringue cookies with pecans or crushed candy canes
  • Blueberry or strawberry-rhubarb crisp
  • Three-ingredient peanut butter cookies
  • Lemon olive oil cake (made with a low-FODMAP flour blend)
  • Fruit or coffee granita or sorbetto
  • Chocolate-dipped nuts or banana slices
  • Chocolate macaroons
  • Crispy rice treats
  • Peanut brittle
  • Candied ginger or lemon peel


Peanut brittle makes a nice holiday gift, and it can be served as a snack or dessert on a variety of occasions. There was only a dab of butter in our original recipe, meant primarily to minimize foaming as the candy syrup boils. It is easy to replace such a small amount of butter with another fat such as coconut oil, without changing the flavor or function of the recipe. Unlike high-fructose corn syrup, ordinary corn syrup is very low in fructose, so it is suitable for low-FODMAP diets. Read the label on the corn syrup carefully to verify no high-fructose corn syrup or sucralose are added (while sucralose is not a FODMAP, this recipe was not tested with a sucralose-containing product). To keep it low-FODMAP, enjoy just a single portion at any one time. The recipe makes 16 servings.

This recipe is an adults-only project. The sugar syrup gets dangerously hot. Even though it looks delicious, do not lick the spoon!


Low-FODMAP peanut brittle can easily be made dairy-free by substituting coconut oil for butter.

Low-FODMAP peanut brittle can easily be made dairy-free by substituting coconut oil for butter.

1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
1 ½ cups roasted, salted peanuts
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda


  • Stir together sugar and corn syrup in a 1-quart microwave safe container. A bowl or extra-large measuring cup with a handle would be ideal for safe handling.
  • Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Mixture will be extremely hot. Stir in peanuts and microwave on high for 3 more minutes. Add coconut oil and vanilla, blending well. Microwave on high for 1 minute more. Add baking soda and stir until foaminess begins to die down, about 25 strokes.
  • arefully pour the hot mixture onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Use a silicone scraper to empty the bowl and spread the candy out. Cool completely. Break into large pieces and store in an airtight container.

Serves: 16

For a printable PDF version of this recipe, click here.

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