Making dairy free party food is not as hard as you think. Here are some great dairy free recipes, and tips for providing dairy free alternatives to traditional party food.

Dairy free instant pudding : Dairy free coconut cream : Dairy free apple sponge cake : Dairy free jaffa crunch : Quick tips

Dairy free party food doesn’t have to be boring or tasteless; in fact there are plenty of great party treats that are dairy free, and you don’t necessarily need special ingredients or an unlimited budget to make them work.

If one of your birthday party guests has a dairy allergy or intolerance, check with their parents as to exactly what they are and are not allowed. Some children on a dairy free diet can not tolerate even traces of dairy in pre-packaged products, while others are fine provided they don’t eat solid dairy products such as milk, cheese, yoghurt or ice cream. Establishing the level of allergy or intolerance will make it a lot easier for you in preparing your party food, and you may find your guest is allowed more than you think.

If a guest has a severe dairy allergy, you’ll need to be careful, and watch for hidden dairy in pre-packaged foods. Foods that appear safe (like potato chips) often contain milk or cheese powder, so make sure you read the labels on everything. Your guest’s parents should be able to give you some suggestions for dairy free brands or alternatives.

With all that in mind, making dairy free treats from scratch is not as hard as you think. Here are some great dairy free recipes to get you started, and some quick and easy tips for providing dairy free alternatives to traditional snacks.

Dairy Free Instant Pudding

This dairy free instant pudding really is INSTANT, and it’s a nice alternative to traditional dairy desserts like ice cream or custard.

You will need:

  • 1 250g block of soft tofu
  • 440g can of peaches or apricots (strained)

To make:

Using an electric blender, blend the fruit and tofu together to form a smooth custard like mix. Either eat the dessert straight away, or place it in the refrigerator to firm up.

Your dairy eating guests will think they are eating fruit flavoured custard.

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Dairy Free Coconut Cream

This recipe is quick and easy to make, and it’s got a truly tropical taste.

You will need:

  • 1 litre plain soy yoghurt
  • 1 packet of pink and white marshmallows
  • 1 ½ cups pineapple chunks (Fresh or canned)
  • 1 ½ cups desiccated coconut

To make:

Mix all the ingredients together and spoon into individual serving dishes. Sprinkle some extra coconut on top, and place in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes to chill.

For a real tropical feel, decorate each plate with paper umbrellas.

Dairy Free Apple Sponge Cake

This cake is absolutely the best sponge cake you’ll ever make – with or without dairy.

You will need:

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 225g dairy free margarine
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoon mixed spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice)
  • ½ kg apples (peeled and cut into small pieces)
  • 3 eggs, beaten

To make:

  1. Sift the flour and salt together, and then rub in the margarine using your finger tips.
  2. Mix in the sugar, spices and apples, and then stir in the beaten eggs. The mixture will seem a bit stiff and doughy – but don’t panic. The apple softens and moistens the cake during cooking.
  3. Bake in a greased 20cm cake tin at 150*C for approximately 1 hour 45 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched.

You can make a dairy free icing by using margarine, icing sugar, water and passionfruit pulp, but this cake is best served with a just a dusting of icing sugar.

Dairy Free Jaffa Crunch

This recipe makes a very crunchy slice, which can be served as squares or in bite size pieces like candy. The best bit is, you cook it in the microwave and it only takes 5 minutes.

You will need:

  • 150gm dairy free spread (margarine or olive oil based)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (a little more if you are using an olive oil based spread)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup crushed weetbix (about 4)
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tablespoon carob powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ¾ cup icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoon of orange juice

To make:

  1. Melt the dairy free spread and add your vanilla essence.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Press into a shallow microwave dish, and cook on high for 4 – 7 minutes (depending on the wattage of your oven). The mixture should be dry, but still soft to touch.
  4. Once the slice is cold, make up orange icing by mixing the icing sugar and orange juice together. If needed, add a small amount of water so that the orange icing can be drizzled over the slice.
  5. Cut up and serve.


Quick Tips

  • Many potato chips and pretzels contain traces of dairy, so make up a batch of popcorn instead. Take plain popping corn, and pop it on the stove top using a small amount.
  • Most cake recipes can be adapted to be dairy free by simply changing the milk to soy milk and butter to margarine. However, some margarines are not dairy free, so make sure you check the label.
  • Dairy free cheese can replace ordinary cheese in baked recipes, but be aware that it does have quite a different texture to dairy based cheeses. (Please note that severely allergic children may be at risk to “dairy free cheese”, as such cheese still contains a dairy component which enables it to set.) If you are including it on pizzas (or anything where it needs to melt), make sure you grate or crumble the cheese rather than slice it.
  • If your child has their heart set on having ice cream at their party, simply buy the dairy free version and keep everyone happy. Dairy free ice cream is a little more expensive than regular ice cream, (but not excessively), and is available from most supermarkets.
  • There are lots of pre-packaged dairy free alternatives to traditional party foods, you just need to keep your eye open and ask around. The parents of your dairy free guest will be able to tell you where to find their favourite treats, or check out your local health food store.
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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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