Are Oreos Vegan?

Being a vegan is so rewarding, but it can also be so hard. For example, it can be difficult giving up some of your favorite snack foods due to them being packed with dairy, and other animal products.

Are Oreos Vegan

The key is to find out what foods are vegan, and which are not. 

In this article, we will be taking a look at Oreos. We’ll find out what ingredients they are made up of, and whether they are safe for vegan consumption. 

So, let’s get started.

What Ingredients Are Used To Make An Oreo?

It seems you cannot pick up a packet of candy or chocolate nowadays without reading the list of ingredients, and not being able to understand half of the food items and/or additives listed.

If you were wondering exactly what ingredients are used to manufacture a single Oreo, we’ve got you covered. Below, we have listed each of the main ingredients along with a brief explanation of what each of them are to make things easier for you to understand.

Here are the ingredients used to make an Oreo.


This is an ingredient that anyone would expect to find on Oreos’ ingredient list. Sugar is used to sweeten the cookie and the crème inside.


Artificial flavorings are also used to add sweetness to the cookie, along with other flavors. These are used in the original recipe, while other flavorings are used in the special edition, flavored cookies.


Oreos contain a number of different food coloring, despite the fact that you’d think an Oreo wouldn’t need any additional color. You’d think the dark brown cookie would already be that color from the chocolate… but, alas, coloring is required to make an Oreo.

Canola And Palm Oil

High-fat oils are required to add the creamy texture to the Oreo’s crème. Canola is made from rapeseeds, and applies a smooth consistency to the cream without having to use any dairy products.


Tapioca and xanthan gum are two forms of thickeners used as ingredients for Oreos. They apply texture and structure to the cookie itself.


Yeast is most commonly used in baked goods, e.g., bread, as a leavening agent. This means that it helps the baked products to rise as they bake.

Carnauba Wax

Carnauba wax is used in many food products to create an edible yet protective outer coat. You may not notice it at first, but Oreos have a thin glaze atop the cookie to prevent it from crumbling easily.

Soy Lecithin

Soy lecithin is yet another ingredient that is used to add texture and consistency to an Oreo cookie.

Propylene Glycol Monostearate

Propylene glycol monostearate is another ingredient used to add texture to food items, particularly in non-dairy food items. It is a way to add thickness to ‘creamy’ foods without adding any real cream.

Is There Any Dairy In Oreos?

Are Oreos Vegan

As you may have noticed in the list above, there were no dairy products listed as an ingredient. This isn’t a mistake that we made; the original Oreo is, in fact, completely dairy-free.

This may be confusing to some people, especially when they picture the white, crème layer on the inside of the cookie. How could this section of an Oreo be dairy-free?

Instead of using dairy products to make the crème, the manufacturers use a mix of flavorings, oils, fats, and thickeners to create that smooth, creamy texture. 

As for the cookie itself, there is no dairy to be found in them either.

The majority of Oreo cookies – original and flavored – are completely dairy free. However, those who are lactose intolerant should be wary, as there can be a risk of cross contamination during the production process of Oreo cookies.

Are Oreos Suitable for Vegans?

The short answer is ‘yes, Oreos are suitable for vegans’. However, unfortunately, the answer is not quite that simple.

Oreos have been free of dairy ever since their first introduction to supermarket shelves in 1912… yes, Oreos have been around for that long. The crème layer inside the two cookies has never contained dairy, making Oreos suitable for all those who are dairy intolerant.

However, they were not made suitable for vegan consumption until over 80 years later. Animal fats were used in the process of making the cookie until 1997, when these ingredients were replaced with plant-based oils.

While Oreos do not seem to contain any ingredients that are not suitable for vegans, there are some ingredients listed in the small print that have not been officially approved as being vegan-friendly. 

Some of these ingredients are pretty vague, and difficult to confirm as being safe for vegan consumption.

For that reason, any vegan should be wary about eating Oreos if they do not want to accidentally eat any animal products. You should always check the entire ingredient list yourself to be sure that you won’t accidentally do so.

But, as a rule, original Oreos are considered to be a vegan snack. They are 100% dairy-free, but may not be 100% vegan, so be wary and check the ingredients.

What Oreos Aren’t Vegan?

You may have noticed that, in the previous section of this guide, we kept emphasizing that original Oreos are dairy free, and original Oreos are considered vegan. There is a reason that we are saying this.

Some Oreo variations are, in fact, not vegan. Some of them aren’t even dairy-free. 

The Oreo Dipped™ – Oreos covered in melted chocolate – are not vegan. The chocolate coating contains all the usual dairy products, including milk, cream, and confectioner’s glaze. Therefore, you should completely avoid this variety as a vegan.

Oreo Cakesters™, along with pretty much all of their frozen counterparts (Oreo ice cream cones, Oreo sandwiches, etc.) are also not suitable for vegan consumption.

Final Thoughts

It may be surprising to some that Oreos are actually safe for vegans to eat. Most people would assume that the crème layer inside an Oreo is made up of dairy products, but as it turns out, it is entirely made from plant-based oils, sweeteners, and thickening agents.

However, we still recommend that you double-check the ingredients for whichever snack you want to eat, no matter whether it has been confirmed to be vegan or not. Check the fine print, and save yourself some trouble.

We hope you found this guide helpful.

Mark Williams
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