Is DQ’s, Wendy’s, Burger King & Dole’s Soft Serve Dairy-Free?

Do you want to know if the kid’s famous soft serve is dairy-free?

Dairy Queen is known for their frozen treats, and soft serve tops the list, kids will tell you this. While kids are carefree and will eat almost anything just for the taste, a parent’s concern is beyond that.

When you go out with your kids, it is okay to be wary of what goes into their belly, especially if you have kids that can’t tolerate ingredients like dairy or gluten.

At first glance, a soft serve looks like ice cream, but the kids will tell you it’s not. This makes you more curious to know what this special treat is made of.

In this article, you’ll know if a soft serve is safe and healthy for your kids and if it’s ice cream. This article also takes a look at the soft serve from different restaurants.

What is a soft serve?

A soft serve or soft ice is a soft and creamy frozen treat that looks like ice cream but is not.

Soft serve is dispensed from a machine that adds air as it churns out the treat. This makes it soft and aerated.

The main ingredients in a soft serve are non-fat milk and milk fat. Other ingredients include sugar, stabilizers, emulsifiers, and flavorings.

Is soft serve dairy-free?

Soft serve contains about 5% milk fat which does not make it dairy-free, regardless of its seemingly small amount.

However, some restaurants sell frozen treats that offer dairy-free soft serve.

If you have a dairy allergy but would like to enjoy a soft serve, visit a restaurant you’re sure has a dairy-free soft serve.

Is Dairy Queen soft serve dairy-free?

No, it is not. Dairy Queen does not offer dairy-free soft serve.

DQ’s soft serve has milkfat and milk, which are dairy products. It is also not lactose-free. Therefore, you should stay off DQ’s soft serve if you have dairy allergies and/or lactose intolerance.

Is McDonald’s soft serve dairy-free?

No, it is not.

McDonald’s soft serve contains milk and cream, which are dairy products. It is also not lactose-free and not safe for people with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance.

Is Burger King’s soft serve dairy-free?

No. The ingredients list for BK’s soft serve mix shows that it contains milkfat and non-fat milk, all of which are dairy products.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a dairy-free soft serve, BK is not the place to go.

Is Wendy’s soft serve dairy-free?

Wendy’s soft serve, also known as a frosty, is not dairy-free. It contains milk and other milk products, which are unhealthy for people with dairy allergies.

Is Sonic’s soft serve dairy-free?

Sonic offers non-dairy ice cream but does not include the soft serve. If you’re not particular about the soft serve, you can go for any of the non-dairy frozen treats available at Sonic.

Some of them include Sonic’s Arctic Rush Non-Dairy Swirl, Mocha Cappuccino Blast Freeze, and Lite Fruit Slush made with coconut milk. Mango Pineapple Veggie smoothie made with almond milk, fruits, and veggies.

Is Dole’s soft serve dairy-free?

Yes, it is. Dole offers a dairy-free, gluten-free, and fat-free soft serve that everyone can enjoy.

It is flavored with fruits like pineapple, strawberry, mango, lime, lemon, raspberry, cherry, orange, and raspberry, which makes it perfect for a vegan diet.

Is soft ice the same as ice cream?

No, it is not. Soft ice does not satisfy the FDA’s requirements to be called ice cream.

The FDA requires that a product must contain at least 10% milkfat before it can come under the classification of ice creams, but soft serve contains just 5%.

In addition, it is softer and less dense than ice cream. Although they are made with similar ingredients, ice cream is a hard frozen treat with less overrun than soft serve.

The soft serve dispenser keeps it frozen but not as hard as ice cream.  

soft serve in bowl - cheffist

Is soft ice the same as frozen yogurt?

Soft ice is almost like frozen yogurt.

They both contain lower amounts of milkfat compared to ice creams. Moreover, they both have the same amount of air which makes them soft.

In simple words, frozen yogurt is a non-standard soft serve made with yogurt and does not include cream.

Is soft serve healthy?

A soft serve is a delicious frozen dessert that you should eat in moderate amounts. The USDA says that ½ cup of vanilla soft serve contains:

  • 191 calories
  • 11.2g fat
  • 3.5g protein
  • 18.2g sugar
  • 19.1g carbohydrates
  • 0.6g fiber
  • 78.3mg cholesterol
  • 52.5mg sodium

The nutritional value varies with how much soft serve you eat and the type of flavorings.

How to make dairy-free soft serve

This recipe makes about 10 servings of soft serve. You can modify the flavor and add any toppings of your choice. However, consider your dietary needs when choosing your toppings.


  • 2 cans of full-fat coconut milk (15 oz. each)
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup of maple syrup
  • Toppings


  • Pour coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla into a blender
  • Then, blend on high speed until you have a smooth, thick mixture
  • Scrape down the sides and blend again
  • When you’re sure that it’s smooth enough, transfer it into a piping bag and freeze it for 30 to 45 minutes
  • Afterward, pipe the soft serve onto ice cream cones or into cups
  • Serve with toppings

Topping ideas for soft serve

  • Cherries
  • Caramel sauce
  • Whipped cream
  • Sprinkles
  • Chopped nuts
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Fresh fruits
  • Candies
  • Hot fudge
  • Oreo cookies
  • Peanut butter
  • Chocolate covered pretzels
  • Toasted marshmallow
  • Sour watermelon
  • Toasted almonds
  • Pop tarts


Does soft ice contain eggs?

Not all soft serve contain eggs.

The ingredients in soft serve vary with restaurants. Most restaurants do not add eggs to their recipe, while some do.

Is soft ice lactose-free?

If a soft serve is not dairy-free, it is not lactose-free and unsafe for lactose intolerance.

However, the lactose levels in dairy products vary, and some may contain small amounts that a lactose-intolerant system may tolerate. But, it is better to be careful and stay off the non-vegan soft serve.

Is soft ice gluten-free?

A large majority of soft serve is gluten-free because they don’t contain so many ingredients.

Also, they use fruit flavors that do not contain gluten. However, if you find a soft serve with cookie dough or cookie and cream as a topping, it is most likely not gluten-free.

Is soft serve vegan?

Not all soft serve is vegan. If you want a vegan soft serve, visit restaurants that sell dairy-free soft serve or make a vegan soft serve at home.

So, should you take soft serve?

Soft serve is not dairy-free. It contains 5% milk fat which is still not a good idea for your kids with a dairy allergy.

A Dairy Queen non-dairy frozen treat option for kids on a dairy-free diet is the non-dairy Dilly Bar.

If they must have a soft serve, take them to restaurants where they can get dairy-free soft serve. Better still, you can indulge in making a homemade dairy-free soft serve.

Thanks for reading.

Visit Cheffist to get vital information about the nutritional value of the meals at your favorite restaurants.