A Soy-Free Dessert: Ice Cream

Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!

One of the keys to safely eating soy-free is to identify foods that are likely to contain soy and avoid them. Different parts of a meal can be easier or harder to find soy-free options.  Main courses actually tend to be easier since they are often meat-based and meat (without any sauces or marinades) is soy-free.  By far, the most challenging part of a meal to find a soy-free option is dessert. It is very common for desserts to contain bread, butter, chocolate, and/or oils. These are four of the five places where you’ve really got to watch out for soy! (the only one missing is soy itself)

image via pixabay

image via pixabay

Making dessert yourself is one good option. Since you can control exactly what ingredients you use, homemade desserts can be a great way to avoid soy. Just be careful and make sure to read the ingredient labels. It is very common for things like homemade pie crust to contain soy (Crisco contains vegetable oil), and pre-made crust almost certainly contains soy. Homemade desserts can also be a great item to bring to a potluck. And that way there will definitely be a soy-free dessert option! If we are eating with people who don’t understand how to avoid soy, or who may not get it right, Ashley and I usually try to bring dessert. Since dessert tends to be pretty soy-heavy, it is comforting to know that we’ll be able to eat at least the dessert we brought.

But what if you can’t (or don't want to) make dessert yourself? Since our strategy for avoid soy is “when in doubt, avoid the food”, Ashley often has to forgo dessert. This is true both when eating at a friend’s house and eating out. A homemade pie is a no-go since the crust is likely to contain soy (a store-bought pie also usually contains soy in the crust), and a restaurant cheesecake often has soy in the graham cracker crust.

One common dessert that is almost always soy-free is... ice cream! Ice cream is a great option for a soy-free dessert, but you still need to be careful. Certain flavors do contain soy (chocolate chips and dough chunks in flavors like Mint Chocolate Chip or Cookie Dough often contain soy), but most flavors are safely soy-free.


Ice cream often comes with toppings or sauces. Before you use them, make sure that you check the ingredients! Chocolate sauce might contain soy, and we know that some sprinkles contain soy lecithin. (and anything dipped in chocolate will probably have soy.) We also suggest you get ice cream in a cup or bowl since the cones may contain soy.

While it isn’t guaranteed to be soy-free, choosing ice cream allows us to enjoy dessert in a variety of situations. Even when most dessert options contain soy and it is hard to verify that a dessert truly is soy-free, we can have a little soy-free treat at the end of our meal. Happy eating!