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Dairy-Free Girl Scout Cookies: Yes, They Do Exist!

Posted on by Alisa Fleming in Nutrition Headlines, Trending This Week with 25 Comments

No Dairy No Eggs Girl Scout CookiesUpdated for 2014! ~ Some of you may try to argue me (read on for the reason why), but yes, there actually are dairy-free Girl Scout cookies. In fact, these gems are labeled as egg-free and vegan too (with the exception of one flavor, see the notes below).

I know what you are thinking, “Sure, they have one measly tasteless wafer cookie, right?” Au contraire, this infamous cookie collection now has five cookie varieties that are made without milk or egg ingredients!

An email from my sister soliciting purchasers for my nieces’ girl scout troupe, peeked my curiosity and prompted me to do a little research (By the way, since when did Girl Scout Cookie season start as early as January?). For years I have been able to politely turn down those cute little requests to purchase cookies in front of the grocery store without a pang of guilt, but it seems my milk-free excuse might have run dry …

Vegan and Dairy-Free Girl Scout Cookies

The following Girl Scout cookie varieties are made without milk and egg ingredients (But read on after the list for some important information!):

  • Cranberry Citrus Crisps - “Crispy cookie, made with whole grain, full of tangy cranberry bits and zesty citrus flavor.” (contain wheat and soy; not sure why they aren’t labeled as vegan)
  • Peanut Butter Patties® – “Crispy vanilla cookies layered with real peanut butter and blanketed with a chocolaty coating” (vegan; contain wheat, soy and peanuts)
  • Thanks-a-Lot™ – “Heart-warming shortbread cookies dipped in rich fudge” (vegan; contain wheat and soy)
  • Lemonades™ – “Savory slices of shortbread with a refreshingly tangy lemon icing” (vegan; contain wheat and soy)
  • Thin Mints (Not All! See Note Below) – “The Girl Scout Cookie Sale’s number one seller” (vegan; contain wheat and soy)

To make room for the Cranberry Citrus Crisps in the dairy-free Girl Scout cookies 2014 line-up, the Mango Crèmes were discontinued. The Mango Crèmes replaced the short-lived Belgian-style Shout Outs!, which were discontinued in 2013. Note that the gluten-free cookie introduced in 2014 (Chocolate Chip Shortbread) does contain dairy ingredients.

Very Important Notes on the Dairy-Free Girl Scout Cookies:

Different Cookie Manufacturers!!!

There are two Girl Scout cookie manufacturers, both of which list the cookie ingredients on their websites. The above mentioned cookies are produced by ABC Smart Cookies (interestingly enough, the core corporation behind ABC Smart Cookies also runs a company called Norse Dairy Systems, frozen dairy dessert equipment and manufacturing, but that is another story).

The other manufacturer, Little Brownie Bakers, does not produce any Girl Scout cookies without milk ingredients – this includes the Thin Mints! Both companies produce Thin Mints, but only the ones manufactured by ABC Smart Cookies are made without dairy ingredients. Also, this is a relatively new development. All Thin Mints (by both companies) used to contain whey, but “a recent change removed whey from ABC’s Thin Mint cookies.”

Since my sister’s list of cookies available included all of the Little Brownie Bakers selection and none from ABC, this leads me to believe that the two companies split up who they supply to either by region or troupe. Sadly, this means your local troupe may not have ABC’s dairy-free Girl Scout cookies selection. If you absolutely must partake in the Girl Scout cookie frenzy, check places like Ebay – I did spot a few troupes selling them on Ebay (is that in the rules?). Also, I am not sure, but perhaps if your child is in a troupe you may be able to request who the cookies are ordered from or at least which cookies you would like them to sell; just a thought.

Cross-Contamination Potential

The above mentioned cookies, produced by ABC Smart Cookies, are certified kosher OU-D. They are made without milk ingredients, but the “D” typically means that they are processed on shared equipment with other milk-containing cookies (the producer notes that peanut cross-contamination is also a concern). If you are dealing with a severe milk allergy or intolerance (or if you are concerned about cross-contamination of ingredients during the manufacturing process for any reason), then you should certainly double check with the company to see if their processes are “safe” for your needs. Milk Allergy Mom weighed in on her own experience, but every person could be different.

There’s Always Homemade

As another option, you can bake your own Dairy-Free Girl Scout Cookies! Here are two delicious recipes from my kitchen:

Dairy-Free Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Healthy

Unfortunately these boxes of “American tradition” contain some not-so-traditional ingredients.  All of the varieties mentioned above contain hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and some sort of artificial ingredient. While I hesitate to actually recommend them from a health perspective, I do recognize the importance and symbolism of Girl Scout cookies for so many!

ABC Dairy-Free Girl Scout Cookies

About Alisa Fleming

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry. Follow me on Google+.

View all posts by Alisa Fleming →

Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living

25 Comments

  1. Milk Allergy MomFebruary 3, 2013 at 6:57 amReply

    Thanks, Alyssa. My husband just ordered more at work last week. ;) That explains why sometimes I see Thin Mints with milk and sometimes I don’t. Thanks for the clearing that up! :)

  2. ScottFebruary 11, 2013 at 12:13 pmReply

    Is there any way by looking at a box to be able to tell which Manufacturer it came from?
    I am lactose intolerant, and have been craving girl scout cookies, but I don’t want to risk a reaction. Thank for the informative post!

    • Alisa FlemingFebruary 11, 2013 at 7:46 pmReplyAuthor

      It should say on the box – but see the names above and on their website – they may differ.

  3. HeatherFebruary 23, 2013 at 8:06 amReply

    Thank you! Thank you for this post! My order just arrived. I didn’t think I would be able to try them but lo and behold I have ABC Bakers Peanut Butter Patties.

  4. TracyFebruary 28, 2013 at 10:37 amReply

    I believe it is by either state or region that they are divided by. I live in Iowa and when I questioned dairy in Girl Scout cookies, I was directed to the Girl Scouts of Iowa website where I found that we have the vegan Thin Mints. Not sure if all states have their own website, but it’s worth a look. And if you can’t pass up the display at the store, you can, of course, check the ingredient label.

  5. stephanieFebruary 28, 2013 at 12:59 pmReply

    I found out about the different bakers a few years ago. What I have done is calling the closest state with the correct baker and order them directly. They will ship them to you if you pay shipping. Nevada head office is who I have used, they are fantastic!

  6. KatieFebruary 28, 2013 at 6:05 pmReply

    Now, if only the girl scouts would get on the gluten free bandwagon already!

  7. MelanieFebruary 28, 2013 at 6:55 pmReply

    This is good news! A few cookies now and then won’t hurt, especially if you are exercising regularly. I never understood why the thin mint was a best seller. I’d rather have a mint chocolate (hard to find vegan, but not impossible). The other flavors sound great, so I’d probably have to try at least 2 or 3 boxes. I do dislike all the plastic packaging, however, so that might help me control my spending and consumption!

  8. EricaFebruary 28, 2013 at 8:13 pmReply

    Just FYI…I was looking at the ABC Smart Cookies website and the Mango Creams have “No trans fats, hydrogenated oils, or preservatives”. Which is great news cause I have them in my pantry…they taste great by the way! :)
    Here is the link if you want to check them out.
    http://www.abcsmartcookies.com/new-mango-cremes-with-nutrifusion%E2%84%A2

  9. Michelle WFebruary 28, 2013 at 8:33 pmReply

    Thank for this info! Now if they’d only make some or all of them vegan, gluten and soy free, a lot more would be sold!

  10. TraciMarch 1, 2013 at 5:15 amReply

    I am a Mother of a Girl Scout and a co leader for 2 years now. We live in MI and our state is split by which company bakes our cookies. I also know that our area switched bakers a few years back, and have done so several times in years past. Because of this I recommend asking/checking each year you order cookies. Better safe than sorry! :)

  11. Lynn DurillaMarch 1, 2013 at 7:11 amReply

    Is any girl scout cookie gluten and dairy free, or just gluten free?

    • Alisa FlemingMarch 1, 2013 at 7:22 amReplyAuthor

      No, they haven’t come out with a gluten-free cookie yet!

  12. Allison. BuchholzMarch 6, 2013 at 8:00 amReply

    Where can I buy them? My siblings are allgeric to milk and we heard of these cookies and we wondered where we can order some. This would make my siblings very happy to eat Girl Scout cookies

    • Alisa FlemingMarch 6, 2013 at 8:25 amReplyAuthor

      Allison, inquire with local troops to see if they carry the ABC cookies and see the comments on this post – other readers have some great suggestions!

  13. BarbaraMarch 11, 2013 at 12:44 pmReply

    Each girl scout council should have a website. The council in my region lists information for their cookies on the council website. It lists the nutrition information and ingredients for each type of cookie. It appears as if all of the cookies listed by my region’s council are not the ABC cookies. There are no dairy free cookies listed. So, I would think that individual troops probably have no say in where they order the cookies from. The whole council is most likely the same.

  14. Meatless Mondays: Girl Scout Cookies | Tranquil Space BlogApril 8, 2013 at 10:48 amReply

    [...] thinking, “What the heck Girl Scout cookies are vegan?” Well, there are actually a few. Check out this list. However, you know what’s not on the list? Tagalogs! Only my very favorite cookie combo of [...]

  15. Susan K.May 29, 2013 at 9:55 amReply

    While I know this discussion happened a couple of months ago, I thought I would add some info…

    Which bakery is used varies from council to council. In my state, there are two primary councils and a third council which is mostly in another state but covers a couple of towns in my state. My council uses ABC Smart Cookies (thankfully). The other primary council uses the other bakery.

    I can say that my dairy (and several other allergies including peanuts/tree nuts) has eaten the Thanks-A-Lot and Thin Mint cookies for the past few years and has had no issues.

    Also, I just wanted to add for the previous commenter – Tagalongs are on the list. They are known as Peanut Butter Patties from ABC Smart Cookies. :)

  16. Jeff P.January 11, 2014 at 5:31 pmReply

    This article is marginally out of date. According to information which I am fairly certain is correct (and am looking to verify (read a few months ago and looking for source), ALL thin mints are now dairy, regardless of the bakery.

    • Alisa FlemingJanuary 11, 2014 at 5:46 pmReplyAuthor

      Hi Jeff, according to both manufacturers websites, this information is still correct. I updated it last year, and the status/ingredients have not changed – at least they aren’t reporting a change as of yet.

  17. ChelseaJanuary 22, 2014 at 9:30 amReply

    I hate to burst your bubbles, but technically there aren’t any truly vegan Girl Scout cookies. They all contain sugar which is bone-char processed. I highly doubt the manufacturers would spend extra money just to buy vegan sugar.

  18. charleneMarch 4, 2014 at 3:13 pmReply

    I have heard this. I also looked at a box of thin mints and they labeled milk in it. I think this is very misleading and in very poor judgement that anyone especially girl scouts would promote otherwise!! You have been the only one that I have heard explain the situation. No matter what the situation is girl scouts should be 100% reliable for misleading and false advertisement! I will no longer buy girl scout cookies.

  19. Milk Allergy MomMarch 10, 2014 at 12:37 pmReply

    Only the lemon looked ok for us this year.

  20. DesireeMarch 26, 2014 at 10:37 amReply

    Doesn’t the chocolate covering on the pbp and hin mints have milk in it?

    • Alisa FlemingMarch 26, 2014 at 7:24 pmReplyAuthor

      Not with the ABC Cookies manufacturer. See the “Very Important Notes” section in the post for clarification.

      Chocolate is often dairy-free (particularly semi-sweet and dark)

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