I had so much fun sharing some of my family’s favorite last-minute gift ideas last year that I decided to write up another list. These gift basket ideas are great for most households, including dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan families. You might even want several of the items for yourself!
Dairy-Free Gift Basket Ideas That You Will Want for Yourself
Editor’s Note: Sarah’s ideas truly inspired me! So with each gift basket collection below I’ve included an idea or two of my own. ~ Alisa Fleming
For bakers of sweet treats, pack a gift bag with fancy items they might not buy for themselves. We love LorAnn Oils Super Strength Cream Cheese Icing Flavor. Just add two drops of cream cheese flavor instead of vanilla extract to turn dairy-free vanilla frosting into dairy-free cream cheese frosting. It is very strong; one ounce lasts a long time!
All of the “Super Strength” LorAnn Oils specifically are dairy-free, nut-free, and gluten-free. You can bundle the Cream Cheese Icing Flavor with more fun Super Strength flavors like Cheesecake, Butter Rum, Cake Batter, and Butterscotch.
For another unique addition, King Arthur carries kosher pareve Cinnamon Sweet Bits. These can be a great substitute for cinnamon chips, which typically contain dairy.
My mom likes to give Tad, Dash, Pinch, Smidgen, Drop Measuring Spoons to beginning bakers to help them understand what those amounts are when called for in recipes. They’re so cute! Tie a set of them to the top of a box or bag of these baking ingredients to complete the theme.
Alisa’s Addition: Every baker needs a beautiful stand to display their fresh baked goodies, and I’m in love with this La Jolie Muse Bunny Cupcake / Cookie Stand. It’s excellent quality, adorable, and fits perfectly with Sarah’s baking gift ideas.
Tea Time Trio
My family drinks a lot of herbal tea, even in the summer. When we were on vacation, we made great use of my aunt’s electric kettle. I asked for, and received, one for my birthday. I use it for tea, Scott uses it for French press coffee, and the kids use it for herbal tea and dairy-free hot chocolate mix. While pretty stainless steel electric kettles exist, I chose this one to make it safer for the kids to handle.
Alisa’s Addition: For a unique and cute supplement to this tea lover’s gift basket, I can’t resist these Tilevo Dinosaur Tea Infusers.
DIY Coffeehouse Basket
My daughter received a milk frother for a birthday present so she can make fancy dairy-free coffee drinks at home. Her favorite dairy-free creamer is So Delicious Dairy Free Barista Style French Vanilla Creamer, which is made to be used with a milk frother. Instructions are included on the box, and it froths up incredibly well!
The creamer is shelf stable, so it is perfect to wrap up with the milk frother and a jar of my favorite DeLallo Instant Espresso Powder. We also like having Vanilla Powder on hand for use in homemade drinks. It is definitely a specialty item that’s fun to give as a gift.
Alisa’s Addition: You can also pair this gift set with some Irish Coffee Mugs to complete the coffee shop experience.
Play With Food
If you have a very young chef on your gift list, a basket or crate of wooden food items is always a favorite. My kids especially enjoyed the interactive play foods you can cut or decorate, like these cookies and cupcakes. Last year I gave one of my nephews a wooden coffee maker so he could be just like his mom and dad.
Years ago, Scott ordered some dehydrated sourdough starter, brought it back to life, and it is still going strong today. He’s shared it with several family members, and we use it all the time. If someone you know is interested in sourdough baking, give them some starter and a sourdough crock. You can order dehydrated starter so they don’t have to begin caring for it right away. Gluten-free sourdough starter is available, too!
In addition to sourdough, Scott also makes kimchi, sauerkraut, and he’s recently started making his own water kefir and kombucha. The water kefir is dairy-free, unlike milk kefir, and is faster and simpler to make than kombucha. It’s a great soda or juice replacement, with the added benefit of probiotics. My sister started making it, too, and we’ve had fun coming up with different flavors using various 100% juices and ginger. Homemade kombucha takes longer to ferment and can be a bit more finicky. But it’s still a great gift for the experimental chef on your list.
Alisa’s Addition: Fermented: A Beginner’s Guide to Making Your Own Sourdough, Yogurt, Sauerkraut, Kefir, Kimchi and More is a nice hardcover book to pair with either of these gift sets. Although it isn’t completely dairy-free, it offers all the guidance needed!
On the Go Family Kit
This past spring, Scott and I chaperoned the high school marching band’s trip to Disney World. We left the hotel every day at 8am and didn’t return until late at night. We were expected to keep up with our groups of students during the day, and I knew our phone batteries wouldn’t last. I read lots of reviews and ended up purchasing this Anker PowerCore Battery. It was able to fully charge both of our phones each day with power to spare. It’s a great gift idea for food allergy parents, food bloggers, people who travel for work, teens, college students, or anyone else you can think of. We use it all the time, even when we aren’t traveling. It’s gotten wet and is still going strong.
Another travel item I love is the FRIO insulin cooling case that you can buy in their favorite color. It’s advertised as an insulin carrier, but it works well for EpiPens, too. It is very convenient for trips because it doesn’t require a freezer or refrigerator to keep it cool–just cold water.
Snacks are a must on the road, and dairy-free desserts have traditionally been the hardest thing for us to find on a school trip. I like to bring individual bags of Chocolate No-Nos and Chocolate Mini Peanot Cups along as treats for my daughter and her friends to share. Add them to this travel gift set for something fun to enjoy now and later.
Alisa’s Addition: These adorable Fit & Fresh Coolers are whimsical and practical for keeping that dairy-free chocolate from melting while running about. They have several designs to choose from, and are so darn cute, even grown-ups love them.
Dairy-Free Cookbook Set
Don’t tell, but my mom plans to buy Go Dairy Free and/or Eat Dairy Free for all of her relatives. Both of her daughters have recipes in the new 2nd Edition of Go Dairy Free and one of her daughters helped test the recipes for Eat Dairy Free, and she is very proud. They are great books to give as gifts, even if you don’t have a relative who helped with them.
Alisa’s Addition: I love this! And for a fun gift set, pair the books with a nut milk bag (can be used for nut-free too!) and cheesecloth. They’re inexpensive items to jump start the recipient into homemade dairy-free “milks” and “cheeses.” These Country Milk Jars are also a lovely compliment.
Instant Pot Essentials
Thanks to Black Friday sales, I think Santa is bringing me an Instant Pot this year. My sister has one and after trying rice she cooked in it, I am a convert. I wouldn’t mind replacing our rice cooker and pressure cooker with one item. I think I’ll still hang on to my slow cooker, though! Black Friday is over, but keep an eye out for other deals this month.
Alisa’s Addition: If your recipient is already an Instant Pot addict, then these Instant Pot Accessories will be treasured. And don’t forget a cookbook! We are fans of The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot and The Fresh and Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook.
Holiday Cookie Tradition
I grew up with two Italian neighbors, both of whom were fabulous cooks. One of my favorite Christmas cookies is the pizzelle. Both of the women I knew used stove top pizelle irons to make beautiful cookies. My wish is for an electric pizzelle iron to make my own dairy-free pizzelles. Someday!
Alisa’s Addition: Complete the dairy-free gift basket and inspire them with this delicious collection of kosher pareve Reko Pizzelle Cookies. If your recipient is gluten-free, start them off with this wonderful Gluten-Free Pizzelle Mix.
Indoor Gardener’s Gift
I was watching The Great British Baking Show the other night, and I noticed one of the contestants using herb cutting scissors. How cool! It’s perfect for chives from my herb “garden.” You can nestle them in a nice little herb pot with a collection of sustainable herb seeds.
Alisa’s Addition: Add The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs to this gift basket – it’s every home cook’s resource for naturally dairy-free flavor.