Is Cool Whip Vegan?

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Cool Whip is a highly popular pie topping, loved for its convenience and delicious flavor. When you simply do not have the time to whip up some cream, a can of Cool Whip in the refrigerator can be a lifesaver!

But, is Cool Whip vegan? Cool Whip contains skim milk as one of its main ingredients, which is a dairy product. It also contains casein, which is a protein that is derived from milk. This means that Cool Whip is not suitable for vegans.

Let’s take a deeper look into that delicious tub of Cool Whip and find out what whipped cream options are available if you are following a vegan diet!

What Is Cool Whip?

Cool Whip is one of those products which really should not taste as good as it does – definitely a guilty pleasure in many households!

This thick, creamy, light, fluffy miracle is an imitation whipped cream, loved by home bakers and chefs for its long shelf life and easy-to-use formula.

Cool Whip makes a great topping and ingredient for many desserts and sweets. It works perfectly in dishes where you want creamy topping which will not topple or slide off.

It even stays semi-solid at warm temperatures, unlike normal whipped cream.

Supplied in a handy tub which should be stored in the freezer, Cool Whip requires no preparation before use – simply pop in the refrigerator overnight and it is ready to use the following day.

Once thawed, Cool Whip will last for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Sounds pretty good so far, right? Well, let’s take a look at what Cool Whip is actually made from and figure out whether it is suitable for vegan diets.

What Is Cool Whip Made From?

Cool Whip is marketed as an imitation whipped cream.

Its manufacturers, Kraft, take pride in the fact that it can be frozen, defrosted, and refrigerated without altering the consistency – something you definitely could not do with whipped cream!

So, as you’ve already realized, Cool Whip isn’t made of whipped cream. It is actually a highly sweetened and emulsified mixture of fats suspended in water, held together by additives and preservatives.

Not quite as attractive as fresh whipped cream now, is it?!

These are the ingredients currently contained in Cool Whip:

  • Water
  • Hydrogenated vegetable oil (coconut & palm kernel oils)
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Skim milk
  • Less than 2% light cream
  • Sodium caseinate (emulsifier, derived from milk)
  • Natural and artificial flavor
  • Xanthan & guar gums (thickeners)
  • Polysorbate 60 (thickener)
  • Sorbitan monostearate
  • Sodium polyphosphate (emulsifier and preservative)
  • Beta carotene (color)

To sum it up, Cool Whip is a heavily processed substitute for whipped cream. It contains high levels of sugars, additives, and preservatives. Traditional whipped cream consists simply of whole cream, with sugar and flavors added to taste.

It is no big surprise that, like most processed foods, Cool Whip is not a particularly healthy choice. However, most indulgences are not good for you, but it would take a phenomenal amount of willpower to skip all of life’s pleasures!

Is Cool Whip Vegan?

There is actually an interesting little story behind Cool Whip and whether it is suitable for vegans or not!

When Cool Whip was originally designed, it was marketed as a dairy-free alternative to real whipped cream.

This product did not contain any milk, cream, or lactose, and the manufacturers were permitted to use the term non-dairy because of this.

This meant that many people believed that the original version of Cool Whip was suitable for vegans to eat.

Vegans do not eat anything animal-based, such as meat, eggs, butter, and other dairy products. Therefore, they do not eat milk or cream. It was widely assumed at the time that the dairy-free Cool Whip was suitable for vegans.

However, the original Cool Whip did contain casein, which is a milk-derived protein used as an emulsifier. This means that it was not suitable for vegans after all!

Fast forward to the modern-day – is the current version of Cool Whip suitable for vegans?

Well, in recent years the Cool Whip recipe has been adapted again, and it now contains both skim milk and light cream.

The modern-day version of Cool Whip no longer claims to be dairy-free, and it still also contains casein – that sneaky little milk-derived protein.

So, Cool Whip is not, and never has been, suitable for vegans!

Luckily, there are some other imitation whipped creams we can look at, to see if there are any truly vegan options available!

And if you are feeling very inspired, you can have a go at making your own vegan whipped topping – it is not as hard as you might think!

Are There Any Vegan Alternatives To Cool Whip?

Cool Whip might not be suitable for vegans, but luckily some very clever manufacturers have come up with some great vegan alternatives to whipped cream!

This means that if you are following a vegan diet you do not have to miss out on delicious desserts such as pumpkin pie topped with cream, a simple bowl of red berries, or an ice-cream sundae.

More and more brands are offering vegan dessert toppings, in response to rising demand from consumers for high-quality vegan substitutes.

These imitation whipped creams are all free from any ingredients of animal origin. This makes them perfect for vegans, and also suitable for people who are lactose-intolerant or following a dairy-free diet.

Top 5 Vegan Whipped Creams

Let’s take a look at five of the best vegan imitation cream toppings, and see why people love them so much:

1. So Delicious CocoWhip

CocoWhip is the vegan whipped topping that most closely resembles Cool Whip.

Sold frozen in a convenient tub, CocoWhip thaws into a light and fluffy whipped topping which will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.

Although it is made with coconut milk, CocoWhip does not have a strong coconut flavor and tastes more like vanilla. It is thick, sweet and creamy, and makes the perfect topping for desserts and cakes.

The only difference between the two is that CocoWhip does start to melt when placed on warm desserts, unlike Cool Whip.

But if you are looking for a vegan alternative to Cool Whip, then CocoWhip is pretty much as close as it gets!

2. Soyatoo Soy Whip

Soyatoo is a little bit different from Cool Whip, as it comes in either a pressurized can or a carton.

This cream substitute is perfect for home bakers, making great desserts such as cakes, mousses, sundaes, and pies. It also works perfectly as a cream topping for hot drinks such as coffee and hot chocolate.

Soyatoo Soy Whip is dairy-free, gluten-free, and lactose-free, but this does not detract from the flavor! Sweet, creamy, and rich, this cream substitute will bring a whole new element to your baking.

And, as an added bonus, all the ingredients in Soyatoo Soy Whip are organic as well!

If you are looking to avoid soy-based foods, then Soyatoo also makes a Rice Whip spray cream.

3. Silk Dairy-Free Heavy Whipping Cream Alternative

If you want to go dairy-free, then Silk Heavy Whipping Cream Alternative is a good option to try out. 

This product is not only free from milk but is also gluten-free, carb-free, and sugar-free! It is made without soy ingredients – perfect for soy-avoiders!

Just like real dairy cream, this whipping cream alternative does not contain any added sugar or sweeteners.

This means the taste is relatively neutral, and you may wish to add powdered sugar and vanilla essence if you are whipping it up for a dessert.

Because it is a liquid, this cream alternative can also be used as a pouring cream or added to coffee and hot chocolate.

4. Truwhip Vegan Whipped Topping

This vegan whipped cream alternative comes in a tub and is already whipped and ready to serve. Much like Cool Whip, it is stored in the freezer and thawed overnight in the refrigerator before use.

Truwhip make a range of different dessert toppings to suit a range of diets, so make sure you choose the one labeled as vegan if this is what you are looking for!

This is the teal-colored tub – the others all contain milk derivatives and are not suitable for vegans.

5. Gay Lea Real Coconut Whipped Cream

Another whipped cream substitute in a spray can, Gay Lea Real Coconut Cream is a delicious dairy-free topping that is suitable for vegans.

It is also soy-free, perfect if you’re trying to reduce the amount of soy in your diet.

Gay Lea Real Coconut Whipped Cream also has a long shelf-life if kept in the refrigerator, so you don’t have to rush to use it all up quickly once it has been opened.

Can You Make Vegan Cool Whip?

In this day and age, there is no need to miss out on the real treats in life if you’re following a vegan diet! You’ll be glad to hear that it is very simple to make your own homemade vegan version of Cool Whip.

The best part of this recipe is that it keeps well in the fridge for up to a week, so you can have some ready to go to pop on top of fresh summer berries or that sticky chocolate brownie you’ve been saving.

Follow this recipe to make the perfect imitation of the creamy, sweet, indulgent dessert topping we all know and love:

  1. Place an unopened can of coconut cream in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Carefully open the can without shaking it up.
  3. Scoop out the thick coconut cream from the top into a bowl, leaving any water behind.
  4. Slowly whip the cream with a blender until it is light, thick, and fluffy. It should look just like real whipped cream!
  5. For a sweetened cream, add in some vanilla essence and powdered sugar.
  6. Gently blend again until thoroughly mixed.
  7. Store in a covered container in the fridge for up to one week.

This vegan version of whipped cream is so simple to make, and makes a great dairy-free alternative to heavily processed Cool Whip!

Related Questions

Now that we’ve gone over whether or not Cool Whip is vegan and some alternatives to the sweet topping, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!

Is Cool Whip vegetarian and dairy-free?

Cool Whip does not contain any meat, fish or poultry, and is suitable for people following a vegetarian diet.

However, Cool Whip does contain milk and milk by-products and is not suitable for those following a dairy-free diet or a vegan diet.

Is Cool Whip gluten-free?

Yes, Cool Whip is gluten-free – happy days!

Cool Whip is not officially certified as gluten-free by the manufacturers, Kraft. However, there are no ingredients that contain gluten in Cool Whip products.

This means that Cool Whip products, including the flavored versions, are safe for people with gluten intolerances or celiac disease.

Cool Whip is not dairy-free, so if you are looking for a gluten-free and dairy-free whipped topping consider trying something like CocoWhip or Soyatoo Soy Whip.

Is Cool Whip keto-friendly?

Keto diets are hugely popular these days, with many people cutting down carbs or even omitting them from their diets altogether. Like all diets, it can be complicated to find out which foods are OK for you to eat.

So, if you’re wondering if Cool Whip is keto-friendly, the answer is…


Whether you consider Cool Whip to be keto-friendly depends on how strictly you are following this diet, and what your own personal ‘rules’ are.

Firstly, let’s talk about carbs. On paper, Cool Whip doesn’t look too bad – just 3 grams of carbs per serving of 2 tablespoons.

This is a relatively small portion of your daily carb limits, so it may be OK for people on a low carb or keto diet

But the real problem with Cool Whip if you are looking for a keto-friendly whipped cream topping is not the carb content, but the ingredient list. One of the main ingredients is high fructose corn syrup – basically, sugar!

As anyone following a keto-friendly diet will know, hidden sugars are the devil in disguise! They will send your blood sugar and insulin levels on a rollercoaster, making it hard to maintain ketosis.

So, theoretically, you could indulge in a serving of Cool Whip if you are on a keto-friendly diet. But if you fancy a treat then many other low-carb foods are less likely to mess with your blood sugar levels!

Is Cool Whip paleo-friendly?

People who follow the paleo diet aim to avoid processed foods and eat only whole foods.

Unfortunately, foodstuffs do not come much more processed than Cool Whip! This means that Cool Whip is not paleo-friendly.

If you are following a paleo diet and want a little treat, then it would be better to use full-fat whipped cream from grass-fed cattle rather than Cool Whip.

Is Cool Whip kosher?

According to OK Kosher Certification, Cool Whip is listed as Kosher Dairy.

Cool Whip contains small traces of dairy products. To be certified kosher, dairy products must meet the following criteria:

  • They must come from a kosher animal.
  • All ingredients must be kosher and free of meat derivatives such as gelatin. 
  • They must be produced, processed, and packaged on kosher equipment.

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