Dairy-Free Cake Mixes from Duncan Hines


If you’re looking for a cake mix that is both egg-free and milk-free, look no further than your regular grocery stores. Lurking in the middle of the Betty Crocker and Pillsbury boxes are cake mixes from Duncan Hines that are dairy free!

I discovered this just recently after a tip given to me by a fellow mom. I’ve assumed that the regular cake mixes always contained milk and eggs, so I limited my search to health food stores. I also went the ‘from scratch’ route (and made some rather inedible cakes in the process!). But, finally, I went and looked very carefully at each box at the store, and found that there are some varieties of Duncan Hines that I can use for my allergic sons.

The instructions on these boxes do say to add eggs, but I use Ener-G Egg Replacer instead. I’ve tried the Moist Deluxe Lemon Supreme and Classic Yellow mixes, and both resulted in excellent cakes. There are even chocolate-flavored varieties that are egg- and milk-free. Just read the labels to find them!

In addition to the cake mixes, Duncan Hines also makes dairy-free frosting. I’ve used the French Vanilla Creamy Homestyle Frosting. It was a bit too sweet, but still pretty good.

I’ve been so happy to find a good cake mix that I can just whip up in a jiffy without worrying about allergens! Whoohoo! Thank you, Duncan Hines!

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    • J gray

      Thanks so much! I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to make my sons 1st birthday cake due to an extreme milk allergy. So excited now!

    • http://www.keepingthecastle.com/ Maricar

      Hi J gray, I’m happy to help! I’ve been there. I wish I’d known about Duncan Hines cakes when my son was 1. :)

    • Sharon

      Thanks Maricar, I’m going to make an Elmo birthday cake from my daugters second birthday party this friday using your idea, and ener-g egg replacer instead of real eggs. And i think i might also make cupcakes with melted carob chips mixed with a little rice milk to ice the cup cakes!

    • Jessica

      Thank you so much for this, my son is allergic to the protein in milk and was hospitalized before he was two. I have been endlessly working on homemade and other remedies to not exclude him on his bday, even gingerbread but this is wonderful! Thank you so much for this simple but hard to find – find!!!

    • Caroline

      PLEASE beware… in the past, Duncan Hines has added milk into the mixes and then taken it back out. I called them and really never learned why. Please be sure to read the labels EVERY time. The mixes are truly wonderful for those of us who can’t have certain ingredients. Enjoy them while you can… just be aware that ingredients may change again.

    • http://www.keepingthecastle.com/ Maricar

      Thanks for the reminder, Caroline. I always check all food labels, even those I’ve bought previously. I hope Duncan Hines don’t change their ingredients.

    • Kristy Hite

      I have a Pilsbury cake mix that may be milk free. It has monocalcium phosphate and dicalcium phosphate. Are these derived from milk? Is there a good resource available to see all the weird names milk may be disguised as?

    • http://www.keepingthecastle.com/ Maricar

      Hi Kristy,

      You can check this list for milk-based ingredients:

      I always carry a small card that has the items to avoid for milk allergies. The list above can be printed out.

    • AJ

      Do you know if JELLO Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix is dairy free/non-dairy

    • http://www.keepingthecastle.com/ Maricar

      Hi AJ, Unfortunately I can’t tell you that since I don’t know what’s listed in the ingredients. I will try to check on that next time I’m at the grocery store.

    • Melanie

      My daugher will be two this month and she is very lactose intolerant. Took us a few months to diagnose…but at least now we have her diarrhea under control. Thank God for Lactose free products. I know the fun of checking every label and making sure she doesn’t get half of what my older daughter gets. Its so sad, but it’s better for her health. Thanks for the post so I can make her a dairy free cake for her birthday!

    • http://www.keepingthecastle.com/ Maricar

      Hi Melanie, I’m glad I can help. Please still remember to check on the labels of the cake mixes. Sometimes, manufacturers change their ingredients. I wish your daughter a happy birthday!

    • Kristy Hite

      Thanks again for your helpful information! I’m now sharing your site and information to some of the people on Cake Central. It came at a time where other people were asking about diary free/vegan cakes too. From there I learned about a great cookbook (haven’t tried yet, but has rave reviews) Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. Hope this helps someone!

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    • http://www.keepingthecastle.com/ Maricar

      Hi Kristy, thanks for that! I’ll check out that book.

    • Jessica

      Does anyone know of any dairy-free icings, even homemade? Thanx.

    • http://modernmommyhood.blogspot.com Rachel

      I am so glad to find you! I just found out today that my 11-month old still has a milk allergy and I was worried about what to do for her birthday. Thank you also for the link to the milk-based ingredients. I am so grateful!

    • http://www.keepingthecastle.com/ Maricar

      Hi Jessica, I’ve used one of the icing mixes from Duncan Hines, the French Vanilla Creamy Homestyle Frosting. I’ve also made icing from scratch using the Wilton recipe. I just substituted soy margarine for butter.

    • http://www.keepingthecastle.com/ Maricar

      Hi Rachel, you’re welcome. I’m really glad to be able to help others who have these same allergies.

    • Kristy Hite

      The Wilton recipe for decorators icing calls for all Crisco (no butter) and water can be used for the few tablespoons of liquid needed. Is cocoa dairy free? If so, you could even make their chocolate recipe dairy free. I like the idea of using soy butter vs Crisco. It’s got to be healthier! I recently learned that something in the bleaching/processing makes sugar non-Vegan. Are there brands of Vegan sugar out there somewhere?

    • Melanie N

      I am so glad I came accross this website….after 16 years of being able to provide my son with a birthday cake this year was going to be the first year he would have to miss out….but not anymore I was so excited to text him….chocolate or yellow!

    • Kim

      My neice has milk, egg, nut allergies and I’m always looking for fun things to make. You can make your cake using the DH cake mix and a can of soda – that’s it! I’ve used Cool Whip as a topping, also made it into a Jello cake by poking holes and pouring a jello (not pudding) flavor over the top. You can do cobbler by mixing a pie filling and can of fruit (cherry/pear or pineapple) in a 9×13, then pour the dry cakemix over the top. Layer Fleischman’s no salt stick butter (soy) over the top and bake till browned. I’ve made rice crispie treats (reg, fruity & choco) with marshmallows and the Fleischman’s butter. These are great to let them cut with cookie cutters. Next treat – baking the cake in icecream cones and topping with icing! There are a lot of options now, just gotta be creative. Good luck!

      • sandi

        Doesn’t Cool Whio have dairy in it?

    • http://www.keepingthecastle.com/ Maricar

      Hi Melanie, did your son just recently develop allergies?

      Hi Kim, thanks for those tips! Someone else has told me about the soda and cake mix, but I haven’t tried it. I think I will, now that you mention it. Doesn’t Cool Whip have a milk ingredient?

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    • http://keepingthecastle darlene

      if you want to make a yellow cake with the soda…..what kind of soda do you use?

    • http://www.keepingthecastle.com/ Maricar

      Darlene, I’d use a clear soda like Sprite or 7-up.

    • http://keepingthecastle darlene

      Do you bake the pop receipe as you would on the box?

    • Monique


      Thank you so.. much for the Duncan Hines cake mix information. My son is turning two this January. I have been searching for an egg and milk free cake mix.


    • Carrie

      I am so domestically challenged & just recently developed a soy & egg allergy (at 40yrs. old)…can someone explain how to exactly make the soda DH’s cake?

    • Laura

      Has anyone had issue with using EnerG egg replacer and the Duncan Hines mixes? I have two sons with allergies including egg and milk. My cakes have been falling apart when using the EnerG egg replacers for 3 eggs. I am thinking about reducing the egg replacer but was wondering if anyone had a similar issue.

    • Sue

      Hi. My son, now 2.5 has a milk/dairy allergy. His gastro Dr. gave me a list of “hidden” milk products, by/products, i.e. caramel color, lactate, hydrolysates… I’ve read the labes on cake mixes, don’t recall if Duncan Hines was one of them, but none of them were truly dairy free and/or made the statement “processed in a facility that also produces products with milk”. I’ve never given my son anything that may be dairy free in the indredient, but contains that statement. I’m curious about anyone else? Tks, Sue

    • Krista

      I have also found that Ducan Hines classic chocolate frosting and their fudge brownie mix is also milk-free (derivatives included).

    • Jenn

      Is the cake mix a special Duncan Hines cake mix or is it the regular one? My friend has a son with dairy, egg and nut allergies and she’s baking him a birthday cake this weekend and came across your post.

      • roselea

        They are regular cake mixes.I am severely allergic to milk and found that the duncan heinz cakes are great. there are only a few that dont have milk in them like the classic yellow and the spice i know for sure dont.

    • Louise

      Thank you for the information. I am making my son a 1st birthday a DF cake in 2 weeks! Can you tell me where I can find the egg replacemet you mentioned? I don’t know for sure if he’s allergic to eggs but I don’t want to test it out on his birthday and I have never came across an egg replacement before. Is it something you can find in a regular supermarket?

    • Farrah

      My son is allergic to milk. I am always looking for new receipes. Please becareful when looking for box cake mixes. Some do not contain milk but are processed in a facilty that process milk.

    • dhruv patel

      we want the Dairy-Free Cake Mixes from Duncan Hines

    • mollyjo

      I have a daughter that is allergic to milk. She LOVES it but unfortunately it doesn’t love her. Duncan Heinz cake mixes are just about the only ones she can have. We use the Classic Yellow and Spice cake mixes the most but she can also have the Devils Food cake. Off the Duncan Heinz topic, she can have Pillsbury Whipped Vanillia Icing…I recentyl descoved this and let me just say it beats the heck out of having to make vanillia icing from scratch ALL THE TIME.

    • mollyjo

      My daughter can’t have cool whip

    • Kara

      yes, cool whip HAS DAIRY in it and is NOT SAFE for a milk allergic kid!!!

      I’ve never tried it but instead of eggs you can use a can of 7-up and I hear it works well.

      I use a home made cake that doesn’t have milk/eggs that I found at http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.com tastes SO good!

      Thanks for the info about DH cakes!!

    • Anita S.

      Yes, Cool Whip has dairy. There is an alternative product called TruWhip, which has no dairy.

    • Guy

      My girlfriend is lactose intolerant and i wanted to surprise her with Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Devil’s Food Cake. Does it contain any Lactose in it?

    • Rebecca

      I’m SOOOOO glad we found this. DSD has her birthday party tomorrow and one of our nieces is lactose intolerant, so this has been EXTREMELY helpful!

    • Laura

      Thank you soo much!!! We just discovered that my toddler has a severe milk allergy!!! We can still have an awesome easy birthday cake thank to this info!!! You made my day!!!

    • Ashley Salter

      I recently found this cake and pillsbury whipped supremem vanilla frosting that is also dairy free!! My son has a milk allergy. I have made a facebook page called @Milk Allergy Awareness. Please some like us today and share your stories and recipes for Dairy free living.

    • Amy

      Just to be clear, these mixes are not NUT free. I have yet to find a “normal” mix that is both nut and dairy free. There are warnings for nut on DH and dairy on Betty Crocker.