Is There Milk in Tootsie Rolls?

Written by: Kelly Donovan

It’s common to wonder if baked goods like cakes and cookies contain milk, especially if your diet restricts you from eating dairy.

But if you’re a fan of sweets like candy, you may also wonder, is there milk in Tootsie Rolls?

Tootsie Rolls do contain some milk, including condensed skim milk and whey. However, there are ways to make vegan and/or lactose-free Tootsie Rolls at home.

This article will teach you about the milk and other dairy content found in the classic chewy candy.

We’ll also cover how you can alter the recipe for a do-it-yourself vegan or dairy-free Tootsie Roll at home. Without further ado, let’s get into the specifics!

Is There Milk In Tootsie Rolls?

According to Tootsie Roll Industries, the popular chocolate chew candies are free of most food allergens, but they are not free of milk or soy. The ingredients list includes the following:

  • Corn syrup
  • Palm oil
  • Sugar
  • Cocoa
  • Whey
  • Condensed skim milk
  • Soy lecithin
  • Artificial flavors
  • Natural flavors

Two of the above ingredients—whey and condensed skim milk—are milk products.

Whey is commonly known as a source of dietary protein, but you may not be aware that it’s derived from milk.

bowl of tootsie rolls

Is There Dairy In Tootsie Rolls?

Since the Tootsie Roll recipe includes both whey and condensed skim milk, the candy inherently contains some dairy.

This sadly means that if you’re on a plant-based diet or dairy-free diet, you can’t enjoy these treats as they are sold.

Homemade Milk-Free Tootsie Rolls

Fortunately, you can create a dairy-free version of the classic Tootsie Roll at home with some basic ingredient substitutions.

A simple recipe involves the following ingredients:

  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Corn syrup
  • Salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Pure cocoa powder (so that it doesn’t have dairy added)
  • Cooking spray
  • Powdered sugar

It involves boiling some of the ingredients, just as you would with fudge, then adding in the cocoa powder and vanilla.

At that point, you roll the candy into shapes, as the name implies.

And voila, you have a naturally dairy-free alternative to store-bought Tootsie Rolls.

Additionally, if you want to keep milk on the ingredients list, you can substitute dairy for a plant-based milk option.

For my visual-learners, here's a healthy tootsie roll recipe that's gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free!

Are There Vegan Tootsie Rolls?

Conveniently, the vegan or plant-based alternative to store-bought Tootsie Rolls involves the same ingredients as the dairy-free alternative.

You can follow the above recipe, or a similar one, to achieve candy that’s safe for vegans to consume.

Just ensure that your ingredients are sourced from companies that value plant-based and sustainable practices.

Final Thoughts

Have you been wondering “is there milk in Tootsie Rolls?”

Now that you know Tootsie Rolls contain milk and whey, you can safely avoid the store-bought candy.

In their absence, you can always make a simple at-home Tootsie Roll variation that excludes the use of dairy entirely or one that substitutes milk with plant-based milk.

About the Author

Kelly Donovan is a freelance writer. She enjoys helping people reach their wellness goals by educating them about how food plays a role in their health.