Negotiating the biscuit aisle of your local supermarket as a vegan can be a bit of a minefield. But luckily, British vegans needn’t miss out on enjoying a biscuit with their cup of tea, as there are lots of accidentally vegan biscuits to choose from.
Whilst some simple biscuits like Rich Tea are generally always vegan, with other kinds of biscuits it depends on the brand as to whether animal ingredients such as milk are included or not.
Before we get into the full list of accidentally vegan biscuits, there are a few things you should know…
Some of the biscuits in this list contain palm oil, which may or may not be sustainably sourced. Some vegans choose to avoid palm oil that hasn’t been certified as sustainable because its production destroys the habitats of animals.
Some of the biscuits in this list are made in factories that use milk or eggs in other products. Potential cross-contamination in this way is acceptable to most vegans, but these products are not able to be marked as ‘suitable for vegans’ on the packaging and may not be suitable for people with allergies.
‘Free From’ brands
There are many ‘Free From’ brands which are dairy-free and therefore vegan. However, this list looks only at accidentally vegan biscuits, so these aren’t included here.
List of accidentally vegan biscuits
Phew. Now all that’s out of the way, let’s dive straight into the list of which biscuits are vegan in the UK and which have animal ingredients like milk and eggs.
Lotus Biscoff Original cookies are suitable for vegans. Lotus Biscoff Sandwich biscuits are also vegan in the vanilla flavour and the Biscoff cream flavour. However, the milk chocolate flavour Biscoff Sandwich biscuits are not vegan as they do contain milk.
Are Bourbons vegan?
Bourbon biscuits are usually vegan-friendly as, despite being chocolate-flavoured, they do not contain milk. However, some brands such as Fox’s Bourbon Creams do contain milk, so it’s wise to always read the ingredients before helping yourself to a Bourbon.
Most brands of Bourbon biscuits are accidentally vegan including:
- Asda Bourbon Biscuits
- Crawford’s Bourbon Creams
- Lidl Tower Gate Bourbon Creams
- McVitie’s Bourbon Creams
- Morrisons Bourbon Creams
- Sainsbury’s Bourbon Creams
- Tesco Bourbon Creams
- Waitrose Essential Bourbon Creams
The following brands of Bourbon biscuits contain milk:
- Fox’s Bourbon Creams
- Schar Gluten-Free Bourbon Biscuits
Chocolate chip cookies
Most brands of chocolate chip cookies are not suitable for vegans as they contain milk, either in the chocolate chips or in the cookie dough. However, sugar-free chocolate chip cookies are sometimes accidentally vegan.
Are Maryland cookies vegan?
Most Maryland cookies are not suitable for vegans as they contain milk. However, Maryland sugar-free chocolate chip cookies are vegan-friendly as they do not contain any animal-derived ingredients.
These chocolate chip cookies are suitable for vegans:
- Fox’s Cookie Minis
- Gullon Sugar-Free Choco Chip Cookies
- Maryland Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
- McVitie’s Choc Chip Hobnobs
- Siro Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Zeroh! Sugar-Free Choc Chip Cookies
Fox’s Biscuits used to make some fantastic vegan ‘Chunkie Dark Chocolate Cookies’ and Tesco had a tub of chocolate chip cookie bites which were suitable for vegans, but sadly these products have been discontinued.
Are custard creams vegan?
Unfortunately for vegans, custard creams almost always contain whey powder which is made from cows’ milk so they are not suitable for vegans. However, Hill Digestive Creams are just like custard creams and are suitable for vegans. You can get them from Home Bargains for 39p per pack.
Are digestives vegan?
Around 50% of digestive biscuit brands in the UK are suitable for vegans. The other 50% contain milk. Most vegan digestive biscuits are plain, but it is possible to find vegan chocolate digestives in Tesco.
These brands of digestive biscuits are vegan:
- Asda Digestive Biscuits
- Lovett’s Digestive Biscuits (Sainsbury’s value brand)
- McVitie’s Digestives Lights
- Ms Molly’s Digestives (Tesco’s value brand)
- M&S Digestives
- Siro Sugar Free Digestive Biscuits
These brands of digestive biscuits are not vegan:
- Jacobs Hovis Digestive Biscuits
- McVitie’s Digestives
- Morrisons Digestives
- Sainsbury’s Digestives
- Tesco Digestives
Most chocolate and dark chocolate digestives are not suitable for vegans. However, if you like your digestive biscuits with chocolate then look out for these vegan versions:
- McVitie’s Digestives Twists – Chocolate Chip & Caramel
- McVitie’s Digestives Twists – Chocolate Chip & Coconut
- Rakusen’s Dark Chocolate Digestives
- Tesco Dark Chocolate Digestives
Are fig rolls vegan?
Some vegans choose to avoid fig rolls as figs sometimes contain the bodies of dead wasps that crawl inside and are unable to escape. In reality, most commercially-produced figs do not contain wasps. However, figs aren’t the only possibly non-vegan ingredient in fig rolls, as some brands of fig rolls also contain cows’ milk.
If you’re undecided about whether you believe that figs can be part of a vegan diet or not, you can read more about figs here to make up your own mind.
These brands of fig rolls are suitable for vegans (if you’re okay with eating figs):
- Bolands fig rolls
- Jacob’s fig rolls
- McVitie’s fig rolls
These brands of fig rolls are not suitable for vegans as they contain milk:
- Asda fig rolls
- Sainsbury’s fig rolls
- Tesco fig rolls
Are fruit shortcake biscuits vegan?
Fruit shortcakes are generally always suitable for vegans as they do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. Vegan fruit shortcake brands include McVitie’s and supermarket’s own brands.
Are ginger biscuits vegan?
Ginger biscuits are almost always suitable for vegans. This includes McVitie’s Ginger Nuts, supermarket’s own brand ginger biscuits and most other types of stem ginger oat biscuits and cookies.
However, vegans should avoid Fox’s Ginger Crunch Creams as those contain milk, as do almost all ginger biscuits that have chocolate on.
Burton’s Jammie Dodgers have been suitable for vegans since July 2020 when the recipe was changed to remove the milk. However, supermarket own brand jam sandwich creams are generally not suitable for vegans.
Read more: Are Jammie Dodgers vegan?
McVitie’s Hobnobs are suitable for vegans, as are most supermarket own-brand versions. These often go by names such as Oatie Crumbles, Oat Nobblies and Oaty Rounds.
If you like chocolate Hobnobs then you should be aware that McVitie’s dark chocolate Hobnobs, unfortunately, contain milk. However, McVitie’s chocolate chip Hobnobs do not, making them suitable for vegans.
Whether you pronounce ‘Nice’ like the name of the French city or like the ‘nice’ biscuits that they are, the ingredients in these popular treats can be hit and miss.
Are Nice biscuits vegan?
Some brands of Nice biscuits are suitable for vegans, but others contain milk. Nice biscuits are vegan-friendly about 50% of the time, so it’s important to always read the ingredients before you tuck in.
These Nice biscuits are vegan friendly:
- Asda Nice biscuits
- Crawford’s Nice biscuits
- McVitie’s Nice biscuits
- Rakusen’s Nice biscuits
- Sainsbury’s Nice biscuits
- Waitrose Essential Nice biscuits
These Nice biscuits are not suitable for vegans:
- Morrisons Nice biscuits
- M&S Nice biscuits
- Tesco Nice biscuits
Are Oreo’s vegan?
Most varieties of Oreo cookies are suitable for vegans as they do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. However, those that are dipped in chocolate or have ice cream inside will not be vegan-friendly.
Are Party Rings vegan?
Fox’s Party Rings have been suitable for vegans since 2014 when they removed all animal-derived ingredients from the recipe. Mini Party Rings are also vegan-friendly.
Are pink wafers vegan?
Some brands of pink wafer biscuits are suitable for vegans, but others contain milk. Those looking for vegan-friendly pink wafers should choose Crawford’s Pink Wafers (which are available to buy in Waitrose, Ocado and Amazon) or Asda’s own brand of pink wafers.
These brands of pink wafers are suitable for vegans:
- Asda Pink Wafers
- Crawford’s Pink Wafers
These brands of pink wafers are not suitable:
- Caxton Pink & White Wafers
- Pink Panther Wafers
Are Rich Tea biscuits vegan?
Rich Tea biscuits are the quintessentially British biscuit to dip into a cup of tea and the great news is that they’re suitable for vegans. This applies to McVitie’s Rich Tea biscuits as well as all the major supermarket’s own brands.
There are lots of accidentally vegan biscuits for UK biscuit lovers to enjoy. When you check the packaging, if your favourite biscuit isn’t suitable for vegans, it may well be that another brand of the same biscuit doesn’t use the same animal-derived ingredients.
As a vegan, I find that it’s good to shop in a different supermarket each week. That way I’m able to buy most of the things that I like. Over time, you’ll remember which supermarkets are good for which things.
Suggested read: The best supermarkets for vegan food