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Maltesers are a light and airy biscuits balls covered in chocolate. Manufactured by Mars, they are one of the most popular chocolate treats in the UK.
Maltesers are not suitable for vegans as they contain milk. They are, however, suitable for those following a vegetarian diet. Maltesers contain palm oil, which some people choose to avoid because of links with deforestation.
So what’s a vegan to do? Surely new vegans can’t be expected to commit to a life without Maltesers? Fear not, vegan Maltesers alternatives are available. And if you like baking, I’ll also share the recipe for making your own vegan Maltesers.
Maltesers ingredients (UK):
Sugar, Skimmed Milk Powder, Cocoa Butter, Glucose Syrup, Barley Malt Extract, Cocoa Mass, Palm Fat, Lactose and Protein from Whey (from Milk), Whey Powder (from Milk), Milk Fat, Emulsifiers (Soya Lecithin, E492), Wheat Flour, Palm Kernel Fat, Palm Kernel Oil, Raising Agents (E341, E500, E501), Wheat Gluten, Salt, Glazing Agent (Pectin), Natural Vanilla Extract
Are dark chocolate Maltesers vegan?
In some countries, such as Australia, dark chocolate Maltesers are available. As these malted biscuit balls are covered in dark chocolate, rather than milk chocolate, you might think that dark chocolate Maltesers could be suitable for vegans.
Unfortunately, dark chocolate Maltesers are not suitable for vegans as, just like regular Maltesers, they contain milk solids.
Dark chocolate Maltesers ingredients (Australia):
Sugar, Cocoa Mass, Milk Solids, Glucose Syrup (Sources Include Wheat), Barley Malt Extract, Vegetable Fat, Cocoa Butter, Emulsifiers (Soy Lecithin, 492), Wheat Gluten, Raising Agents (501, 500), Salt, Natural Flavour (Vanilla Extract), Pectin.
Can you get vegan Maltesers?
Currently, Mars does not make any vegan or dairy-free Maltesers. If you’re craving Maltesers but don’t want to consume non-human animal milk, then your choices at the moment are to try a vegan alternative to Maltesers or to make your own vegan-friendly homemade Maltesers.
Sign the petition
If you want to help the cause and encourage Mars to create a vegan version of your favourite chocolate biscuit balls, then there’s a petition online to ask them to do just that. You can sign the petition here.
Vegan alternatives to Maltesers
In January 2020, UK health food chain Holland & Barrett launched a vegan alternative to Maltesers in 790 of its stores as well as online. The crunchy dark chocolate balls are called ‘Ballers’ and are made by Doisy and Dam.
Also available from the vegan confectionary brand are brightly-coloured, sugar-coated ‘D&Ds’ which are a vegan version of M&Ms and ‘Buttons’ which are similar to Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons.
As well as being dairy-free, Doisy and Dam’s Ballers are free of palm oil (unlike Maltesers) and also promise a fair deal for cocoa farmers.
Look out for Doisy and Dam’s Ballers in selected branches of Holland & Barrett, Boots, Sainsbury’s and Whole Foods Market. You can also buy Ballers on Amazon.
Gnawbles are crispy protein nibbles that are available in four flavours – Salted Caramel, Dark Chocolate Orange, Creamy Mylk and Cheeky Choc HazelNOT. The nearest one to Maltesers would be the Creamy Mylk.
These chocolate covered balls are free from most allergens, including dairy, gluten, wheat and nuts. They’re also vegan, free from palm oil, artificial flavourings and artificial sweeteners. Plus, unlike Maltesers, the packaging is 100% recyclable.
How to make vegan Maltesers
If you can’t find any Maltesers alternatives in your local shops, you might want to have a bash at making your own homemade vegan Maltesers from scratch.
Vegan Maltesers recipe
- 150g dairy-free white chocolate
- 100g dairy-free milk or dark chocolate
- 50g vegan puffed rice cereal
- 25g icing sugar
- 3 teaspoons of malted barley powder (Barleycup or Whole Earth)
- Melt the white chocolate
- Crush the rice cereal using a rolling pin
- Mix the crushed cereal, malted barley powder and icing sugar in a bowl
- Pour in the melted white chocolate and stir until fully mixed
- Roll the mixture into small balls
- Melt the milk or dark chocolate
- Use a fork to dip each ball into the melted chocolate and place on a baking tray to set
- Leave to set at room temperature for several hours then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator
So, what will it be?
If you’re desperate to get your hands on vegan Maltesers, your options are:
- Sign the petition and wait and hope that Mars brings out a vegan version of Maltesers
- Try Doisy and Dam’s Ballers or Gnawbles
- Make your own vegan Maltesers from scratch
If you find any other ways that vegans can enjoy Maltesers, please let me know in the comments.