Is Pillsbury Cake Mix Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

October 5, 2023

Identifying whether a product like Pillsbury cake mix is vegan can often be difficult.

This difficulty arises when processed foods have long lists of unidentifiable — and unpronounceable — ingredients that the layperson couldn’t possibly translate. This is true for Pillsbury cake mixes and even other brands, like Betty Crocker cake mixes and Duncan Hines cake mixes.

However, this article aims to uncover the truth and provide you, the reader, with valuable information to support your compassionate, vegan lifestyle.

Is Pillsbury Cake Mix Vegan?

No, Pillsbury Moist Supreme White Premium Cake Mix is not vegan. The product contains whey and sodium caseinate, both of which are derived from dairy. Additionally, the sugar used might be processed with bone char, which is not vegan.

Is Pillsbury Cake Mix Cruelty-Free?

No, Pillsbury Moist Supreme White Premium Cake Mix is not cruelty-free by any stretch of the imagination. There is a host of GMO (genetically modified organisms) ingredients in this cake mix, and, in fact, it scores a 10 (10 being the worst on a scale of 1–10) from the Environmental Working Group.

The GMO ingredients in this cake mix are corn starch, canola oil, sugar, dextrose, xanthan gum, and soy lecithin. The problem is that because GMOs contain DNA that’s been tampered with by scientists, they have to be tested on animals to ensure they are safe for human consumption. Animal testing is, by definition, not cruelty-free, so neither are GMOs.

If that’s enough for you, this cake mix also contains palm oil, an ingredient popular among manufacturers but that has wreaked havoc on the rainforests and communities of Southeast Asia. It’s also not cruelty-free.

What Is Pillsbury Cake Made Of?

Here are the ingredients of Pillsbury Moist Supreme White Premium Cake Mix:

  • Enriched bleached flour (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
  • Sugar
  • Leavening (baking soda, calcium phosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate)
  • Canola oil
  • Dextrose
  • Salt
  • Cellulose
  • Propylene glycol esters of fatty acids
  • Corn starch
  • Monoglycerides
  • Xanthan gum
  • Natural and artificial flavor
  • Cellulose gum
  • Sodium stearoyl lactylate
  • Soy lecithin
  • Whey
  • Sodium caseinate
  • Palm kernel oil
  • Citric acid and BHT (antioxidants)

Enriched Bleached Flour

This is wheat flour that has been bleached and enriched with vitamins. It’s the primary ingredient in many cake mixes. It’s vegan as it’s derived from wheat.


Sugar is a sweetening agent. Some sugar is processed with bone char, making it non-vegan, but it’s hard to determine its source in this product. However, it’s often GMO.


This helps the cake rise. Baking soda is vegan, but sodium aluminum phosphate’s vegan status can be questionable.

Canola Oil

Derived from the canola plant, it’s vegan. However, it’s often GMO, raising cruelty concerns.


A simple sugar derived from corn. It’s vegan. Corn, however, is often GMO, meaning dextrose is as well.

Whey and Sodium Caseinate

Both are derived from dairy, making them non-vegan.

Xanthan Gum

A thickening agent that’s vegan, this ingredient is GMO.

Natural and Artificial Flavors

These can be derived from various sources, and without specific details, it’s hard to determine their vegan status.

Palm Kernel Oil

Derived from the palm fruit, it’s vegan but raises environmental and cruelty concerns due to habitat destruction.

Product Varieties

Several Pillsbury cake, bread, and cookie mixes might seem vegan at first glance, so let’s explore a few popular varieties to find out if any are vegan.

Is Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Premium Cookie Mix Vegan?

No, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Premium Cookie Mix contains milk. It is not safe for vegan consumption.

Is Funfetti Unicorn Pink Vanilla Cake Donut Mix With Candy Bits Vegan?

No, this Pillsbury Funfetti cake mix contains buttermilk. It is not safe for vegan consumption.

Is Moist Supreme Yellow Premium Cake Mix Vegan?

No, Pillsbury yellow cake mix is not vegan. It contains sugar that may be processed with bone char, as well as propylene glycol esters of fatty acids and mono- and diglycerides, all of which may be sourced from animal products or by-products. 

Vegan Alternatives to Pillsbury Cake

For those seeking vegan cake mixes, there are actually loads of them out there, and many are also gluten-free. Try some of these vegan cake mix options: 

Additionally, making a homemade vegan cake using almond milk, flax egg, and coconut sugar can be a delightful experience. Vegan butter can be used for frosting, and for those missing the fun of Pillsbury Cake Mix, there are vegan sprinkles available. This vegan chocolate cake recipe from Nora Cooks has five stars from over 1,000 reviews. I bet it’s excellent.


So there you have it. While Pillsbury Cake Mix has ingredients that are not vegan, there are plenty of alternative brands available for those committed to a vegan lifestyle.

It’s essential to read ingredient lists and be informed about the sources of those ingredients. By choosing vegan food and products, you’re taking a step towards a more compassionate world.