Are Rice Cakes Vegan? Everything You Need to Know

Table of Contents
  1. Key Takeaways
  2. Are Rice Cakes Vegan?
  3. Non-Vegan Rice Cake Ingredients
  4. How to Identify Vegan Rice Cakes
  5. Popular Vegan Rice Cake Options
  6. Conclusion
  7. FAQs

Have you ever wondered if your favorite crunchy snack, rice cakes, are vegan-friendly? Given that basic rice cakes contain just one or two ingredients - usually rice and salt - they're typically safe for vegans.

However, as we delve into the world of flavored and specialty rice cakes, things can get a little more complicated.

Join us on this deep dive to discover which rice cakes pass the vegan test and how to identify them!

Key Takeaways

  • Plain rice cakes made with just rice and salt are generally vegan-friendly.
  • Flavored rice cakes may contain non-vegan ingredients, such as milk derivatives, eggs, or cheese flavors. It is important to carefully read the ingredient labels to ensure they meet your dietary preferences.
  • Look for certification labels or logos indicating that the rice cakes are certified vegan. They can help you easily identify suitable options.
  • There are several vegan-friendly brands and flavors of rice cakes available, such as Lundberg Rice Cakes, Quaker Popped Rice Crisps (in Sea Salt and Apple Cinnamon), Mary's Gone Crackers Organic Rice Thins, Kameda Seika's Kimnori Roasted Seaweed Rice Crisps, and Lotus Foods Organic Brown Rice Cakes.

Are Rice Cakes Vegan?

Basic Ingredients

Rice cakes are a good pick for vegans. Basic, plain rice cakes are just made with;

  1. rice and
  2. salt.

Both come from plants, not animals. This makes plain rice cakes vegan-friendly. You can eat them without worry if you don't eat animal products.

Versatility of Rice Cakes For Vegans

Rice cakes are a handy snack for vegans. They come in different types and flavors. Vegans love them because they can eat them plain or with vegan toppings. Toppings like hummus, avocado, or nut butter make rice cakes more tasty and filling.

Rice cakes can be used in many ways too! You can crush them and use as bread crumbs. Or you could top them with vegan cheese and grill for a crispy treat. Also, sweet rice cake treats are easy to make. Just add some coconut flakes or cinnamon on top of your rice cake.

Different Types of Rice Cakes

Rice cakes show up in two main types.

  1. In the US, people like puffed rice cakes. These are made from puffed rice or rice flour that gets pushed down hard.
  1. But Asia has a different kind of cake, called sticky rice cakes. The trick is to use sticky rice, which has more amylopectin in it and makes the cake stick together better. This gives them different textures and tastes too!

Vegan Rice Cake Options

Vegetarians have a variety of vegan rice cake options available to them. These rice cakes are made with plant-based ingredients like rice, oil, and salt, making them suitable for vegetarian diets.

There are different flavors and types of vegan rice cakes to choose from, including plain varieties and flavored options like cinnamon or coconut. Vegans can enjoy these snacks on their own or with toppings like hummus or nut butter.

It's important to check the ingredient list carefully to ensure that the chosen brand and flavor are free from any non-vegan additives or animal-derived ingredients. With their low-calorie content and gluten-free nature, vegan rice cakes make a healthy and convenient snack choice for vegetarians.

Non-Vegan Rice Cake Ingredients

Common non-vegan ingredients in flavored rice cakes include milk derivatives in chocolate, lactose in caramel production, real butter for butter flavoring, and non-vegan ingredients found in cheese-flavored options.

Common Non-Vegan Ingredients in Flavored Rice Cakes

Flavored rice cakes can sometimes contain non-vegan ingredients that make them unsuitable for vegans and those following a plant-based diet. Here are some common non-vegan ingredients found in flavored rice cakes:

  1. White sugar: Some flavored rice cakes may contain white sugar, which is often processed using bone char, an animal-derived ingredient.
  2. Dairy by-products: Flavors like butter, cheese, and chocolate in rice cakes can contain dairy by-products like milk powder or whey.
  3. Eggs: Certain flavors of rice cakes, such as those with custard or egg custard flavoring, may contain eggs or egg derivatives.
  4. Chicken: Chicken-flavored rice cakes can have chicken broth or other non-vegan chicken flavorings.
  5. Caramel: Caramel flavorings might include ingredients like lactose derived from milk, especially during the browning process.
  6. Chocolate: Some chocolate rice cakes may not be vegan because they can contain milk derivatives.

How to Identify Vegan Rice Cakes

To identify vegan rice cakes, it is crucial to check labels and ingredient lists. Look out for common non-vegan additives such as milk derivatives, lactose, butter, cheese flavors, and artificial butter flavoring.

Check Labels and Ingredient Lists

Checking labels and ingredient lists is extremely important when it comes to choosing vegan rice cakes. Doing so allows individuals to ensure that the rice cakes they consume are free from any non-vegan ingredients like milk, eggs, or other animal-derived components.

By carefully reading the labels, vegans can make informed decisions about which rice cake brands and flavors align with their dietary choices. It's also essential to be aware of potential variations in ingredients among different flavors and brands.

Vegan certification labels and logos can further help identify suitable options for those following a plant-based lifestyle.

Tips for Spotting Potential Non-Vegan Ingredients

Here are some tips to help you spot potential non-vegan ingredients in rice cakes:

  1. Check the ingredient label: Look for recognizable non-vegan ingredients like egg, milk, or dairy by-products.
  2. Watch out for flavors and seasonings: Some flavors added to rice cakes may include animal-derived ingredients. Read the packaging carefully to identify any potential non-vegan flavorings.
  3. Be aware of hidden animal ingredients: Some non-vegan ingredients might not be immediately obvious, such as bone char used in sugar production. Research common non-vegan additives or ask the manufacturer if unsure.
  4. Look for vegan certifications or logos: Some rice cake brands carry vegan certification labels or logos on their packaging, making it easier for vegans to identify suitable options.
  5. Stick to plain varieties: Plain rice cakes made with just rice and salt are generally vegan-friendly, so opt for these if you want to avoid any potential non-vegan additives.

There are several vegan-friendly brands and flavors of rice cakes available, including plain, cinnamon, and avocado. Discover which ones make the cut in our blog post!

Brands and flavors that are known to be vegan-friendly.

Here are some vegan-friendly brands and flavors of rice cakes:

  1. Lundberg Rice Cakes: Their plain, lightly salted, and brown rice varieties are vegan.
  2. Quaker Popped Rice Crisps in Sea Salt and Apple Cinnamon flavors: These options do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. Some flavors of Quaker Rice Cakes are not vegan because they contain non-vegan ingredients in the seasoning. For example, Quaker Apple Cinnamon Rice Cakes include feta cheese, which is made from dairy.
  3. Mary's Gone Crackers Organic Rice Thins: They offer various vegan flavors like Lightly Salted, Italian Herb, and Super Seed.
  4. Kameda Seika's Kimnori Roasted Seaweed Rice Crisps: These rice cakes are free from animal products and come in a delicious seaweed flavor.
  5. Lotus Foods Organic Brown Rice Cakes: The Plain, Tamari, and Black Sesame & Nori flavors are all suitable for vegans.


In conclusion, plain rice cakes are generally vegan since they contain only rice and salt. However, flavored rice cakes may not be vegan due to possible animal-derived ingredients in the seasoning.

It's important to read the labels carefully and choose brands that offer vegan options. With a little bit of research and label-checking, you can enjoy delicious vegan-friendly rice cake snacks as part of your plant-based diet.


1. Are all rice cakes vegan?

Not all rice cakes are vegan. Some may have milk ingredients like dry whole milk or cheddar cheese, and others might contain non-vegan additives like natural flavor.

2. Are all brands of rice cakes vegan?

Not all brands of rice cakes are vegan. Some brands may use ingredients like honey or dairy in their rice cakes, which would make them non-vegan. It's important to check the ingredients list or look for vegan-certified labels to ensure that the rice cakes you choose are suitable for a vegan diet.

3. What should I look at to know if a rice cake is vegan?

To find out if a rice cake is vegan, you must check the main ingredients. Look for things like white rice, whole grain, starch and avoid those with dairy items.

4.Can rice cakes be considered a vegan snack option?

Yes, rice cakes can be considered a vegan snack option. They are made primarily from rice, which is a plant-based ingredient. However, it's always important to check the label for any additional ingredients or flavorings to ensure they are vegan-friendly.

5. Are flavored Rice Cakes like caramel or cocoa vegan?

Some flavored Rice Cakes might not be Vegan due to additives such as artificial flavors, maltodextrin, fructose or even real caramel but there are plenty dairy-free options too!

6. Are Korean, Philippine and Japanese Rice Cakes Vegan too?

Rice cakes from Korea, Philippines or Japan could also be non-vegan depending on the ingredients used in each country.