Are Kodiak Cakes Vegan?

Most people are spoilt for choice when it comes to breakfast, but as a vegan, things can be tricky – especially once you leave the comfort of home. Everything seems to center around dairy, whether it is yogurt or milk, and even eggs are the go-to choice on too many menus. 

The convenience of Kodiak Cakes products makes them a tempting option, but are they vegan? The answer is that they contain many ingredients that make them not vegan. But what are the controversial ingredients, and are all their products non-vegan? Let’s take a look.

Kodiak Cakes: Vegan Brand or Not?

Kodiak Cakes was formed in 1982. However, it wasn’t until 2014, that an unsuccessful appearance on Shark Tank propelled them into the public eye, and they built upon this exposure. 

They make a variety of products including granola bars, as well as frozen waffles and pancakes, and waffle mixes to name a few.

They are not a vegan brand, but they do have products that contain no animal products. They like to include protein and antioxidants in many of their products which does make them stand out. Still, as a vegan, this isn’t always a good thing when you discover some of the ingredients. 

They prefer whole grains to modified ingredients that can pose health risks so there is a lot to like about some of their ethos. 

Vegan-Friendly Products

Here is a full breakdown of their products, and the ingredients that make them non-vegan. 

Power Cakes: Almond Poppy Seed Flapjack and Waffle Mix

It starts well with whole grain wheat flour, but the controversial ingredients start after that make it not vegan. Here is a rundown of what goes into this product:

100% whole grain wheat flour, cane sugar, 100% whole grain oat flour, wheat protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, blanched almond flour, milk protein concentrate, buttermilk powder, leavening (monocalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate), poppy seeds, sea salt, natural almond flavor.

The inclusion of cane sugar can be off-putting for a start. This has often been treated with bone char. Derived from cattle, it is imported and used to whiten the sugar to give it a desirable appearance within the food industry. Although there is never any trace within the sugar, it is unethical, and one for a vegan to avoid. 

We should note that it is not clear as to whether or not this is the method used for the cane sugar in Kodiak Cakes, but there is nothing to say it is not either. 

Whey Protein Concentrate is another ingredient to avoid. Because it is derived from milk, it is an easy one to spot and avoid for a vegan. 

Then there is milk protein concentrate and buttermilk powder which are both dairy products. This protein-filled version of their Power Cakes should be avoided.

Energy Cakes: Buttermilk & Chia Flapjack and Waffle Mix

The name alone has a warning to vegans – Buttermilk is not suitable for a plant-based diet. Other ingredients include:

100% whole grain wheat flour, 100% whole grain oat flour, brown sugar, buttermilk, wheat protein isolate, flaxseed, organic quinoa, whey protein concentrate, chia seed, leavening (mono-calcium phosphate, baking soda) sea salt, and a B vitamin blend (Niacinamide, D-calcium pantothenate, B6, B2, B1, biotin, B12, maltodextrin).

They may be non-GMO, contain the likes of chia seeds, and include numerous vitamins, but the non-vegan ingredients are plentiful yet again. We see you buttermilk and whey protein concentrate!

Frontier: Buttermilk & Honey Flapjack and Waffle Mix

Another that is instantly a no because of the Buttermilk in the title, there are way too many non-vegan ingredients here. 

Whole Grain Wheat Flour (100%), Whole Grain Oat Flour (100%), buttermilk powder, dried honey (honey, wheat starch), egg whites, leavening (mono-calcium phosphate, baking soda), wheat protein isolate, sea salt.

Besides the buttermilk, there are egg whites and dried honey. Egg whites are not vegan, although some argue they do not contain any animal cells. The way hens are kept and treated is unethical, and even free-range hens are kept only for use of their reproductive systems.

Honey is a tricky ingredient as some vegans believe it is ok to consume. However, it is an animal-derived ingredient, and this is more than enough to convince most vegans. Not that it matters so much in this case given the other ingredients. 

Carb-Conscious: Buttermilk Flapjack and Waffle Mix

Although it reduces the carbs by half it is another product from Kodak Cakes that is not vegan. In the whole eggs, egg whites, and buttermilk, they make sure it is not. The ingredients are as follows:

Blanched almond flour, whole grain wheat flour, whole grain oat flour, eggs whites, wheat protein isolate, whole eggs, leavening (mono-calcium phosphate, baking soda), buttermilk, sea salt, natural flavor.

Power Cakes: Peanut Butter Flapjack and Waffle Mix

There are the same non-vegan ingredients, but also palm oil. This is a no for many vegans because although it does not contain any animal products, the way it is sourced destroys the natural habitat of many animals. This causes suffering and raises multiple questions of ethics that make it non-vegan for many.

100% whole grain wheat flour, 100% whole grain oat flour, peanut flour, cane sugar, wheat protein isolate, peanut butter drops (sugar, palm kernel oil, peanut flour, nonfat dry milk powder, salt, soy lecithin), whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, buttermilk powder, leavening (mono-calcium phosphate sodium bicarbonate), sea salt.

Power Cakes: Buttermilk Flapjack and Waffle Mix

We can count this one as non-vegan straight away because of the whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, and buttermilk powder. It is another non-vegan option from Kodiak Cakes. The ingredients are as follows:

100% whole grain wheat flour, 100% whole grain oat flour, wheat protein isolate, brown sugar, whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, buttermilk powder, leavening (mono-calcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate), and sea salt.

Powder Cakes: Chocolate Chip Flapjack and Waffle Mix

So many culprits yet again to make this non-vegan. The sugar is debatable, but the whey protein and milk protein, and buttermilk are not. 

100% whole grain wheat flour, 100% whole grain oat flour, wheat protein isolate, semisweet chocolate (sugar, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, dextrose, sunflower lecithin), cane sugar, whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, buttermilk, light molasses (refinery syrup, cane molasses), leavening (mono-calcium phosphate, baking soda), natural flavor, sea salt.

Power Cakes: Cinnamon Oat, Flapjack and Waffle Mix

The common culprits are all there yet again, as well as cane sugar. This product is certainly not vegan.

100% whole grain wheat flour, rolled oats, cane sugar, wheat protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, cinnamon, buttermilk powder, leavening (monocalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate), sea salt.

Power Cakes: Dark Chocolate Flapjack and Waffle Mix

You can forgive anyone for getting excited about this waffle mix. Dark chocolate is often vegan, but this version is sadly not. Namely because of the multiple non-vegan ingredients such as whey protein and milk protein,

100% Whole Grain Wheat Flour, Protein Blend (Wheat Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Milk Protein Isolate), Organic Cane Sugar, Semisweet Chocolate Chips (Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Dextrose, Soy Lecithin), Cocoa Powder (processed With Alkali), 100% Whole Grain Oat Flour, Baking Powder, and sea salt.

Frontier: Whole Wheat, Oat & Honey, and Waffle Mix

The word honey is in the title, making this instantly non-vegan. Also, see egg whites and non-fat dry milk making this unsuitable.

100% whole grain oat flour, non-fat dry milk, dried honey (honey, wheat starch), egg whites, leavening (mono-calcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate), wheat protein isolate, and sea salt.

Plant-Based: Classic Flapjack and Waffle Mix

The moment we have all been waiting for – a vegan flapjack and waffle mix from Kodiak Cakes. There is only the inclusion of cane sugar to raise a few eyebrows, but the ingredients are plant-based.

100% Whole Grain Oat Flour, Cane Sugar, Pea Protein Concentrate, Brown Rice Protein Concentrate, Wheat Protein Isolate, Baking Powder (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Corn Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate), Natural Flavor, Sea Salt. 

Power Cakes: Strawberry, Chocolate Chip Flapjack and Waffle Mix

Another non-vegan option, check out the same ingredients making this unsuitable: 

100% whole grain wheat flour, 100% whole grain oat flour, wheat protein isolate, cane sugar, semisweet chocolate (sugar, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, dextrose, sunflower lecithin), whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, leavening (mono-calcium phosphate, baking soda), strawberry powder, buttermilk, sea salt, and natural flavor.

Energy Cakes: Pumpkin Seed Flapjack and Waffle Mix

Take out the non-vegan ingredients and these do sound tempting. Still, milk protein concentrate and whey protein concentrate makes this non-vegan yet again. 

100% whole grain wheat flour, cane sugar, whole grain oat flour, pumpkin powder, wheat protein isolate, flaxseed meal, milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, baking powder (cream of tartar, sodium bicarbonate), cinnamon, sea salt, nutmeg, ginger, ground cloves, ground allspice, B vitamin blend.

Controversial Ingredients

The same ingredients appeared time and again. The inclusion of whey protein concentration, milk protein concentrate, buttermilk, egg whites, eggs, honey, and palm oil make most of their products non-vegan.

You don’t need to be a strict vegan to know these are ones to avoid, although honey and palm oil might not put off everyone. 

Vegan Alternatives

Anyone looking for a way of enjoying a vegan breakfast may find the following brands worth looking into:

  • Bisquick Original Pancake Mix
  • Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Pancake and Waffle Mix
  • Aunt Jemima Original Pancake and Waffle Mix

Final Word

Vegans are not always blessed with breakfast options especially from Kodiak Cakes, but some brands are catering to plant-based diets. We may have to search a little harder, but at least we don’t have to miss out on a pancake mix.