Are Fortune Cookies Vegan or Gluten Free?

Fortune cookies are a fun little snack that are typically served at Asian restaurants.

You will most likely get a fortune cookie at the end of your meal, and you can crack the cookies to find your fortune, or a small message inside.

Despite the exciting nature of the fortune cookie, they are also sweet treats that we love to eat, so you may be wondering whether these delicious dinner delights are vegan friendly, or gluten free.

What are Fortune Cookies?

Fortune cookies are small, cute treats typically made from flour, sesame seed oil, sugar and vanilla for a burst of sweetness. Fortune cookies have been synonymous with Asian culture for decades, having first been made in Kyoto Japan, but are now served in Asian restaurants around the entire world. 

Although fortune cookies are generally made with minimal ingredients, such as the flour, sugar and vanilla, you may be led to believe that fortune cookies are vegan friendly and gluten free. Although all of the above ingredients come from plant based and vegan sources, they are actually not gluten free as the main ingredient in most fortune cookies is a wheat based flour. 

However, saying that all fortune cookies may be vegan is quite a blanket statement, and of course, you will need to be wary of whether a particular brand makes their fortune cookies with vegan ingredients and vegan processes. 

With many restaurants, the fortune cookies may be made with animal based ingredients, cooked with an egg wash, or cross contaminated with non vegan ingredients, so it is vital that you check allergen information, or with your server before eating. 

Luckily, we have created a guide of some of the most popular asian cuisine restaurants across the United States, and have determined which ones are vegan friendly, and which are gluten free for your convenience!

Which Fortune Cookies are Vegan or Gluten Free?

If you want to know which fortune cookies are safe to eat, and which are best to avoid, then you can find out here if any are vegan or gluten free to suit your dietary requirements!

Pei Wei

Pei Wei Asian Kitchen is an American restaurant chain serving Asian cuisine. After examining the nutrition guide provided by Pei Wei, it is clear that the fortune cookies there actually contain egg, soy and wheat. 

This means that the fortune cookies at Pei Wei restaurants are not vegan friendly or gluten free, and should be avoided if you have specific dietary requirements such as these!

Panda Express

Panda Express is one of the most famous and popular restaurants across the United States that specializes in Asian cuisine. However, despite their large brand, Panda Express do not readily provide allergen and ingredient information. 

That being said, according to online information, the fortune cookies served at Panda Express are made with enriched flour (wheat flour, iron, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid) soybean oil and hydrogenated soybean oil, sugar, salt, corn starch, and artificial flavorings. 

In addition to this, the packaging on the Panda Express fortune cookies states that they may contain egg and soy ingredients, whilst also containing wheat. This means that whilst they are actually suitable for a vegan, the Panda Express fortune cookies are not gluten free. 

However, as there may be a risk of cross contamination, you may want to avoid these fortune cookies as there is the risk of egg or soy in the ingredients. 

PF Chang’s

Whilst PF Chang’s provide many fun facts and historical information on their website regarding their fortune cookies, they have not made the allergen and ingredient information available. Therefore, it is very hard to determine whether the fortune cookies sold at PF Chang’s are vegan or gluten free.

However, a spokesperson for the company stated that the PF Chang’s fortune cookies are not vegan as they are made with egg whites, and did not specify whether they are gluten free. With the information of how most fortune cookies are commercially made, we are going to guess that PF Chang’s fortune cookies are also not gluten free!

Golden Bowl

Golden Bowl are one of the brands of fortune cookies that many restaurants use, as they can be bought premade and prewrapped online. 

The ingredients in the vanilla variety of the Golden Bowl fortune cookies are as follows:

Bleached Wheat Flour, Water, Soybean Lecithin, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Sodium Bicarbonate, Natural and Artificial Flavor, and FD&C Yellow 5 and 6.

Whilst the ingredients themselves seem to be vegan, the flavorings, FD&C and Yellow 5 and 6 are artificial and not made from animal derivatives, however they are often tested on animals. 

Whether you decide to eat the Golden Bowl fortune cookies will depend on your moral stance, and beliefs around animal testing. In addition, these fortune cookies are not gluten-free as the main ingredient is actually wheat flour. 

Super K

When it comes to Super K fortune cookies, it is the same story as with Golden Bowl fortune cookies. Their ingredients are pretty much the same, and are made with vegan ingredients, however in Super K fortune cookies, the artificial ingredients such as FD&C, and Yellow 5 and 6 are also present. 

Therefore, again, whether you eat these fortune cookies will depend on how you feel about artificial flavorings being tested on animals. Additionally, the Super K fortune cookies are made with wheat flour much like the Golden Bowl ones, and so these are also not gluten free.

Baily International Foods

Baily International Foods fortune cookies are made in the exact same way as the previous two examples. These cookies are made with wheat flour, sugar, soybean oil, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, salt, sodium bicarbonate, natural and artificial flavors, FD&C Yellow 5 and 6. 

This means that whilst the ingredients seem to be vegan, the inclusion of the artificial flavorings and Yellow 5 and 6 means that these are tested on animals. Whether you decide to eat them is down to your moral beliefs and vegan stance. Again, because of the wheat in the flour, these fortune cookies are also not at all gluten free!


If our research is fully correct, then the vast majority of fortune cookies available on the market have dairy free and vegan friendly ingredients, making them 100% suitable for vegans.

However, when considering the information above, it is clear that the majority of most major fortune cookie suppliers are not gluten free.

In addition, it is important to note that many if not all of the examples above of fortune cookies contain the food colorings FD&C Yellow #5 and Yellow #6, which are both often tested on animals.

If this goes against your beliefs, and you choose to avoid any products, foods or items that contain ingredients and processes that are tested on animals, then it is  best to avoid all fortune cookies altogether. 

Are Fortune Cookies Vegan?

Fortune cookies are delicious desserts, recognizable for their iconic, folded butterfly shape. The tiny slip of paper inside each cookie with a printed ‘fortune’ makes these baked goods a tasty and fun way to finish off a meal. 

Everyone knows a fortune cookie when they see one - but do you know what goes into them? What ingredients are fortune cookies made of, and most importantly, are they vegan?

Do Fortune Cookies have Dairy?

No, fortune cookies usually do not contain any dairy products. Most fortune cookie recipes are free from eggs, milk, and butter, making them vegan-friendly in most cases. 

However, if you’re not familiar with a specific fortune cookie brand, you should always inquire about the ingredients and production process through the manufacturer. 

The reason this is important is that we can’t guarantee that each and every fortune cookie will be vegan. There’s also a risk of cross-contamination at the factory stage. 

Are PF Changs Fortune Cookies Vegan?

PF Chang’s fortune cookies are an example of non-vegan fortune cookies. 

PF Chang’s fortune cookies are not suitable for vegans because they are made with egg whites. 

Are Golden Bowl Fortune Cookies Vegan?

Golden Bowl fortune cookies are some of the most popular fortune cookies on the market. They come in several different flavors, including vanilla, citrus, and chocolate. Fortune fanatics have branded Golden Bowl the best-tasting fortune cookies out there. But are they vegan?

Well, in the case of Golden Bowl cookies, vegan-friendly status depends on the flavor. 

Golden Bowl’s vanilla and citrus-flavored fortune cookies are completely vegan, and what’s more, the ingredients are 100% Kosher!

Unfortunately, the chocolate flavor, as one might expect, is not vegan. The recipe does use vegan-friendly soy lecithin, as opposed to some of the animal-fat-derived lecithins out there. However, the cocoa powder is not 100% cocoa and contains milk.

What are Fortune Cookies Made of?

So, if fortune cookies aren’t typically made with dairy, what are they made of?

Most fortune cookies are made from a simple combination of flour and sugar, sesame oil, and vanilla extract. 

Bleached flour is normally used instead of unbleached flour, hence the typically light color of most fortune cookies. Many vegans are hesitant about consuming bleached flour because of fears that the bleaching agents may be animal-derived, but luckily, this is not actually the case. 

Similarly, white sugar has raised some concerns amongst the vegan community because some sugar manufacturers use animal bone char for filtration. This practice is mostly restricted to the U.S., however. Therefore, while strict U.S.-based vegans might wish to double-check the filtration process of the sugar used in their fortune cookies, most U.K. and European vegans can rest easy. 

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