Is the Apple Pie at McDonald’s Vegan?

By Olivia

When it comes to dietary choices, individuals following a vegan lifestyle may often wonder about the ingredients used in popular fast-food options. McDonald’s, being a significant player in the fast-food industry, offers a range of menu items, including their famous apple pie. If you are vegan or considering a plant-based diet, you might be curious to know whether the apple pie available at McDonald’s meets your dietary requirements. Let’s take a closer look at the apple pie and its ingredients to determine if it is suitable for vegans.


Examining the ingredients of a food item is crucial when determining its vegan status. In the case of McDonald’s apple pie, the following ingredients are used:

  • Apples
  • Enriched flour
  • Sugar
  • Palm oil
  • Modified food starch
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Malic acid
  • Water
  • Dextrose
  • Wheat starch
  • Turmeric and annatto extracts for color
  • Natural flavors

1. Apples

The primary ingredient in McDonald’s apple pie is, of course, apples. Apples are vegan-friendly and widely recognized as a nutritious fruit.

2. Enriched Flour

The presence of enriched flour in the apple pie may raise concerns for vegans. While flour itself is plant-based, some enriched flours contain added vitamins that may be derived from animal sources. It is advisable to check with McDonald’s about the specific source of enrichment in their flour.

3. Sugar

Sugar is vegan in its pure form, as it is derived from sugarcane or sugar beets. However, some sugars undergo a refining process that involves the use of bone char, which raises ethical concerns for vegans. McDonald’s uses only refined sugar in their apple pie, but it’s worth noting that the refining process can vary.

4. Palm Oil

Palm oil is a highly debated ingredient among vegans due to its environmental impact. While it is derived from a plant source, the extensive cultivation of palm oil has led to deforestation and the destruction of animal habitats. The ethical stance on palm oil consumption varies among vegans.

5. Natural Flavors

The term “natural flavors” is often ambiguous, making it difficult to determine if they are vegan-friendly. While natural flavors can be derived from plants, they can also involve animal sources. It is best to contact McDonald’s directly for further information about the natural flavors used in their apple pie.

Overall, the vegan status of McDonald’s apple pie depends on your personal choices and considerations. While some ingredients are undoubtedly vegan-friendly, factors like enriched flour, sugar refining methods, palm oil usage, and natural flavors may affect your decision.

If you are following a strict vegan diet, it is recommended to consult with McDonald’s or opt for alternative vegan dessert options to ensure complete adherence to your dietary preferences.