Finding a safe chocolate fix can be challenging when you need chocolate to boost your mood but can’t have gluten. Going gluten-free is a challenge, especially for those who become ill from eating it.

Are Milky Ways gluten free, though? Can you safely snatch one of those from the aisle and indulge in that chocolaty, dreamy bliss?

Z Milky Way Candy Bar.

What Are Milky Ways?

The chocolate-coated confectionary bars known as Milky Ways have been around since 1923.

Milky Way is manufactured by the giant candy manufacturer Mars, Inc. Its distinctive malt flavor is a relic from bygone days when chocolate malts were popular at diners across the country. But, with that luscious layer of caramel topped with chocolate, it has been a favorite for almost 100 years.

It’s hard to stop in any candy aisle and not see Milky Way candy bars. Every Halloween, they are one of the most popular candy bars your kids will get in their candy haul. But before you sneak one out of there, you’d better ensure they are gluten-free.

Be sure to see all of my research on candy to find out what candy is gluten free.

Answer: Are Milky Ways Gluten Free?

Unfortunately, NO, the original Milky Way bar is not gluten-free. It has malted barley, which is unsafe for those who must avoid gluten. But don’t feel left out because two flavors, Milky Way Caramel and Milky Way Dark, are gluten-free.

Neither the Caramel nor the Dark has any gluten ingredients. However, there is one caveat: while there are no gluten ingredients, they cannot guarantee there isn’t cross-contamination at the factory.

A note of caution: Milky Way may use manufacturing facilities that make other gluten candy bars. So, if you have celiac, you may want to avoid eating all Milky Way varieties.

Check out if Snickers Are Gluten Free too!

Milky Way Ingredients:

The basic ingredients in an Original Milky Way bar include:

  • Milk chocolate is made from sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, lactose, skim milk, milk fat, soy lecithin, and artificial flavor; 
  • Hydrogenated palm kernel oil and/or palm oil; 
  • Corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • Skim milk 
  • Cocoa powder processed with alkali; less than 2% – milkfat 
  • Malted barley
  • Egg whites
  • Lactose
  • Chocolate
  • Salt
  • Artificial flavors

Please note that these ingredients are for the original flavor of Milky Ways and that that original contains malted barley. Still, Milky Way Caramel and Milky Way Dark do not have this ingredient.

A milky way candy bar with a bite taken out so you can see inside.

Safe Gluten Free Candy Bar Options:

If you don’t want to risk it (and who could blame you?), you can easily make your own homemade milky way candy bars. There are also plenty of gluten-free candy bars to choose from:

  • Butterfinger
  • Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Bar
  • Enjoy Life Ricemilk Chocolate Bar
  • Enjoy Life Ricemilk Crunch
  • Enjoy Life Winter Dark Chocolate Minis
  • Snickers Bars
  • 3 Musketeers
  • Dove Chocolate products (except for milk chocolate cinnamon graham, cookies and cream, and some holiday varieties, like milk chocolate truffles)
  • Almond Joy (except Almond Joy Pieces candy)
  • Heath Bars
  • Hershey’s milk chocolate kisses
  • Hershey’s milk chocolate bars (only the 1.55oz size)
  • Milk Duds
  • Mounds and Almond Joy Candy Bars
  • Payday
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (except seasonal-shaped items)
  • Rolo Caramels in Milk Chocolate Candies (except Rolo Minis)
  • York Peppermint Patties (except York Pieces Candy, Sugar-Free Peppermint Patties, York Minis, and York Shapes 5 oz.)

While you are here, check out some of my candy research. Are Sour Patch Kids Gluten Free?

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