Are Rice Cakes Plant Based?

Talk about classic snack options and rice cakes are sure to top the list. Tasty, crunchy and low-calorie, they are filling snacks that keep you full between meals. However, many want to find out if they are plant-based and suit a restricted diet. 

So, are rice cakes plant based? Yes, rice cakes are plant based because they are made up of brown rice as the main ingredient. However, there are brands offering rice cakes in different flavors and variants, many of which include animal-derived ingredients.

Let us try to learn more about rice cakes and their constituents to help you find out whether you can include these snacks in your plant-based diet. 

Why Rice Cakes Are Plant Based?

Rice cakes, in their most basic form, are made out of minimal ingredients. While a lot of other snack options contain a long list of strange ingredients, rice cakes can be produced using only brown rice. This makes them plant based. 

However, flavored rice cakes often contain dairy and animal-derived ingredients. This is why it is important to check the label before adding rice cakes to your plant-based diet. 

What Are The Main Ingredients in Rice Cakes?

Rice cakes are a versatile snack made differently in different parts of the world based on the combination of ingredients used. Some of the most common varieties include cakes made out of ground rice, rice flour and puffed rice. A binding agent like cornstarch is often used to make the cakes crunchy or chewy depending on the product. 

Rice cakes are available in a huge variety of different flavors and contain ingredients like milk derivatives, sugar, chocolate, butter, cheese, caramel and more. Some of the variants may contain plant-based ingredients while others may not. It is therefore advisable to check the ingredients list before consuming the product. 

Rice Cakes Nutrition

Rice cakes are a low-calorie snack and don’t have a good nutrient profile. They are low in protein and fiber and contain minimal amounts of other minerals and vitamins. However, as they are made up of whole grains, they have a plethora of health benefits. Make sure the label reads ‘whole grain rice’ to ensure you get a healthy product. The sodium content depends on whether they have salt or not. 

Here is the nutritional information of one plain rice cake made out of brown rice:

  • Calories: 35
  • Protein: 0.7g
  • Carbs: 7.3g
  • Fiber: 0.4g
  • Fat: 0.3g

Rice cakes are also not rich in vitamin E, B6, potassium, copper, iron, riboflavin, zinc and other minerals. Flavored versions of rice cakes have different nutrition profile as they contain added sugar and other ingredients. 


So, if you are thinking of adding rice cakes to your plant-based diet, you can certainly go for them. They are a filling low-calorie snack option and can be paired with a variety of other snacks, salads and toppings. Remember to opt for flavors that contain plant-based ingredients. Also, choose the toppings wisely to meet your diet restrictions. 

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