Vanilla Wafers

filed under: Cookies · Dessert on February 11, 2020

Walk past the cookie aisle and make your own Vanilla Wafers from scratch. They look the same as the ones you would get from the box, but made with fresh ingredients and a better taste if you ask me! For another cookie recipe to make from scratch, try my Soft Ginger Cookie.

Vanilla Wafers

Vanilla wafers, or sugar wafers, have been around for over 100 years. They are most commonly used in banana pudding recipes like my Ultimate Banana Pudding recipe, but are also fun to use as a crust or just a snack! With all the ways you can use vanilla wafers (or Nilla wafers as they are now called), it’s nice to have a recipe for this popular cookie.

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Bowl of Homemade Vanilla Wafer Recipe

Vanilla Wafers Recipe

With all the processed foods and snacks out there, it’s refreshing to have options to make our favorite treats from scratch. Plus, you know there will be no artificial ingredients in homemade batches of these Vanilla Wafers.

Ingredients (full recipe below)

  • Flour
  • Baking powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg–Out of eggs? No problem. Try one of my Egg Substitutes for this recipe!
  • Vanilla extract
  • Whole milk

Overhead view of Homemade Vanilla Wafers on a Sheet-pan

How to Make Vanilla Wafers

With just a mixer and a parchment-lined baking sheet, you can whip up some of these fun cookies in no time! Of course, you will also need the oven preheated to 350°F.

  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set this bowl aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed for at least two minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. (You can also use a hand-held mixer for this recipe if you don’t have a stand mixer.)
  3. Next, add the egg, vanilla, and milk to the stand mixer bowl and blend these ingredients for about 30 seconds.
  4. Then, add the flour mixture and mix on low until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  5. Chill the batter for 10-15 minutes. (You can take this time to chill, too!)
  6. Use a 1/2 teaspoon to scoop out dollops of the batter and place them on the baking sheet. Leave each dollop about one inch apart. 
  7. Bake the wafers for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. Allow the cookies to cool before serving.

Hand Dipping Homemade Vanilla Wafer into Milk

How to Store Vanilla Wafers

If you want to keep Vanilla Wafers at room temperature, be sure to keep them in an air-tight container. They will last for up to five days. Freezing them is another option. Store them in a zipped plastic bag, making sure to write the date on the bag. The wafers will keep up to a month in the freezer.

Bit into Homemade Vanilla Wafer

Looking for More Cookie Recipes?

Ooey Gooey Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Butter Pecan Cookies

4.83 from 17 votes
Vanilla Wafers
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Chill batter
15 mins
Total Time
45 mins

Walk right past the box of vanilla wafers and make your own to enjoy as a snack or with your favorite recipe!

Course: Appetizer, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Vanilla Wafers
Servings: 70 wafers
Calories: 29 kcal
Author: Amanda
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter, confectioners' sugar, and granulated sugar on medium speed for at least 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.

  4. Add the egg, vanilla, and milk and blend until smooth and fluffy (about 30 seconds).

  5. Add the flour mixture and mix on low until fully incorporated.

  6. Chill the batter for 10-15 minutes.

  7. Scoop 1/2 teaspoon-sized dollops of the batter (about 1 inch apart) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.

  8. Bake 12-15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Cookies will be golden brown.

  9. Allow to cool completely before serving.

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  • Amanda says:

    I really liked this recipe,reminds me of my childhood over there.Thanks for sharing it

  • JB says:

    These turned out perfect! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Janet Poland says:

    Mine did not spread out. They stayed in a ball. What did I do wrong?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Janet! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Make sure the flour is accurately measured. In addition, the butter could have been too cold; make sure it’s at room temperature. One other factor could be oven temperature. Check with an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is at the set temperature. I hope this helps, and have a great day!

  • Pham says:

    Hello, i want to try this one foe me and for kids.. but i just have 1 question, what do you bu rotating half way? Sorry, a newbie here.. thank you.

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Pham! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking to make sure all of the cookies are evenly baked. I hope this helps, and have a spectacular day!

  • Debi says:

    Will using 2% milk change the end result?

  • Paul says:

    This recipe is excellent… It tweeked it a little and the tasters were impressed…

  • Kay says:

    These were delicious. I followed the directions exactly (room temperature egg and butter). However, like another commenter mentioned, mine stayed in the same shape and were like little vanilla wafer scones. They still tasted great with banana pudding but we’re not the crispy cookies I was trying for.

  • Kay says:

    I spoke a little too soon on my last review. For the second batch I cut the amount of dough I used on each cookie in half and formed them into flattened discs about 1/4″ tall. Then pressed them lightly into a spoon so they got the ‘wafer’ shape. They came out crispy and wonderful.

  • Ayleen says:

    Would this work with a gluten free flour?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Ayleen! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. We have not tried this recipe with gluten-free flour, so I can’t speak to its effectiveness. Please let us know if you try it and how the wafers turned out. Have a wonderful day!

  • Kayla says:

    These are amazing! I’ve been looking for a good vanilla wafer recipe!

  • Jackie Sernicula says:

    I like all your recipe and i thank you for sharing. I can use them to make cookies for my son. God bless you and more power

  • Rachel Talerico says:

    The recipes look delicious

  • Rachel says:

    The flavor is great, but like some others, mine didn’t spread either. On the second pan I baked, I used wet fingers to flatten them and it was better. They certainly didn’t flatten on their own.


    I made these with gluten free flour, and they were awesome! After reading the other comments, I was afraid that they wouldn’t rise, so I experimented with them. I flattened half of them and left half of them in the dollop shape. They all ended up like little discs. Thank you for this recipe! Now I don’t have to hunt down expensive gluten free wafers in the store.

  • Kimberly Butler says:

    Thank you for ALL the wonderful recipes you’ve shared.Everyone is to die for.
    My very favorite ❤️ recipes are all you’ve posted. Thanks again for all you’ve done.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Thank you SO MUCH, Kimberely!

  • Arianna Ali says:

    What an amazing recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sharron says:

    Wow, thank you so much for the recipe. I made them today and they are way better then the box ones that have GMO’S. Can’t wait to make Vanilla wafer banana pudding now!

  • Sharron says:

    This is a great recipe, but for the people having problems here is what I did. I used my measuring spoon and used the 1 teaspoon size and then with the back of the spoon flattened them a little in the middle. You will get half the amount of cookies but perfect for the Vanilla wafer pudding recipe. I baked them 7 minutes then turned the pan and baked another 7 minutes and they were perfect, checked center with a tooth pick.

  • I Am Baker Logo

    Brand new recipes that people find kinda acceptable.