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

4.77 from 13 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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  • Pam says:

    I absolutely love these. I can’t wait to get the ingredients to make them. You make so many of my favorite recipes. You’re so awesome ❤️❤️

  • Michelle says:

    What is the serving size for 29 cal. Thanks

  • Mary Harris says:

    What do you mean by “rotating” cookies. Flip over? Rotate baking sheet? Or?

  • Kathy says:

    I love to bake your recipes they are so creative and yummy. 😋😍

  • Lucinda says:

    Thank you for the recipe. It’s great.

  • Bee says:

    I just found this recipie that i love ! Thanis !❤them

  • Lisa says:

    Rotate the cookie sheet

  • JRoberts says:

    I looked at a lot of different recipes and am glad I chose this one.
    Puffed up just like vanilla wafers. Went perfect in my southern banana pudding, all from scratch.

    Looking for a Nilla Wafer recipe this is the one.

  • Amy says:

    This is amazing!!! Quick question as a amateur baker, could I ask if the heat setting on the oven should be only top and bottom heating without convection fan?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      I would use the center rack of the oven. 🙂

  • Jill says:

    Mine didn’t flatten out… thoughts? I only chilled them for 10 minutes.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      A couple of factors could contribute to that: the oven temperature isn’t exact, the dough wasn’t chilled enough, the pan was dark (I always line with parchment just in case), or the baking soda wasn’t fresh. If it is a persistent issue, you can always flatten them slightly before baking.

  • Jennifer Henderson says:

    These vanilla wafers were delicious in my homemade banana pudding. Thank you!

  • Ms Washington says:

    On this recipe you use 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. However in the ultimate banana pudding post, the cookie recipe says use 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. Which is it?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Great catch, Ms Washington! It is 1/2 cup, like the original vanilla wafer recipe. I updated the amount in the Ultimate Banana Post.

  • Baker Boy says:

    About how many cookies will this recipe yield in 1/2 tsp. dollops?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Baker Boy! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. You will get about 70 cookies with this recipe. Enjoy, and have a great day!

  • Melissa says:

    In one of your comments to a response you said made be not fresh baking soda, the recipe ask for baking powder did I put the wrong ingredient in?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Nope, I might have misspoken in the comment section. The written recipe is correct.

  • Cindy Young says:

    The recipe was incredibly easy. You explained everything that was necessary to kno and omitted a bunch of facts and descriptions that I didn’t have to waste time with in order to make excellent wafers. Thank you so much.

  • Diane Vogeler says:

    Please add nutritional info on your recipes. I have a type1 diabetic grandchild and carbs etc would be helpful. Need more low carb items using sugar substitutes of choice.

    Not many varieties for diabetics in any postings .

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      HI Diane! Thanks for the feedback. My recipes are not made for diabetics and as I am not a registered physician or dietician I wouldn’t feel comfortable guiding folks on that. You can always pop the recipe into a nutrition info app if you need more detailed information than what I provide. Thanks!

  • Nani* says:

    This recipe is amazing!! Very easy to follow and the cookies were delicious! I used the cookies for banana pudding and I liked it better than the bills wafers that I usually use.

  • Althea W says:

    They are very good but quite small and did not spread much following the recipe exclusively. Second batch I flatten a little and subsequent batches I made larger. Has a great flavor and not too sweet; I am sure my family and friends will enjoy them too!!

  • Angie says:

    Hi also wondering if I can add coco powder. My husband loves chocolate cookies, no chips and having a hard time finding a good recipe. Thanks

    PS will try the vanilla no matter what.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Hi Angie- I haven’t tested them with cocoa powder so I can’t advise on amounts. If you try it let me know what you think!

  • Shay says:

    I just made these cookies they are very good and easy to make. I made a small banana pudding. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  • Beverly Smith says:

    I looked for a recipe on google and tried the first 3, very disappointed. The cookies didn’t taste good and they spread and looked nothing like a wafer. Then I tried yours and finally, a perfect homemade wafer! Your recipe really is the best and I thank you. I wish everyone would try yours first.

  • Bev says:

    Sounds delicious I am going to make them in the morning.
    Bev Australia

  • Suzi says:

    What do you use as a 1/2 tsp scoop? The dough stays inside my measuring spoon! Thanks

  • SandyB says:

    She means rotate the pan, not the individual cookies. It’s common to do this to get even baking.

  • Rosanna says:

    The recipe is amazing!!! Thanks