Vanilla Wafers Cookies (Better Than Nilla) » (2024)

3 comments By Laura Ritterman
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Vanilla wafers are a great bake ahead dish for the coming week, and the best bit is that they go with any dessert you can name. Even if we aren’t having dessert, we often find that the odd one might sneak along to join our coffee in the morning. They are easy to make, easy to bake, and supremely delicious. What are you waiting for? Mixing bowls at the ready? Let’s go…

Vanilla Wafers Cookies (Better Than Nilla) » (1)

How to Make Vanilla Wafers

We like to use a mixer to make our vanilla wafer cookies. The key to getting them perfect is to make sure that all of the ingredients are sifted and well mixed. If you don’t have a mixer, don’t worry. You can still make these by hand… It just takes a little more time (and maybe a slightly sore arm).

We start this recipe by sifting a few dry ingredients together, namely flour and salt… Oh, and of course, a little baking powder too. You gotta get those vanilla wafers nice and fluffy.

With our mixer, we combined butter and sugar. We don’t just mix it. We cream it.

If you aren’t familiar with creaming sugar and butter, you basically end up with a super smooth and really light paste. The sugar starts to dissolve into the fat of the butter. This does two things. It makes your wafers taste sweet (obviously), and it also acts as a binding agent to stop them from being too crumbly.

To the creamed butter and sugar, we add an egg (for a bit more rising and binding) and a little milk…

Have we forgotten something?

Oh yeah, vanilla. We like to keep things simple and use vanilla extract, but if you want to go all classy, a fresh vanilla pod, split and deseeded, will work wonders for your wafers.

From there, it’s just a case of combining the ingredients together. We make little dollops of perfection on a lined baking sheet and bake for around 15 minutes until the wafers are cooked. From there, it is a waiting game as they have to cool before you eat or store them… Who are we kidding? You are going to eat them!

Vanilla Wafers Cookies (Better Than Nilla) » (2)

Vanilla Wafers

4 from 94 votes

Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy

Vanilla wafers are delicious and a joy to make. Fill your home with this recipe and bring a smile to everyone lucky enough to get their hands on these.


  • 1 ½ cups of white flour

  • ½ tablespoon baking powder

  • ½ stick salted butter

  • ¾ cup confectioners sugar

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 2 teaspoons 2 of vanilla essence (or 1 fresh vanilla pod seeds)

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 whole milk


  • In a large bowl, sift your flour into a large pile, and then sift in the baking powder. Stir with a spatula to combine
  • Tip your butter into a bowl. Using an electric mixer, incorporate the confectioner’s sugar. Keep mixing the butter until it turns fluffy and pale in color.
  • Once your butter is creamed, keep the mixer running and add the egg, then the vanilla, and the milk. Mix until it is really smooth (the smoother, the better).
  • Once the batter has been prepared, place it, covered, in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • While the batter is chilling, use this time to preheat your oven to 340°F.
  • Taking a dessert spoon. Drops small dollops of batter onto a baking sheet. Be sure to leave a decent gap as the wafers expand as they bake. Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the edges of the wafers turn golden brown with a light center
  • Remove the wafers from the oven. Cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool for another 15 minutes.
  • Serve with ice cream or even a coffee


  • As we said above, the key to this recipe is getting your butter and sugar really smooth. These might seem like small steps, but they make a massive difference to the end result.

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Tips and Tricks

  • Alongside creaming the butter and the sugar, you will definitely want to sift your ingredients. This ensures that there are no lumps and clumps. Also, it makes the dry ingredients all light and airy, and you know what they say… Light and airy dry ingredients make for a light and airy wafer (well, they might not… But I do)
  • Fine sugar is the order of the day. Confectioners sugar has smaller, finer grains. If you don’t have this plain old white sugar will do, but you’ll find that your wafers are ever so slightly heavier.
  • This recipe contains whole milk and butter. If you are lactose intolerant or trying to steer clear of dairy, there are alternatives. Use baking spread in place of butter, and you can use a milk substitute for the milk. Oat milk, almond milk, and coconut milk all work really well… Mmm, coconut and vanilla wafers, nice!
  • Allow your wafers to cool before trying to serve. We leave them on the tray for 10 minutes and then tip them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Don’t open the oven door until the cooking time is up. If you cause a sudden drop in temperature, the wafers can sink, and you’ll end up with heavy biscuits.
  • Try not to overbake your wafers. They may feel slightly soft when you get them out of the oven, but they firm up once they cool. You are looking for them to be slightly brown around the edges and a pale golden color in the center.

How to Store Vanilla Wafers

Storing your wafers is quick and easy. Using an air tight container you can keep your wafers fresh for up to 5 days. If you’ve made large batches for later, you can always freeze them by placing inside a zipped bag. Consume within 1 month of storing in the freezer.

Substitute For Vanilla Wafers

Sometimes you don’t have the required ingredients or store bought vanilla wafers, I’m here to give you some great substitutes. You can use the following replacements:

  1. If they’re being used as a cookie then sugar/butter cookies will be ideal replacements.
  2. Switch the vanilla (Nilla) wafers out for shortbread cookies instead
  3. Crumbs from graham crackers can act as a perfect substitute for making dessert crust.
  4. Crushing Zwieback cookies for making a crust is another option


These nilla wafers will keep for around 5 days in a ziplock bag, so they are ideal for taking as a little snack when at work. But there’s a high chance that they won’t last this long! It is an effort to stop them from being eaten when they are cooling in our house. However long they last, and whatever you serve these vanilla wafers with, I hope you enjoy them!



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Laura Ritterman

Hi, I’m Laura and having studied an MSc in Nutrition, becoming a professional chef and appearing on major publications with my recipes I decided to create a website of my own. This website is where I share unique recipes, tips and cooking inspiration that will allow your culinary skills flourish. You can contact me here. For more information, you can find more about me.

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  1. Vanilla Wafers Cookies (Better Than Nilla) » (6)


    November 15, 2021 at 4:08 pm ·Reply

    Great recipe!

  2. Vanilla Wafers Cookies (Better Than Nilla) » (7)


    December 23, 2021 at 1:52 am ·Reply

    These cookies are delicious and saving your recipe thank you

  3. Vanilla Wafers Cookies (Better Than Nilla) » (8)


    December 23, 2021 at 8:02 pm ·Reply

    How much milk to you use?

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Vanilla Wafers Cookies (Better Than Nilla) » (9)

Laura Ritterman

Hi, I’m Laura and I love fashion, my kids, but lets not forget the flavors in life. I’m a food enthusiast living in the United States, a wife and a mom to my two beautiful kids.

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