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How to Make Vanilla Wafers (Homemade Nilla Wafers)

4.78 from 106 votes
Crisp, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth good, my Homemade Vanilla Wafers recipe, also known as Nilla Wafers are perfect on their own or in other desserts!
A pile of homemade vanilla wafers, crisp and buttery.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Vanilla wafers are under-appreciated — not only are they a classic cookie, but the rich, buttery cookie that’s just bursting with yummy vanilla also goes with so many desserts! You can’t have my Creamy Banana Pudding without a crisp nilla wafer, or my 15 Minute Banana Cream Pie (No Bake).  And, you can also use nilla wafers in my Homemade Strawberry Shortcake Bars! Honestly, for such a simple cookie, the sky’s the limit, so think out of the box (the prepackaged cookie box, specifically).

Homemade vanilla wafers are super easy to make, and they’re so much more flavorful than the kind you can pick up at the store. This nilla wafer recipe also earns bonus points because the cookies keep really well, so you can make them in advance for any of your nilla needs.

What Are Vanilla Wafers?

Vanilla wafers, also knowns as Nilla Wafers here in the States, are crispy, light, vanilla-flavored cookies that melt in your mouth.  And, they’re made with just a handful of ingredients you probably already have in your cupboards. 

[ Try them in my NEW Creamy Banana Pudding! ]

What You Need To Make Vanilla Wafers

A close up of my homemade vanilla wafers, also known as nilla wafers, to show texture and color.

How To Make Vanilla Wafers

These iconic cookies are as easy to make as they are delicious.  You’ll never buy another box with this Nilla Wafers recipe! Here are the basic steps (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (150oC). Turn on the fan as there will be multiple trays in the oven and you will want them to bake evenly.
  2. Cream together the softened butter and powdered sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy and there are no lumps.
  3. Gradually add in the egg whites mixing at the same time.
  4. Add the whole egg and mix until fully incorporated.
  5. Next, add flour, vanilla and salt and mix until it just comes together. Do not over mix as it can toughen your wafer.
  6. Place batter in a piping bag fitted with a medium pastry tip. Pipe it in even mounds onto a cookie sheets (rougly 2 teaspoons). The batter will be somewhat soft so a piping bag is important. Keep cookies about 1 inch apart as the batter will spread when baked.
  7. Bake for roughly 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Once cooled store in an airtight for up to 7 days. Use for a cookie crust or for a classic banana pudding.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips for Making Vanilla Wafers

  • Make sure your eggs are at room temperature before adding them into your mix! If your eggs are too cold, your batter will look curdled. To fix, use a hairdryer to warm the batter up.
  • Use softened butter, it will be easier to fold into your batter.
  • Make in advance, these cookies freeze really well!
  • Vanilla is what makes these cookies so irresistible, so try making your own homemade vanilla extract.

Vanilla wafers crushed up and served with banana pudding.

How Do I Store Homemade Vanilla Wafers?

Once your cookies have cooled, you can keep them stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the dough for up to 4 weeks.

Make More Dessert!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

How to Make Vanilla Wafers Recipe (Homemade Nilla Wafers)

4.78 from 106 votes
Crisp, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth good, my Homemade Vanilla Wafers recipe, also known as Nilla Wafers are perfect on their own or in other desserts!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 100 wafers
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Crisp, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth good, my Homemade Vanilla Wafers recipe, also known as Nilla Wafers are perfect on their own or in other desserts!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 100 wafers

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (4oz/115g) butter, soft
  • 1 2/3 cup (7oz/191g) powdered sugar
  • 3 large (4oz/120g) egg whites , room temperature
  • 1 large egg , room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups (6oz/170g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (150oC). For this reicpe I did fan as there will be multiple trays in the oven and you will want them to bake evenly.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy and there are no lumps.
  • Slowly add in the egg whites and mix until smooth. Add the remaining whole egg and mix until fully incorporated. If the mix curdles don't worry, just give it a good whisk to bring it back together.
  • Once combined, add the flour, vanilla and salt and mix until it just comes together. Do not overmix.
  • The batter will be somewhat soft. Place batter in a piping bag fitted with a medium pastry tip. Pipe it in even mounds onto a cookie sheets (rougly 2 teaspoons). Keep cookies about 1 ½ inches apart as the batter will spread when baked.
  • Place in oven and bake for approximately 18-20 minutes or until golden.
  • Once cooled store in an airtight for up to 7 days. Use for a cookie crust or for a classic banana puding.

 

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Carmen Routhier
Carmen Routhier
3 months ago

Do you use ungreased cookie sheet?

Monica Parrish
Monica Parrish
3 months ago

Hi, Gemma! Can you tell me about how many cookies this will make? I am looking forward to trying this…vanilla wafers are a favorite treat for my 91 year old dad, and when I told him I might try to make them at home, he was totally on board. 😜 Just wondering how many to expect! Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

Daniya G
3 months ago

I have a question. Do we need t to sift the powdered sugar for this recipe or not? And also, do we have to use a piping bag or can we use a Ziploc Bag

Stephanie
Stephanie
3 months ago

Hi Gemma… These look great. Just fyi, Nilla wafers are the trademarked Nabisco brand though I guess people use the term the same way we call all tissues Kleenex. Looking forward to trying yours.

3 months ago

Hey Gem,these nilla wafers are sooo delicious..but i wanna know,why do my wafers spread soo much? Like they become really thin n wide while baking.. is it bcz of the hot temperature we have these days? 🤔

Rosa
3 months ago

I really wish if this recipe had a video

Georgina Zarate
Georgina Zarate
3 months ago

Great!!

Margaret Halpin
Margaret Halpin
3 months ago

Hi Gemma, I have no functioning oven. Would these work in big covered skillet on the stovetop, you think?

Diana
Diana
1 day ago

Can I use Armond flour for this recipe?

Julia
Julia
4 days ago

When you say “turn the fan on in the oven ” does that mean use convection mode on the stove?

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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