Make Your Own Vanilla Wafers

Recipe to make your own vanilla wafers

I few weeks ago I decided I wanted to try to make my own vanilla wafers, those tasty little bite sized cookies that are often sold with the shortened name of “Nilla” wafers.  Cookies are my sweet snack of choice and I’m always looking to add another good cookie recipe to my collection.

So I started looking around for homemade vanilla wafer recipes to try and guess what? Something was looking very familiar to me.  Yes, very very familiar.  All the homemade vanilla wafer recipes to be found were basically the same sugar cookie recipe I’ve been making for the last 20 years – just in a slightly smaller sized recipe!

So I guess I already knew how to make my own vanilla wafers.  🙂

I cut my trusty sugar cookie recipe in half and then made just a few tweaks, including adding extra vanilla to the recipe (hey, these are vanilla wafers after all).  I rolled the dough into tiny little balls and laid them on parchment paper lined cookie sheets to bake.  And sure enough!  The final result was cute little wafer cookies with lots of tasty homemade goodness.

Normally when I make this sugar cookie recipe I make much bigger balls of dough and roll them in sugar too.  I opted not to roll my tiny wafer cookie version balls of dough in sugar, but that’s still an option if you want a sweeter cookie.

You may be thinking, why bother to make this tiny version of the cookies?  Just make the regular sized sugar cookies like you always do and save yourself some work!  Well, that thought did occur to me too as I was making this half-sized, tiny version recipe.  BUT – there may be times you want a smaller sized wafer cookie for children or for use in a recipe, and that’s when having this homemade option can come in handy.

Here’s how to do it:

Recipe to make your own vanilla wafers

Homemade Vanilla Wafers


  • 1-1/4 cups Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 8 tablespoons Butter (1 stick) – softened
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small mixing bowl and set aside.

In a medium size mixing bowl cream together the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla with an electric mixer. Add the flour mixture and continue beating until everything is well mixed together.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (this will help keep these small sized cookies from burning.  If you don’t have parchment paper, you can just put the dough directly on the cookie sheet too.)

Take a small amount of dough and roll it into a ball between your palms.  You’ll want to make tiny balls of dough only about 1″ across.

Make your own vanilla wafers

Place the balls of dough on the parchment paper lined cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom.  Remove from oven and move cookies to a piece of paper toweling or wire rack to cool.

Make your own vanilla wafers

Makes approximately 4 dozen small cookies.



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