If you love vanilla wafers, aka nilla wafers, I am excited to share my new gluten free vanilla wafers cookies recipe. They have all that sweet vanilla buttery flavor you love, with a delicious crispness!
If you have wanted to make homemade vanilla wafer cookies to top your Gluten Free Banana Cream Pie or pudding, these are the cookies! They are seriously that good!!
This is one of those rare recipes where I used my standing mixer. One way I could get these to have some crunch was to add some corn syrup. I think the standing mixer really helped to incorporate the syrup into the cookie batter better.
We are cookie fanatics. If you love cookies too, don’t forget to check out my delicious Gluten Free Cookies recipes on the blog.
Why This Recipe is Great:
- Texture: These delicious gluten free nilla wafers are the perfect combination of crispy and soft.
- Fun to make: They are fun to make with the kids because you get to roll the dough with your hands.
- Subtle flavor: These cookies can complement a wide range of other flavors, making them a great addition to many desserts. The vanilla flavor stands out as the key flavor.
- Classic cookies: Nilla wafers are a classic cookie we all grew up with. Now we can make gluten free nilla wafers from scratch and enjoy their flavor anytime.
Worked great! I made them corn-free as well by substituting light agave syrup instead of corn syrup and used Hain baking powder. Used homemade GF flour(rice, potato starch,tapioca flour) added 1/2 tsp of both gelatin and xanthan gum. Dough was not able to form in balls but dropping by scant tsp on pan worked great. Freckled (?) maybe because of light agave ? Delicious!Elisabeth G., Pinterest review
- Gluten Free Flour Blend – I tested this recipe using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour Blend and King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Blend. That doesn’t mean others will not work; I just have not tested other flours.
- Xanthan Gum – If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
- Sugar – Use regular white cane sugar.
- Powdered Sugar – Use a sifter to sift out the lumps.
- Baking Powder – Use aluminum-free.
- Corn Syrup – A little is included in the recipe to aid in crispiness.
- Butter – Use unsalted butter.
- Vanilla Extract – Use pure vanilla extract.
Tips For Sucess:
- There is no need to chill the cookie dough in this recipe.
- Use a cooled
cookie sheetwhen baking. Don’t take a hot cookie sheetand put the batter on it, or I promise the cookies won’t turn out. They start baking immediately, and it messes with their shape of them. Use a couple of sheets and rotate them out when making large batches of cookies.
- Don’t let the cookies sit on the pan too long. After they have baked, don’t let them sit on the baking sheet for longer than 5 minutes. The pan will still be hot, and continue baking them otherwise.
- To make this dairy-free, use plant-based butter.
- One reader told me she substituted the corn syrup for tapioca syrup, which still made the cookies crisp outside.
- Make this recipe egg-free by using Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer.
Recipe Step-By-Step Directions:
Step 1: In a standing mixer, put in the paddle attachment. Add the wet ingredients and blend at low speed. Increase the speed to medium for 15 seconds and turn it off.
Step 2: Add the dry ingredients in small amounts and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are all incorporated. Be sure to turn off the mixer as you add more dry ingredients so it doesn’t go flying all over the kitchen!
🔑 Sandi says: I highly recommend using a sifter to sift out the lumps in the powdered sugar before adding it to the stand mixer.
Step 3: Your nilla wafer cookie batter should look like this photo.
Step 4: Form little cookie balls. Take spoonfuls of cookie dough and roll them with your hands into little balls. You don’t need to chill the batter for this recipe.
You can also pipe the dough into balls on a macaron sheet and press the cookie dough down with your fingers if you prefer.
Step 5: Press each gluten free nilla wafer down gently with your fingers to slightly flatten the cookies.
Step 6: Bake at 350º F for 10-11 minutes until the cookies are golden in color. The actual baking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your cookies.
Step 7: Remove and place on a wire rack for cooling.
You may also want to try this fun Gluten Free Half Chocolate Half Vanilla Cookies recipe.
Store these cookies in an airtight container. I prefer to store them in the refrigerator so they don’t spoil. I recommend freezing them in a freezer bag if you are not eating or using them in the next day or two.
Ways To Use Gluten-Free Vanilla Wafers:
- Crush them up and use them as a crust in the crust of these Gluten Free Caramel Magic Bars.
- Crushed, they make a great crust for ice cream pie!
- The crushed crumbs are fun to roll my Chocolate Truffles in.
If you mean the Nabisco brand Vanilla Wafers, no, those are not gluten free.
If you want the cookies to turn out crisper on the outside, you will need to press them down a bit. Otherwise, they turn out softer.
Kinnikinnick is the best store-bought gluten free vanilla wafer by far. High-Schar also makes pretty good ones. Key make a keto version that is okay if you need to avoid sugars.
More Gluten Free Cookie Recipes:
- Gluten Free Shortbread – This shortbread has all of that famous buttery flavor!
- Gluten Free Cardamom Sugar Cookies – These cookies are made for using cookie cutters!
- Gluten Free Brookies Cookies – This is a great combo cookie if you can’t decide between brownies and cookies.
- Giant Gluten Free M&M Cookies – For my M&M lovers.
- Homemade Gluten Free Animal Cookies – These taste like the real deal, and you can also make them into circus cookies!
Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers
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- ½ cup butter melted
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups gluten free flour blend * see note
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk to blend.
- In a standing mixer, add the wet ingredients. Mix on low speed and gradually increase the speed to medium. Whip for 15 seconds.
- Turn the mixer off and add a little of the dry ingredients. Mix on low, turn it off and add more until you add in all of the dry ingredients.
- Use your hands to roll the cookie dough into small balls. Drop each onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
- Press each cookie down slightly.
- Bake 10 minutes until the cookies are golden.
- I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure GF and Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF blend. That doesn’t mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours.
- If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
- To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute the butter for vegan butter.
- These cookies will keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.
Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.
Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.
This post was updated from an older May 2021 post with more recipe details.
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