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5 from 11 votes

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!

The top view of a bowl of gluten free vanilla wafer cookies.

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:

  1. Texture: These delicious gluten free nilla wafers are the perfect combination of crispy and soft.
  2. Fun to make: They are fun to make with the kids because you get to roll the dough with your hands.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
Top Pick
King Arthur, Measure for Measure Flour 3 lbs

This is one of my favorite gluten-free flour blends for cookies, cakes, pie crust, biscuits, and muffins! (Do not use this flour blend for yeast recipes.)

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Ingredient Notes:

Photos of the gluten free vanilla wafers ingredients.
  • 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 sheet when baking. Don’t take a hot cookie sheet and 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.

If you struggle with gluten free baking, check out this Gluten Free Cookies Troubleshooting Guide. You can also read about what my favorite Cookie Making Equipment is.

Substitutions:

  • 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:

A photo of steps one and two in the stand mixer.

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.

Nilla wafers photos of steps 3 and 4.

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.

Vanilla wafers photos of steps 5 and 6.

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.

Storage:

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.

A cookie sheet with baked gluten free vanilla wafer cookies.

Ways To Use Gluten-Free Vanilla Wafers:

Recipe FAQ:

Are vanilla wafers gluten free?

If you mean the Nabisco brand Vanilla Wafers, no, those are not gluten free.

Do you have to press the cookies down?

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.

What store brands of vanilla wafers are gluten free?

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.

a cookie sheet with baked gluten free vanilla wafer cookies

Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers

Sandi Gaertner
These delicious homemade gluten free vanilla wafers are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, just like the real thing!
Love this recipe?Give it a star rating!
5 from 11 votes
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes
Course Gluten Free Cookies and Bar Recipes, Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 86 kcal

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Ingredients
  

  • 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
  • teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
  3. To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute the butter for vegan butter.
  4. These cookies will keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.

SPECIAL NOTE

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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 86kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 50mgPotassium: 21mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 128IUCalcium: 15mgIron: 1mg
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Nutrition Disclaimer

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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14 Comments

    1. Hi Merry, I haven’t tested an egg replacement in this recipe. I would try the Bob’s Egg Replacer since it doesn’t have any flavor. If you try this, please let me know how it turns out.

    2. Made these using Pillsbury’s gluten free flour. The dough was wetter than what’s pictured, so I piped it, and they took longer to cook, but they were fabulous! They were absolutely perfect in dairy free banana pudding – they didn’t get mushy even after a couple of days. Thank you so much for the recipe! I’m about to go make some more!!

      1. That is interesting the dough was wetter. I haven’t tested that flour in this recipe. I am guessing you can add a little more flour, or continue as you are since they turned out delicious for you.

  1. 5 stars
    I made a banana pudding with these and it got rave reviews! It was great to be able to say I made it from total scratch, down to the nilla wafers!

  2. Being allergic to wheat (&cinnamon & Lactose intolerant) I’m now having to watch my Sugar & Carbs ( hopefully my Swerve Powdered Sugar will work ) ??? 🤗

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