These vegan vanilla wafers are sweet, crisp, and infused with vanilla flavor and yet 100% egg-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Eat these vanilla cookies as a snack on their own, with drinks, or as part of desserts. Plus, this recipe can be made oil-free and nut-free – to suit even more dietary requirements!
Crispy, Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers
As much as I love a massive chewy, gooey cookie, there is something so more-ish about crispy vanilla wafers. Unfortunately, it’s been years since I’ve been able to enjoy these cookies.
I’ve had massive cravings for banana pudding recently though, homemade vanilla wafers included, so it was officially time to get in the kitchen and adapt these sweet cookies to my needs. The results, I hope you’ll agree, are perfectly crisp yet tender, packed with vanilla, and delicious!
What Are Nilla Wafers?
I sometimes forget that some brands/ products that are SO recognizable and familiar to myself are complete ‘unknowns’ to others. So, in case you’re wondering what Nilla wafers even are:
In most countries where ‘wafer’ usually refers to the type of crispy biscuit found within Kit-Kat’s, served alongside ice-cream, and for various other confections – the Nilla cookies I’m referring to look a little like mini vanilla cookies with a crisp, yet slightly soft texture.
Nilla wafers (shortened from ‘vanilla’) are a specific branded product from Nilla, owned by Nabisco. Unfortunately, the original Nilla wafers (once made using shortening, eggs, regular flour, and sugar- plus, of course, vanilla) now include extra ‘bad’ ingredients like palm oil, artificial flavorings, and high fructose corn syrup.
My recipe, however, has omitted the ‘bad’ ingredients and subbed the remaining ones- for a healthier, dairy-free, eggless, vegan, gluten-free, and even sugar free vanilla wafers recipe.
The Step-By-Step Instructions
There are just six super simple steps to making this recipe. For the full ingredients list, ingredient measurements, and nutritional information, then please read the recipe card below.
Step 1 – First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 2 – Then, prepare the flax eggs by combining 2 tbsp ground flax seeds with 5 tbsp water in a small bowl and whisk well, then set aside.
Step 3 – In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and whisk until it is lump-free.
Step 4 – Add the wet ingredients to the bowl and mix well with a spatula. Or, alternatively, process all the ingredients in a food processor for a few seconds.
Step 5 – Scoop out around ½ tablespoon of dough per cookie and roll into a ball before flattening into a disk. Place it on the baking sheet. Repeat this step with the remaining batter – you should have around 40 vanilla wafer cookies.
Step 6 – Bake the wafers in the oven for around 15 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. If you prefer them to be crisper, then bake for slightly longer. If you prefer them to be a bit softer/ more tender, then bake for slightly less.
How To Store
Store these vegan vanilla wafers in an airtight container at room temperature for between 3-4 days. They should also be freezer-friendly for between 1-2 months (I haven’t tried this yet so don’t know an exact time).
How To Serve
Traditionally, these vegan vanilla wafers are practically made for Southern banana pudding, and now that I finally have this recipe down – look forward to a vegan banana pudding recipe coming to the blog very soon!
I also made vegan cookie dough sandwiches recently by using Vegan Cookie Dough and these vanilla biscuits – yummy! See the photo below.
Want a guilt-free snack? Have a few of these with a glass of your favorite dairy-free milk, a milkshake, or hot drinks like cocoa, tea, or coffee. For something a bit more decadent, then dip the cookies into a little of your favorite nut butter.
And last but not least, these cookies make for a great crust alternative (crushed and with a little coconut oil) for cheesecakes, tarts, and pies. Like this Eggless Cheesecake, Caramel Apple Cheesecake, Vegan Pumpkin Pie, or Vegan Key Lime Pie.
Ingredient Notes & Variations
- The Flax Eggs: You could also use chia seed eggs. Make them by whisking together 2 tbsp of ground chia seeds with 5 tbsp water and leaving to rest for five minutes.
- The Rice Flour: I used white rice flour, but brown rice flour will also work. You could also use a store-bought gluten-free flour blend or regular all-purpose flour. However, I haven’t experimented with those options, so I don’t know how it will affect the outcome.
- The Almond Flour: You could also use another ground nut of your choice such as macadamia or cashew. For a nut-free version, then use ground hemp seeds.
- Coconut Oil: For an oil-free recipe, you could try using cashew butter.
- I recommend using the metric measurements for this recipe for the best results. If the dough appears too wet, add more rice flour. And if it seems too dry, you can add a little more plant-based milk.
- These wafer cookies won’t spread during baking, so make sure not to skip the flattening step.
- If you want to use these wafers within a dessert where moisture is added, then make sure you bake them till firm and crispy, so they’ll hold their shape easier within the dessert.
- Feel free to add lemon or orange zest to this plain cookies’ recipe (with or without the vanilla) for additional flavor.
If you give this vegan vanilla wafer recipe a try, I’d love a comment and a recipe rating below. Also, don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan – I love seeing your recreations.
Vegan Vanilla Wafers
- 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax seeds + 5 tbsp water)
- 1 cup (160 g) rice flour (*see notes)
- 6 tbsp (80 g) Erythritol or Xylitol or organic sugar
- 1/2 cup (60 g) almond flour (*see notes)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 Pinch of sea salt
- 4 scant tbsp (50 g) coconut oil softened or vegan butter (*see notes)
- 2 tbsp (30 g) plant-based milk
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- First, prepare the flax eggs by combining 2 tbsp ground flax seeds with 5 tbsp water in a small bowl. Whisk and set aside.
- Next, add all dry ingredients to a large bowl. Stir with a whisk until there are no lumps.
- Add the wet ingredients and mix with a spatula (or process all ingredients in a food processor).
- Scoop out about 1/2 tbsp of dough and roll it between your hands. Flatten it and place it on the prepared baking sheet.
- Repeat this step with the remaining dough. The recipe makes about 40 vanilla wafers.
- Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the sides start to brown. Bake a few minutes longer if you prefer them crispier or shorter for tender cookies. Enjoy!
- I recommend using metric measurements for this recipe for the best results. If the dough appears too wet, add more rice flour. And if it appears too dry, you can add a little bit more plant-based milk.
- Flax eggs: You can also make chia eggs by whisking together 2 tbsp ground chia seeds and 5 tbsp water.
- Rice flour: I used white rice flour but brown rice flour should work too. You can most likely also use a store-bought gluten-free flour blend instead of rice flour. Also, regular all-purpose flour should work fine instead of rice flour.
- Almond flour: You can use ground nuts of choice instead of almond flour. Use ground hemp seeds for a nut-free version.
- Coconut oil: If you want to make this recipe oil-free, try using cashew butter.
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