Eggless Homemade Vanilla Wafers
These homemade vanilla wafers are so deliciously light, crisp, & sweet—you’d never guess they’re eggless! I’ll always love the classic store-bought cookies, but this DIY nilla wafer recipe is such a fun & comforting copycat, and a rare recipe without eggs. Layer them with my homemade eggless banana pudding for the perfect egg-free treat!
Store-Bought vs. Homemade Nilla Wafers
Vanilla wafers a.k.a. Nilla Wafers are light, crispy, vanilla-flavored cookies—sort of like a buttery shortbread cookie mixed with a graham cracker. They’re one of my favorite processed snacks that I usually love to eat by the handful! But making these copycat vanilla wafers from scratch gave me a new appreciation for everything that goes into each little cookie, and I found myself slowing down more to savor them.
Unlike the store-bought cookies, this DIY version is less-processed & additive-free, made with simple ingredients. And Nabisco Nilla Wafers also have eggs in them (as do most other copycat recipes), so this eggless vanilla wafer recipe is a unique option without eggs. More importantly, these turned out so perfectly crisp, sweet, & comforting—like a gourmet version of the processed cookies I love!
Eggless Vanilla Wafers Ingredients
- Butter. To make this eggless cookie dough more reliable & easier to work with, use butter or vegan butter. I’ve also found that butter is the best ingredient to re-create the light, flaky texture in DIY processed snacks like these Nilla wafers or my homemade Ritz crackers. You could also use coconut oil instead of butter (like I did in my homemade Goldfish & Graham crackers), but this can make the dough more finicky & harder to work with.
- Granulated White Sugar. To give your homemade vanilla wafer cookies a lighter color and a more crisp, aerated texture, use granulated white sugar. The density & moisture levels of brown or coconut sugar will make a denser, chewier cookie.
- Powdered Sugar. Alongside granulated sugar, you also need powdered sugar to create that light, crisp bite Nilla wafer cookies are known for. I haven’t tested this recipe with any low-carb sweeteners, like granulated or powdered stevia or erythritol, but you’re welcome to experiment with them if you’d like.
- Milk of Choice. Either dairy or nondairy milk can work in this recipe—use whichever you prefer.
- Vanilla Extract. Add anywhere from 2-3 tsp of vanilla extract to your wafer cookies, depending on your flavor preference.
- All-Purpose Flour. I like baking with all-purpose flour because it makes the dough very easy to work with, and it gives this Nilla wafer recipe a more satisfying crispiness. I’ve made other copycat snacks like homemade Cheez-Its with gluten-free all-purpose flour, which could also work in this recipe—but your cookies might turn out drier & more crumbly than crisp.
- Baking Powder. Make sure to include baking powder to make light and airy wafer cookies, rather than denser shortbread cookies.
- Salt. A bit of salt helps to amplify all the sweet, comforting flavors in this recipe. But if you use salted butter, you can omit the extra salt if preferred.
How to Make Vanilla Wafers without Eggs
1. Beat Together Wet Ingredients
In a large bowl, cream together softened butter, white sugar, and powdered sugar using a hand mixer on medium speed. After about 1 minute, when the mixture is pale, fluffy, and integrated, beat in the milk and vanilla extract.
2. Separately, Whisk Dry Ingredients
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. Add Dry into Wet
Then pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, using a rubber spatula to mix and combine the dough without overworking it.
4. Prepare a Baking Sheet
Next, line a light-colored baking sheet with parchment and grease it with cooking spray. (Using a lighter-colored pan will prevent your vanilla wafer cookies from browning too quickly.)
5. Form Cookies
Use a 1-teaspoon measuring spoon to portion the dough, leveling out each scoop and then rolling it into a ball between your palms. Arrange the dough balls on your prepared baking sheet, then gently flatten each of them into a 1-inch disc. (Mine didn’t flatten much in the oven, so I recommend manually flattening them to get the classic Nilla wafer shape.)
Transfer your homemade vanilla wafers to the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes at 325°F (160°C). When they’re golden brown on the bottoms but still light on top, they’re done.
7. Cool Completely & Store
After baking, allow the cookies to cool completely before storing them. These eggless Nilla wafers will last 7-10 days stored in an airtight container in the pantry.
Ways to Use Vanilla Wafers in Recipes
I love eating these homemade Nilla wafers as a crisp, sweet snack all on their own, or as a treat with tea. And I find myself appreciating them more having made each little cookie from scratch! But there are also loads of fun ways you can use vanilla wafers in dessert recipes:
- Layer banana pudding with vanilla wafers for an old-fashioned trifle treat that’s a crowd favorite!
- Crumble Nilla wafers and use them as a substitute for graham cracker crumbs—to make pie crusts, or crusts for other desserts like lemon bars.
- Whole vanilla wafer cookies are the perfect mini pie crusts for finger food desserts like mini cheesecake bites, cupcakes, or mini pies in a jar.
Eggless Vanilla Wafers Recipe
- 4 oz butter, softened, ((½ cup or 1 stick)
- ⅓ cup granulated white sugar, (67g)
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar, (40g)
- ¼ cup milk of choice, (59mL)
- 2-3 tsp vanilla extract
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour, (150g)
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- rubber spatula
- 1-teaspoon measuring spoon
- Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
- In a bowl, beat softened butter and sugars together with a hand mixer on medium speed until pale, fluffy, and integrated (about 1 minute).
- Beat in milk and vanilla with the hand mixer until combined.
- Separately, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add dry ingredients into wet mixture and use a rubber spatula to combine, careful not to overwork the dough.
- Prepare a light-colored baking sheet with parchment and spray with cooking spray.
- Portion the dough with a 1-teaspoon measuring spoon, leveling each scoop and rolling it into a ball with your hands. Transfer to a prepared baking sheet and flatten each dough ball into a 1-inch disc, using your hands or a rubber spatula.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on bottoms.
- Allow to cool completely before storing.
- Homemade nilla wafers will last 7-10 days stored in an airtight container in the pantry or cabinet.
- Yields 70-80 eggless vanilla wafers.