Nilla Wafer Cookies (Copycat)

24 Servings
Prep Time 9 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Cool 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Nilla Wafer Cookies (Copycat) are a perfect replica of the crunchy, sweet storebought cookie. Save yourself a store trip using simple pantry ingredients.

Homemade Vanilla Wafers are the perfect versatile Dessert Recipe. You can enjoy them as a simple cookie on their own, serve them over pudding, or use them to make a pie crust. For more copycat desserts try our recipes for Thin Mints and Peanut Butter Tasty Kake.

Nilla Wafer Cookies (Copycat) in serving bowl


Nilla Wafers Cookies are easy and quick to make. There’s no need to run to the grocery store to grab a box, you can make the perfect copycat recipe in just 25 minutes. The step by step recipe is easy to follow, and the finished product is just as crunchy, buttery, and packed with vanilla flavor as the original. 

Fresh baked Vanilla Wafers come out even more buttery and flavorful. This is the perfect recipe to make when you have a sweet tooth because it is quick, easy, satisfying, and not too rich. 

Nilla Wafer Cookies (Copycat) collage of prep steps


There are lots of dessert recipes that can use homemade Nilla Wafer Cookies in them. Here are some classic treats that go great with this Nilla Wafers recipe. 

  • Nilla Wafer Crust: You can use a Nilla Wafer crust in place of graham crackers in a pie crust. Just break apart cookie wafers into crumbs and mix them into the same Pie Crust Recipe. Press the Nilla Wafer crust into a pie plate, and fill it with your favorite cream pie. It tastes especially great with Banana Cream Pie.
  • Banana Pudding Dessert: For a classic banana pudding dessert, layer creamy vanilla or banana pudding with Vanilla Wafers and sliced Bananas.
  • Ice Cream: For a more simple, but equally delicious dessert, crumble cookie wafers over Vanilla Ice Cream and enjoy.

Nilla Wafer Cookies (Copycat) on parchment and baking sheet after baking



  • Prep time: Preheat your oven and prepare your baking sheet with parchment paper. Without this step, the Nilla Wafer Cookies get very stuck to the cookie sheets. 
  • Sugar mixture: Combine the butter and sugar in a stand mixer on high speed until nice and fluffy. If you don’t have a stand mixer, put the ingredients in a mixing bowl and use a handheld electric mixer to cream butter and sugar together. 
  • Egg yolks: You only need the egg yolk for this recipe. To separate the yolk from the egg white, break the eggshell in half and move the yolk from one half to the other, allowing the egg white to drain out. Combine the egg yolk with the butter on medium speed. 
  • Dry ingredients: Sift together the flour mixture in a separate medium bowl, then add it to the cookie dough. Mix on the lowest speed until the dough forms. Be careful not to over-mix. 
  • Bake: To get even sized Nilla Wafer Cookies, use a small cookie scoop. Make sure each cookie dough ball is about 2 inches apart so they don’t merge when they spread. Bake for 11-13 minutes until golden brown. Let them cool for 5 minutes before you use a spatula to take them from the pan. 

Nilla Wafer Cookies (Copycat) with hand


  • Mix-ins: For some delicious mix-ins, try adding mini chocolate chips. You could use dark chocolate, white chocolate, milk chocolate, or semisweet chocolate chips. Some other add-ins to try are dried fruit or chopped nuts. 
  • Gluten-free Nilla Wafers: For Gluten-Free Nilla Wafers, you’ll need to exchange the all-purpose flour. Try almond flour, coconut flour, or oat flour. 
  • Keto Vanilla Wafers: One of the great things about making your own Nilla Wafer Cookies is that you can exchange ingredients to make them keto Vanilla Wafers. Just like with Gluten-Free Nilla Wafers, you’ll need to replace the flour in the recipe with coconut flour, almond flour, or another substitute. You’ll also need a sugar replacement for the keto Nilla Wafer Cookie recipe. Try using stevia, or xylitol. If you also want to replace the butter, you could use coconut oil. 
  • Sweeteners: To experiment with the sweetener you could use half granulated sugar and half powdered sugar. You could also replace the ½ cup granulated sugar with coconut sugar, or brown sugar. 

Nilla Wafer Cookies (Copycat) in serving bowl



  • Serve: You can keep this Nilla Wafer Cookies recipe at room temperature for up to 3 days. Let them cool then keep them in an airtight container or cover them in plastic wrap to put in the fridge. 
  • Store: You could also store Nilla Wafers in the fridge for up to 1 week. 
  • Freeze: Kept sealed, your Vanilla Wafers can stay frozen for up to 6 months. 

Nilla Wafer Cookies (Copycat) stacked up

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Nilla Wafer Cookies (Copycat)

Nilla Wafer Cookies (Copycat) are a perfect replica of the crunchy, sweet storebought cookie. Save yourself a store trip using simple pantry ingredients.
Yield 24 Servings
Prep Time 9 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • To your stand mixer add the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in egg and vanilla extract until well blended.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt, then add to the stand mixer on the lowest speed setting until just combined.
  • Scoop 1 teaspoon-sized amount of dough onto your baking sheet 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.
  • Let sit for 5 minutes before removing from the baking sheet.


Calories: 49kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 12mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 69IU | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg

Nilla Wafer Cookie (Copycat) collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. What is the serving size? One cookie? Does that mean you only use one baking sheet (unless you are doubling the recipe)? I have the big 18 x 13 half sheet pans.
    My cousin likes a crunchy gluten-free cookie to dip in her coffee. I will try using some gluten-free 1:1 flour.
    I, on the other hand, like a soft, slightly underbaked cookie!
    I just discovered your website and want to try your Panda Express Copycat recipes.

  2. These are phenomenal. They really do taste like freshly made Nilla Wafers (yet somehow better). This recipe does make a small amount and honestly they were gone so quickly that I may need to double it next time!

    1. Valira, try replacing graham cracker crust with homemade nilla wafer crust on some of your favorite pies. It has made my key lime pie SO much better! And I didn’t think it could get any better!