These soft-yet-crispy vegan vanilla wafers are even better than the storebought version. They're easy to make and require just 6 ingredients!
Normally I'm more of a soft cookie kinda gal, but crispy vanilla wafers have a fond place in my heart. There's just something about that sweet, chewy-but-crunchy and oh-so vanilla-y cookie.
- Chewy and crisp like a boxed vanilla wafer
- Packed with vanilla flavor
- Made with just 6 ingredients
- Easy to make in less than 30 minutes
What you'll need
- Vegan butter. I use the Earth Balance vegan buttery spread, but sticks will also work. I prefer this butter because it doesn't have a strong soy taste, so it works well in baked goods.
- Sugar. White (refined) sugar is used in this recipe. My Darling Vegan has a helpful resource on choosing vegan sugar. You'll want to use a classic fine grain baking sugar like the kind usually found in table sugar.
- Vanilla extract. Because vanilla flavoring is integral to vanilla wafers, I recommend using pure vanilla extract for these cookies. But I won't judge you if you use artificial vanilla, the real stuff is expensive!
- All-purpose white flour. I use White Lily for most of my baking (not just biscuits!), but any all-purpose flour will do.
- Baking powder. Because we aren't using eggs in this recipe, baking powder is integral to the cookie rising.
Honorable mention for salt, which adds a contrasting flavor to these otherwise quite sweet cookies.
Step by step instructions
These cookies are made using the classic cookie method. You'll start by creaming together butter and sugar with a hand or stand mixer.
Next, add the vanilla and beat until combined. Mix your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) in a separate bowl to assure even distribution.
Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, beating until just combined. It should look like the image above.
For evenly sized cookies, use a teaspoon to measure out cookie dough into small balls. Space these cookie dough balls at least 2 inches apart.
Bake for 11-13 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven. The cookies are ready when the edges are golden brown.
- Butter: Make sure your butter is fully softened before creaming with the sugar. Slice it up into 3-4 pieces to allow it to come to room temperature more quickly. It is ready when you can make an indent with your finger without much resistance.
- Sizes: If you want cookies the size of actual vanilla wafers you only need to scoop out a rounded teaspoon. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350F. For more regular sized cookies scoop out two teaspoons of cookie dough (this will make two dozen cookies) and bake for 11-13 minutes. For softer and more traditional sugar cookies, bake 1 tablespoon measure for 9-11 minutes.
- Flour: Always spoon and level flour into a measuring cup instead of dipping the cup directly into the flour. To do this, use a spoon to measure flour into the measuring cup until overflowing. Use the back of a knife to wipe excess flour off.
Keep at room temperature for 3-4 days. You can freeze these in an air tight container for up to 3 months.
I have not tested this recipe with gluten-free flour but I do think an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend like the kind by Bob's Red Mill should work.
I haven't tested this with coconut oil but it should work. Make sure that the coconut oil is room temperature (not melted) and soft to touch.
Looking for more vegan desserts?
Wondering why I really made vanilla wafers? This creamy vegan banana pudding somehow makes these crispy little wafers even better. You'll want to check this recipe out if you're a fan of vegan desserts.
Did you make this recipe? You can leave a star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ in the recipe card or a review down in the comment section. I always appreciate your feedback! You can also follow along on my YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest or sign up for my newsletter!
Vegan Vanilla Wafer Cookies
- ½ cup vegan butter softened, see note #1
- 1 cup white sugar vegan
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 and ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium mixing bowl, cream together softened butter and sugar with a hand or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Careful not to overmix. Stir in the vanilla until combined.
- In a small bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter and sugar mixture, beating until combined.
- Use a teaspoon measure to evenly portion cookie two teaspoon sized portions of dough onto the parchment lined baking sheet (it's okay if it's not exactly 2 teaspoons). Roll each dough piece into a ball. Space cookies two inches apart. Bake on the middle oven rack until edges are golden brown, 11-13 minutes. Yields 2 dozen cookies. They will firm up a lot as they sit.
- Store in a closed container for 3-4 days at room temperature or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Vegan butter: I've made this recipe with both Earth Balance buttery spread and baking sticks. Make sure that the butter is 100% room temperature. Slice it up into 3-4 pieces to allow it to come to room temperature more quickly. It is ready when you can make an indent with your finger without much resistance.
- Flour: To evenly measure flour, spoon flour into a measuring cup. Level off excess flour with the back of a knife.
- Sizes: This recipe is written for a little bit bigger cookies than classic nilla wafers. If you want cookies the size of actual vanilla wafers you only need to scoop out a rounded teaspoon. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350F. For softer and more traditional sugar cookies, bake 1 tablespoon of dough for 9-11 minutes.
Note: This recipe was updated May 2021 with improved method and extra tips. The recipe remains the same.