These Vanilla Wafer Cookies are the perfect cookies! They are super versatile, and they taste totally delicious.
I’ve heard that these simple, only slightly sweet wafers are reminiscent of animal crackers and arrowroot cookies—but better tasting. I feel the same way and enjoy nibbling them unadorned, but what makes this recipe especially useful is how easy it is to make number of very different cookies from one simple dough.
I generally make a double recipe and freeze well-wrapped packages of rolled-out dough and the cut cookies too. Then it’s just a matter of preheating the oven and baking at my convenience! I love serving my warm cookies with a mug of hot chocolate or a bowl of ice cream.
Vegan-izing the Recipe
I want to mention that this is the only one of my recipes that specifies all white flour, albeit organic and unbleached. My intention in 2006, when the recipe was published in More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally, was to create a particularly delicate cookie, and without ‘vegan butter’ or granulated sugar.
A few months ago, I decided to revisit the recipe wondering how a percentage of whole wheat pastry flour would work. Likely I wanted to feel better about offering my 1-year old grandson his first cookie. I began to test, and am now ready to share the new whole wheat pastry flour/white flour option which I find is less delicate, but tasty. You can cut the recipes in half and try them both. I’d love to know what you think.
How to Make Vanilla Wafer Cookies
- Sift together dry ingredients. Whisk together wet.
- Add wet to dry and form dough into 2 flat disks.
- Wrap disks in plastic wrap and chill.
- Roll out dough, cut out cookies, and dip in sugar.
- Bake cookies, then let cool. Try variations!
Full directions for how to make Vanilla Wafer Cookies are in the printable recipe card below.
Variations to Vanilla Wafer Cookies
Spread a layer of an organic all-fruit jam (a red raspberry or strawberry jam for Valentine's Day!), melted chocolate, or ganache on the bottoms of half of the cookies. Place another cookie, bottom-side down, onto the filling, and press lightly. Refrigerate until the filling is set. This will take 15–20 minutes.
Linzer Sandwich Cookies
Use a ½ inch cookie cutter—or even a pastry tip—to cut the centers out of half the cookies. Bake as directed. Cool before assembling, following the Sandwich Cookies method, using the cookies with holes as the top half of the sandwich.
Chocolate Dipped Cookies
Dip each cookie halfway into melted chocolate. If you want to spice up your cookies a bit, sprinkle them with some finely chopped nuts or shredded coconut etc. immediately. Then refrigerate cookies until the chocolate is set.
Chocolate Drizzle Art Wafers
Set the cookies close together on a flat tray lined with parchment. Dip the tines of a fork into melted chocolate and allow the chocolate to drip on the cookies, creating free-form designs.
Whole-Wheat White Flour Variation
Replace the first 2 ingredients (flour and arrowroot) with the following:
- 6 tbps organic whole-wheat pastry flour
- 6 tbsp organic unbleached white flour
- 3 tbsp arrowroot
All the other ingredients stay the same. Follow the remainder of the recipe as written.
Sweet tooth still craving? Here are more Vegan Baking and Sweets.
Vanilla Wafer Cookies
- ¾ cup organic unbleached white flour
- ¼ cup arrowroot
- ½ tsp aluminum-free baking powder
- ⅛ tsp fine sea salt
- 3 tbsp organic canola oil or any other neutral oil
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup grade A dark amber or Grade B
- 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup light organic cane sugar or maple sugar for sprinkling, to taste
- optional toppings jam, vegan chocolate (62–72% cacao), nuts, shedded coconut
- Sift flour, arrowroot, baking powder, and salt through a wire mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Whisk together.
- In another bowl, whisk together the oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.
- Pour wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until dough is smooth and shiny. Expect the dough to be soft.
- Divide the dough in half. Form each half of dough into a flat disc and wrap in plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until the dough is very cold. The dough can chill in the refrigerator up to 4 hours, or be frozen for up to 2 months.
- When you are ready to shape and bake the cookies, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread half of the sugar on a flat plate.
- Remove one piece of dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Leave the plasic wrap under the dough and put another piece of wrap on top of the dough. You can also use parchment paper if you prefer.
- Use a rolling pin to roll dough into a round or oval shape, about 1⁄4-inch thick.
- Cut out the cookies with a 2-inch round (or other shape) cookie cutter, making the cuts as close together as possible. Combine the scraps of dough into another flat dish of dough, roll out to the correct thickness, and cut out more cookies.
- Use a wide spatula to lift each cookie onto the sugar. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with sugar as well.
- Use the spatula to lift each cookie onto the prepared baking sheet, placing them ½-inch apart. If the cookies are too soft to lift, leave them on the wrap or parchment and pop them into the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Bake the cookies 8–10 minutes, or until the cookies look dry and slightly puffed and the bottoms are lightly browned.
- Set the baking sheet on a rack and cool for 3 minutes, or until the cookies are firm enough to move. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.
- Store the cookies in a tightly covered tin or jar at room temperature for up to 2 days. Freeze the cookies for up to 2 months.
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