Safer Vanilla Wafers

Safer Vanilla Wafers

Not your normal nursery cookie: it's better! Naturally free of nuts, this version is dairy-free, gluten-free, gum-free, and easy on the migraine. Simple, vanilla wafer goodness made from scratch.

By, variation of Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book (1968) vanilla wafers

Wafts of vanilla wafers allow my mind to drift to happy, carefree childhood days. This nursery school staple has been elevated out of the cardboard box, with ingredients easy to nibble for the most dietary-challenged amongst us. Naturally, this recipe is free of nuts. Butter has been replaced with dairy-free palm shortening. Traditional, all-purpose flour has been removed and replaced with our signature Cake on Board Gluten-Free Cake Flour Blend (this blend comes together in seconds); cake flour works so well with this type of crisp, light cookie. And because this recipe uses pure vanilla and only simple ingredients, it is migraine-friendly, too!


  • 1 cup palm shortening at room temperature
  • â…” cup raw, granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups sifted Cake On Board Gluten-Free Cake Flour Blend
  • Filtered water
  • Several Tbsp potato starch for dusting

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. Line baking sheets with parchment or silicon baking mat. Set aside.
    3. Into bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, add shortening and sugar. Beat at medium speed for 4 minutes or until mixture is creamy.
    4. Add to mixer salt and vanilla. Stir until combined.
    5. Add to mixer one egg, mix it well. Then add the second egg; mix it well, too. Turn the mixer to high speed and whisk for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the batter is light, fluffy, and a shade of yellow softer than the egg yolks that were used.
    6. Remove mixing bowl from mixer. Using your favorite spatula (mine is my glitter silicon spatula, of course!), gently fold in sifted flour, taking your time to keep the dough airy.
    7. Working with two spoons spoon approximately 1 tsp of dough onto prepared baking sheet. Repeat, spacing spoonfuls of dough about 2 inches apart from one another (12 fit nicely on a standard baking sheet).
    8. Into a small cup, add water. Dip index finger into water, then gently form circular motions over each spoonful of dough in order to shape into round wafers; it is ok if you see edges and swirls. Repeat for each spoonful of dough.
    9. Onto a small plate, add a few tablespoons of potato starch. Taking a flat-bottomed glass, press the bottom into the starch to coat. Now, gently press dusted bottom onto the top of each wafer. Be very gentle, as the goal is to flatten the top surface only without sacrificing the lovely air bubbles you so carefully created early on in your whisking and folding.
    10. Place baking sheets into preheated oven; bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
    11. Keep a watchful eye on wafers as they bake. They will be done when pale across their top surface and just slightly golden around their perimeter. Remove sheet pans from oven and transfer to a heat-safe counter top. Transfer cookies immediately to cooling rack and allow to come to room temperature before indulging in that wholesome, vanilla taste.
    12. If baking multiple batches, allow sheet pans to cool for 10 minutes before adding more raw dough. Repeat steps for remaining dough, and when finished, turn off oven.


    • This recipe yields approximately 72 cookies (2-inches).
    • Baked cookies may be stored at room temperature in a lidded container for several days (if your household Cookie Monster(s) don't eat them all before then!).
    • Freeze unbaked cookie dough: place unbaked scoops tightly together in one layer (untouching) on a lined baking sheet and place into freezer; freeze overnight and then transfer frozen dough balls to a freezer container; store in freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to bake frozen dough, bring scoops to room temperature for 10 minutes, follow the steps to shape the wafers using water and potato starch, and then bake for an additional minute or two (if needed).