Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers

I have been wanting to create a gluten free vanilla wafers recipe for sometime now. It’s finally here. Now, you can make that banana cream pie or banana pudding you used to make. This recipe was adapted from Food Network’s Chef Alton Brown’s recipe for Vanilla Wafers. They are just wonderful. I’m thinking of replacing my gluten free milano cookies recipe for this recipe instead. Whether you make them bite size or regular size, they are a treat. They brought back some great memories from when I was young, as well as when my kids were young. There are a couple of variations which you can check out below in the Tips area. I hope you enjoy them.

NOTE: If you use ghee instead of butter, be sure to use 80% key and 20% water.

Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers

Yield: 44 1 3/4-inch wafers

Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers

A wonderful gluten free vanilla wafer which has a few variation: lemon, almond, or shape them round or oval for milano cookies.


  • 1/2 cup superfine white rice flour
  • 1/4 cup superfine brown rice flour
  • 3 Tablespoon potato starch
  • 1 Tablespoon tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (or guar gum, for corn-free)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (or Earth Balance spread), at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar or (sugar-free substitute: birch derived xylitol, etc.)
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk (cow's, almond, GF rice, etc.)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour with the baking powder, and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl once mixed.
  4. Add the egg and blend just until incorporated, scraping bowl as needed.
  5. Add the milk and vanilla; and blend just until incorporated.
  6. Add the flour mixture a little bit at a time, scraping the bowl, if needed. Place in the refrigerator to chill for about 25 minutes.
  7. Scoop 1/2 tablespoon of the batter onto your oiled hands and roll into a ball. Add them to the prepared baking sheet, spaced about 1/2" to 1" apart. They don't spread. With oiled hands shape into desired form (round, oval, etc.) and press each piece of cookie dough to flatten to about 1 3/4 - 2" round or longer and narrower for oblong (rectangle or oval).
  8. Bake for 15 minutes (or 17-18 minutes for browned edges and crispness ), rotating the pan halfway through the baking process for even browning.
  9. Transfer the cookies, along with parchment paper, to a cooling rack to cool completely.



Substitute some of the vanilla for either lemon extract, lemon juice, almond extract, or add lemon zest.

Bake them in bite size pieces by using 1 teaspoon instead of 1/2 tablespoon, and reduce the baking time.

If you only have regular rice flour on hand, to prevent some of the grittiness of rice flour, grind the flour in a coffee grinder. Superfine rice flours are not gritty at all.

You may shape them in any shape you desire, such as oval for use as milano cookies which you would fill them with firm/chilled Chocolate Ganache or Dairy-Free Raw Ganache. Just make them thinner and reduce cooking time.

They do not brown much, but darken upon cooling. If you should desire a more yellow cookie, use all white rice flour and some lemon juice, zest, food coloring (Select Tea makes a natural one), or add a couple dashes of turneric (not too much).

5 Replies to “Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers”

  1. Hello! Daughter can’t have potato, corn or oats. Can I use all tapioca flour in place of the corn, potato or oat starches/flours in your flour mixes or recipes? I am baking for a homesick, newly married daughter who often has week-long stomach aches from food others think safe. Christmas will be especially hard for her this year and I want to bake and freeze special things for her.

    Thank you so much for bringing together so much help and advice on your site.

    1. Hi Honey,

      I am sorry to hear about your daughter’s illness.

      No. You cannot substitute tapioca flour for potato starch, corn starch and oat flour. Tapioca puffs/rises higher and is quite a bit chewy compared to the other ingredients. You can substitute sorghum flour for the oat flour. However, the corn and potato starch is trickier. Many people swear by using arrowroot flour as a substitute for corn and potato starch, but I find that it makes softer baked goods and takes longer to bake. You can try it, if desired, though.

      Good luck!

  2. We just talked about the yummy Nilla Wafer Banana dessert our moms made. Thanks for posting this recipe. Now I’ll have to hunt down that recipe.

  3. I was just googling gluten-free vanilla cookie recipes…this looks and sounds like a delicious one! Thanks for including the tips/variations as well. Really helpful!

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