Homemade Vanilla Wafers with Fudge Frosting

This one is a throwback to my childhood.  To the skinny tall yellow box that my parents may or may not have strategically placed on the very top shelf of the pantry, so that we kids would probably have a hard time reaching them.  Growing up with a diabetic dad, this was a secret “low-fat-ish” snack that he would have in lieu of double-stuffed Oreos (although those did make a very short appearance every once in a while as well….).  We’d crumble them up over ice cream, dip them in tall, cold glasses of milk, or just eat them plain out of the box.  Vanilla wafers.  Plain old fashioned goodness in cookie form.

Recently, in a discussion with someone I am very fond of, I came to learn that one of his favorite cookies was similar to the old school vanilla wafer..with fudge on top.  I stuck that in the corners of my mind and quickly did a search to see if I could find a recipe to make a homemade version.  I was pumped when Shawnda’s version came up first in my Google search, so I went off to try my own hand at it.

Now, a caveat.  They are not *exactly* like the cookies that come from the box.  They have more of a shortbread consistency to them, and they pack a little less of the vanilla flavor.  (I was tempted to try vanilla beans in lieu of vanilla extract, and next time I might add one or two beans in to add a little more vanilla punch to the cookie.)  And, as far as the fudge frosting, I found a nice smooth chocolate ganache with a little sour cream in it to add a little tanginess.  (I love piping with ganache, so that was a bonus.)  Top them off with some sprinkles?  Why, of course.

Homemade Vanilla Wafers with Fudge Frosting

Servings: approximately 24 cookies



For the wafers:

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

For the frosting:

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup sour cream

Sprinkles, for garnish (optional)


1. For the wafers:  In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, and salt on medium-high speed and mix until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

2.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

3. Add the vanilla.

4. Add the flour and mix until thoroughly combined.

5. Transfer the dough to a clean and lightly floured surface and divide it into three equal portions.

6. Roll each portion in to a 2-inch diameter cylinder.

7. Wrap each cylinder tightly with plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 2 hours.  *You can also do a quick freeze of about 20 minutes if you are short on time.

8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

9.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

10. Unwrap each cylinder, and very carefully, cut each cylinder into 1/4-inch thick slices.  Place each slice onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing each wafer about one inch apart from one another.

11. Bake until the wafers are lightly golden, about 12-15 minutes.  Let cool completely before frosting.

12. For the frosting: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the whipping cream and butter and stir until the butter is completely melted.

13. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the chocolate chips. Let sit for about 2 minutes before stirring.

14. After two minutes, whisk the chocolate into the melted butter mixture, mixing until completely smooth.

15. Add the sour cream and whisk until combined.

16. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes.

17. Pipe as desired onto the wafers.


Sources:  Vanilla wafers from Confections of a Foodie Bride, originally adapted from Williams-Sonoma.  Frosting from Bon Appétit, via Epicurious.


February 21, 2012 - 6:20 am

Blog is the New Black - These look great, Shanon!

February 21, 2012 - 8:57 am

Maureen - I can’t remember the last time I had a Nilla wafer. They aren’t sold in Australia but I did get some once at the import store a few years ago. Ahh memories.

I’m going to give these a try when I’m feeling especially American. Thanks! 🙂

February 21, 2012 - 8:44 pm

Suzi - How cool, I remember vanilla wafers and that box, the frosting on top is killer. Love this.

February 22, 2012 - 3:06 pm

Shawnda - Beautilful! The ganache is a wonderful idea!

February 23, 2012 - 4:04 pm

what katie's baking - i actually prefer a shortbread consistency. these look fabulous!

October 18, 2012 - 6:39 pm

Paleo Vanilla Waffers - […] pudding with a homemade “wafer” (more like short bread) using all-purpose flour.  We cut this recipe in half for the vanilla wafer, and used this recipe for the vanilla pudding but because I get […]

February 2, 2014 - 2:26 am

Loretta - Are these a suggested treat for diabetics?

December 27, 2014 - 9:24 pm

Becky - How are these Paleo? You use all purpose gluten flour! Wanted to try this recipe until I saw that. Disappointed.

December 31, 2014 - 2:18 pm

srlacy - Hi Becky-

I’m a little surprised and amused by your comment, and I’m wondering how you got directed to my site. I have never once posted a Paleo recipe on my site nor have I ever promoted my blog as being Paleo-friendly. Seems like there’s a bit of confusion here. You’re right. These aren’t Paleo. Sorry to disappoint you. I hope you found something similar that is Paleo-friendly. Have a wonderful new year!

February 23, 2015 - 10:32 pm

nic - i know i’m very late to this, but i just came across this recipe & am wondering if the frosting needs to be refrigerated after using? thank you! these look delicious!