Gluten-Free Vanilla Wafers

Have you ever enjoyed a tasty vanilla wafer?  They’re definitely a food to try for all, as they can be enjoyed as a snack by themselves but also used in many varieties of recipes such as for banana pudding.  Those with gluten intolerances may find themselves curious as to if there are gluten-free brands that offer these cookies out there, or if they can be baked at home.

If you have a love for vanilla wafers but are intolerant of gluten or know someone who is, you shouldn’t fret too much.  There are a few brands that offer gluten-free vanilla wafer options and there are also ways you can make them yourself.  Brands such as Kinnikinnick offer gluten-free options, and making your own is easy.

Since vanilla wafers are so delicious, you deserve to know how to enjoy them like anyone else! This article will let you know all about gluten-free vanilla wafers, from who offers them to how to make them yourself, what makes them glutinous, what ingredients to be on the lookout for and what brands you should try to avoid buying. 

About Vanilla Wafers

Vanilla wafers are a popular snack and dessert cookie often used as just a snack and also in many recipes.  They’re known for their yummy vanilla and sweet favorings, crispy yet lightness in your mouth.  They are easy to make and also affordable for almost everyone.  Although many contain gluten, there are  brands that do not. 

Although these are a very popular snack item (especially for Western cultures) these are unfortunately unhealthy (even without gluten).  They’re made with corn syrups, hydrogenated oil, soy lecithin, artificial flavorings and more.  Additionally, many brands make their vanilla wafers with flour that contain high amounts of gluten in it.  

The first brand of vanilla wafers was made by Nabisco in 1898 in the United States.  The cookies are wafer style and have few ingredients.  The recipe was created by Gustav A. Mayer who was residing in Staten Island (a German-American confectionist).  The first brand of vanilla wafers eventually changed its name to Nilla wafers in 1967.

Since the first vanilla wafers have been produced, many other varieties and brands of vanilla wafers came after.  Although the composition of a vanilla wafer is somewhat simple, companies slightly tweaked recipes to change their products so that they could also compete in the market against Nabisco, offering more options to consumers worldwide.

What Makes Vanilla Wafers Glutinous?

The main ingredient that makes vanilla wafers glutinous is wheat flour.  Many companies that produce vanilla wafers use this ingredient, making it a little trickier for those with dietary restrictions to choose vanilla wafer cookies that they can enjoy without negative physical reactions afterwards.   

What Brands Offer Gluten-Free Vanilla Wafers?

Even though the list of brands that offer gluten-free vanilla wafer options is not large, it is still noteworthy in case you would rather purchase your cookies than make them yourself.  Some brands that offer gluten-free vanilla wafers include:

  • Highkey Wafers (vanilla flavored)

  • Kinnikinnick Vanilla Wafers

  • Schr Gluten-Free Vanilla Wafers

What Brands Should You Try To Avoid?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of brands you’ll have to try and avoid because they use wheat flour as their base ingredient when making their cookies.  These brands include: 

  • Great Value Vanilla Wafers

  • Nilla Wafers (all varieties)

  • Kroger brand vanilla wafers

  • Rip Van UFOs

  • Jack’s Vanilla Wafers

  • Royal Dansk Danish Cookies 

  • Most store brand vanilla wafers, such as Meijer brand, Amazon brand cookies (all flavors), 

Homemade Gluten-Free Vanilla Wafers 

You can easily make gluten-free vanilla wafers to satisfy your wafer cravings with just a few ingredients.  Ingredients such as all purpose gluten-free flour blends, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, light brown sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla extract and milk can be used in your baking journey.  

To make gluten-free vanilla wafers, you’ll generally first start by blending together your dry ingredients separately from your wet.  Then, you’ll slowly incorporate the wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and blend together evenly.  After this process is finished, you’ll either use a spoon to dollop wafers onto parchment–paper lined baking sheets or pipe them.

These cookies will only need a few minutes (approximately 15-20 minutes) until they’re finished baking in the oven (around 325 degrees Fahrenheit).  They’re considered done once their edges get lightly browned.  You can store these at room temperature for 2-3 weeks or up to two months in your refrigerator.  You can also freeze them for 8-12 months. 

Substitutes For Making Gluten-Free Vanilla Wafers

One substitute that comes in handy for baking gluten-free recipes is coconut flour.  This flour can be used in place of wheat flour at ratios of  ¼-⅓ cup coconut flour for every 1 cup of wheat flour.  When determining the exact amount you’ll need to use to substitute for wheat flour, you’ll have to play around with the amount to get the exact amount correct.

Another substitute that can be used for gluten-free baking is almond flour, or almond meal.  When you decide to use this in your vanilla wafer baking, you can easily use this in a ratio of 1:1.  You can also use amaranth flour at a ¼ : 1 ratio as well and produce a very nicely baked vanilla wafer and still have it be gluten-free.

Oat flour is another substitute that can be used in your gluten-free vanilla wafer baking venture, and it can be used at a ratio of 1:1.  You can use flaxseed meal using the same 1:1 ratio in baking your wafers as well.  Other substitutes you can try include buckwheat flour, chickpea flour, quinoa flour, teff flour, brown rice flour and arrowroot flour.   

Summary  

Vanilla wafers usually are made with gluten containing ingredients, mostly wheat.  However, there are some gluten-free vanilla wafer options you can look for at the grocery stores to satisfy your cravings.  If you don’t find any products you enjoy, making your own gluten-free vanilla wafers is a budget-friendly, easy and quick way to get a taste of your favorite snack. 

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