Globe-trotting Antipodean Dopers, a little help. please

For any Aussies or Kiwis who have spent time in the U.S. (or mhendo, I understand that you’re from that sector of the galaxy): have you any familiarity with American-style store-bought vanilla wafers? The most common brands here are Nabisco Nilla[sup]TM[/sup] Wafers, and Sunshine brand Vanilla Wafers. Are they available in the shops Down Under? I’m participating in a culinary message board with a woman whom I suspect is in Australia or New Zealand, and she’s having some difficulty with the word “wafer,” as presented in the context of vanilla wafers.

Thanks for any assistance you can offer.

I recognise the name. I saw them when I was in the US. But I didn’t try them, so I can’t say whether there’s an equivalent product available here under another brand name.

I’ve never seen them for sale in ‘average’ supermarkets. Shops specialisng in American products would no doubt carry them.

Well, we have Triple Wafers and like biscuits… are these what you mean?


Here are our standard wafer biscuits. They are thre layers of very light biscuit with flavoured cream (vanilla, chocolate or strawberry) between them. Nothing like a Nilla.

If you mean “Wafers” in the sense of “A thin, crispbread like product which is often enjoyed in Sundaes or other desserts”, then they’re readily available from the supermarkets here- I put some on the shelves at my other job last night, in fact!

I think she’s talking about these. They are like a small, crunchy cookie, slightly sweet, light.

That’s just… weird.

The closest I can think of is a Fortune Cookie, perhaps? They’re small, crucnchy, light, and slightly sweet… you can get them from the supermarket here, too.

I’m baffled by that picture. What do Americans understand by the term wafer thin?

Send her this recipe:

Top Secret Recipes
version of
Nilla Wafers
Here’s a simple recipe. It’s a kitchen clone of those tasty, tan, poker chip-like cookies from Nabisco. The real things come about 100 to a box and really fly when whipped into the air with a little flick of the wrist and forearm. They also skip nicely across the lake on a boring fishing trip. Next week we’ll springboard, and vary this recipe only slightly to create a clone for a different aerodynamic cookie from another manufacturer.
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon water

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cream together sugars, shortening, egg, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Add the the flour and baking powder. Add 1 tablespoon of water and continue mixing until dough forms a ball.
  4. Roll dough into 3/4-inch balls and flatten slightly onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until cookies are light brown. (
    Makes 50-56 cookies.

That something is “really thin.” It’s not that we don’t grok the concept of “wafer thin” (which I cannot say without a Monty Python accent). We do, and you’re right, Nilla Wafers aren’t actually wafer-thin. But in Merica, “wafer” isn’t really used in speech other than for these brand/type cookies and in the phrase 'wafer-thin." No one would ever hand you a plate of cookies and say “have a wafer.” I don’t think anyone would even refer to these cookies as “wafers;” they’re nilla or vanilla wafers, even though there’s no other kind (no chocolate wafers or anything, AFAIK). I think if you presented the word in the context of “wafer-thin,” most people couldn’t even tell you what a “wafer” was.

And now the word is lookin’ weird to me. Wafer, wafer, wafer.

He, actually; Kayla is my daughter, Michaela; I’m her dad.

And yes, those are the vanilla wafers that I’m trying to convey to my ANZAC correspondent. Thus far, all I’ve been able to send to her was the very recipe posted by elelator, above. That might be all I’m able to provide, but I thank you all for your efforts.

Perhaps, I’ll dash off an email to RJR Nabisco, see if they’re doing any business down in that direction.They might be able to provide me with something similar.

Yes, I’ve definitely seen those for sale in a shop in Crows Nest in Sydney that stocks specialist American stuff.

I’m an American living in Australia who recently tried to make the famous Nilla Wafer Banana Pudding (well, not too recently…before the Great Banana Shortage of 2006). Anyway, no, there really isn’t an equivalent to be found in Australia. I did find some storebrand cookies in Coles (a huge grocery store chain) that said they were shortbread cookies. They weren’t really shortbread…maybe a really cheap alternative. They were the same shape/size as Nilla Wafers and approximately the same texture. I used them in my pudding and they were great.

Wow, called out by name, and now late to the party.

Sorry, but as others have said, there’s really no Aussie equivalent to the American-style vanilla wafer. You’ll probably have to find a specialty import store, like the one mentioned by Cunctator.

I did find a website called that appears to sell a product called Vanilla Wafers, which i assume is what you need, although there is no brand name and no image.

They’re also pretty expensive, at $A8.59 for a 12oz box.

It might be helpful to know that “wafer” in the case of Nilla wafers is a misnomer. They’re plain and simple cookies; that’s it. Quit saying wafer and you might not confuse people who use the word correctly.

Americans do also use the word ‘wafer’ for actual wafers as well, by the way. Like the very thin stuff with goo between like. . . um. . . Männer wafers (Austrian? Brilliant, anyway) and the like-- we have many domestic versions-- and also for church Eucharist. However we ALSO use it in the particular brand name instance of the Nabisco 'Nilla Wafers. We know what a wafer is, though.