Vanilla Wafer Cake

Tender and moist each morsel of this Vanilla Wafer Cake recipe with coconut and pecans is so delicious!

Made in a bundt or tube pan this easy cake makes a beautiful presentation for your holiday meal or nice family gathering.

Dollop of whipped cream in front of thick slice of vanilla wafer cake

If you like this recipe you may also enjoy our Rum Glazed Bundt Cake, Sherry Wine Cake, or Blackberry Bundt Cake.

Recipe for Vanilla Wafer Cake

The prominent flavor in this cake is vanilla wafers. Pecans and coconut add such a nice accent to every bite. A combination of flavors that you know and enjoy make this cake special!

This made from scratch vanilla wafer cake recipe is unique because it uses ground up vanilla wafer cookies in place of flour. While it’s an old fashioned dessert recipe, the taste is timeless.

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Vanilla is one of my favorite flavors from our Homemade Ice Cream to our Spiked Root Beer Float. Using a box of vanilla wafers and adding some real vanilla creates a brighter flavor than a traditional vanilla cake.

We find that his recipe for Vanilla Wafer Cake has the most appeal to the most people. You can always serve with whipped cream, maraschino cherries, caramel sauce, or a fruity syrup to enhance the flavor even more.

Vanilla wafers and whipped cream spread around plate featuring a slice of vanilla wafer cake in front of entire cake

I love how pretty a simple cake like this looks in a bundt pan. From our Black Forest Cherry Bundt Cake to our Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake there are so many fun and distinct options to try.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Box of Nilla wafers or store brand vanilla wafers
  • Granulated sugar
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla
  • Milk
  • Unsweetened coconut
  • Pecans
Easy ingredient to make vanilla wafer cake

How to Make A Vanilla Wafer Cake

Preheat oven to 350°F. Soften butter, but don’t fully melt.

Use a food processor to crush vanilla wafers.

Ensure there are no large pieces remaining.

Finely crushed nilla wafers in a mini food processor

Using an electric mixer and a large bowl, cream butter and granulated sugar together.

Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix again.

Eggs and vanilla added to butter and sugar blended together

Then add milk and mix well.

Milk, eggs, butter, sugar and vanilla making a liquid mixture in a mixing bowl.

Once these ingredients are mixed into a liquid batter add fine crumbs of Nilla wafers.

Crushed vanilla wafers poured into cake batter in a mixing bowl

Pour finely chopped pecans and coconut into the batter and fold in by hand.

Coconut and chopped pecans on top of vanilla wafer cake batter

Grease a bundt pan well just before you’re ready to pour in the batter. Be sure to get the center and sides of the pan very well.

Vanilla wafer pound cake batter spread into a greased bundt pan

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees f for 60 – 70 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. If there’s not very much on the cake it is almost done.

Let cake rest for 10 – 15 minutes. Use a butter knife to loosen the cake around the edges and then flip onto a serving dish or wire cooling rack to continue cooling.

Cake on a wire cooling rack after just releasing from a bundt pan

Serve warm or at room temperature and enjoy!

Slice out of easy Nabisco vanilla wafer bundt cake on a glass dish

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • Ensure that vanilla wafer cookies are all finely and uniformly ground – while I typically crush crackers in a bag with a rolling pin, I always use a food processor for this recipe.
  • Anywhere from 5 to 7 ounces of coconut works well in this recipe depending on how much you like coconut.
  • Wait to grease bundt cake pan until right before pouring batter in so that the spray doesn’t all run to the bottom. I have not found a benefit to flouring the pan, but if you have a system that works keep stick with it!
  • Finely chopped pecans blend in to the batter and create a more even flavor.

Storage & Freezing Instructions

Cake stays fresh longest when stored in an air tight container. This vanilla wafer cake recipe freezes well in a freezer bag. Defrost for 24 hours in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.

Three vanilla wafers leaning on a slice of cake on a white plate

This cake is always a hit with crowds!

More Easy Cake Recipes:

Best Chocolate Cake from A Box – this one is a classic and almost always on birthdays!

Cream Puff Cake is so much easier to make than a regular cream puff and is super delicious!

Easy Coconut Cake starts with a box mix and is very delicious.

We also found this Pineapple Vanilla Wafer Dessert that looks perfect for summer.

Printable Vanilla Wafer Cake Recipe

Close up piece of the best vanilla wafer cake with whipped cream and wafer cookies on the small white plate

Vanilla Wafer Cake

Servings 14 slices
Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life
Tender and moist each morsel of this Vanilla Wafer Cake recipe with coconut and pecans is so delicious!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 12 ounces vanilla wafers crushed
  • 7 ounces unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup pecans chopped


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Cream sugar and butter together. Add eggs and vanilla beat well.
  • Pour in milk and beat.
  • Add crushed vanilla wafer crumbs and thoroughly combine.
  • Stir in coconut and pecans, then mix well by hand.
  • Generously grease a tube pan. Pour into tube pan and bake for approximately 60 – 70 minutes.
  • Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run knife around edges. Invert and remove from pan to a wire rack to completely cool.


Calories: 518kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 6gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 19gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 241mgPotassium: 174mgFiber: 3gSugar: 38gVitamin A: 539IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

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