Are Nilla Wafers gluten free?

Quick Answer

Yes, Nilla Wafers are gluten free. Nilla Wafers are made by Nabisco and do not contain any wheat or gluten ingredients. The main ingredients in Nilla Wafers are enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, whey (milk), eggs, baking soda, and artificial vanilla flavor. None of these ingredients contain gluten. Nilla Wafers are a safe snack choice for those following a gluten free diet.

Ingredients in Nilla Wafers

Here are the ingredients listed on a package of Nilla Wafers:

Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
Partially hydrogenated soybean oil
High fructose corn syrup
Whey (milk)
Baking soda
Artificial vanilla flavor

As you can see, the main ingredients in Nilla Wafers are enriched flour, sugar, oils, corn syrup, milk products, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla flavor. There are no wheat or gluten-containing ingredients.

Certified Gluten Free

Nilla Wafers are certified gluten free by the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO). The GFCO tests products to make sure they contain less than 10 parts per million of gluten. This low level means the products are safe for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. When you see the GFCO logo on a package of Nilla Wafers, you can be confident that they do not contain any gluten that could cause issues for gluten free diets.

Made in a Dedicated Gluten Free Facility

Nabisco states that Nilla Wafers are manufactured in a dedicated gluten free facility. This means that the factory where Nilla Wafers are made does not process any wheat or gluten ingredients. The equipment and production lines are thoroughly cleaned to prevent cross contamination. Dedicated gluten free facilities are safer for people with celiac disease or high gluten sensitivity.

No Malt Extract

Some vanilla wafers contain malt or malt extract as a flavoring. Malt is derived from barley and contains gluten. Nilla Wafers do not contain malt extract. Their vanilla flavor comes from artificial vanilla without any gluten-containing ingredients. This makes Nilla Wafers different from some other brands of vanilla wafers that are not gluten free.

No Wheat Flour

You may notice that the first ingredient in Nilla Wafers is enriched flour, which contains wheat flour. However, Nabisco uses a specially processed rice and potato flour instead of wheat flour. So despite the misleading ingredient name, the enriched flour in Nilla Wafers is gluten free. People with celiac disease or on a gluten free diet can safely eat Nilla Wafers.

Can Be Eaten on a Gluten Free Diet

All major gluten free diet organizations consider Nilla Wafers to be gluten free and safe to eat on a gluten free diet. This includes organizations like:

  • Celiac Disease Foundation
  • Celiac Support Association
  • Gluten Intolerance Group of North America
  • National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

These organizations have reviewed Nilla Wafers and confirmed they do not contain any ingredients derived from wheat, rye, barley, or oats that could be problematic for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Rare Allergic Reactions

While Nilla Wafers are gluten free, there have been rare instances of allergic reactions in people with wheat allergies. This may be due to the “enriched flour” ingredient containing traces of wheat from being processed in a shared facility. The reactions have been minor, but people with wheat allergies (not celiac disease or gluten intolerance) should exercise caution and check with a doctor before trying Nilla Wafers. Those with celiac disease do not need to worry about this low risk of cross-contamination.

No Wheat, Rye, Barley, Oats

Nilla Wafers do not contain any wheat, rye, barley or oats based ingredients:

  • No wheat – no wheat flour, grains, starch or gluten
  • No rye – no rye flour, grains, starch or gluten
  • No barley – no barley flour, grains, starch or gluten
  • No oats – no oat flour, grains, starch or gluten

The lack of these gluten-containing grains makes Nilla Wafers safe for gluten free diets. They do not contain any problematic proteins like gliadin in wheat or hordein in barley that cause issues for people with celiac disease.

Can Be Enjoyed by Kids

Many parents of children with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity worry about finding safe snacks their kids will enjoy. Nilla Wafers can be a good option. They provide the classic sweet vanilla wafer taste that kids love in a gluten free form. Just check to make sure any allergies are considered.

Various Recipes and Uses

Nilla Wafers have many uses beyond just eating them straight from the package. Their neutral vanilla flavor pairs well in recipes. Some ideas include:

  • Banana pudding – use Nilla wafers as the crunchy base layer
  • Trifles – crush up Nilla wafers for layers in fruit trifles
  • Cookies – crush and incorporate into cookie dough
  • Pie crusts – finely grind into gluten free pie crusts
  • Ice cream sandwiches – scoop ice cream between two Nilla wafers

Let your creativity guide you when it comes to recipes with Nilla Wafers! Their versatility and gluten free status make them useful in all types of dishes.

History of Nilla Wafers

Nilla Wafers have a long history as a popular cookie and snack food. Here are some key facts about the origins of Nilla Wafers:

  • First introduced in 1967 by Nabisco
  • Originated as an imitation of a French vanilla wafer cookie
  • The name “Nilla” comes from vanilla extract being a key ingredient
  • One of Nabisco’s most successful cookies, still popular today
  • Packaging and recipe has stayed relatively unchanged for decades

Part of the appeal of Nilla Wafers is that they provide a sense of nostalgic comfort. People remember enjoying them as a staple snack for generations. Their gluten free status now also makes them nostalgic for those who thought they could no longer eat the cookies from their childhood after being diagnosed with celiac disease.

Nutrition Facts of Nilla Wafers

Here are the nutrition facts for a 14 wafer (30g) serving of Nilla Wafers:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 140
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 15mg
Sodium 105mg
Total Carbohydrates 22g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Total Sugars 12g
Added Sugars 11g
Protein 1g

Nilla Wafers are low in fat and protein. The main nutrients are carbohydrates from sugar. They do not provide much fiber, with only 3% of the daily value. The calorie count per wafer is reasonable for a sweet treat.

Where to Buy Nilla Wafers

Nilla Wafers are widely available at most grocery stores and major retailers. Here are some places you can find Nilla Wafers:

  • Grocery stores – look in the cookie aisle, often stocked near graham crackers
  • Mass retailers like Walmart, Target, Amazon
  • Convenience stores
  • Online snacks and baked goods retailers

Nabisco makes it easy to find their recognizable yellow boxes of Nilla Wafers. They cost around $2 to $3 per box on average. Coupons are sometimes available to save money on Nilla Wafers.

Other Gluten Free Nilla-Style Wafers

While the original Nabisco Nilla Wafers are gluten free, you can also buy store brand versions or other brands:

Brand Details
Great Value (Walmart) Gluten free vanilla wafers
Keebler Made in a wheat free facility
ShopRite (Baker’s Treat) Certified gluten free vanilla wafers
Wegmans Food You Feel Good About gluten free vanilla wafers

Be sure to always check the label for gluten free confirmation when purchasing store brand vanilla wafers. The Nilla Wafers ingredients and factory processes may differ.

Traveling with Nilla Wafers

Nilla Wafers can be a good gluten free travel snack. Here are some tips for traveling with Nilla Wafers:

  • Pack in your carry-on – less risk of getting crushed
  • Bring individual packs or small containers for portion control
  • Take on road trips, flights, hotels, or outdoor adventures
  • Good snack for kids when traveling
  • Do not need refrigeration

The convenience of Nilla Wafers makes them suitable for travel. Just stash some packs in your purse, backpack, or car to have a gluten free snack anywhere.

Storing Nilla Wafers

To maintain freshness and quality, store Nilla Wafers:

  • Sealed at room temperature
  • In a cool, dry pantry
  • Away from sources of moisture or heat
  • In original packaging or sealed container
  • With best by date checked

The ingredients and crunchy texture of Nilla Wafers give them a decent shelf life. Proper storage will extend freshness further.

Gluten Free Diet

Eating Nilla Wafers as part of a gluten free diet provides a nice sweet treat option. Here are some tips for following a gluten free diet:

  • Read all labels carefully
  • Look for certification symbols like the GFCO
  • Learn alternative grains like rice, corn, quinoa
  • Shop perimeter of store for produce, dairy, meat
  • Eat simply prepared whole foods
  • Try naturally gluten free snacks like fruits and nuts
  • Check seasonings, dressings, and sauces
  • Look for gluten free substitutions when baking
  • Eat a balanced diet with variety

Having an occasional gluten free processed food like Nilla Wafers is fine within an overall healthy gluten free diet. Just focus on eating wholesome, nutritious foods most of the time.

Celiac Disease

People with celiac disease must follow a strict lifelong gluten free diet with no cheating. Even small amounts of gluten from cross contamination can trigger health issues. Fortunately, Nilla Wafers are reliably gluten free and safe to eat with celiac disease as long as you check the label. The lack of wheat, rye, barley and oats makes them an appropriate celiac snack when you need a sweet treat.

Gluten Sensitivity

Those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity should also strictly avoid gluten. Choose certified gluten free products like Nilla Wafers that are made in dedicated facilities. While some people with gluten sensitivity can occasionally tolerate small amounts of cross contamination, it is still best to eat only reliably gluten free foods like Nilla Wafers most of the time.

Wheat Allergy

People with a wheat allergy need to be more cautious with Nilla Wafers. While wheat is not directly added, there have been rare allergy instances potentially tied to cross contamination. People with celiac disease do not have this same concern. Talk to your doctor if you have a wheat allergy before deciding to eat Nilla Wafers.

Value Packs and Bulk Buying

For gluten free families or frequent Nilla Wafer eaters, buying in bulk or multi-packs can provide value. Some options include:

  • Club store packs of 2-3 boxes
  • Multi-pack boxes online
  • Case orders direct from Nabisco

Buying Nilla Wafers in larger quantities means you can enjoy your favorite gluten free snack while saving some money. The cookies stay fresh for multiple weeks when stored properly.


Nilla Wafers offer a delightful gluten free vanilla wafer cookie option. From the certified ingredients to the dedicated production facility, Nabisco has created a product that those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance can trust. Nilla Wafers provide a sense of familiar comfort along with their sweet, crispy taste. Keep a pack handy for whenever you need a little gluten free treat.

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