Benne Wafers Recipe

These traditional southern Benne Wafers are a special treat, and quite addicting too! They also make a great gift during the holidays so make an extra batch or two to share.

Benne Wafer Cookies Recipe

Benne (sesame seed) Wafers are popular in the low country of South Carolina. They’re a traditional treat in that area and have stood the taste test of time. It’s no wonder. These cookies are nutty and crunchy and sweet, and the perfect compliment to a bowl of ice cream or a cobbler.

Just like every other recipe here, these Benne Wafers are easy peasy and what you’ll end up with is a beautiful, translucent wafer.

Here are the ingredients that you will need to get started: brown sugar, butter, an egg, flour, salt, baking powder, vanilla and/or course toasted sesame seeds.

Benne Wafer Cookies Recipe

Some recipes don’t call for toasted sesame seeds, but I think you’re missing out by skipping this simple step. To toast the seeds, just brown them on the stove top in a dry pan, stirring them occasionally to prevent scorching. It should only take a few minutes. And man alive, is it worth every second. Don’t skip that step. Trust me.

After sesame seeds are toasted, begin by creaming the brown sugar and butter together. Beat the egg, and combine it with the sugar/butter mixture. Next, sift the flour, salt and baking powder together, add it to the mix and combine until just smooth.

Benne Wafer Cookies Recipe

Finally, toss in the vanilla and toasted sesame seeds, and mix well.

Benne Wafer Cookies Recipe

Toasted sesame seeds smell wonderful.

Benne Wafer Cookies Recipe

On a foil, parchment or silicon baking mat lined baking sheet, drop teaspoons of batter spaced apart to allow for spreading. Bake in a 375-degrees F oven for approximately 12-13 minutes, until browned. Let cool for about a minute on baking sheet before removing to cool on rack. Makes about 50 1 1/2-2 inch wafers.

Benne Wafer Cookies Recipe

Do you have a traditional local food (especially dessert) to share? Do share.

Benne Wafers Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This southern traditional cookie is so full of flavor and makes a great gift during the holidays.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: Makes about 50, approximately 2? wafers.
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons sesame seeds
  1. In a sauté pan or skillet, toast sesame seeds over medium heat until brown. Stir occasionally to avoid scorching. Let cool.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream the brown sugar and butter together.
  3. Add the beaten egg to the sugar/butter mixture, and combine well.
  4. Next, sift the flour, salt and baking powder together, add it to the mix and combine until just smooth.
  5. Finally add the vanilla and toasted sesame seeds and mix well.
  6. On a foil, parchment or silicon baking mat lined baking sheet, drop teaspoons of batter, spaced apart to allow for spreading.
  7. Bake in a 375-degrees F oven for approximately 12-13 minutes, until browned.
  8. Let cool for about a minute on baking sheet before removing to cool on rack.
Adapted from Charleston Receipts.

Benne Wafer Cookies Recipe

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  1. 1

    Wei-Wei says

    Thank you. I am making these next Tuesday as a present to my teachers at the end of this school year. YYYuuuuuuuummmm. I love love love sesame seeds!


  2. 2

    Miss Wisabus says

    My PawPaw is a nut (excuse me) over sesame seeds. I’ll have to share this recipe with Gran!

  3. 4

    Tickled Red says

    I completely forgot about those.It’s been years since I had some…and your look so yummy :) Beautiful photos.

  4. 5

    Maggy@ThreeManyCooks says

    These are so beautiful! I’m always looking for simple sweet treats to go with a cup of tea in the late afternoon. As always, gorgeous photos!

  5. 7

    Denise says

    I’ve never made these, but have always loved them. Thanks for sharing the recipe and appetizing photos!

  6. 10

    Amanda says

    Great pictures (as usual) and wonderful recipe. I have never heard of them but would like to give them a try. Recipe looks doable. Thanks!

  7. 11

    the country cook @ Delightful Country Cookin' says

    These are so cute! Are they good dipped in chocolate?

  8. 12


    I am making these today!!! omg I love and crave them and hate horrid ones i can find around here in packages….thank you thank you thank you for this recipe!!!!

  9. 15


    We made these for the first time when my daughter was about 8 and I was leading American Girls Club for our homeschool group. (13 years ago!!) We were studying Addy. Loved them, but never made them again. I’m going to try your recipe now. Thanks for sharing.

  10. 16


    My husband will love you for posting this. He loves all cookies crunchy and crisp, and seeing as how he went to grad school in South Carolina, pretty sure these will be on the must-make list.

  11. 17

    Lynne A says

    Hat Lady — you should’ve warned everybody how impossible it is to stop eating these once you start! I L.O.V.E. Benne Wafers. :)

  12. 18

    Dionne Baldwin says

    They sound sooooo good. I have never had Benne Wafers but they look fragile and like I would have a hard time making them. (I so clumsy!) Thank you for posting all those pics too! They really sound easy to make!

    • 20


      Hey Wei Wei!

      What’s up up? I’m sorry the recipe didn’t work for you. Sesame seeds aren’t cheap. With this cookie recipe (as well as most cookie batters) it’s crucial to not let the batter warm up. If you’re not going to be using it for a while to refrigerate so it doesn’t get runny. Also, the recipe calls for teaspoons of batter spaced far enough apart to account for spreading. The cookies/wafers will be super thin and transparent when done correctly. They are yummy indeed. Again, I’m sorry you had difficulty with the recipe but am glad you persevered and came up with your own version. How fun is that?

      Keep on cookin’!

      ~ Amy

  13. 21


    As usual, your photos are beautiful. Love the one of the all the prep bowls lined up. Your benne wafers are perfectly thin, which would make it that much easier to eat a dozen in one sitting.

  14. 24

    Roosalyn Brand says

    How do I print out your photos? step by step, they look beautiful.

    I’m going to try to make them today anyway. Hope they turn out. RB

  15. 26

    Carolyn says

    Oh man, I want to make these so much! I wonder how they would fair with a low carb sweetener in place of sugar. Might be worht a try!

  16. 31

    Amy says

    I first had these years ago when visiting my parents. Someone had sent them a box of them for the holidays, and my Dad and I would sneak into the kitchen and gobble them down for a late-night snack.
    I’ve looked around quite a bit to find a recipe that duplicates the light, crispy, salty-buttery-sweet wafer I remember. This is the one! I’ve made them for friends and have been asked for the recipe, so I hope you don’t mind that I’ve shared it! They disappear fast! Thanks so much for sharing.

  17. 32

    Roses1 says

    Wei-Wei, I checked your blog and you admitted that your oven doesn’t work properly and the bottom heating unit doesn’t heat. That’s most likely why this recipe didn’t work for you. It has nothing to do with this recipe so why bash it? This is a great recipe and the cookies are delicious!

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