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Vanilla Wafer Cake has been around for years. I used to make it back in the seventies when my children were small and we lived on the farm.  I have been going through some of my old recipes and came across this one and decided to make it to post on the blog.  You can serve it plain or with caramel sauce.  This cake is great with coffee or as a dessert anytime.

2 sticks butter or margarine, or 1 cup
1 3/4 cups sugar
6 eggs
1/2 cup evaporated milk (can use regular milk)
11 ounce box of vanilla wafers, crushed (Put in plastic bag and crush with rolling pin)
1 1/2 cups coconut
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup nuts of your choice
Cream butter and sugar; add eggs and continue mixing.  Add milk, vanilla wafers and coconut along with lemon extract using mixer until well blended. Fold in nuts.  Pour into sprayed bundt pan.  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes until center is done.  Cool for 15 to 20 minutes and remove from pan.  Enjoy!
Caramel Sauce:
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
Bring to boil on top of stove and let boil for one minute. Remove from stove and add vanilla. Let cool to the consistency you like. It will harden as it cools. This sauce can be used on cakes, sweet rolls, etc.
If you like this recipe, you might also like my recipe for Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
Be sure and PIN Vanilla Wafer Cake for later: 
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  1. If you bake this cake until you see the sides pull away from the pan-I’ll assure you it will fall out Super easy! I take my plate and put on top of the the Bundt pan and flip it. To Be on the safe side I occasionally take a butter knife and run it along the edges. I make 3-4 Bundt cakes a month-So Don’t get discouraged…

  2. Mike Thompson says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I just made this cake last night and I had the same thing happen. My advice? Spray the pan with non-stick spray then flour it really really well. I should know better.

    Good luck!

  3. I like the looks of this recipe but I would need to make a non-nut version. What would you suggest as a substitute. Or would you just leave out? I was thinking maybe cinnamon chips of toffee chips and replacing the lemon extract with vanilla or rum. Any suggestions?

  4. Tracy Parker says:

    Made this today for a family reunion. Moist and so good. My sisters want the recipe. Non to carry home.

    • The Southern Lady says:

      So glad the family enjoyed this recipe. Thank you so much for letting me know Tracy. Have a wonderful week 🙂

  5. I just made this cake yesterday and was sharing the recipe with my mom and she said it sounded like an old recipe she had… Surely enough she went to her recipe box and it was her recipe for Oleo Cake!!!! I just received a history lesson on margarine, or the likes there of!!!

    • I’ve been making this cake for years and every year my cake sticks to the bunt pan and breaks WHY!?!? What am I doing wrong?

  6. Should this vanilla wafer cake be stored in an air tight container and/or should it be refridgerated?

  7. Susan, the recipe you’re looking for is An Icebox Fruit Cake, also called Refrigerator Fruit Cake. My mom makes it and it’s delicious!

  8. Years ago my Mom had a recipe for a fruit cake that used Vanilla Wafers for the cake portion. In her many moves she misplaced the recipe. Could this be modified to make a fruit cake?

  9. Arlene Malpasso says:

    I made this today. It is delicious! I used vanilla extract instead of the lemon. I could eat the whole cake! Yummy!

  10. Can I not use the coconut…..I don’t like it……Will it change the taste or texture too much to leave it out?

  11. Mary Kay Fogarty says:

    I just made two of these for a High School Reunion. They turned out wonderfully. I had many compliments. It’s delicious with or without the caramel sauce. One if the easiest cakes I’ve ever attempted.

  12. I made this on Sunday…and it didn’t even last 24 hours. It is so good, as well as the Carmel Sauce to serve with it.

  13. Hi, I took everyone’s suggestions to heart but followed the directions as listed. The cake took longer than 20 minutes to unloosen itself but the end result is delicious. I didn’t flour the pan. I haven’t iced it yet but I will. Thank you for a luscious cake recipe that is oh so easy and delicious (I’ve been eating the crumbs). I thought that it would be interesting not to use flour, but it worked.

  14. Crushing the vanilla wafers should thdg be kinda chunky or really fine

  15. Do u have to use nuts in it

  16. Desicated coconut or fresh grated coconut?

  17. I have made this cake but have never put icing/frosting on it. It is a delicious cake, without either.

  18. ps someone used bananas instead of coconut be we have someone allergic to bananas so am hoping something else works in place of coconut and bananas….

  19. can we use something other than coconut and have it turn out as good?

  20. phyllis newsome says:

    Can you leave out the coconut?

  21. Also we moved to Germany a year ago and I still haven’t found my bundt pan so I put it in a 9×13

  22. Can this be made in a 9 x 13 pan?

  23. Should we use Nilla wafers or the actual wafers that are layered and flakey?

  24. Cant wait to try it! Sounds so YUMMY!!

  25. carync crowston says:

    could you use graham crackers instead?

  26. No coconut. What could I use insread? Or skip it. Hummmm

  27. Lorrie Baldiwn says:

    Another wonderful recipe!! Made another sourdough pizza crust with your starter. You have made my life so much easier with your starter and wonderful crockpot recipes. Thank you, thank you!!

  28. this looks fantastic, can you use a different pan besides the bundt pan?

  29. Dottie Wyatt says:

    Judy, this cake is fantastic and so moist. I didn’t even have to lift a finger to make it. Shared your recipe with my sister and wha-la she did all the work. Thanks Judy this one is a keeper! And so is my sister…Lol

  30. Soon as I saw this I had to pin it. I love recipes like this.

  31. I’ve made this cake many times but I use vanilla extract. This cake is so moist & tastes great. The recipe I use doesn’t have the caramel sauce.

    • Marlene Fannon says:

      That was my thought when I read it, since I know I have vanilla extract. I just wondered if that would make too strong of a vanilla taste, so I’m glad to hear that you’ve used it and it works well.

  32. Oh Judy! This looks divine. I have an old recipe for this cake in my files somewhere from years ago too, but mine didn’t have the sauce to top it off. Love that – pinning this!

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