Benne Seed Wafers

Marsha Gardner


South Carolinians have referred to sesame seeds as benne since the 17th century when Africans first brought the seeds to this country. Though cooks in the South use benne seeds in a variety of recipes, the most popular is in benne seed wafers.

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10 dozen


1/2 c
sesame seeds white or black
1/2 c
butter, unsalted, room temperature
1 c
1 large
1/2 tsp
pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 c
all purpose flour
2 tsp
baking powder
1/2 tsp
baking soda
1/2 tsp
kosher salt

How to Make Benne Seed Wafers


  • 1Toast sesame seeds in a heavy skillet over medium heat 5 minutes or until toasted, stirring often.
  • 2Beat butter at medium speed with mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Stir in sesame seeds, eggs and vanilla.
  • 3Combine flour and remaining ingredients; stir into butter mixture. Cover and chill at least one hour.
  • 4Shape Doug into 1/2 -inch balls, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Flatten to 1/15 -inch thickness with floured fingers or a flat-bottomed glass.
  • 5Bake at 325-degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately transfer to wire racks to cool.

Printable Recipe Card

About Benne Seed Wafers

Course/Dish: Cookies