{Classic} Benne Seed Wafers

If you’ve ever been to Charleston, South Carolina you’ve probably tasted or at least seen the ever historical benne seed wafers in the candy shops around town.

If you haven’t, you’ll just have to make them.

They are super good.

A classic.



Benne is just the Bantu word for sesame…and it was actually brought to America from Africa in the 17th century.

Sesame seeds are high in protein, have no cholesterol (sorry folks…the butter does), and is rich in calcium, iron, zinc and vitamins B and E.*



The Bantu believed that eating these tasty thin and crisp cookies brought good luck. I’m fine with a little luck and a delicious cookie in my mouth! 😉




You need to keep the benne seed wafers in an air tight container. The moisture just gravitates to them.

You want to keep them nice and crispy!



You can’t just have one of these delicious and classic Southern treats! 🙂

They are especially delicious crumbled on top of some vanilla or peach frozen yogurt. Yum!!!




Benne Seed Wafers

adapted from Discover South Carolina


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sesame (benne) seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Toast the sesame seeds in a pan on medium heat, until you start to smell them. Set them aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  4. Mix with other ingredients in the order given.
  5. Drop with a tiny little teaspoon onto a cookie pan covered with a silpat mat or parchment paper, far enough apart to allow spreading while baking.
  6. Bake for 7-10 minutes.

Yield: 7 dozen cookies


*Information from Discover South Carolina website
Featured on Whipperberry.


  1. I’ve never heard of these until now! They look delicious though, and I’m definitely bookmarking this recipe to try in the near future. For some reason, I’m picturing mine slathered with peanut butter…:)

  2. I’ve never heard of them either! How long do you think they’ll keep before the freaking humidity(!!!) gets the best of them?

  3. My husband and I just returned from a week in Charleston and stayed at The Charleston Place Hotel – we so enjoyed the nightly turn down service which included the Beene Seed Wafers as a snack- I can’t wait to try this recipe!

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