12 Chessmen Cookies Substitutes & Yummy Recipes

Chessmen cookies are a favorite in my house. My kids love the delicious taste of the shortbread cookies and they also have fun guessing which pictures they will get.

I love simple joys like the excitement of getting the Chessmen cookie with the queen image. It really is great to be a kid…

I mostly use chessmen cookies to make the classic chessmen cookies banana pudding.

This is a Christmastime tradition! However, during the hectic, busy Christmas time, I often forget to buy chessmen cookies and need a cookie substitute. 

There may come a time when you need a chessmen cookie substitute. Whether you forget to buy chessmen cookies for banana pudding or your grocery store is simply out of stock, these chessmen substitutes can help! 

The best overall substitute for chessmen cookies is Lorna Doone cookies. Vanilla wafers are another great replacement for chessmen cookies, especially for banana pudding recipes. Homemade chessmen cookies are always a great option especially for those who love baking. Banana slices can be a healthy alternative for layering into bread pudding in place of chessmen cookies. 

There may come a time when you need a chessman cookie substitute. The first thing to consider when looking for a cookie replacement is how you will use the cookies.

Are you making classic chessmen cookie banana pudding? Or are you simply eating the butter shortbread cookies?

1)Nilla Wafers

nilla wafers

Vanilla wafer cookies are delicious in banana pudding. They have the same buttery taste as chessmen cookies but a little bit more vanilla flavor. 

Nilla wafers are the perfect consistency for banana pudding. They will soak up the pudding and get soft and tender. However, they will not completely dissolve into the pudding. 

Vanilla wafers are very easy to layer into the pudding. They are a uniform size and shape even though they are round while chessmen cookies are square.

You can find vanilla wafers in the cookie aisle of almost any grocery store. 

2)Lorna Doone

Lorna Doone are buttery shortbreads that are rectangular. The flavor and shape is similar to chessmen cookies!

These shortbread cookies are small squares; they are a little harder than chessmen cookies and less buttery. However, they are perfect for layering into a banana pudding recipe. 

Lorna Doone cookies have been a shortbread staple for years. You can find them in many stores however, they may be a little on the pricier side. They are considered a fancy cookie!

3)Graham Crackers

Graham Crackers

Graham crackers can be used in banana pudding in a pinch. They do the job of adding flavor to the banana pudding. They are also very easy to layer thanks to the rectangle shape. 

Graham crackers dissolve into the moist banana pudding quite quickly. They are very thin and porous so they fall apart quickly.

However, they will give you a tasty cinnamon sweetness!

4)Gingersnap Cookies

Gingersnap Cookies

Gingersnap cookies are very different from chessmen cookies. They are spicy and sweet while chessmen cookies are buttery and smooth. 

Gingersnaps are a classic banana pudding ingredient. You can find many recipes that mix gingersnaps and banana pudding.

They are a tasty substitute for chessmen cookies and will give your dessert a yummy twist. 

5)Keebler Sandies

Keebler Sandies

Lotus Biscoff cookies are a crispy rectangular cookie with a cinnamon flavor.

They are like a gingerbread cookie and a butter cookie combined. They are delicious in banana pudding. 

One box of Biscoff cookies should be plenty for a banana pudding recipe. The rectangular shape is similar to that of chessmen cookies and perfect for layering into your banana pudding. 


Lotus Biscoff cookies are a crispy rectangular cookie with a cinnamon flavor. They are like a gingerbread cookie and a butter cookie combined. They are delicious in banana pudding. 

One box of Biscoff cookies should be plenty for a banana pudding recipe. The rectangular shape is similar to that of chessmen cookies and perfect for layering into your banana pudding. 

7)Tate’s Bakeshop Chipless Wonders

Tates Bakeshop cookies are super thin and crispy. They are perfect for using to make ice cream sandwiches or any kind of cookie sandwich. 

The Chipless Wonders are a good substitute for chessmen cookies. They are essentially a chocolate chip cookie without the chips. They have a buttery, caramel flavor that is similar to chessmen cookies. 

8)Jules Destrooper Butter Crisp

One of the keys to a good ice cream sandwich is a thin cookie. Chessmen cookies are nice and thin, making a sandwich easy to eat. You don’t want to make a cookie sandwich that is too big for your mouth! 

Jules Destrooper Butter Crisps are thinner than chessman cookies but have the same buttery taste.

They are perfect for making cookie sandwiches and are bigger than chessman cookies so you can make larger treats!

9)Pure Butter Shortbread Rounds

Walkers Pure Butter Shortbread Rounds

Walker’s pure butter shortbread rounds are just as butter as chessmen cookies. They even have a pretty pattern on each cookie! 

The only big difference is that Walker’s shortbread is round rather than square. Walker’s cookies are a pretty big cookie brand so you should be able to find a box near you!

10)Homemade Chessmen Cookies

Homemade Chessmen Cookies

When you can’t buy a bag of chessmen cookies, simply make your own! Try our recipe below for delicious, buttery, homemade chessmen cookies.

They may turn out even better than the packaged cookies!

11)Banana Slices

Banana Slices

Banana slices are a great, healthy alternative to chessmen cookies when you are making banana pudding. Rather than make a layer of cookies in the pudding, make a layer of banana slices. 

Bananas are full of vitamins and minerals that will add a healthy, tasty twist to your banana pudding.

One full banana only has 108 calories which is definitely less than chessmen cookies! 

12. Protein Cookies

There are lots of healthy cookie alternatives on the market. Different types of protein cookies can be found almost anywhere.

Using protein cookies in place of Chessmen cookies is a great way to get the sweetness of a cookie and also add some nutritional value. 

Try using Quest brand protein cookies to make an ice cream sandwich or Lenny & Larry shortbread cookies for banana pudding.

A Lenny & Larry cookie may have 220 calories but it is about five times bigger than a chessmen cookies. It also has 18 grams of protein and only one gram of sugar.  

Protein cookies are great healthy substitutes for chessmen cookies. They have a lot of added nutritional value but still taste amazing. 

Making chessmen cookies is as simple as making any shortbread cookie. You need very basic ingredients but you will need a cookie press.

Any small, square cookie press will work so find one with a fun picture that you and your family will enjoy! 


  • ¾ cup butter
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • One tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 egg yolks

1.Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy.

2.Add the egg, vanilla and milk slowly, letting the wet ingredients mix into the drys well. 

3.Add the dry ingredients and blend. You should have a soft cookie dough. 

4.Roll the dough out on a floured work surface until it is about ¼ of an inch thick. 

5.Dust the surface of the dough with flour and then use a cookie press or cookie mold to imprint an image into the cookies. 

6.Cut the cookies apart using a knife and place them on a parchment lined sheet tray. 

7.Place the tray of cookies in the freezer for one hour. 

8.Brush the cookies with the whisked egg yolk then bake in a 375 degree oven for 8 minutes. They should turn a beautiful golden brown.

9.Chessman cookies right out of the oven are truly divine. It is definitely worth trying this recipe and making your own chessmen cookies! 

What are Chessmen Cookies?

Chessmen cookies are small, square shortbread cookies. They are made in either a cookie mold or shaped with a cookie press.

Each cookie has an image of a chess piece on the front, stamped into the cookie dough. 

Where to Buy Chessmen Cookies

Pepperidge farm chessmen cookies are the most common type of chessmen cookies on the market.

They come in a white package with a picture of the chessmen cookies right on the front. 

You can find the chessmen cookies Pepperidge Farm makes in almost every grocery store.

They are in the cookie aisle alongside other Pepperidge Farm cookies. Check your local store, Walmart, Target or order a pack online to be delivered to your door. 

Chessmen Cookies vs. Lorna Doone

Lorna Doone brand cookies and the chessmen cookies Pepperidge Farm makes are often compared to each other. Both are buttery shortbread cookies that are quite popular. 

Many people find Chessmen cookies to have more buttery flavor. Lorna Doone can be a little on the crunchier side.

Lorna Doone are also more expensive than Pepperidge Farm chessmen cookies. 

Frequently Asked Questions

We get a lot of questions about our recipes and articles. We try to answer them all! Hopefully these frequently asked questions about chessmen cookies will help you!

Are Chessmen Cookies The Same As Shortbread Cookies?

Yes, chessmen cookies are a type of shortbread cookie. They have been stamped with a cookie press to have chess piece images on each cookie. 

What Are Chessmen Cookies Made Of?

Chessmen cookies are made with sugar, eggs, vanilla, butter, milk, cornstarch, and flour. See our recipe above for a great recipe to make homemade chessmen cookies!

What Do Chessman Cookies Taste Like?

Chessmen cookies are buttery and vanilla. They are crunchy but will melt in your mouth. They can be quite crumbly as well. 

Final Considerations

Hopefully these chessmen cookie substitutes help you next time you need a buttery cookie replacement.

Each cookie is great in it’s own, unique way! Let us know your favorite cookie to use in place of chessmen cookies. Enjoy!

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