Federer failed to drop a set on his way to the final but was expected to face his toughest test against Cilic.
However, the Croatian was clearly battling serious blistering on his left foot and broke down in tears at one point because of the pain.
But Federer ruthlessly put him away in straight sets and the 35-year-old promised he would be back in south-west London with a ninth title on his agenda in 2018.
“It’s a dream to play here,” Federer said.
Roger Federer has promised he will back to defend his title in 2018
I hope to come back next year and defend the title
“I hope it was not my last match here.
“I hope to come back next year and defend the title.”
The final was disappointingly one-sided as Cilic twice required treatment, taking pain medication while trailing a set and break before the doctor strapped his foot up at the end of the second set.
And Federer admitted he had sympathy for the 28-year-old, who was so clearly hampered by the injury.
Wimbledon winners through the years Sun, July 16, 2017
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2017 – Garbine Muguruza
"It's cruel sometimes but Marin fought well and he's a hero,” Federer added.
"He should be really proud. I hope we can play some better ones down the road.”
Cilic said: ”I never give up in a match. I gave it my best – it's all I can do.
Marin Cilic was clearly suffering blistering on his left foot during the final
"I had an amazing journey here. I played the best tennis of my life.
“I really want to thank my team – they gave so much strength to me.
"Of course, to all my fans in Croatia. It was really tough today.
“I gave it my all. I will hope I come back here another time."