Waffles are easy – same ingredients as pancakes, just different ratios so they’re crispy outside, soft and fluffy inside. You can make this waffle recipe right now, though if you make the batter the night before they’re even better!
Which is better: pancakes or waffles??
Pancakes are great. But waffles are better. Because they have maple syrup and butter catching pockets. And they’re crispy. Whereas pancakes get soggy when they absorb maple syrup.
You can also make multiple waffles in one go with a waffle maker, whereas pancakes are made one at a time. Though I do acknowledge that pancakes don’t require any special tools – unlike waffles for which you need a waffle maker.
But if you take the need for a waffle maker out of the equation, for me, it’s a no brainer. Waffles for the win, every day!!!
Just on waffle makers….
Yes, you need a waffle maker to make waffles. There’s no way around that, sadly! Waffle makers – or waffle irons – cook the waffle when batter or dough* is placed between hot plates that have grids that create the indentations.
However, not all waffle makers are created equal. Better quality ones (read: pricier) will yield thicker waffles with a crispier crust that’s evenly golden (I’ve got this one – a bit of an investment for people serious about waffles). More economical ones are not quite as crispy – like my Kmart one. But I am still very happy with my Kmart waffles made with this waffle batter!
* Dough? Yes! Real Belgium waffles are made with a yeast-dough, not a batter, cooked in a waffle iron. They are magnificent! A recipe for another day. 🙂
What you need for waffles
Seriously, just the same ingredients as pancakes. Just different ratios so it cooks up crispy. 🙂
Flour – Just plain / all purpose flour. You can substitute the flour and baking powder with self raising flour (which has baking powder built in) and it works fine, but it is not quite as soft inside. That’s just the case with anything you make using self raising flour rather than flour + baking powder.
Baking powder – On baking powder, if yours has sat unused in the back of your pantry for months and months, check it is still alive else you may end up with dense waffles!
Sugar – Caster/superfine sugar is safest because it’s smaller grains so you know it will easily dissolve. However, regular/granulated sugar is fine to use too.
Eggs – At room temperature, so they incorporate easily into the batter. Use large eggs which are ~55g / 2 oz each, an industry standard so the eggs will be labelled “large eggs” on the carton. More on eggs for baking here.
Milk – Full fat please! Lower fat in light milk will make the inside of the waffles drier. Warm it slightly so it’s not fridge cold, else it can bring down the temperature of the batter too much and cause the butter to solidify when mixed through. Just use the microwave (30 seconds) or stove.
Butter – For flavour! Melt then cool slightly so it’s not piping hot.
Salt – Just a touch, to bring out the flavours. This is good general practice for all (well, most!) sweet baking recipes.
Vanilla – For flavour!
How to make waffles
For the tastiest waffles with extra soft insides, make the batter the night before and rest overnight. Or, at least 2 hours. Makes the flour grain swell because it absorbs the liquid. Bonus: handy. Wake up to freshly cooked waffles!
Whisk dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Just whisk to mix them up.
Whisk in wet – put the milk, eggs and vanilla in first and whisk to combine. Once incorporated, add the butter then whisk until lump free.
Batter – The batter is thicker than a pancake batter (which should be thin enough to spread in a pan) but thinner than a muffin batter (which semi-mounds in muffin tins).
Recommended overnight or 2 hr resting – for the tastiest waffles, rest the batter overnight in the fridge or for at least 2 hours. This makes the flour grains absorb the liquid so it makes the inside of the waffles softer. And if you rest overnight, the batter develops more flavour – in the same way overnight bread and pizza dough does!
Fill waffle maker – Preheat a waffle iron until hot (see below for settings note). You won’t need oil if your waffle iron is non-stick, as is standard. Then use a ladle to fill with batter, just until the iron is covered. Don’t get greedy – it will leak out the sides!
Cook until the exterior is golden. In a quality waffle iron, this might take 3 1/2 minutes. In a more economical one, it can take 6 minutes plus. (See above for quality v economical waffle irons). The faster it cooks, the more moist the inside is!
Remove from the waffle iron using a butter knife of similar, then serve immediately while they are hot and crisp. (They soften as they cool).
* Waffle maker settings – my Breville Waffle Pro has setting options. I use heat setting 3 of 5, “Classic” option (as opposed to Belgium, buttermilk, chocolate etc), with the colour dial set midway between Light and Dark. My Kmart waffle maker has no options. 🙂
You really don’t need anything more than maple syrup or honey plus a pat of butter. Though I do recommend making sure your butter is at room temperature so it melts as intended even if your waffles are not piping-hot out of the waffle maker when it hits your plate.
Nobody likes un-melted ice-cold rock-hard butter on their waffles!
As for other topping suggestions: icing sugar/powdered sugar for dusting plus whipped cream and strawberries are my indulgence / pretty plate toppings of choice, extensively pictured through this post. 😇
Some more ideas for you: other fresh fruit (especially berries), any kind of fruit sauce (think – strawberry, blueberry), fruit compotes, jam, lemon curd, passionfruit curd, chocolate or caramel sauce, melted Nutella, ice cream (absolutely, why not!), creme fraiche, marscapone, double cream or yogurt (a lightly sweetened vanilla one would be lovely).
So many options! Share what you top yours with so you can inspire me and others! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Really great waffles
- 2 1/4 cup flour , plain / all purpose
- 2 1/2 tbsp caster sugar / superfine sugar (sub granulated / ordinary sugar)
- Pinch cooking / kosher salt
- 4 tsp baking powder (if yours is old, check it's still good)
- 1 1/3 cup milk , full fat, slightly warmed (not piping hot)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 4 large eggs , at room temperature (what this means)
- 150g / 11 tbsp unsalted butter , melted and slightly cooled (not piping hot)
- Butter , softened (strongly recommended!)
- Maple syrup (strongly recommended!), or honey
- Icing sugar / powdered sugar , for dusting
- Strawberries, other fruit , whipped cream, melted chocolate, jams, fruit compotes, creme fraiche, strawberry sauce, blueberry or other sauce, ice cream
- Whisk dry – Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to mix.
- Whisk in wet – Add milk, eggs and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Add melted butter then whisk until lump free. The batter should be pourable but thick – slightly thinner than pancakes.
- Recommended resting (Note 1) – Cover then refrigerate overnight, or for at least 2 hours. Softer insides, better flavour. Else, proceed immediately with cooking.
- Preheat a waffle maker (Note 2, inc setting options). A non stick one will not need oil, plus there is butter in the batter.
- Cooking – Use a ladle to pour batter in to just cover the iron. Don't get greedy – it will leak out the sides! Cook until golden and crisp – my good waffle iron takes 3 1/2 minutes, my Kmart one takes 6 minutes.
- Serving – Transfer onto plates and serve as you go, with desired toppings. Or, put on a rack and keep warm in a preheated 70°C/150°F oven while you continue cooking!
More breakfast beauties
Life of Dozer
Currently in Mudgee, a regional town 3 1/2 hours from Sydney, for a Readers’ Festival! We will be at the local book store The Book Nest on Saturday 19th August from 1.30 to 2.30 to sign books and chat all things food. Then on Sunday Dozer and I are hosting a long lazy lunch at the Blue Wren Farm restaurant, a beautiful working farm and vineyard on the outskirts of Mudgee. Looking forward to it!
I have no cute photos of Dozer in the streets of this quaint country town because it’s raining today. This is what he’s been doing in the hotel room pretty much since we got here – staring at the ducks outside. 😂