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How to Make the Perfect Waffle

Overhead shot of a plate of waffles with berries and syrup drizzled on top

Ditch the frozen pre-packaged waffles and whip up some insanely fluffy and delicious homemade waffles. There is just something wonderful about waking up to the smell of homemade, buttery waffles drizzled in maple syrup. How do you make these perfectly sounding waffles?

When making homemade waffles, there are some things all waffles have in common. They should be crispy on the outside and soft, fluffy, and flavorful on the inside. They should peel away from the waffle iron without falling apart and stays soft as it cools. Follow these tips, and you too, can create a mouth-watering meal.

Start with the Batter

A bowl of waffle batter, a whisk and a bowl of eggs on a wooden tabletop

We’ll let you in on a secret; the batter is everything when it comes to making waffles. Here are some tips to follow when selecting a recipe or creating your own.

  1. Never use pancake mix to make waffles; it doesn’t work. Pancakes are flat and dense, whereas waffles are light and airy. If your batter is too runny, the waffles won’t fluff up and could create a huge mess in your waffle iron and on your counter.
  2. Avoid mixing the batter, too quickly or vigorously. You want to keep an even consistency when stirring the batter; otherwise, it will cook up tough and chewy.
  3. Adding things like stiff egg whites and cornstarch help keep the waffle fluffy and tender.
  4. Invest in a good waffle iron! There are many different kinds of waffle makers out there, so do your research and find the one that’s right for you.

Choose a Waffle Iron/Maker

A grey Cuisinart waffle maker on a white background

How do you know which waffle maker is right for you? There are many different styles and variations of waffle makers. You may not know what you actually need or what features you want. When looking to purchase a waffle maker, here are some things you should consider.

  • Shape and thickness - Waffle makers come in an array of shapes and thicknesses, most range from 1/2" to 1.5" deep. Belgian Waffles are the thick and fluffy ones.
  • Grill surface – Some waffle makers now feature removable plates for easy cleanup. Non-stick surfaces and Teflon are also great for easy cleanup.
  • Timer and Flip-ability – Timers take the guesswork out of knowing when to open the iron. Many waffle makers have a built-in timer but double-check before purchasing. Flip waffle makers are a bit more expensive and tend to have more professional qualities. The flip function helps spread the batter evenly on the grill surface.

Once you’ve chosen your maker, remember to always follow the manufacture's instructions for preheating and cleaning.

Make the Waffle

Pouring waffle batter on onto the waffle maker

Always heat your waffle iron for at least 10 minutes before you pour in the batter. If you don’t do this, your waffles won’t rise, making them flat and heavy. Avoid using cooking spray. Cooking spray can damage the iron and alter the taste of your waffle. Instead, baste the iron with a little vegetable oil to prevent the waffle from sticking. Let the iron do its job. Don’t peak or open the lid in the middle of cooking. This will inevitably cause the waffle to split apart.

Add the Toppings

A couple of waffles with ice cream and chocolate drizzled on top and powdered sugar being sprinkled on top

The best part about making waffles is adding the toppings! There are endless amounts of toppings you can add to a waffle. Waffles are so versatile and accommodating; they can basically be topped with anything, so get creative. 

For savory waffles - like the classic fried chicken and waffles - try adding sausage gravy, toasted pecans, cheese, pulled pork, really anything you’d eat for lunch or dinner. The toppings are endless! Pair these waffles with a side salad or veggies, and voilà dinner is served.

For sweet waffles - try adding things like brown sugar, maple syrup, fresh fruit, whip cream, butter, jellies and preserves, chocolate chips, even ice cream tastes good on waffles.

Hungry yet? It’s no wonder why waffles are one of the most loved breakfast foods. With so many variations and recipes, you’re bound to please even the pickiest of eaters. So, dig out the waffle maker or consider getting one, try new recipes, or create a new tradition of your own.