These easy to make, classic buttermilk waffles are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Serve with butter and pure maple syrup or fruit, with a side of crispy bacon, for a delicious weekend breakfast!
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How to Make the Best Waffles
It’s taken me quite a bit of recipe testing to come up with a recipe for waffles that I think is practically perfect. Over the years, I’ve served my husband far too many soft, limp waffles that were essentially just waffle-shaped pancakes, and he ate them without complaint, but I knew they were all wrong. Now, I love a stack of light, fluffy pancakes drenched in pure maple syrup, but not when what I want is a waffle that’s golden and crisp on the outside and fluffy inside.
The Role of Buttermilk in Waffles
The buttermilk provides acid, which reacts with baking soda and baking powder to give the waffles lift. This results in a waffle that’s fluffy and tender on the inside.
Use Plenty of Butter
To make crispy waffles, you have to use enough melted butter in your waffle batter. The fat is what makes it crisp, and if you shy away from it, then you won’t get a crisp waffle. Some people use shortening instead of butter, which I’m sure works wonderfully, however, just like in my pie crust, I prefer to use all butter instead of shortening.
Cook on a High Heat Setting
Don’t be afraid to crank up the heat on your waffle iron. If you cook your waffles low and slow, they’ll end up soft and soggy. So turn that dial up to the “crisp” setting, to make waffles that are golden brown and crisp on the outside.
I own this Double Belgian Waffle Maker Iron, and I LOVE it. I love that it makes two big waffles at a time, I love the round shape, and I love how golden and crispy my waffles always turn out. The heat setting on this waffle iron goes up to a 6, and I’ve found that cooking my waffles at a 5 is perfect for even, golden browning.
You only need a few simple ingredients to whip up a batch of crispy and fluffy buttermilk waffles. You probably have everything in your refrigerator and pantry!
- All-Purpose Flour. Provides structure to the batter. You can easily make these classic buttermilk waffles gluten-free by using your favorite measure-for-measure gluten free flour. I’ve also experimented with using a mixture of half wheat flour and half white flour. The wheat flour adds a heartiness to the waffles that can be nice, but personally, I’ve come to prefer the texture with only white (all-purpose) flour.
- Granulated Sugar. To add a touch of sweetness.
- Baking Powder. Provides lift and rise to the batter.
- Coarse Kosher Salt. Balances the sweetness.
- Cinnamon + Nutmeg. While optional, I love adding a little spice to my waffle batter. It’s simply delicious.
- Buttermilk. The buttermilk is acidic, and adds lift and rise to the waffle batter, creating a fluffy, tender waffle inside. If you don’t have buttermilk, then add 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar to every 1 cup of whole milk, and whisk to combine.
- Eggs. Adds structure and binds the batter together.
- Unsalted Butter. Adds flavor, richness and fat, to create the crispy exterior.
- Vanilla Extract. Flavor.
- Making these waffles couldn’t be easier. Simply whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Then whisk in the wet ingredients, just until moistened. A few lumps in the batter are okay.
- Preheat your waffle iron (remember to turn it up high to the crispy setting).
- Spray your waffle iron with non-stick spray and measure in the batter.
- Cook your waffles until crisp and golden brown.
- Keep the cooked waffles warm in a 200-degree oven while you cook the rest of the batter.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you make waffles that are both crispy and fluffy?
First, use buttermilk. The acidity will give the batter extra rise for a waffle that’s tender and fluffy inside.
Second, use enough melted butter in your waffle batter. The butter adds flavor, but also fat, which makes the waffle crispy.
Third, cook your waffles on a high heat setting.
Should waffle batter be thick or thin?
The consistency of the batter shouldn’t be too thin and runny, but should flow easily so you can spread it out into all the grooves of your waffle iron.
Should waffle batter rest?
The waffle batter doesn’t need to rest for very long. Once you’ve mixed the batter, just let it rest for about 10 minutes while you preheat the oven. This allows the gluten to relax, resulting in a more tender texture.
Should you grease a waffle iron?
A double Belgian waffle iron like mine is already non-stick. But, for extra insurance, I always spray it with non-stick spray before I start cooking my waffles.
How much batter should you put in a waffle iron?
This will depend on your waffle iron. A Belgian waffle iron is bigger, with deeper grooves, than a waffle iron that makes square waffles. My waffle iron came with a little measuring cup that measures just the right amount of batter per waffle, and I always get 5 large Belgian waffles with my classic buttermilk waffles recipe.
How do you keep waffles warm and crisp?
Place the cooked waffles on a baking sheet, and keep them warm in a 200-degree oven while you cook the rest of the batter. They’ll stay warm and crisp until you’ve cooked all the waffles and the whole family can enjoy breakfast together.
How do you reheat leftover waffles?
One of the best things about cooking a big batch of waffles is freezing the extras and toasting them for breakfast the next day. For leftover waffles, I wrap them individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for up to 3 days, or freeze them for 3 months. Toasting leftover frozen waffles in a toaster oven is the best way to crisp the waffles back up.
Can these waffles be made gluten free?
Yes, absolutely! Just substitute the all-purpose flour with your favorite measure-for-measure gluten free flour.
What should you serve with waffles?
I like the classic toppings for my waffles – butter, pure maple syrup and a handful of berries. Depending on what fruit is in season, you can top your waffles with an apple or fresh peach compote. Or maybe chocolate syrup or chocolate chips. And for something really fun, how about whipped cream and sprinkles!
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Classic Buttermilk Waffles
- Waffle Iron
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp coarse Kosher salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 ½ cups whole buttermilk
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pure maple syrup, butter and fruit, for serving
- In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients; add the wet ingredients and whisk until combined.
- Preheat your waffle iron, and spray with non-stick spray. Cook the waffles according to the manufacturer's instructions. I have a Cuisinart double waffle iron, and I find that a 5/6 is the perfect setting for golden brown waffles that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
- Keep the waffles warm in a 200-degree oven while you cook the remainder of the batter. Serve with warmed maple syrup, butter and fruit.
- Leftover waffles can be wrapped and refrigerated for 3 days, or frozen for 3-6 months.
- The best way to reheat leftover waffles is in the toaster or a toaster oven. If I know I’m going to have leftovers for the next day, I will under-cook the waffles a bit so that when I toast them in the oven they don’t end up over-toasted.