Brown Sugar Cornmeal Waffles

published Feb 14, 2023
Brown Sugar Cornmeal Waffles Recipe

Homemade waffles get an upgrade with light brown sugar and yellow cornmeal.

Makes7 to 8 waffles

Prep15 minutes

Cook20 minutes

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Brown sugar cornmeal waffles topped with fresh berries and syrup on colorful surface.
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Stylist: Micah Morton; Prop Stylist: Gerri Williams

Over the years, there have been varying stories about the origins of chicken and waffles. Many believe that the infamous duo made its debut in the 1930s at the Harlem-based restaurant Wells Supper Club. For me, however, my love for the dish began in the late ’90s, and it is one that has made a lasting impact on the way I view food.

I can still remember my first time tasting a cornmeal waffle covered in a blanket of butter and syrup. I was sitting at the end of my grandmother’s kitchen table, enjoying the soulful noise coming through her record player, when she introduced the distinct blend of sweet and savory flavors married into a delicious waffle. At that moment, I’d found a dish that I knew I’d find comfort in for years to come.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Stylist: Micah Morton; Prop Stylist: Gerri Williams

I was born and raised in Georgia, where I could find a Waffle House on just about any corner. With its cheap prices and easy accessibility, one can understand how such strong affinity has been built up for the brand. I myself am a person who enjoys their fair share of Waffle House on any given day of the week, but sometimes, making waffles at home just feels and tastes so much better. 

Whether I’m enjoying them for breakfast, brunch, or, in some cases, dinner, waffles have been a favorite recipe of mine to play around with. As of late, these brown sugar cornmeal waffles have become my favorite version of the classic dish because they remind me of time I spent with my grandmother when I was a kid. Brown sugar provides the waffles with a caramel-like sweetness that reduces the amount of syrup you’ll need to drizzle on top. And the cornmeal gives it both a nice crunch and toasty flavor. But the best part? They’re easy to make and are perfect for any occasion.   

Brown Sugar Cornmeal Waffles Recipe

Homemade waffles get an upgrade with light brown sugar and yellow cornmeal.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Makes 7 to 8 waffles

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1 1/4 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup

    finely ground yellow cornmeal

  • 1/2 cup

    whole buttermilk

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons

    packed light brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • 2 teaspoons

    baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • Cooking spray

  • Fresh berries, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cut 1 stick unsalted butter into a few pieces, place in a small microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on high until melted, 40 to 60 seconds. (Alternatively, melt on the stovetop over low heat.) Set aside to cool slightly while you heat a waffle iron for medium heat.

  2. Place the melted butter, 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal, 1/2 cup whole buttermilk, 2 large eggs, 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk until combined; the batter will be quite thick.

  3. When the waffle iron is ready, coat with cooking spray, then pour in the amount of batter recommended by the manufacturer, about 1/2 cup for a (7-inch) thin round waffle. Close the lid and cook until the waffle is golden-brown. When the waffle is ready, remove from the iron to a wire rack.

  4. If not serving immediately as they are made, place directly on a rack in a 200ºF oven to keep warm. Repeat making waffles with the remaining batter. Serve with fresh berries.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The waffles can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Reheat directly on a rack in a 350ºF oven until heated through, 4 to 6 minutes if refrigerated, or 10 to 12 minutes if frozen.