Recipe Review

This Blogger Tested 100+ Waffles to Create Her Perfect Recipe. But Is It the Best?

published Dec 14, 2020
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell; Design: The Kitchn

For this week’s recipe showdown, we’re turning our attention to a breakfast all-star: buttermilk waffles. And while it can sometimes be tricky to narrow down the contenders, I knew from the start I’d be including the buttermilk waffles from the blog Oh, Sweet Basil. They’ve been on my radar ever since they won Pancake Princess’ buttermilk waffle bake off, and it’s clear that Carrian and Cade, the husband-and-wife team behind Oh, Sweet Basil, put a lot of work into developing them. In their blog post, they explain that they tested more than 100 recipes to nail down the perfect formula, including the best type of fat, the right amount of sugar, whether to use baking powder or baking soda, etc.

The other thing that really intrigued me about this recipe is that it calls for heavy cream in addition to the buttermilk, and also calls for cornstarch (which supposedly makes for a crispier waffle). Here’s what happened when I tried them at home.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell; Design: The Kitchn

How to Make Oh, Sweet Basil’s Ultimate Waffles

You’ll begin by whisking together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, buttermilk, and heavy cream until combined. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined and a few streaks of flour remain. Stir in melted butter. Rest the batter for 15 to 30 minutes.

Heat the waffle iron, brush with butter on both sides, and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist Cyd McDowell

My Honest Review of Oh, Sweet Basil’s Ultimate Waffles

The first thing I noticed about these waffles is how sturdy they are. Not in a way that’s dense or heavy, but sturdy in a way that helped them keep their shape without getting too soft or soggy as they sat on the table. Thanks to the combination of buttermilk and heavy cream, the waffles are incredibly flavorful and the tiniest bit rich, with a subtle sweetness. The combination of rich dairy also helps balance the egginess.

I really wanted to love these waffles — especially after reading Pancake Princess’ glowing review — but while I do see why they’re so popular, they fell a little short in my book. Although the outside was crispy and the center was soft and pillowy, I found the waffles were a little on the doughy side. If your ideal waffle is flavorful and very substantial, this is the one for you. But unfortunately, my search continues for the perfect waffle.

Credit: Kelli Foster

If You’re Making Oh, Sweet Basil’s Ultimate Waffles, a Few Tips

  1. Start by melting the butter. You’ll want to give the melted butter a few minutes to cool slightly before mixing it into the batter. I suggest melting the butter first, then setting it aside while you gather the remaining ingredients and mix the batter.
  2. You can use whole milk and lemon juice as a buttermilk substitute. A mixture of one cup whole milk and one tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice will work in a pinch as a buttermilk substitute for waffles and pancakes.
  3. Don’t overmix the batter. Just like when making pancakes, don’t worry about some small lumps in the batter. You’ll get a better, less chewy waffle by not overmixing the batter.

Rating: 7/10

Have you made Oh, Sweet Basil’s Ultimate Waffles? Tell us what you thought!

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell; Design: The Kitchn