Classic Waffles

published Mar 22, 2024
Classic Waffles Recipe

Crispy, golden waffles that are so good, they barely need the syrup.

Makes8 to 9 (4-inch) regular waffles

Prep15 minutes

Cook10 minutes to 25 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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head on shot of a stack of four waffles, dripping in syrup and topped with butter.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Styling: Brett Regot

We take weekend breakfasts very seriously at our house. Half of my family is firmly on team buttermilk pancakes while the rest (correctly, IMO) are on team waffles. The kind of waffle I want to wake up to is golden and crispy on the outside, light and tender on the inside, and scented with just the right amount of vanilla. All it needs is a pat of butter and a generous pour of maple syrup

If you search online or through cookbooks for the best waffle recipe, you’ll find dozens of tips, tricks, and techniques. I baked my way through dozens of waffles to find the only waffle recipe you’ll ever need. Here’s how to make the very best classic waffle. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • These waffles have a golden, crispy exterior and are tender in the middle every single time. The secret? Cornstarch.
  • This recipe makes diner-style waffles with easy-to-follow instructions, which is perfect for when you aren’t quite awake. 

Key Ingredients in Waffles

  • All-purpose flour: Lightly scoop flour into measuring cups, then use the straight side of a knife to remove the excess. Packing the flour down into the measuring cup will add too much flour to the batter and give you tough waffles. 
  • Cornstarch: This is the secret ingredient to make super-crispy (but still tender) waffles. 
  • Granulated sugar: Waffle batters rely on granulated sugar not only for its sweet flavor, but also for its role in browning.
  • Unsalted butter: Cut the butter into pieces so it melts quickly in the warm milk. Unsalted butter adds fat to the waffle batter so that every bite is tender and golden.
  • Milk: You’ll add the whole or 2% milk in two parts. Heat half of the milk with the butter until the butter melts, and then pour in the rest of the milk to cool the mixture down so that the egg yolks don’t scramble.
  • Eggs: Separate the eggs, and whip the egg whites. Doing so lifts the batter so there’s no need for baking powder or baking soda
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Styling: Brett Regot

How to Make Waffles

  1. Prepare the dry and wet ingredients. Whisk all-purpose flour, cornstarch, granulated sugar, and kosher salt together, and then warm the butter and half of the milk. Once the butter melts, add the rest of the milk to cool it just enough so that when you add the egg yolks, they won’t scramble. Whisk in the egg yolks and vanilla extract.
  2. Whip egg whites to stiff peaks. Use a clean whisk and bowl to whip egg whites to stiff peaks — the fluffy whites will lighten the waffle batter.
  3. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until no dry spots remain. A lumpy batter is to be expected — stirring until smooth will result in tough waffles. 
  4. Fold in the egg whites. Slide the egg whites into the bowl and gently fold the egg whites into the batter until no streaks of egg white are visible.
  5. Cook on the waffle iron. Scoop the batter onto a hot waffle iron and cook until golden and crisp.

Can You Use Pancake Mix to Make Waffles?

Yes, store-bought or homemade pancake mix can be used to make waffles. Waffle batter tends to have more fat and sugar than pancake batter to help it crisp and brown. Waffles made with pancake mix may have a softer texture and be lighter in color.

Helpful Swaps

If you have a Belgian-style waffle maker, you’re in luck! You can use this recipe to make 8 Belgian waffles for breakfast. Check your waffle maker’s instruction manual for their recommendation for the amount of batter to use (likely about 2 cups), and cook for 5 minutes until the waffles are golden. 

Types of Waffles

Storage and Make-Ahead Tips

  • Make ahead: Make mornings a little easier by measuring the dry ingredients into an airtight container and storing in the pantry. When it’s time to make waffles, you’re already a step ahead.
  • Refrigerated waffles: Refrigerate extra waffles to eat later in the week. Reheat in the toaster or directly on a rack in a 350ºF oven until warm and crisp.
  • Frozen waffles: Freeze waffles in a freezer zip-top bag for up to 2 months. Use the toaster or oven (set to 350ºF) to heat until warm and crisp.

What to Serve with Waffles 

Classic Waffles Recipe

Crispy, golden waffles that are so good, they barely need the syrup.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes to 25 minutes

Makes 8 to 9 (4-inch) regular waffles

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon

    cornstarch

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 4 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, plus more for serving

  • 1 1/2 cups

    whole or 2% milk, divided

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract (optional)

  • Cooking spray

  • Maple syrup, for serving

Instructions

  1. Place 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

  2. Cut 4 tablespoons unsalted butter into 4 pieces. Place in a small saucepan and add 3/4 cup of the whole or 2% milk. Heat over medium heat until the butter is almost completely melted and the milk begins to bubble around the edges, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat to let the warm milk finish melting the butter, 1 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining 3/4 cup milk and whisk to combine.

  3. Separate 2 large eggs, place the whites in a medium stainless steel or glass bowl and the yolks in the now-empty milk measuring cup. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, if using, to the yolks, and whisk with a fork to combine.

  4. Add the yolk mixture to the milk mixture and whisk to combine. Add this to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. A few lumps in the batter are OK — just be careful not to overmix. Add the egg whites and gently fold together with a flexible spatula until just combined. Again, do not overmix.

  5. Heat a waffle iron to medium-high according to the manufacturer's instructions. A drop of water should sizzle upon contact.

  6. Coat the waffle iron with cooking spray. Scoop about 1/2 cup batter per waffle (or the amount indicated by the manufacturer) into the waffle iron, spread it as needed to make sure the batter covers the entire surface. The iron should sizzle as the batter is added. Cook according to the manufacturer's instructions until golden-brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the waffle iron. Close the waffle iron and wait 2 to 3 minutes before adding more batter to give the waffle iron time to reheat. (See Recipe Notes for Belgian waffle iron instructions.)

  7. Serve immediately with more butter and maple syrup, or place on a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet in a 200°F oven to keep warm for up to 15 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Belgian waffle variation: A Belgian-style waffle maker can also be used. Scoop about 2 cups batter, or amount indicated by the manufacturer, into the heated iron and cook for about 5 minutes. This recipe makes 8 (4 1/2-inch) Belgian waffles.

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.

Make ahead: Dry ingredients can be combined in an airtight container and stored at room temperature for up to 6 months.