Today’s gingerbread waffles come together with a handful of basic kitchen ingredients, plus plenty of deep, warm gingerbread spices. They’re crisp and light right out of the waffle maker, and taste fantastic with maple pecan syrup, sugared cranberries, and/or a flurry of confectioners’ sugar on top. What could be better on a winter weekend morning?
I have to admit, I don’t whip out the waffle maker often. When I’m serving something luxurious (and sweet) for breakfast, I usually turn to this baked cream cheese French toast casserole. But that’s what helps make homemade waffles extra special; they’re not an everyday breakfast, so when you serve them, they’re REALLY appreciated. Do you make homemade waffles often?
I’m certainly glad I have a waffle maker, because of recipes like this!! These spiced gingerbread waffles are my new favorite reason to get out the neglected appliance. And if you enjoy these by the fire with snow falling outside, you’re definitely winning at winter breakfasts. 😉
Here’s Why You’ll Love These Gingerbread Waffles
- Crisp outside and chewy-soft inside
- Excellent gingerbread spice flavor that really comes through
- Not overly sweet, so maple pecan syrup is a perfect (and easy) topping
- Makes for a special holiday breakfast
- Can be made as gingerbread pancakes, too!
I used my buttermilk waffles recipe as the base. They’re a shade darker, thanks to the molasses, brown sugar, and spices. I added molasses, and therefore a little more flour. I slightly reduced the sugar, switched it to brown, and very slightly reduced the buttermilk. With each test batch (there were 3!), I added more and more spices so you really get that spice flavor, like a batch of gingerbread cookies.
Most notably, I skipped separating the eggs. This is a handy step for extra fluffy waffles, but I didn’t notice much of a difference here. The batter is already quite light.
Let Me Show You How to Make Them
Making a homemade waffle batter is easier than you think, and tastes so much better than a packaged mix. If you can turn on your waffle maker, and mix ingredients together, you can make waffles.
- Preheat your waffle maker. Here’s the waffle maker I own and love. If you’re looking for seasonal shapes, I love these mini snowflake and gingerbread person waffle makers.
- Combine the dry ingredients.
- Whisk the wet ingredients together and combine it all. Combine but do not over-mix! Some small lumps are fine—don’t worry about that.
- Pour batter into greased waffle maker. Close the lid and cook the waffles until crisp, which only takes about 4 minutes in my waffle maker. All waffle makers are different, so keep an eye on your cooking waffles and check often. Repeat with remaining batter.
Keep waffles warm as you cook the rest: If serving all of the waffles at once, transfer the cooked waffles to a wire rack on a baking sheet and place in a preheated 200°F (93°C) oven to keep them warm until the whole batch is ready.
Here’s the wet ingredient mixture. Pour it all into your dry ingredients:
Some small lumps are fine. Pour into your preheated and greased waffle maker:
Can I Make These as Gingerbread Pancakes?
Yes, please do! My team and I tested this batter cooked as pancakes, and they were also delicious. Pancakes have a softer, spongier texture than the crispness you get with waffles, but the flavor is exactly the same.
Optional Maple Pecan Topping
You can serve the gingerbread waffles with a simple pat of butter and your favorite syrup, but I especially love them with toasted pecans and warm maple syrup.
Toast the pecans in a saucepan on the stove for just a few minutes, then add the maple syrup to the pecans in the pan and let it warm through (doesn’t take long!), before spooning the mixture over the top of the plated gingerbread waffles.
I also added some sugared cranberries for garnish (instructions for these included in my recipe for pumpkin pie), and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar. The snowy sugar and sparkling red berries make this breakfast extra festive for the holidays.
Of course all of these toppings are optional, so feel free to pick and choose your gingerbread waffle’s destiny. They’re also fantastic topped with lemon curd (lemon and ginger are a fated match… see these gingerbread muffins) and homemade whipped cream!
Other Winter Breakfast Recipes
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes (includes batches)
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 12 4-inch square waffles
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: American
Gingerbread waffles come together with a handful of basic ingredients, plus plenty of deep, warm gingerbread spices. They’re crisp and light right out of the waffle maker, and taste fantastic with maple pecan syrup. Try them as gingerbread pancakes, too!
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/4 cup (50g) light or dark brown sugar (I use dark)
- 1/4 cup (60ml) unsulphured or dark molasses (do not use blackstrap; I prefer Grandma’s brand)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 and 2/3 cups (about 400ml) buttermilk*
Optional Maple Pecan Topping
- 3/4 cup (90g) pecan halves
- 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) pure maple syrup
- Preheat waffle maker on medium-high heat. Preheat oven to 200°F (93°C). Place a wire rack on a baking sheet; set aside.
- Make the gingerbread waffle batter: In a large bowl preferably with a pour spout, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and molasses together. Whisk in the eggs, and then the buttermilk, until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk gently until combined. Do not over-mix. Some small lumps are OK.
- Grease the preheated waffle maker (I use nonstick spray). Pour about 1/3 cup of the batter into each well of the waffle maker (or less if your waffle maker is smaller) and close the lid. Cook the waffles until crisp, about 4–5 minutes. (Follow the cooking instructions for your waffle maker.) Transfer the cooked waffles to the wire rack and keep warm in the preheated oven as you cook the rest. Repeat to cook the remaining batter.
- Meanwhile, as the waffles cook, make the optional maple pecan topping: Place the pecans in a saucepan or skillet set over medium-low heat. Toast the pecans for just about 4–5 minutes, stirring the whole time, because pecans can go from toasted to burnt in a matter of seconds. When they’re giving off a subtle toasty scent, turn the heat down to low and pour in the maple syrup. Leave it on the stove for just a minute, until the syrup is warmed through, and then remove from heat.
- Serve the waffles immediately with warm maple pecan syrup, or your choice of toppings.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Waffles are best enjoyed freshly made. I recommend freezing any leftover cooled waffles. Waffles can be frozen for up to 3 months, then warmed in the toaster.
- Special Tools: Mixing Bowls | Whisk | Waffle Maker | Mini Snowflake and Gingerbread Waffle Makers
- Buttermilk: You can substitute whole milk for buttermilk if desired. However, if you’d like the tangy flavor, which I highly recommend, you can make your own soured milk substitute. Add 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 and 2/3 cup. Whisk together, then let sit for 5 minutes before using in the recipe. Whole milk is best for the DIY sour milk substitute, though lower-fat or nondairy milks work in a pinch. Do not use nonfat milk.
- Waffle Maker: You can use this recipe in either a Belgian or traditional waffle maker or iron. The suggested cooking time is just a suggestion. Follow the cooking instructions for your specific waffle maker.
- Can I make these as gingerbread pancakes? Yes! No changes to the batter recipe. Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Coat generously with nonstick cooking spray or butter. Once hot, drop about 1/4 cup of batter on the griddle. Cook until the edges look dry and bubbles begin to form on the surface. Flip and cook on the other side until cooked through, about 2 more minutes. Coat griddle/skillet again with cooking spray or butter for each pancake or batch of pancakes.
- Other Topping Suggestions: Lemon curd; whipped cream; sugared cranberries—instructions for these included in the recipe card for pumpkin pie; dusting of confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Keywords: gingerbread waffles
Reader Comments & Reviews
These are so good! I made them a couple months ago and planned to freeze some for a quick treat. Needless to say, I ended up only freezing 2 waffles because I ate the rest! I am making more today and doubling the recipe so I will have enough to freeze 🙂
What do you think of dry powdered buttermilk?
Hi Howard, we haven’t personally baking with it before, but other readers have with success. Just follow the directions on the powdered buttermilk packaging to make the amount needed for the waffles. Hope you enjoy this recipe!
These are amazing! Just finished making and , bonus, my house smells wonderful. Such a fantastic breakfast. Thank you.
This was delish! I’m not sure why we weren’t supposed to use blackstrap molasses, but that was all my parents had when I made this at their house for Christmas, and it worked great! Big hit with everybody!
Sally, my daughter and I love your recipes so much. I am the mother of a vegan and I make many of your recipes vegan all the time – I just don’t have time to take a picture and post all the time. We made these vegan on Christmas Eve and they were DELICIOSO!!!! She hasn’t posted the pics/video yet.
Eggs – Just Egg – 3T=1 egg
Buttermilk – Soy Milk + 1T lemon juice or vinegar
She has been vegan since college – so 13 years now and we have become pros at converting recipes on the fly – we’ve had a few disasters but not many. Just like you know when a regular recipe batter comes together – you know when a vegan batter recipe comes together – right away. This batter came together perfectly as Sally’s instructions tells us!!! Pictures coming soon from the daughter!!!
Saw this recipe and drooled. Asked my husband (the waffle maker) if he would like to try it for Christmas morning. He did. “His first Sally Recipe.” It was a huge hit! Everyone raved about them, and could not stop eating them! We now have a new Christmas waffle recipe! Our Christmas morning waffle tradition just got better! Thank you, Sally!
The waffles are so good! I followed the recipe loosely (ie. Didn’t level my flour). I used blackstrap molasses (instead of mums), soft butter (instead of melted) and 2% milk (instead of whole milk). These turned out deliciously!! I topped them with whipped cream, a delightful breakfast on Christmas morning.
Sorry, Sally. I usually love your recipes but these were a miss. Followed recipe but batter was pretty thin, and by the time the insides were done, the outsides were almost burnt. The maple syrup, pecan topping was even worse. I poured the syrup into the pan, and it immediately seized , becoming like glue even thought I turned the heat off. They tasted okay (with more maple syrup), but I will be throwing the rest of the batter into the garbage. Back to the overnight casserole for us next year.
Found this on Christmas morning and whipped them up while the kids opened presents. Three kids ate the whole batch. Light and fluffy will definitely be making these again, nice taste for Christmas.
This was absolutely delicious! I enjoyed them with maple syrup and double chocolate ice cream and it was so so good!
Thank you for all your fantastic recipes!
I made this for breakfast exactly as written. It was everything I wanted, and was expecting of a gingerbread waffle! So yummy!
These were so festive and delicious! The pecan syrup was the highlight for our family- the flavor went perfectly with the waffles!
Absolutely delicious gingerbread flavor without being over powering. I ate them completely plain since it was so nice! Light and fluffy. I actually added a tiny bit of extra flower for a slightly sturdier batch to go into the freezer. Can’t recommend enough for holidays!
I only have blackstrap molasses, but you say ,”do not use blackstrap.” In a comment to someone else, you mentioned about maybe substituting maple syrup. Would it be possible to use a blackstrap/maple syrup combo? Would that blunt the strength of the blackstrap sufficiently?? Your thoughts, please.
Hi Trent, I can’t see why not. You don’t want to use 1/4 cup of blackstrap as that would be too strong/bitter, but if you cut it down and replace with maple syrup, that should be fine.
Just got this recipe in my inbox so as it’s the day before the day before Xmas may as well try it. Granddaughter came in from the barn starving saying ‘I don’t like gingerbread’! But gobbled up 2 waffles with maple syrup butter and lots of whipped cream! They were fantastic! Thanks for sharing!
Big fan of your site and thank you for post hint this recipe. Question: For waffles I usually whip my egg whites, then fold in my batter to that. It makes the waffles so light and crispy. Is it worth doing for this recipe? I wasn’t sure because of the heavier ingredients of dark sugar and molasses. Thanks in advance!!
Hi Susan! You can certainly do that for these. We loved the texture of these as is, but feel free to take that step. I do it when I make regular (plain) buttermilk waffles.
This recipe is fantastic and yes, the waffles are very light and fluffy. The only change I made was to replace half the butter with applesauce. Thank you for sharing a great recipe. These will be on our breakfast table Christmas morning!
Woke up yesterday and saw this recipe and conveniently had all the ingredients so gave it a go. Whole family (including two picky little boys) ate it and liked it. I would make it again. At this pt, I think I have an unusually high bar for Sally’s recipes because some of them are soooo amazing that I rate this one 4/5 (to differentiate).
Hi Sally! Love your recipes! Can this be halved? I live alone and just want to try a single serving
Hi Kianni, Yes you can cut this in half. Enjoy!
I don’t have buttermilk or vinegar to make it. Can I use regular whole milk?
Yes – see recipe notes. Enjoy!
Hello. Can I use treacle instead of molasses? It’s hard to find real molasses in the UK.
Hi Miriam, treacle can be quite strong and bitter, so we don’t recommend it in baking recipes. If you know you like the taste, though, you can certainly give it a try.
So ,if I make them Christmas Eve, (cover & refrigerate) can I reheat them in the air fryer Christmas morning?
Hi Chris, we haven’t tested reheating these waffles in an air fryer. Let us know if you give it a try!
I often make a big batch of waffles and store the rest in the freezer. Thaw them in the microwave and toast them in the toaster and you’d never know they were frozen!
These look amazing! Molasses is hard to come by in my area; would they taste okay without?
Hi Michelle, you can leave it out but you will lose that sharp flavor. You can replace with pure maple syrup.
Can these be made gluten free?
Hi Lois, we haven’t tested this recipe with gluten free flour so we’re unsure of the results. Let us know if you give it a try!
I used trader joes gf pumpkin pancake mix as a base and they were so good
These are scrumptious. They are perfect for the Christmas season! I like that they were fairly simple. I liked them on the softer side. I will make these Christmas morning! Definitely kid approved!
Does this recipe lend itself to pouring the batter in a sheet pan and baking it off?
Hi Donna, I haven’t tried that but you certainly can. I’ve done that before with pancake batters, and this makes delicious gingerbread pancakes.
I was lying in bed trying to think of a fun breakfast today and told my husband that I should try to find a recipe for gingerbread waffles. I laughed out loud when I checked your website a few minutes later. I’ve already made a batch today and they taste great! Thanks for your perfect timing
Clarification of my comment above…. I laughed because I hadn’t even started searching for the waffle recipe yet. I was just looking at Sally’s website like I do most days and that was today’s recipe.
Sally, can you make the batter in advance? If so, how long will it last in the fridge? Or would it be better to freeze the batter?
Hi Kelly, baking powder is initially activated once wet, so I don’t recommend prepping the batter in advance. You can mix the dry ingredients together and store that in the refrigerator or at room temperature. I don’t recommend mixing the wet ingredients together and then storing it because the melted butter will solidify.