Fluffy Whole Wheat Waffles

stack of whole wheat waffles on a white plate with berries, maple syrup, and butter

Ok, speak up. When’s the last time you had a truly phenomenal, omg-I’m-going-to-cry-these-are-so-good waffle?

Wait, don’t you talk like that?

But seriously. Name your last great waffle. I don’t even think I can remember it. Maybe last year when I made my recipe for buttermilk waffles again? But I honestly don’t think I’ve used my waffle maker in our new house. In fact, I had to search boxes in the basement for it to test this recipe.

WAFFLES ARE UNDERRATED! Why don’t we make them more often??

stack of whole wheat waffles on a white plate with berries, maple syrup, and butter

Face it– they’re better than pancakes. Waffles have nooks and crannies for maximum melted butter and maple syrup storage. You don’t have to stand there and flip each individual one; the waffle maker does all the work for ya. When done right, waffles are a texture freak’s dream; they’re crisp on the edges, but soft in the centers. I don’t even want to dream about a “crispy” pancake. I think that just means burnt. A burnt pancake.

So yeah, waffles vs pancakes. There’s really no contest.

I suppose the reason I don’t make waffles often is because they aren’t the healthiest way to begin the day. And aren’t those the rules? Always start healthy? ish? And if I’m going to splurge before 12pm, it’s going to be a plate of overnight cinnamon rolls or frosted donuts with enough rainbow sprinkles to make a unicorn jealous.

But that all changed last month. I had a hankering for waffles one weekend. Didn’t feel like starting my day with a plate of empty calories, so I worked on a whole wheat version.

2 images of ingredients for whole wheat waffles in bowls and whole wheat waffle batter in a white bowl

Turns out, it’s pretty difficult to produce a whole wheat waffle that’s not only crisp on the edges, but soft and airy in the centers. Not too dense, not too heavy. Light and fluffy like the white flour version. It’s a tall order, but the secret lies within the ratio of ingredients. You see, whole wheat flour is much heartier than all-purpose; it weighs down anything it touches. To keep things springy, I used enough baking powder for lift. Buttermilk prevents the waffles from drying out (as whole wheat flour does to everything!) and melted butter keeps it all so very… yum.

(Seriously, don’t leave out the butter. They’ll taste bland! They’ll taste dry! They’ll taste… blah! While these are definitely healthier waffles, we don’t want them to taste healthy. We want them to taste like an indulgence.)

whole wheat waffles on a waffle maker

So all super basic ingredients, but like I said– it’s the ratio that matters. Make sure you add a dose of cinnamon for flavor and for a little necessary sweetness, a little brown sugar. If an unrefined sugar sounds better to you, I’ve tried these with coconut sugar, honey, and maple syrup over the past several weeks (yes, baby’s been getting A LOT of whole wheat waffles in the 3rd trimester). All very good. Especially the maple syrup– you get extra extra maple flavor in your stack!

stack of whole wheat waffles on a white plate with berries, maple syrup, and butter

And now? It’s your turn to enjoy waffles for breakfast. Because we all know it’s been too long!

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stack of whole wheat waffles on a white plate with berries, maple syrup, and butter

Fluffy Whole Wheat Waffles

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8-9 waffles
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Here’s how to make fluffy whole wheat waffles with easy healthy ingredients. Best way to start your morning!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups (260g) whole wheat flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 3 teaspoons (1 Tbsp) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar*
  • 1 and 3/4 cup (420ml) buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat waffle maker on medium-high heat.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl until combined. Pour into dry ingredients and whisk until combined and no large lumps remain.
  3. Pour 1/3 cup of the batter into each well of the waffle maker (or less if your waffle maker is on the smaller side) and close the lid. Cook the waffles util golden brown and crisp, 5-6 minutes. (You can keep waffles warm in a 200°F (93°C) preheated oven until all are finished!)
  4. Serve warm waffles with your favorite toppings!

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Waffles are best enjoyed the same day. Refrigerate any extras for a couple days. Waffles can be frozen up to 3 months, then warmed in the toaster.
  2. Sugar:You can also try coconut sugar, granulated sugar, or honey.
  3. Buttermilk: You can substitute whole milk for buttermilk if desired. Acidic buttermilk isn’t needed in order for the waffles to rise since we’re using baking powder. However if you’d like the tangy flavor, which I highly recommend, you can make your own sour milk substitute. Add 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 and 3/4 cups. Whisk together, then let sit for 5 minutes before using in the recipe. Whole milk is best for the DIY sour milk substitute because you’ll get the best, fluffiest, richest tasting waffles. However, lower fat or nondairy milks can work in a pinch.

84 Comments

  1. This recipe… Is just amazing.. the waffles were light and fluffy.. made this to eat with bacon, cheese and maple syrup.
    This is definitely my go to waffle recipe.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Super easy recipe, and they taste awesome! Made a triple batch today to use milk before it got too bad. Putting them in the freezer for me, hubby, and toddler. I am often not a waffle fan, I guess they just feel empty? But these fill me up, feel good, taste good, and super easy.

  3. These waffles are something I make almost twice a month now!! Replaced regular butter with brown butter and was blown away by how much better they were!! Could butter be replaced with margarine?

  4. This is my new go-to waffle recipe. The cinnamon is what makes it. Used white whole wheat. Light, fluffy and delicious.

  5. Great recipe! I made savory waffles to use as burger buns. Omitted the vanilla and sugar and put more salt some giner, garlic and onion powder and then sprinkled cheese on top of each before closing the machine. The texture of these are amazing

  6. What!? These were better than regular waffles, no joke. Great flavor and none of that dreaded gritty whole wheat texture. Magic! Simple recipe, great waffles.

  7. Very nice recipe :). Made these this morning!!! First time making waffles so that was pretty cool. And we used locally milled and grown wheat flour, which made them super tasty.

  8. These waffles were good.

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