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

When’s the last time you had a truly phenomenal 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. I haven’t used my waffle iron in years until I began testing 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? 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.

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!)

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. 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: 89 waffles 1x
  • 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

Scale
  • 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.

Keywords: Fluffy Whole Wheat Waffles

Reader Questions and Reviews

  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.

    1. Thank you so much for this recipe. Simple work, Perfect fluffy delicious waffles! and didn’t even taste the whole wheat.

  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?

    1. Margarine is polyunsaturated fat and is actually quite terrible for your arteries. This is why they are seeing an epidemic of pulmonary artery disease in India because they switched to “vegetable” oil in place of ghee (butter). Also when is the last time you saw a vegetable that had oil in it??That alone should send up a red flag. Stick with the butter. Your taste buds and body will thank you.

  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 are wonderful! I love the flavor from the whole wheat.

    Would it be possible to make a large batch of the dry ingredients and then just add the wet as needed, a kind of gourmet waffle mix?

    1. Hi Kylie, as long as you keep the dry ingredients stored tightly, that should work just fine. So glad you enjoy these waffles!

  9. Good morning, it is Christmas morning, 2021 and I have just finished preparing your delicious waffle recipe for Christmas. I want to say, you are a genius, I have never had my husband like my waffle attempts but he loved these. Thank you so much. p.s. I substituted whole fat kefir milk, it was all I had and the waffles still turned out plump and moist.

    1. Hi Leah, We don’t usually include nutrition information as it can vary between different brands of the same ingredients, and many recipes have ingredient substitutions or optional ingredients. However, there are many great online calculators where you can plug in your exact ingredients like this one: https://www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4157076

    1. Hi Kathryn, We’ve never tested this with protein powder but let us know if you do.

      1. I replaced a 1/2 cup of the whole wheat flour with chocolate protein powder, and added more cinnamon and milk. They were so good! Perfectly light and fluffy.

  10. This recipe does not disappoint! I actually cut it in half, added cocoa powder and chopped walnuts, and topped with a cherry sauce. So fluffly and delicious! Thank you Sally! ❤

  11. These waffles are the best! We have made them so many times. I quit buying waffle mixes! I like to make a triple batch and freeze them for easy breakfasts. They are good plain or with blueberries. Thank you for the easy and delicious recipe!

  12. I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve made these! They are just great as listed, but usually sprinkle chopped pecans, dried blueberries and a seed combination for some crunch! Changed it up again this morning by adding some oats and switched the brown sugar with coconut sugar. Such a brilliant base recipe! Thank You!!

  13. I made the waffles this morning, I made my own buttermilk as suggested above using lemon juice and lactose free 2% milk. I followed the recipe ingredients to the T. They turned out fluffy, very fluffy. I was almost afraid they would be heavy and to my amazement they weren’t heavy at all. That taste really good. I added blueberries and whip chip on top. I use sugar free maple syrup. Maple Gove Farms. also good. I highly recommend this recipe.

  14. This waffle recipe is wonderful!! I substituted about 2 tbsps. ground flaxseed for the flour and also used whole milk with lemon juice for the buttermilk. Still amazing! Much tastier than those expensive whole grain mixes at a fraction of the cost. This recipe actually takes care of that waffle craving without wrecking a healthy diet. Thanks for the recipe Sally! 🙂

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