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.

83 Comments

  1. We love these. I make a triple or quadruple batch once a week and then freeze what we don’t eat that morning. It then is our breakfast for two adults and my 3 year old. She wakes up and asks for THESE waffles. I use maple syrup for the sweetener instead and they’re DELIGHTFUL

  2. Hi I love your recipes they are the best!!!!!!!!!

  3. I forgot to add sugar and theyre still good!

  4. Captive Cook says:

    I tried the recipe exactly as written, even double-checked it, and I just can’t figure out why my waffles turned out firm and dry. My batter was quite stiff, almost a dough consistency. No one else seems to have had the same issue. I used Kind Arthur organic whole wheat flour, real buttermilk, two large eggs, 3 full teaspoons of baking powder, 90 grams of butter, and all the rest. My waffles were definitely not fluffy or soft in any way. That’s odd right? Any ideas as to why?

    1. If your batter was very thick you might have had too much flour. Be sure to spoon and level your flour when measuring instead of scooping or or you will end up with too much. Also double check to make sure that your baking powder is fresh.

      1. BigFanButNotOfTheseWaffles says:

        Sally something seems off. We also made it exactly and we got dough consistency that wouldn’t cook all the way through. I looked at 6 other recipes for wheat waffles and they all for at least equal to or more portions of the flour. Are you sure these portions are correct? Shouldn’t the milk be equal to the flour at least? Love your site and we’ve made lots of recipes with no issue. Thanks for all you do.

      2. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hello, This is a thicker batter but it should not be the consistency of a dough (see photo above). Did you make any ingredient substitutions and double check that you measured correctly? Be sure you are spooning and leveling (or weighing) your flour and not scooping or you could end up with 50% more than you need. Thank you for trying this recipe!

  5. Hi Sally, can I sub some of the whole wheat flour for oat flour in this recipe? Thank you

    Farah

    1. Hi Farah, I haven’t tested this recipe with oat flour, but I fear the waffles will be too wet unless you adjust a wet ingredient. Let me know if you test it!

  6. Hello Sally! I was wondering if I could use coconut oil instead of butter. Thank you!

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sophie, we haven’t tested these waffles using coconut oil instead of butter but let us know if you do!

  7. I love, love, love your recipe. I’ve been on a mission to find the perfect whole wheat waffle. I’ve tried about a dozen recipes and the waffles all basically taste the same…heavy, bland, tough and chewy. Your waffles are light and delicious. I added in a mashed banana for a little extra pop. Thanks!

  8. 1/2’d the recipe and it fit perfectly in my square stove top waffle maker. These were crisp and fluffy, my son thought they were AP flour! In did double the cinnamon as we are fans. Perfect recipe!

  9. This recipe sounds AMAZING! I have leftover pumpkin puree that I’d love to add to this recipe for pumpkin waffles!
    Question: Do you have any advice for adjusting the other ingredients so the batter isn’t too wet? Thanks so much!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kate, You can use the recipe for these pumpkin pancakes and see the note in the post about how to use it in a waffle maker. Enjoy!

  10. My waffle batter was thick almost like a muffin batter. (I did half the recipe but was very precise about it) I almost added more buttermilk but decided to try it as it was. The waffles were great! To make a whole waffle took more than a third of a cup for me. But I am curious to know if the batter was supposed to be that thick.

  11. so far this is the only waffle recipe i’ve used and i’m done searching. it’s 100% fantastic. except i’d like a make-ahead yeasted waffle with these same proportions of ingredients. you think i can swap yeast (say one packet worth) for the baking powder and not change anything else? i plan to try it tonight for tomorrow.

  12. Hi Sally, thanks for this fantastic recipe! My family isn’t a big fan of waffles or pancakes normally (shocker! I know!) because we tend to like our main dishes savoury but waffles with these recipes are the only ones they’ll ever eat – including my grandad. I’ve made this a few times now- the only thing I’ve changed is put in 3/4 milk and 1/4 water otherwise my batter is too thick and chewy. With that slight change, it’s a quick breakfast or dinner for the whole family.

  13. These waffles are amazing, whole wheat or not!!!

  14. I made these as written except I added the brown sugar to the melted butter which cooled the butter. When I mixed everything together I thought about adding more buttermilk because it looked a little thick and gloppy. Glad I didn’t; they were delicious and light. The three of us enjoyed them; hubby, Lucy Dog and me. Will definitely make these again. Thanks from the Adirondacks. Love all your recipes!

  15. These are the best waffles I’ve ever made, and they’re whole wheat! Score!

    The first time I made these, I used wheat flour I ground myself in a wheat grinder…it made these little crunchy bits in the waffles and I LOVED the texture. I’ve just used regular store-bought whole wheat flour every other time I’ve made them (which has been many times) and they still turn out amazing, just without that crunchy texture that I loved the first time. This is my go-to waffle recipe!

  16. Hi Sally,

    I’m thinking I must have done something wrong. I followed the recipe by weight but I did use oat milk & vinegar as a substitute for buttermilk, also my whole wheat flower was very old. The end result had good flavour and were fluffy but the waffles seemed very dense and a tad dry. Do you have any thoughts as to why mine didn’t turn out as “light” as others? I know this is a problem with whole wheat flower. Thanks!

  17. I made this today using honey and white whole wheat flour and it was so fluffy and delicious! Best waffles I’ve ever made- they were filling, healthy, but didn’t taste wheaty at all.

  18. Thank you so much for this whole wheat waffle recipe

  19. Such a quick and easy recipe! It was so nice to not have to separate and whip egg whites. Thank you for the simple and delicious recipe!

  20. I doubled the recipe and didn’t have enough butter so substituted with a bit of coconut oil and the waffles were delicious.

  21. Better than I expected. This batter is thin and when it rises in the waffle maker, edges rise without a center leaving delightful crunchy bits around the circumference. Full disclosure, I used 3 eggs and 1 full stick (8 Tbs) of butter. These waffles are light (again, thin batter) and the total opposite from the dense oat flour ones I often make. Hard to tell they were made with 100% whole wheat flour. Served with generous portion of (defrosted) frozen berries and plain greek yoghurt. Overall very pleased with this ever-so-slightly healthier version of a morning treat. Thanks to the author sharing recipe.

  22. can this recipe be halved?

    1. I halved this recipe and it still came out great! Very easy to do so.

  23. I made these tonight according to the recipe. They were very simple compared with other recipes I’ve tried and they turned out really, really good. Definitely a keeper.

  24. Elizabeth Bradley says:

    Yesterday I passed waffle mix at the grocery store, thinking ‘I have all the ingredients at home.’ So glad I did and even happier to have found this recipe. Absolutely delicious – light, fluffy & delish. I love cinnamon , so that was a great addition. I used all recommended ingredients and halved the recipe for two of us (used raw sugar & dressed them afterward with Kerry Gold butter And Trader Joe’s pure maple syrup. So Yum. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  25. Have you tried adding peanut butter or a peanut butter powder for added protein? I am searching for a unicorn.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jennifer, we haven’t tried it, but you can certainly experiment with adding peanut butter powder. They’re also delicious topped with warm peanut butter instead of syrup!

  26. Silagh M White says:

    Love this recipe! I blended the flour with 2/3 whole wheat, 1/3 all-Purpose, just to cut a bit of the texture. I love vanilla, so I added a tablespoon of vanilla bean paste, and left out the sugar. Topped with warm apple spiced compote…. Oh my!!

  27. These were bomb!! Will definitely make again! I added two tablespoons of ground flaxseed too to make it even more nutritious.

  28. Kylie Solis says:

    Why do I like these better than waffles made with all purpose flour??
    These are so delicious. Thanks for another amazing recipe Sally

    1. These are so good! I’ve never made waffles before and they turned out great. Toddler approved too, my 3 year old couldn’t get enough of them. Thank you for an easy and delicious recipe!

  29. For me it was “love at first bite” when I first tasted a Belgian waffle more than a decade ago… I dream to make them myself, though I don’t have a waffle maker yet. Have you ever tried to “bake” them in the oven using a silicone waffle mold? If so, how long would you recommend to bake them and at what temperature?
    Can’t wait to try your recipe, as I’m sure it will be delicious!!!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Gabrielle, we haven’t tried baking these waffles in a silicone mold, but we’d love to know if you give it a try. We’d recommend baking them at 350 degrees, and keeping a close eye on them for time. Let us know how it goes!

  30. Easy and tasty! Almost doesn’t seem like whole wheat, they’re so fluffy. Crisped nicely around the edges. My kids were waiting at the waffle iron for seconds before I could finish cooking them!

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