Making waffles at home when you have kids can turn into a weekend deja-vu quite fast.
Who doesn’t like waffles, I mean? They’re easy to make, freeze well and infinitely adaptable. They’re up there with pancakes, in fact. When cook’s block strikes, they save the day, whether savoury or sweet.
If you have a basic waffles recipe, that is.
There are many resources out there who promise you the best results, however I find that with waffles it is better to have the basic quantities nailed down and work your way from there.
That way, your deja-vus will be far less and more spaced out, as you become more confident in modifying, adding, subtracting or replacing ingredients as you see fit (or as kids change preferences, which, to be honest, happens every day *sigh*).
I came across this recipe on a Facebook group, so it’s not something I invented. But good things deserve to be passed on and shared with as many people as possible.
Do you need a waffle maker in your life?
Yes, and if you think you can only use it to make waffles, this book might change your mind.
My waffle maker itself is not a famous brand and I find it does the job quite well. Something similar to this and you’re good to go.
If however you’re not sure you’ll be in the waffle game for too long, there are even cheaper alternatives out there, however you will need to wait for your oven to preheat.
Now that we’ve settled the technicalities, let’s discuss waffle batter.
How to make easy homemade waffles – understanding how the ingredients work together
The batter for waffles is not very different to the one for pancakes.
It has added fat (usually oil or butter) to make it crispy on the outside and yet soft on the inside. Also helps with preventing sticking to the waffle machine (despite this, I still use spray oil before my first batch goes in).
It has an acid (buttermilk or alternatives) and a raising agent (bicarb soda) that start working as soon as they meet moisture. Some recipes suggest leaving the batter to rest for 30 minutes, but I find that with kids it’s best to proceed as soon as possible.
After you mix the basic ingredients, make a mental and visual note of how the batter looks like.
Then you can add extras to it, bearing in mind not to overload it and keep the consistency roughly the same.
What can I add to the waffle batter to make it tastier?
Healthy waffle recipes don’t need many complicated add-ons to make them taste delicious.
You will find that most common fillings for pancakes and muffins work well here too (well, except maybe blueberries, which make a total mess out of the waffle plates; if you have time to spare and clean afterwards, go ahead; but I don’t, so I’ve learned my lesson).
What you can choose:
- Mashed/pureed/blended/grated/chopped/dried fruits like bananas, apples, pears, berries, dates or veggies like shredded zucchini (always squeezed of excess moisture), carrots, parsnips, mushrooms, olives (be mindful of salt content), broccoli, chopped spring onions or chives
- Chopped or ground nuts (depending on age of kids – whole nuts are a chocking hazard so always adapt to your little one’s chewing skills) like walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds or peanuts
- Nut butters like peanut butter, almond butter and so on
- Grated hard cheeses like Cheddar or Parmesan (be mindful of salt content); dry cheeses like ricotta or curd cheese also work well.
- Leftovers like mashed potato, porridge, cooked meats or cooked fish like salmon.
- Herbs and spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, mixed spice, shredded coconut, pepper, paprika or garlic powder
The only thing to really pay attention to, like I said, is the consistency. I wouldn’t go for more than 150g of inclusions, though. When in doubt, use one handful as a start. It shouldn’t affect the structure, but still be enough so that each waffle has its fair share.
Can I use different types of flour? Make other replacements in this waffles recipe?
You can of course (partially) replace the flour with typical alternatives like spelt, wholemeal (only partial replacement as the result will be quite dense otherwise), ground oats and so on.
I haven’t tried replacing the eggs in this particular recipe, however you can give it a try converting as follows:
- 1 egg – 62g of applesauce
- 1 egg – half a mashed banana
- 1 egg – 85g mashed avocado
- 1 egg – 85g pumpkin puree
- 1 egg – 1 tablespoon chia seeds with 10 tablespoons water, left to hydrate for 15 minutes. However, chia seeds are very high in fibre and should be consumed in moderation by little ones. Half a teaspoon up to twice a week seems to be the limit I have found.
There is the possibility of making yeasted waffles, instead of using a raising agent; however this type needs to sit overnight in the fridge to allow for fermentation to occur.
Also, if you have a sourdough starter, using discard in the batter after you’ve mixed in the basic ingredients will give the batter a bit more flavour and tanginess.
Anything else I should watch out for?
Be careful to fully fill the waffle maker’s plates, so as not to have “dead” areas where the batter won’t cook fully. Have a look at the pictures below. I’m sometimes guilty of doing this if I’m in a hurry.
It’s ok if the waffle maker’s lid rises as the waffles cook, it means the rising agent is doing its thing and you’ll have well risen waffles. The most important thing is that the plates are filled evenly so there are no spots where the batter hasn’t reached or is not enough (these will look quite ugly).
Let’s see what the basic waffle recipe looks like.
As always, if this post helped you in any way, I would love it if you would share it on Pinterest or any social media channel of your choice.
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- 2 eggs
- 50g butter (1/2 stick), melted or 50g oil (3 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons)
- 200ml buttermilk (7/8 cup) (or sana or kefir - see notes for alternative)
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
- 200g plain (all-purpose) flour (1 2/3 cups)
- Mix/whisk the first 3 ingredients until smooth.
- Add the baking soda and mix/whisk.
- Add the flour and mix/whisk until smooth.
- Preheat your waffle maker.
- Using a ladle, drop the batter in the waffle maker, making sure it gets to all the corners. Cook according to preference (lighter or darker waffles).
- You can break the 4 big waffles into smaller ones if you want.
If you don't have buttermilk, use the same quantity of milk but add 2 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar, then leave aside for 5 minutes for the mixture to curdle. You shouldn't taste the sourness in the final result.
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