Trial and error has finally lead me here, to the best buttermilk waffle recipe— golden brown and crispy on the outside, but soft and cakey on the inside, all thanks to a secret ingredient you already have in your pantry.
Are you on team waffle or team pancake? I have real trouble picking sides, but if I absolutely had to, I’d probably pick waffles. Sure, they’re a little more work but I think it’s worth it. They’re just more special! And when they’re done right, with crispy edges and soft centers, there’s just nothing better on a lazy morning.
These waffles really are the best! And thave such incredible flavor all on their own thanks to the vanilla extract and buttermilk in the batter, but I still recommend piling them high with aaalll the toppings. My favorite way to serve waffles is with whipped cream, fresh berries, and maple syrup. It can’t be beat!
The Secret Ingredient
I never loved making waffles at home— mine always turned out limp and floppy— until I heard about this secret ingredient. Cornstarch! Heidi of Foodiecrush first clued me in and I owe her so much because of it. The cornstarch helps combat the problem of too much moisture, which prevents the waffles from crisping up. But a little cornstarch in the batter and boom! super crispy waffles with soft moist centers.
Waffle making tips
- Know your waffle maker— All waffle makers are different so be sure to follow the instructions for how much batter your machine needs and the cooking time.
- Don’t over-mix— A few lumps in your batter are just fine! Mixing too much develops the gluten in the flour, making the waffles chewy and dense.
- Be sure to grease— I use a spritz of non-stick cooking spray on my waffle iron before each waffle I make, just to be sure there’s no sticking. Your waffle maker instructions may also have suggestions for your specific machine.
- Look for the steam— If your waffle maker doesn’t have a timer for when the waffles are done, watch for when the steam stops. Chances are the waffles will be cooked through and golden brown.
- Keep waffles warm in the oven— Until all waffles are cooked and you’re ready to serve, keep cooked waffles warm in a 200°F oven in a single layer on a sheet pan.
- Freeze leftovers— Waffles freeze very well! Freeze in a single layer on a sheet pan, then transfer them to a ziplock plastic bag and freeze for a month or more. To reheat, simply pop them into the toaster for a few minutes.
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Best Buttermilk Waffles
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (180 grams)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch (28 grams)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cup buttermilk (295 ml)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (113 grams), melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Preheat a waffle maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Grease with non-stick spray if necessary. Pour scant 1 cup batter into the hot waffle maker (1/2 cup for smaller waffle irons). Cook until golden brown (this was about 5-6 minutes in my waffle iron.)
- Serve immediately, or keep warm in a 200 degree F oven in a single-layer.
Recipe originally published January 2014.