How to Make Waffles from Scratch That Are Crispy Outside and Chewy Inside

Master waffle-making by discovering how to make waffle batter that’s more delicious than the store-bought mix. Plus, get the tips you need to make crispy waffles.

You know a perfect waffle when you see it—one that's golden and crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. But do you know how to make the perfect waffle from scratch? Once you know how to make a waffle, you can have crispy waffles anytime that are sure to please your friends and family. Soon you'll be turning waffle batter into waffle cake, stuffed waffles, waffle cookies, or even a savory corn waffle. All you need to do is follow this step-by-step guide that shows you how to make homemade waffles. Whether you're looking to make American-style or Belgian-style waffles, you can discover how to make waffles from scratch with our waffle recipe that takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish. So let's start learning how to make waffles. We'll even help you clean up afterward with tips on how to clean a waffle maker.

waffles on plate
Andy Lyons

How to Make Waffles

Making waffles from scratch can be intimidating compared to just whipping up a boxed waffle mix. But rest assured, you'll learn how to make waffle batter that tastes so much better than a store-bought mix. Just start with our American-style (baking powder-leavened) Waffles recipe that will take you less than 15 minutes to prepare and you'll be on your way.

Step 1: Make the Batter

Just like making pancakes, homemade waffle batter is the combination of dry ingredients with wet ingredients.

Add Dry Ingredients

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and set aside.

Add Wet Ingredients

In another bowl combine eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla.

Mix the Batter

Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened.

Add Fruit (If You Want)

If desired, stir in your choice of the following fruits into the waffle batter:

  • ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries or chopped fresh apple, apricot, peach, nectarine, or pear; or raisins, currants, dates, cranberries
  • ¼ cup snipped dried apple, apricot, pear, raisins, currants, dates, cranberries, blueberries, cherries, or mixed fruit.
making waffles with waffle maker
Andy Lyons

Step 2: Cook Waffles

Add batter to a preheated, lightly greased waffle baker (use a regular or Belgian waffle baker). Close lid quickly; do not open until done.

Bake according to manufacturer's directions. How long to cook a waffle in a waffle maker varies depending on the waffle maker's brand and the cook setting you select. Some waffle makers are equipped with a ready light that turns on when the waffle is done.

Use a fork to lift the waffle off grid when the waffle is finished cooking. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve warm.

Step 3: Top and Serve

If desired, top with butter and syrup. Try making your own cider or lemon-raspberry syrup. Serve warm.

4 Waffle Recipe Variations from Our Test Kitchen

Classic waffles are great, but when you want a flavor twist, give these variations a try.

Buttermilk-Banana Waffles Prepare waffles using the recipe and method above, except reduce baking powder to 1 tsp. and add ½ tsp. baking soda to the flour mixture. Substitute 2 cups buttermilk or sour milk for the milk. Gently fold in ½ cup chopped banana.

Cornmeal Buttermilk Waffles with Honey Butter Prepare waffles using the recipe and method above, except decrease flour to 1 cup, add 1 cup cornmeal and ½ tsp. baking soda to the flour mixture and reduce baking powder to 1 tsp. Substitute 2 cups buttermilk or sour milk for the milk. If desired, serve with Honey-Cinnamon Butter.

Gingerbread Waffles Prepare waffles using the recipe and method above, except increase flour to 2 cups and omit the sugar. Add ½ tsp. ground ginger, ½ tsp. ground cinnamon, and ¼ tsp. ground cloves to the flour mixture. Add 2 Tbsp. molasses to the egg mixture. If desired, top with lemon curd and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

Chocolate Waffles Prepare waffles using the recipe and method above, except reduce flour to 1½ cups, increase sugar to ¼ cup, and add ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder to the flour mixture. Fold ¼ cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces into the batter. (You might need to lightly coat the waffle baker with nonstick cooking spray between each waffle to prevent sticking.)

How to Make Crispy Waffles

Achieving a perfectly crisp waffle is all about heat and time—the batter needs to cook and reach the perfect dehydration point and the proteins in the batter need to set at just the right time. The key is cooking waffles a little more slowly for a little bit longer. If you do that, your waffles will likely be crispy with more even browning.

How to Make Belgian Waffles

Our go-to Waffles recipe mentioned earlier can easily be used to make Belgian waffles—you just need to cook the batter in a Belgian-style waffle maker. If you want to make a traditional yeast-raised batter that is commonly used for thicker Belgian-style waffles, try making these Overnight Waffles—you can prepare the waffles in advance by chilling the batter overnight in the refrigerator till the morning you want to bake them.

Can you Make Waffles with Pancake Mix?

If you're thinking of trying to make waffles with pancake mix, think again! It just doesn't work. Waffles made with pancake batter will likely have a gummy, wet interior and soggy exterior simply because steam from the batter cooking gets trapped inside a waffle maker. With pancakes, steam is not a problem because it evaporates into the open air—in fact, you can actually see the steam rising out the top of the pancakes as the bubbles form during the cooking process.

How to Clean Waffle Maker

Once you've made delectable waffles for your friends and family, unplug the waffle maker and leave the top lid up to allow the grids to cool. When it comes time to clean the waffle maker, it's best to review your owner's manual to determine and read this piece on how to clean a waffle maker to ensure you don't damage the appliance. It's usually as simple as brushing the crumbs from the grooves and using a damp cloth to wipe away excess cooking oil and batter.

How to Make Waffles Without a Waffle Iron

If you don't have a waffle iron, it's possible to make waffles, however you might be disappointed with the results. It takes just seconds online to find oodles of suggestions on how to make waffles without a waffle iron. Some people suggest using a grill pan, a waffle cake pan or even a silicone mold to bake the batter. While these baking methods form waffles with ridges, they probably won't satisfy your cravings for the crispy texture, even browning, and deep checkerboard-like pockets that you get from a waffle iron. Waffle irons have the unique ability to heat evenly and cook batter consistently from top to bottom that results in waffles with a crispy outside and moist inside.You can rely on a waffle iron's deep grooved plates to form the batter into pockets of goodness that easily hold syrup, jam, whipped cream, and other toppings.

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