Pancakes get all the glory, but the truth is that their preferred status is based on a lie. See, most folks think that waffles can be made with pancake batter, which makes them nothing more than pancakes in a fussier shape (that requires special equipment, no less). If that were the case, pancakes would win the breakfast battle honestly—but it’s not the case and these best waffle recipes are proof.
The key difference between pancakes and waffles is that pancakes are floppy on the outside and cakey on the inside, whereas waffles are crispy on the outside and airy light on the inside. If you prefer donuts ands fritters to cake—or just want to change things up—these waffles are the move.
Top: All-The-Blueberries Buttermilk Waffles | Joy the Baker
Since I got all technical on you, it’s only right to start with Alton Brown’s waffles—his Really Good Waffles, to be exact. As you’d expect, the recipe is perfection simplified. I especially love that it’s made with whole wheat pastry flour (a favorite ingredient of mine) and that Alton lists several unique uses for leftover waffles. Waffle croutons? Yes, please!
Before turning our tastebuds to decadently dressed up waffles, I want to share one more basic recipe. This one has been dubbed waffles of insane greatness by the trusted folks at Food52, which is pretty much enough for me. The recipe, originally from Aretha Frankenstein’s restaurant in Chattanooga, TN, uses corn starch to help keep the inside silky and outside super crispy. One look at how easy this recipe is and you’ll be ready to test this recipe this weekend. Or, uh, tomorrow.
Joy the Baker is one of my go-to sources for breakfast sweets and, when it comes to waffles, she does not disappoint. There were almost too many waffles on her site to choose just one, but I kept coming back to these Vanilla Bean Sweet Potato Waffles. Joy uses sweet potatoes in this recipe for their deliciousness, but they also add a discreet dose of veggies to breakfast. Just saying.
Okay, I couldn’t chose just one waffle recipe on Joy the Baker after all. These All-The-Blueberries Buttermilk Waffles (pictured above and top) looked to good not to share. And with blueberry season fast approaching, I’m just trying to be practical. So very practical.
There are certain flavors that you expect from waffles (I’m looking at you chocolate and cinnamon), but these Grapefruit Buttermilk Waffles with Toasted Coconut at Cookie Monster Cooking are an unexpected delight. These are like a bite of sunshine and I can’t think of a better way to start the day.
More than chocolate (yes, I said more), I’m a sucker for brown sugary, cinnamon flavors, which is why these Pecan Belgian Waffles with Caramelized Rum Banana-Pecan Syrup at No Spoon Necessary caught my attention. This combination of tastes is like everything that tastes good and right in New Orleans, from pralines to bananas foster, all wrapped up into waffle goodness. It’s like a party on a plate, no beads or boozy drinks required.
You may not have known it, but you’ve been waiting for these Chocolate Peanut Butter Waffles with Maple Peanut Syrup at Kumquat. Gretchen brings together the two great tastes that taste great together in this gluten-free recipe using powdered peanut butter. If you don’t want to invest in the stuff for just one recipe, I recommend that you use a total of 2 cups of flour—gluten-free or all purpose—to make plain dark chocolate waffles. Then, use the syrup for the peanut butter flavor. I promise it will do the job.