Whole Wheat Waffles: a healthy one-bowl breakfast that's perfect any day of the week!
This recipe was originally published January 20, 2020. It was re-published with new photos, a recipe video, and post information on March 8, 2021.
Introduce a new family favorite into your healthy brunch recipe rotation with this Whole Wheat Waffle Recipe. They're light, crispy, and just the right touch of sweet, making them delicious with almost any toppings.
I rediscovered my love of waffles when tapering for my first marathon 2 years ago. Ever since I've been working on developing my favorite whole wheat Belgian waffle recipe, and I think I've finally landed on my favorite.
And it turns out fluffy whole wheat waffles are a bit of a beast to conquer. Getting the perfect mix of crisp on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside is a challenge. There are a few ways to create each component and so I wanted to make sure I honed in on the best ratios of each to create the most satisfying and crave-worthy waffles.
First, I set out to get the most fluffy waffles. I started by doing this by using a mixture of whipped egg whites and baking powder. Though the egg whites initially added loft to the batter, they seemed to collapse during cooking. So, I decided to rely mainly on baking powder and the result was more structured, yet still light waffles.
Even with the loft and structure of the baking powder, I felt like the waffles could still be lighter and fluffier. This was the time for me to play around with the type of flour. Given that all-purpose whole wheat flour has more protein (making the waffles heavier and chewier), I realized that I needed to go for whole wheat pastry flour.
Since whole wheat pastry flour is lower on protein, I can get almost all of the benefits of using whole wheat flour without having to cut it with white flour to keep them light and fluffy. Side note: each waffle square made with whole wheat pastry flour still has about 9 grams of protein total!
Secondly, I set out to create waffles that have that perfectly crisp exterior. The kind of crispiness that borders on chewy and that I just. can't. get. enough. of.
Some recipes I read insisted that egg whites would help create this crunch, but it never worked out for me. So, I started playing around with adding sugar to the batter, as sugar gets crispy when it heats up and caramelizes.
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I started by adding a few tablespoons of granulated white sugar to the batter. The resulting waffles were a bit crunchy and tasted okay, but they could have been crunchier and have a better depth of flavor.
Then, after reading Sally's Baking Addiction's Fluffy Whole Wheat Waffles, I noticed she used light brown sugar in her waffles and my wheels got turning. I played around with the amount of dark brown sugar (i.e., I increased the sugar) and that, in addition to my other changes, created perfectly crispy and fluffy whole wheat waffles I just couldn't stop with.
Table of contents
- How do you make these waffles?
- Recipe pro-tips:
- How do you make your own buttermilk (also known as "sour milk")?
- What is the difference between whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour?
- Where do you buy whole wheat pastry flour?
- What is the best way to measure flour?
- What can you mix into the waffle batter?
- What toppings are best for whole wheat waffles?
- Storage and reheating directions:
- What tools do you need to make these whole wheat waffles?
- Easy & healthy brunch recipes you will love!
This Fluffy Whole Wheat Waffle Recipe Is...
- A great source of protein & fiber
- Just as, if not more delicious than their white flour relatives
And screaming, just screaming, for you to make them. 🙂
- Whole wheat pastry flour
- Brown sugar
- Baking powder
- Low-fat buttermilk (or homemade sour milk, see below)
- Unsalted butter
- Flour - an equal mixture (1 ⅓ cup each) of regular whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour can substitute for the pastry flour
- Sugar -- coconut sugar can be used in place of the brown sugar
- Buttermilk -- you can make homemade buttermilk (also known as "sour milk" with white vinegar and any nut milk. See my notes and video below!
- Butter -- melted coconut oil can work in place of the melted butter, though the flavor profile will be a bit nuttier and sweeter
- Eggs -- I haven't tried it personally, so can't guarantee anything, but you should be able to substitute 2 flax eggs for the large eggs. To make a flax egg, mix 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (the fresher, the better) with 3 tablespoons cold water until combined. If you try this, please comment below with how it goes!
How do you make these waffles?
- Preheat your waffle iron to medium-high heat.
- Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
- Add the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter to the dry ingredients. Whisk in until just combined.
- Once the griddle is preheated, spray it with non-stick cooking spray.
- Add the batter to the griddle and bake according to your waffle maker's instructions, or until the waffles are golden brown, crispy, and fragrant.
- Remove the waffles from the waffle iron and enjoy with your favorite toppings!
- Preheat the waffle iron -- we want the iron nice and hot before we pour the batter in
- If making your own buttermilk -- let it rest for 5 minutes before stirring into the flour with the other wet ingredients
- Keep cooked waffles warm in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit if you want to serve your warm waffles together!
How do you make your own buttermilk (also known as "sour milk")?
Here's how you make your own buttermilk:
- add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to a 2-cup measuring cup
- Fill the cup the rest of the way to the 2-cup line with either dairy or nut milk. Stir.
- Let the milk sit for at least 5 minutes at room temperature (this lets the milk culture). Enjoy!
What is the difference between whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour?
Whole wheat pastry flour has a lower protein content to it than does regular whole wheat flour. Because of this, it makes the waffles tender and light -- as they would be if they were made with all-purpose flour -- but with more whole grains!
As I shared above, if you don't have whole wheat pastry flour, you can substitute an equal mixture of regular whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour.
Where do you buy whole wheat pastry flour?
You can purchase whole wheat pastry flour at most major grocery store chains in the US, at Whole Foods, or on Amazon. I love Bob's Red Mill's pastry flour as well as Whole 360 brand!
What is the best way to measure flour?
The best way to measure flour is by weighing it. The second best way is to spoon and level the flour.
Measuring your flour ensures that you have the exact amount of flour in the recipe every time -- no flimsy or cardboard waffles ever!
To measure the flour by weighing, set your digital food sale (only about $10 on Amazon!) to grams, tare the scale, and then scoop the flour until you reach the right amount! Easy peasy.
Are whole wheat waffles healthy?
According to Megan Byrd, RD "Making your favorite pancakes, waffles, and baked goods with whole wheat flour instead of bleached white flour is definitely a healthy swap! By adding more whole grains into your diet, you increase the fiber in your diet as well. Increasing the amount of whole grains and fiber in your
diet has been shown to help lower cholesterol, decrease blood sugar spikes, and even improve digestion!"
What can you mix into the waffle batter?
Change up your waffle game with mix-ins! Here are a few of my favorites with their respective measurements:
- Fresh or frozen blueberries (½ cup)
- Fresh or frozen raspberries (½ cup)
- Chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips (⅓ cup)
- Extra cinnamon (extra ½ -1 teaspoon)
- Chopped walnuts (¼ cup)
- Chopped apple (½ cup)
- Cocoa powder (2 tablespoons)
What toppings are best for whole wheat waffles?
Get creative and use whatever toppings sound best on your waffles. Here are some of my favorites if you want a starting point!
- Maple Syrup
- Nut or Seed Butter
- Chocolate Chips
- Powdered Sugar
- Whipped cream
- Jam or fruit preserves
Storage and reheating directions:
- For best results, freeze cooled leftover waffles in a freezer-safe container with small pieces of wax paper between the waffles for up to 2 months.
- You can also store leftover waffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, but they really do stay freshest frozen.
- To re-heat the waffles: toast on low heat for 1-2 minutes, or until the waffle gets crispy and golden.
What tools do you need to make these whole wheat waffles?
Easy & healthy brunch recipes you will love!
- Best Brioche French Toast Recipe
- Banana Double Chocolate Chip Pancakes
- Black Bean Breakfast Enchiladas
- Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
- Mountain Breakfast Skillet
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Healthier whole wheat waffles that are fluffy, crispy, and a breeze to whip up.
Make sure to use whole wheat pastry flour if you have or can find it and spoon the flour into the measuring cups or weigh it for best accuracy.
Top with any and all of your favorite waffle toppings: maple syrup, nut butter, confectionary sugar, fruit, whipped cream, chocolate chips, etc.
- 2 ⅔ cups (or 320 g) whole wheat pastry flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups low-fat buttermilk (nut or dairy)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Your favorite toppings: fruit, nut butter, whipped cream, maple syrup, chocolate chips, dates, bananas, confectioners sugar, etc.
- Preheat the waffle iron to medium-high heat.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients (pastry flour through brown sugar) in a large mixing bowl until combined.
- Add the eggs, milk, and melted butter to the dry ingredients. Whisk in until no streaks of flour remain.
- Once the waffle iron has preheated, spray the iron with non-stick cooking spray and pour in the waffle batter by the ½ cup, or until the waffle iron grids are filled with batter, but not overflowing.
- Cook the waffles according to your waffle iron's directions.
- Repeat steps 4 & 5 the rest of the waffle batter until all the batter is cooked, making about 3 large waffles.
- Remove the waffles from the oven and serve hot with all your favorite toppings!
1. Make your own buttermilk by adding 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to a 2-cup measuring cup and fill up with dairy or nut milk to the 2 cup line. Let the mixture sit for at least 5 minutes before using it in the recipe.
2. Keep freshly baked waffles warm until serving in an oven preheated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Leftover waffles keep best in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. To keep the waffles from sticking together, store them with small pieces of wax paper between them.
4. To reheat waffles toast them in a toaster oven on low heat for 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
5. For the most accurate and consistent results, measure your flour by weighing it on a food scale.
6. Equal parts of regular whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour (1 ⅓ cup each) can work as a substitute for the whole wheat pastry flour.
Serving Size1 waffle square without any toppings
Amount Per Serving Calories 246Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 46mgSodium 282mgCarbohydrates 39gFiber 4gSugar 7gProtein 9g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dieticians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.