Whole Wheat Waffles: a healthy one-bowl breakfast that's perfect any day of the week! Made with simple steps in just 20 minutes!
This recipe was originally published January 20, 2020. It was updated on September 29, 2021.
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Introduce a new family favorite into your healthy brunch recipe rotation with this Whole Wheat Waffles Recipe. They're light, crispy, and just the right touch of sweet. Read on to learn how to make these waffles, recipe pro-tips & FAQs, and more.
Table of contents
- These fluffy whole grain waffles are...
- How to make whole wheat waffles:
- Recipe pro-tips:
- Recipe FAQs:
- How do you make your own buttermilk (also known as "sour milk")?
- Waffle batter mix-ins:
- Waffle serving suggestions:
- Dietary adaptations:
- Storage and reheating directions:
- Tools needed to make this recipe:
- More Easy & healthy brunch recipes:
I rediscovered my love of waffles when tapering for my first marathon. Nothing satisfied my morning need for carbs like the light, pillowy, and golden breakfast food.
Ever since I've been working on developing my favorite whole wheat Belgian waffle recipe. I think I've finally landed on my favorite!
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.
Secondly, I set out to discover how to make crispy waffles.
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.
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 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.
These fluffy whole grain waffles are...
... all while being so much easier to make than you may expect!
- Whole wheat pastry flour - found at most major US grocery stores, Whole Foods, and Amazon
- Brown sugar
- Baking powder
- Low-fat buttermilk - or homemade sour milk, see notes below on how to make from scratch
- Large eggs
- 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
How to make whole wheat waffles:
- Preheat the 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 the 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 according to the waffle iron's directions. We want the iron nice and hot before we pour the batter in
- Spray the waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray after the iron is preheated. You can also brush the iron with cooking oil. Spraying after preheated prevents the oil from burning as the iron heats up.
- If making sour milk, let it rest before using. Let it rest for 5 minutes, or until it's started to curdle.
- To serve waffles warm together, keep them in an oven preheated to 200 degrees until serving. Waffles can stay in the preheated oven for up to 45 minutes.
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!"
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!
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.
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!
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!
Waffle batter mix-ins:
Change up your sweet 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)
Waffle serving suggestions:
Waffles are best enjoyed with all of your favorite toppings, like:
- Maple Syrup
- Nut or Seed Butter
- Chocolate Chips
- Powdered Sugar
- Whipped cream
- Jam or fruit preserves
These waffles are naturally vegetarian.
To make these waffles dairy-free and vegan, make your own buttermilk (or "sour milk") with nut milk and 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. Let rest 5 minutes before stirring into the waffle batter and continuing with the recipe as directed.
Storage and reheating directions:
- Refrigeration: store leftover waffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
- Freezing: cool leftover waffles and freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. To keep the waffles from sticking together, place small sheets of parchment or wax paper between the waffles.
- Reheating: toast thawed waffles on low heat for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through and crispy and golden. Toast frozen waffles on low heat for 11/2-2 ½ minutes, or until heated through and crispy or golden.
Tools needed to make this recipe:
More easy brunch recipes
- Banana Waffles
- Dairy-Free Waffles
- Oat Milk Pancakes
- Brownie Baked Oats
- Ube Pancakes
- Best Brioche French Toast Recipe
- Whole Wheat Pancakes
- Oatmeal Blender Pancakes
- Banana Double Chocolate Chip Pancakes
- Black Bean Breakfast Enchiladas
- Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
- Mountain Breakfast Skillet
If you made and liked this recipe, don't forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it went for you in the comments! It always makes my day to hear from you!