These crispy homemade buttermilk waffles are light, flavorful and super easy to make. They have an ultra crispy exterior with airy, tender middles and are made with minimal effort - no whipping egg whites required!
If you search for a good homemade waffle recipe, chances are most of them will require separating eggs, whipping the whites, and folding the batter together. It's a process that requires time, patience, skill and a whole lot of dishes - which nobody needs in the morning.
These homemade waffles have a deep, rich flavor thanks to nutty brown butter and tangy buttermilk, and a shattering crispy outer crunch and a light, fluffy inside, without having to whip egg whites. It's the perfect waffle, but with zero fuss.
Why this recipe works
- A crispy crunchy outside and light and airy inside makes these the best crispy buttermilk waffles you’ll ever have.
- They only have a few more steps than a boxed mix and taste infinitely better.
- No whipping egg whites required.
- They freeze beautifully for easy breakfasts on the go.
- Flour - Use all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, or a combination of the two. You could use a 1:1 all-purpose gluten free flour to make these gluten free as well. Just don’t attempt this recipe with other types of flour like almond or coconut as the liquid measurements won’t be the same.
- Buttermilk - This helps give the waffles a little extra boost while rising, as the acid in the buttermilk reacts with the baking soda. It also gives them a deeper, more developed flavor. If you don't have buttermilk, add 1 teaspoon of plain white vinegar or lemon juice to whole milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes. The acid will react with the milk to mimic buttermilk.
- Butter - I like to brown the butter for this recipe because it adds incredible flavor! But you can easily skip this step and the waffles will still taste amazing. If using salted butter, reduce the salt in the recipe by half.
- Cornstarch - This is the secret ingredient for making your buttermilk waffles crispy! Do not skip it.
- Waffle Maker - Also called a waffle iron - you can't make waffles without one. I have had this one from Cuisinart for well over a decade and it's still going strong. All waffle makers work a bit differently, so be sure to be sure to read the instructions thoroughly before using.
Step by step instructions
- Combine the flour, corn starch, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Keep a close eye on it. After it's melted, it will foam up and then start to brown. Swirl it around in the pan every few seconds, then remove it from the heat as soon as the color of the milk solids darken to a caramel color. Pour it into another bowl or large liquid measuring cup to cool slightly.
- Add the buttermilk, egg and vanilla to the melted brown butter and whisk to combine.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently whisk until no lumps (or very few) remain. Do not over mix. Let the batter rest for 15-30 minutes.
- Preheat a waffle maker and cook the waffles according to the manufacturer's directions.
- Serve the waffles immediately with more butter and maple syrup on the side.
- Place cooked waffles on a wire rack in a single layer to cool to maintain their crispiness.
Tips for success
- Do not skip the cornstarch - it's the secret to making these waffles extra crispy!
- When mixing the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, avoid overmixing as this can make the waffles tough and chewy, not light and crispy. Mix just until there are no large clumps remaining.
- Letting the batter rest helps the gluten in the flour tenderize, so that the inside of your waffles are light and fluffy, not dense. It’s better to let it rest longer rather than cut the resting time short.
- Save time in the morning by measuring and mixing the dry ingredients together the night before.
- For an extra delicious topping, warm some maple syrup in the same pan you used to brown the butter - it adds an incredible flavor!
I find these waffles to be absolutely perfect as-is, but you can change up the vibe by adding different flavors or mix-ins to the batter.
- Swap the vanilla extract for almond, orange or coconut, or use a liquor such as rum or bourbon.
- Add a handful of chopped up fresh fruit, like peaches, berries or apples.
- Mix in warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom.
- Grate in a little bit of citrus zest (Meyer lemon is amazing!).
- Add chopped nuts, chocolate chips or dried fruit.
FAQ About Crispy Homemade Buttermilk Waffles
A little bit of cornstarch is the secret to getting ultra crispy waffles. Avoid overmixing your batter and let it rest for at least 15-30 minutes. When your waffles are done, place them on a wire rack in a single layer, as stacking them will cause them to steam and get soggy.
You can substitute oil if you prefer, but you’ll be missing out on the special flavor that comes from using butter, particularly browned butter.
If not serving waffles immediately, place them in a single layer on a wire rack and keep them warm in a 200 degree F oven for up to an hour. If you stack the waffles on top of eachother, they’ll get soggy. Store leftover waffles in the freezer for best results. Place them in a zip-top bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Reheat in a toaster or toaster oven.
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