These whole wheat waffles are soft on the inside, slightly crisp on the outside, and just the thing for your breakfast table. Using a homemade and 100% whole wheat waffle mix, these buttermilk waffles feature a special trick to help them become SUPER fluffy. A family favorite!
This whole wheat waffle recipe has been hanging around the site since August 2014. Over five years! It's one I pull up often to make, and every single time end up saying that I really need to update the pictures.
It's not that the pictures were horrendous or anything. It's just that I really don't think they did these super good whole wheat waffles enough justice.
So without further ado, here are the new and improved waffle glamour shots. And if you've made these in the past, don't worry. The recipe is exactly the same.
Right off the bat this whole wheat waffle recipe is a little different than you might think. The first step here is to separate the eggs. Yolks go in a regular mixing bowl, but the whites go in the food processor.
I KNOW this means that there are extra things to wash. I'm staunchly on the side of being creative and efficient with kitchen tools so as to wash as little as I possible can, so you know I don't suggest this lightly. But getting the egg whites extra foamy and fluffed up before stirring them into the prepared waffle batter makes a noticeable difference as far as producing fluffy waffles goes.
Of course over the years there have been times I was feeling lazy in one way or another and skipped this step, instead just cracking the eggs straight into the mixing bowl. That way certainly is fine. In fact better than fine, even, but I always get a pang afterwards of wishing I fluffed up the whites instead.
Into the bowl with the egg yolks goes buttermilk, vanilla extract, and oil. You have several options when it comes to the oil here. Use whichever neutral-tasting oil you like. This could be canola, corn, or vegetable oil, or even melted coconut oil.
Making homemade buttermilk
I virtually never buy a carton of buttermilk, instead making a quick and dirty buttermilk substitute with milk and vinegar.
My rule of thumb when it comes to the ratio is to add one tablespoon of white vinegar to a measuring cup, and then pouring in milk up to the one cup line. These whole wheat waffles call for 1 ½ cups of buttermilk, so I added 1 ½ tablespoons of white vinegar, and then poured the milk up to the 1 ½ cups (12 ounces) line. Let the milk and vinegar sit for 5-10 minutes to thicken up, and then add it into the recipe.
Then in go the dry ingredients: white whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
A favorite in other deceptively made-healthier recipes such as these healthy pumpkin muffins, white whole flour is lighter in color and flavor than regular whole wheat flour, and more easily sneaks into baked goods and breads that aren't intended to be "hearty" in appearance or mouthfeel.
I've made these whole wheat waffles with all-purpose flour on occasion when I've been out of white whole wheat and it's honestly hard to tell a difference between the two.
A must when it comes to making homemade waffles for me is adding ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Their flavors aren't overly strong, but it's enough to add something special to plain waffles. That said if you're not much of a nutmeg fan, you can add half the amount (one-quarter teaspoon instead of one-half teaspoon) to be on the safe side.
Once the wet and dry ingredients have been mixed together until just combined, it's egg white time. Let them whiz around the food processor until light and foamy, and then stir/fold them into the waffle batter until just combined.
For visual reference, the third picture from the top in this post is this whole wheat waffle batter mixed together before adding the egg whites. The next picture features the foamy egg whites in my food processor, which are then added to the batter in picture #5. The picture directly below this paragraph is what the batter looks like when all the egg whites are incorporated and it's ready to hit the waffle iron.
The reason I went a little extra with these pictures was to really highlight the one above. You want to fold in the egg whites completely so you don't find cooked little eggy bits in your waffles, but you also don't want to overmix the batter, which would act as a double whammy of deflating the egg whites and toughening the gluten in the flour.
So, aim for folding the egg whites into the batter with broad, deep strokes until you don't notice any pockets of foam left anymore. And if you do under fold in the egg whites by chance (ask me how I know about that tip!), the waffles will still be perfectly enjoyable.
And there we have it. 100% whole wheat waffle batter ready for your waffle iron. I have an older model of this waffle maker (affiliate link), which makes nice and deep Belgian waffles. Never an issue with sticking!
This recipe will yield three full sheets of waffles, resulting in twelve waffles. Since I am just not capable of adding the right amount of waffle batter to the iron to produce a full sheet without missing corners or creating an overflow, I pour waffle iron in the center of the iron and make vaguely round waffles.
These waffles are best made the same day, but leftover batter can be covered and refrigerated for 1-2 days. Just give it a good stir before pouring into the waffle iron in case any of the ingredients have separated.
No matter the shape, this recipe will probably yield more waffles than you'd eat in one sitting. I wrap leftover waffles in foil and place them in an air-tight container or sealable plastic bag in the freezer. Then I pop them in the toaster to reheat so they don't sog up. While they're not quite as good as hot off the waffle iron fresh, I'll take a speedy homemade waffle vs. cleaning up a sink full of dishes on a weekday morning any day.
For a seasonal twist, these whole wheat gingerbread waffles are fun for the holidays (or really, anytime). They also follow the procedure to produce wonderfully crisp and fluffy waffles, just like these basic ones.
- If you're not a big fan of nutmeg, you can halve the amount in the recipe no problem.
Best Ever Whole Wheat Waffles
- 3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk (see note for making your own)
- ¾ cup neutral-tasting oil, such as canola, corn, coconut, vegetable, etc.
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cup white whole wheat flour
- 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Separate the egg yolks and whites, adding the yolks to a large mixing bowl and the whites to the bowl of a food processor.
- In bowl with the yolks, add buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium-high speed or until all ingredients are combined and creamy.
- Add flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and mix until dry ingredients are just combined.
- In a food processor, process egg whites until they are very fluffy and light. Fold/stir egg whites into the waffle batter using broad, deep strokes until they're fully incorporated and no foamy pockets remain, but try not to overmix.
- Pour batter onto preheated waffle iron and cook to preferred doneness.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer
Waffle recipe adapted from allrecipes.
We got rid of our waffle maker when we moved from Austin to Colorado. Bad mistake! All I want to right now is make a big batch of these pancakes!
Oh no! We left some kitchen gear behind when we moved from San Diego to Nashville - I know the feeling! This recipe will be waiting for ya if another waffle maker finds its way home with you in the future! 🙂
Ashley @ My Midwest Table says
You're going all Leslie Knope on us, Alyssa! Waffles for the win! 🙂 And these photos are fantastic!
Freezing leftover waffles is totally the way to go. It makes get-outta-the-house-quickly mornings so much better!
Haha LOOOOVE Leslie! She'd be proud of our breakfast habits haha. Thanks Ashley!
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy says
This has just reminded me how much I NEED to get myself a waffle maker.
Ooh treat yourself, Dannii! 🙂
Cindy @ Pick Fresh Foods says
I love whole grain and whole wheat flour but some recipes just don't taste as good. Like you said too wheaty. White whole wheat is fantastic and it is still a whole grain. I use it for lots of my recipes. I love all of your tips! These look delicious! Pinning
Thanks Cindy! So many lightbulbs went off in my head when I started experimenting with white whole wheat. It's so sneaky (in a good way)! 🙂
Helen @ Scrummy Lane says
Alyssa, I love these, of course, but the best thing about this recipe is your tip about freezing them and popping them in the toaster on a week day. Pure genius! 😉
Thanks Helen! Gahh that is one of my favorite kitchen tips EVER. Most waffle/pancake recipes make way more than the two of us could eat in one sitting so we're always faced with extra batter. These crisp up so nicely in the toaster!
Annie @Maebells says
These look delicious! I am so jealous that yours came out perfect! My waffles are always oddly shaped! I never put the right amount of batter in!
Thanks Annie! I was sort of surprised that these waffles came out as 'regular' as they did. I've made some pretty awful messes with the waffle iron overflowing before, and then overcompensated with round waffles that went nowhere near the edges - haha!
Christine @ Cooking with Cakes says
these photos are outstanding Alyssa, some of your best yet!!! and the waffles look like they taste pretty damn good too 🙂
Thanks Christine!! I finally took the plunge and upgraded my camera. I still have SO much to learn but it's been fun playing around with it so far!
Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen says
I'm strongly in the waffle camp - so I am all over these like syrup on waffles! 🙂
Haha well then I bet you'd love them, Kristi! 🙂
It's hard to choose between waffles and pancakes, I'm definitely in the middle too. But after seeing these, I'm leaning more towards waffles! These pictures are absolutely beautiful too.
Thanks so much, Danielle! I might be putting up less of a fight for pancakes after these waffles haha.
Love the spices in these scrumptious whole grain waffles! It feels like fall is on the way!
I love the spices in here too, Deb. Cinnamon and nutmeg are a fab combination. They definitely add little nuances of fall!
Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says
Totally pinning this to enjoy for a weekend breakfast! Yum!
Thanks Pamela! Waffles are such a treat on the weekends. 🙂
White whole wheat flour is like the ace in the hole -- you know you can go whole wheat without things being too heavy. I'm a big waffle person, so these are calling my name! I need to whip these up one weekend soon!
I so agree, Marcie. White whole wheat has been sneaking its way into more and more of our baked goods, lately. With a positive response, too! I bet you would enjoy these waffles! 🙂
Oh my goodness perfect whole wheat waffles indeed. The extra step with the egg whites was genius! Love the photo with the perfect syrup stream. Great post Alyssa!
Thanks! 🙂 You know I'm all about minimizing the number of dishes to wash, but the food processor trick made such a difference!
Funny I have hardly any dishes to wash now. Back to easy breezy! :))
Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner says
Pancakes!!! But I'd be happy with these yummy waffles too! 🙂
Haha -so many great breakfast foods!!
These do look like the best ever whole wheat waffles! I wish I had these in front of me right now 🙂
Thanks Sues! We ran out of our freezer supply...the weekend can't come soon enough!