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Buttermilk Waffles – Fluffy and Crispy Homemade Breakfast Recipe

Buttermilk Waffle with berries, whipped cream, maple syrup, and powdered sugar on a blue plate

Buttermilk waffles are a fantastic way to start your morning! These waffles have a crispy exterior and a light and fluffy interior that is perfect for sweet or savory toppings. My favorite way to eat them is with berries, syrup, and a little whipped cream!

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Ingredients for Buttermilk Waffles

Equipment

How Does Buttermilk Affect Waffles?

Buttermilk is frequently added to waffle batters to introduce acid into the batter.  This acid reacts with baking soda, a chemical leavener, which causes the waffles to rise.  Buttermilk also tenderized the gluten (i.e., protein) in flour, which results in a lighter waffle texture.  Last, but not least, buttermilk adds a slight tangy flavor to the recipe.

Making Buttermilk Waffles

Start by melting the butter so it has time to cool slightly before being added to the wet ingredients. 

While the butter is cooling, whisk together the flour sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.  Make sure to combine the dry ingredients thoroughly to avoid pockets of salt or baking soda/powder, which can make the waffles taste salty or bitter.

Next, combine the buttermilk, butter, eggs, and vanilla (i.e., the wet ingredients) in the bowl of your stand mixer and mix on low speed to combine.  Slowly add the dry ingredients until just combined.  Avoid overmixing the batter as this will give the waffles a tough texture.

Cooking Buttermilk Waffles

Buttermilk Waffle with berries and whipped cream on a blue plate

Turn on your waffle maker and follow the instructions in your user manual.  I’m going to write what I do below, however, all waffle irons are slightly different so make sure you are familiar with what works for your machine. 

Spray your waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray before preheating it.  Pour batter into the hot and ready waffle iron and begin cooking.  In my waffle iron, ⅓ cup of batter fills each waffle cavity.  This took some trial and error to figure out when I first purchased the waffle iron.  We definitely had some underfilled waffles and some that had batter oozing out the side.  Also, do yourself a favor and write down the measurement so you don’t forget.  I’ve learned this the hard way and have had to figure out the correct measurement multiple times. 

Cook the waffles for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the iron stops steaming.  The buttermilk waffles will be finished cooking when they are golden brown.  Carefully remove the waffles from the iron (they will be hot) and allow the iron to re-heat before adding the next round of batter. 

This recipe makes eight, 3 x 4 – inch waffles.  Again, this will vary based on the shape and size of your waffle iron.

Serving Buttermilk Waffles

Buttermilk Waffle with berries, whipped cream, maple syrup, and powdered sugar on a blue plate

Serve the waffles immediately after removing them from the waffle iron.  I like to serve them with syrup, whipped cream, and fresh fruit. 

If you are making a lot of waffles (e.g., a party or a big family), you can put the cooked waffles on a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack and then place them in the oven on the lowest temperature.  This will keep the waffles warm until all remaining waffles have finished cooking.  Additionally, by keeping the waffles on a wire rack, you are maintaining airflow under the waffles, which allows them to stay crispy while in the oven (nobody wants to eat a soggy waffle). 

Storing Buttermilk Waffles

Buttermilk waffles are best eaten immediately after cooking; however, they can be frozen and reheated to eat at another time.  In fact, pretty much every time I make this recipe, I double it and freeze the leftovers. 

Freezing Buttermilk Waffles

Ensure the buttermilk waffles have cooled completely on a wire rack to minimize sogginess.  Place the waffles in an airtight freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for 1-2 months.  To reheat the waffles, place the frozen waffles on a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack into the oven at 350°F/180°C for 6-10 minutes or until the waffles are warm and crispy on the outside.  Alternatively, you can place the frozen waffles in the toaster and heat until toasted. 

When reheated, the waffles will be slightly crispier than when first cooked, but they still taste amazing and make for a super quick breakfast.

Freezing Pro Tip: Label the freezer container with the name of the baked good, the date it was put into the freezer, the date for when it should be removed from the freezer (i.e., thrown out), and instructions for baking (i.e., place into the toaster or heat at 350°F/180°C for 6-10 minutes until crispy). 

Buttermilk Waffle with berries and whipped cream on a white and gray plate

Troubleshooting

Is it Better to use Milk or Buttermilk in Waffles?

In this recipe, buttermilk is added to provide acid into the batter, which reacts with the baking soda and causes the waffles to rise.  The buttermilk will result in a thicker and fluffier waffle than if just using regular milk.  The buttermilk also imparts more flavor into the waffle than regular milk.

Using regular milk will lead to waffles that have a crisp texture straight from the iron, but have a tendency to soften quickly and deflate slightly.  Also, in this recipe, using milk in place of buttermilk will remove the acid that is needed for the baking soda reaction.  The waffles will likely be dense. 

If you don’t have buttermilk in your fridge, but you still want to make this recipe, check out my tip below for making a buttermilk substitute.

I’m Out of Buttermilk!  How Do I Make a Buttermilk Substitute?

Not a problem!  I don’t typically keep buttermilk in my fridge unless I’m planning to make a lot of recipes that require buttermilk.  Luckily, there is an easy substitute.  Stir 1 Tbsp (g) of lemon juice into a cup of milk and let it sit for 5 minutes.  The milk will change texture (i.e., there will be some small clumps and the milk will start to thicken) and it will look a little like soured milk.  Essentially, the acid from the lemon juice is causing the milk proteins to bond to each other which leads to curdling.  Use an equal amount of this substitute as buttermilk in any recipe. 

Want More Breakfast Ideas?

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I’d love to know how it turned out!  Please let me know by leaving your thoughts below.  Or snap a photo and share it on Pinterest or Instagram (@windycitybaker). 

Buttermilk Waffles

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 8 3″ x 4″ waffles

Equipment

  • Digital scale (or dry measuring cups, liquid measuring cups, and measuring spoons)
  • Stand mixer with whisk attachment (or large bowl with hand mixer OR whisk)
  • 1 medium bowl
  • Waffle iron
  • Non-stick baking spray
  • Baking sheet with wire rack (optional)
  • Freezer bags (optional)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (1 stick, 113g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • cups (263g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp (25g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp (9g) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (6.3g) baking soda
  • 1 tsp (6.5g) salt
  • 2 large (124g) eggs, room temperature
  • cups (14 oz) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 tsp (8g) vanilla extract

Instructions

Making Buttermilk Waffles

  • Start by melting the butter so it has time to cool slightly before being added to the wet ingredients.
  • While the butter is cooling, whisk together the flour sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. Make sure to combine the dry ingredients thoroughly to avoid pockets of salt or baking soda/powder, which can make the waffles taste salty or bitter.
  • Next, combine the buttermilk, butter, eggs, and vanilla (i.e., the wet ingredients) in the bowl of your stand mixer and mix on low speed to combine. Slowly add the dry ingredients until just combined. Avoid overmixing the batter as this will give the waffles a tough texture.

Cooking Buttermilk Waffles

  • Turn on your waffle maker and follow the instructions in your user manual. I’m going to write what I do below, however, all waffle irons are slightly different so make sure you are familiar with what works for your machine.
  • Spray your waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray before preheating it. Pour batter into the hot and ready waffle iron and begin cooking. In my waffle iron, ⅓ cup of batter fills each waffle cavity. This took some trial and error to figure out when I first purchased the waffle iron. We definitely had some underfilled waffles and some that had batter oozing out the side. Also, do yourself a favor and write down the measurement so you don’t forget.
  • Cook the waffles for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the iron stops steaming. The buttermilk waffles will be finished cooking when they are golden brown. Carefully remove the waffles from the iron (they will be hot) and allow the iron to re-heat before adding the next round of batter.
  • This recipe makes eight, 3 x 4 – inch waffles. Again, this will vary based on the shape and size of your waffle iron.

Serving Buttermilk Waffles

  • Serve the waffles immediately after removing them from the waffle iron. I like to serve them with syrup, whipped cream, and fresh fruit.
  • If you are making a lot of waffles (e.g., a party or a big family), you can put the cooked waffles on a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack and then place them in the oven on the lowest temperature. This will keep the waffles warm until all remaining waffles have finished cooking. Additionally, by keeping the waffles on a wire rack, you are maintaining airflow under the waffles, which allows them to stay crispy while in the oven.

Storing Buttermilk Waffles

  • Buttermilk waffles are best eaten immediately after cooking; however, they can be frozen and reheated to eat at another time.

Freezing Buttermilk Waffles

  • Ensure the buttermilk waffles have cooled completely on a wire rack to minimize sogginess. Place the waffles in an airtight freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for 1-2 months. To reheat the waffles, place the frozen waffles on a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack into the oven at 350°F/180°C for 6-10 minutes or until the waffles are warm and crispy on the outside. Alternatively, you can place the frozen waffles in the toaster and heat until toasted.
  • When reheated, the waffles will be slightly crispier than when first cooked.
  • Freezing Pro Tip: Label the freezer container with the name of the baked good, the date it was put into the freezer, the date for when it should be removed from the freezer (i.e., thrown out), and instructions for baking (i.e., place into the toaster or heat at 350°F/180°C for 6-10 minutes until crispy).

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