The Secret Technique for The Fluffiest Waffles Ever (2024)

Updated: Dec. 11, 2023

Want to know the secret to making restaurant-style waffles? Follow along as our Test Kitchen experts share their tips.

If you’ve ever been to an IHOP or Waffle House or stood in line for a continental breakfast, you’ve likely seen the golden behemoths I like to call restaurant-style waffles. Big, pillowy and so very tall, these aren’t the frozen hockey pucks you had as a kid (and, frankly, those pale in comparison). With a pat of butter, some maple syrup and a bottomless cup of coffee, these waffles are the highlight of any diner-style breakfast. But I’ve got great news for you: You can make them at home.Don’t miss our complete collection of secret recipes for classic diner food, here.

Our food editor James Schend knows there’s no need to place an order with Alice for these diner delights. The key to making restaurant-style waffles from scratch is in a few simple steps.

Secret #1: Whip the egg whites

Yes, this sounds like a pain—but trust us, the end result is worth it. Whipped egg whites add extra air to the batter, guaranteeing waffles that’ll rise to their fluffiest potential. Use a handheld or stand mixer to make the job easy.

Secret #2: Break out the pop

We love it when soda pop finds its way into recipes.For waffles, we like to use club soda to give the batter extra fluff. Its fizzy carbonation helps waffles rise as they cook.

Secret #3: Use cornstarch

This thickening agent isn’t just for sauces. Replace a portion of the flour with cornstarch to keep the waffle crisp and brown on the outside and tender and fluffy on the inside.

What better way to try out these tips than to whip up a batch of waffles? Try this step-by-step recipe with tips from our Test Kitchen.

How to Make Waffles

You’ll need:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold club soda

Step 1: Combine the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls

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Let’s get crackin’. Begin by separating the eggs. Place the whites into a clean, dry bowl and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, place the egg yolks in a separate small bowl.

Test Kitchen tip: Why the wait? It’s easiest to separate eggs while they’re still cold, but it’s best for egg whites to reach room temp before they’re beaten. Room temperature whites whip to loftier heights.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Into the bowl with the yolks, add the milk, oil, extract and vinegar. Whisk until blended.

Test Kitchen tip: Whisking the dry ingredients together before adding the wet ingredients helps distribute the baking powder. This ensures that the waffles get an even rise. Want to go above and beyond? Use an old-fashioned flour sifter to add the dry ingredients to the bowl, then whisk.

Step 2: Beat the egg whites

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Next up, beat the eggs whites-just as if you were making a meringue. Not familiar with the steps? Don’t worry; we’ve got you.

Take out your stand mixer or a hand mixer (or summon some strength and use a handheld whisk). Beat the egg whites continuously until soft peaks form. At this point, the egg whites should slump off of the whisk, forming a gentle peak that slowly falls back into the bowl. Once this happens, you can start adding the sugar. Add it gradually, one tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. At this point, the egg whites will stick to the whisk, forming sturdy peaks similar to whipped cream. Here’s the difference between soft and stiff peaks.

Test Kitchen tip: We know this step sounds fussy, but don’t skip it! Beaten egg whites are essential to giving waffles a texture that’s light but still holds its shape.

Step 3: Combine the wet and dry ingredients

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Phew! The hard part is done. We’re almost at the home stretch, so it’s time to turn on the waffle maker.

While the iron is heating up, pour the wet ingredients bowl into the dry ingredients. Stir with a rubber spatula, scraping the walls of the bowl so every last bit gets combined. Next, uncap the club soda and pour it into the mix. Slowly stir the ingredients together.

Test Kitchen tip: For a traditional take, we use plain club soda, but feel free to use any flavor you have on hand to give the waffles a subtle fruit flavor. But be warned: do not use sparkling water as a substitute. They may look alike, but club soda has much more powerful bubbles than sparkling water.

Step 4: Fold in the egg whites

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The batter is nearly there; the only step remaining is to fold in the egg whites. Folding is quite different from whisking. Instead of combining ingredients at a breakneck speed, you’ll want to gently incorporate the egg whites into the batter. Using a rubber spatula, gently add the egg whites to the batter. Then, with a deep scooping motion, slowly combine the ingredients, “folding” the batter into itself. Stop when no large blobs of egg white remain.

Test Kitchen tip: Careful folding is critical to avoid deflating the egg whites. The air trapped inside the whites is what gives this waffle its fluffy texture. It’s totally OK if you can still see traces of beaten egg white left in the batter.

Step 5: Cook

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Since each waffle iron is different, we suggest cooking the batter according to the manufacturer’s directions. (We love this Hamilton Beach waffle iron because it allows for you to cook four waffles at a time.) In general, however, you’ll pour a scoop of batter across the iron, close the lid and let it cook. A large waffle typically takes around 5 minutes to cook, and the best way to tell if it’s done is to take a peek. The waffle should be nicely risen and golden brown.

Step 6: Enjoy

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Ding-ding! Your big, beautiful waffle is ready to serve. It’s divine with just a pat of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup, or you can treat yourself to a mountain of whipped cream. (Skip the canned stuff and make it from scratch instead!) To take things to the next level, check out our ideas for over-the-top waffle toppings. We cover delicious additions, both savory and sweet.

How to Keep Waffles Warm

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Our recipe yields roughly a dozen waffles. To ensure the entire batch is warm when it hits the table, place waffles on a baking rack that’s been set on a baking sheet. Then, stick them in an oven set to 200 degrees. This will keep them warm and, better yet, crisp them up a bit. No soggy, lukewarm waffles for your crowd!

Can you freeze waffles?

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Yes, you can. Leftover waffles are easy to freeze (much like these other freezer-friendly foods). Wrap them individually then stick ’em in the freezer for a quick breakfast later in the week. When you’re ready to eat, simply pop one in the toaster or toaster oven to reheat.

Try This Next

There are plenty of ways to serve waffles. Consider adding them to your dessert lineup, by swapping maple syrup out for a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Want to go all-out? Try this Chocolate Brownie Waffle Sundae recipe.

The Secret Technique for The Fluffiest Waffles Ever (2024)


What is the secret to making good waffles? ›

Here are some tips:
  • Strike while the iron's hot. If your waffles come out pale and soft, it could be because the appliance isn't hot enough. ...
  • Whip your whites. ...
  • Opt for oil instead of butter. ...
  • Try a yeasted-waffle recipe. ...
  • Add cornstarch. ...
  • Finish them in the oven.
Apr 9, 2022

Why are my waffles not fluffy? ›

Making pancake and waffle batter ahead of time is a huge no-no and will lead to flat, dense results every time. Even letting your batter hang out for just a few minutes after you've mixed it before you start ladling it onto the griddle will lead to less fluffy results.

What to add to waffles to make them better? ›

  1. Bacon! ...
  2. A handful of blueberries or other small or sliced berries.
  3. Miniature chocolate chips. ...
  4. Miniature cinnamon chips. ...
  5. Peanut butter (about 1/4 cup peanut butter for every cup of flour). ...
  6. 1/2 cup cocoa with 1/3 cup sugar.
  7. 1 cup crushed pineapples (drained well); top finished waffles with whipped cream and coconut flakes.
Aug 20, 2014

How to make waffles crispier in waffle maker? ›

3 Tips for Making Crispy Waffles
  1. Make Sure Your Waffle Iron Is Hot. A hot waffle iron makes a huge difference when it comes to crispy waffles, even more than brushing the iron with butter (though that is, of course, delicious). ...
  2. Swap Half the Buttermilk for Milk. ...
  3. Bake the Finished Waffles in the Oven.

Why add egg to waffle? ›

Adding To The Batter

Once the rest of the waffle ingredients are prepared, slowly add the egg whites to the batter with a flat spoon or spatula. "Folding" is the technical term for this process, but just know that you want to add them in so that they stay relatively airy.

How do you make waffles rise more? ›

Secret #1: Whip the egg whites

Whipped egg whites add extra air to the batter, guaranteeing waffles that'll rise to their fluffiest potential. Use a handheld or stand mixer to make the job easy.

Should you let waffle batter rest? ›

Recommended overnight or 2 hr resting – for the tastiest waffles, rest the batter overnight in the fridge or for at least 2 hours. This makes the flour grains absorb the liquid so it makes the inside of the waffles softer.

What type of flour is best for waffles? ›

On the flip side, waffles aren't as flaky-delicate as baked goods, making pastry flour too fine for the job. Good old AP, or all-purpose, flour is where it's at. If you want to sprinkle in a tablespoon or two of buckwheat or rye flour for added nutty heft, go for it.

Can you over mix waffle batter? ›

Mix the batter gently

Some lumps are fine and will cook out. If your recipe calls for whipped egg whites, carefully fold them into the batter in three or four batches. Don't overmix. Overmixing your waffle batter can leave you with tough, chewy or hard waffles instead of crisp waffles with tender insides.

Why do restaurant waffles taste better? ›

Diner pancakes and waffles often taste better than homemade versions due to a commitment to classic, whole ingredients and well-thought-out techniques.

How do you elevate waffle mix? ›

A classic way to make boxed waffles taste better is to add some vanilla extract to the batter. The addition of vanilla will bring depth of flavor and touch of sweetness to the waffles, without adding any extra sugar.

What is the secret of making crispy waffles? ›

You can substitute whole grain flours like whole wheat or spelt flour, but expect the waffles to be more dense. Cornstarch: The secret ingredient for making the crispiest waffles. Cornstarch guarantees that the waffles will be perfectly crisp and tender.

Why are my waffles never crispy? ›

Not waiting until the iron heats up properly means your waffles will cook, but never achieve that satisfyingly crisp exterior. Overworking the batter will leave your waffles dense and chewy instead of light and airy. And stacking even the most perfect waffles will cause them to become soggy and limp in minutes.

Does oil or butter make waffles crispy? ›

Cake flour is all purpose flour with cornstarch added. It creates waffles that are crisp on the outside, tender inside. Using vegetable oil instead of melted butter – once my go-to for homemade waffle batter – makes your waffles light and airy, not dense.

How do you make waffles crispy and not soggy? ›

Grease the Waffle Iron With Cooking Spray

If you're looking for how to make crispy waffles in a waffle maker, try using cooking spray instead. Cooking spray won't burn as rapidly as butter, and will help achieve that satisfyingly crisp outside you crave.

Why won't my waffles get crispy? ›

If the waffles aren't fully crisped when they come out of the waffle iron, put them in a 250 degrees F oven for 5 minutes, directly on the metal racks of the oven (not on a baking sheet). This will crisp the waffles even further and putting it on the wire oven rack will allow the steam to escape and prevent sogginess.

What are the qualities of a good waffle? ›

Waffles have a nice crispyness on the outside while being soft inside. As Doris said, the square indentations make waffles better at holding maple syrup. Pancakes have a uniform texture.

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