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Love fluffy waffles? These buttermilk waffles are so easy to make at home for the best breakfast ever.
Just like Leslie Knope, waffles are some of my most favorite foods. Both fluffy and crisp and made with built-in pockets for syrup and butter — what’s not to love?
Waffles might seem fancy, but they’re super easy to make! In fact, if you know how to make pancakes, you can make waffles!
How does buttermilk affect waffles?
If you want the best fluffy waffles, use buttermilk.
The acidity in buttermilk reacts with the leaveners in the batter (baking soda and baking powder) to create an airy lift.
It also helps break down the gluten in the flour into smaller strands, which means your waffles will be super tender and light.
How to make buttermilk substitute
If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, it’s easy to make your own substitute.
Add 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar or lemon juice (bottled is fine) to a liquid measuring cup. Then, add regular milk to the 1-cup line.
Stir to mix, then let sit for about 5 minutes.
The milk will thicken and look somewhat curdled, which means it’s ready to use!
This method works best with whole or 2% milk, but skim will also work. I have not tried it with plant-based milks.
How to make waffles from scratch
Waffles are easier to make than you might think.
Wondering if you can use pancake mix to make waffles? Absolutely! I use the same batter I make for buttermilk pancakes for these waffles, so any pancake mix can be swapped for waffles.
Mix together your dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir just until mixed. Leaving a few lumps is fine; you don’t want the batter to be completely smooth.
If the batter is too thick, add ¼ cup of buttermilk. The batter should be easily pourable, but not runny.
Let the batter rest while you heat your waffle iron. This will allow the buttermilk to react to the ingredients, as well as help the gluten relax, both of which will create a light and fluffy waffle!
You can even mix up the batter in advance and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight.
Once the waffle iron is hot, stir the melted butter into the batter.
Spray your waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray on both sides. Scoop the batter onto the waffle iron (the amount will depend on the size of your waffle iron), close the lid, and cook according to your iron’s instructions.
You’ll notice steam coming from the waffle iron. Once the steam slows down or stops, your waffle should be ready! This is a good indicator if your waffle iron’s light is unreliable.
Serve the waffles right as they come off the iron, or keep them warm on a plate in the microwave or low temperature oven.
How to freeze leftover waffles
I like to double or triple this recipe to have plenty of waffles stashed away in the freezer.
Once you’ve cooked the waffles, place them on a wire rack to cool completely.
Then, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper.
Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the waffles are frozen, about 2 hours.
Transfer the waffles to freezer bags and store for up to 3 months.
Reheat the waffles either in the microwave for 30 seconds, or in your toaster oven.
Substitutions and additions
Make this buttermilk waffles recipe your own by trying one or a few of these ingredients.
Flour: Swap some of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour or oat flour. The waffles won’t be as light and fluffy, but still delicious!
Spices: Add your favorite baking spices like ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, or even pumpkin pie spice. Orange zest is great too!
Toppings: Whipped cream, chocolate chips, maple syrup, molasses, raspberry sauce, or fresh strawberries
Whether you go for classic buttermilk waffles or a flavor twist, this easy recipe will have you making waffles from scratch all the time!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 ¾ cups buttermilk, plus more as needed
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Stir until just blended; a few lumps is OK. Let batter rest while you preheat your waffle maker.
- Once the waffle iron is ready, stir the melted butter into the batter. Pour batter onto griddle and cook according to your waffle iron's instructions. Repeat with remaining batter.
- If batter is too thick, stir in an additional ¼ cup buttermilk.
- Makes 4-6 large Belgian waffles.