Waffles are my favorite brunch food ever. Back when I could eat your everyday waffle, full of eggs and dairy, I couldn’t resist ordering them if they were on the menu. Waffles with berries and sugar, waffles with chocolate sauce and ice cream, fried chicken and waffles, duck confit and waffles, waffles dipped in chocolate and sprinkles, egg, bacon and waffle sandwiches. Seriously, any form of waffle equals pure joy and happiness for me.
My first waffle disaster occurred when I ate a yeasted waffle. Growing up my mother always made homemade waffles on the weekends and, in my near 30 years of waffle making, we have never used yeast in the recipe. It was never necessary so I never thought someone would ruin a perfectly delicious waffle by adding in yeast. I knew something was off about the waffle when I was eating it but, like I said, I LOVE waffles so I just kept going. A few hours later the dreaded stomach pains and bloating began and I connected the dots.
(Side note 1: Yes, I know that in Belgium there are two types of waffles and both are yeasted. But traditional Belgian waffles are hard to find in the US and most places that offer “Belgian Waffles” on their menu don’t make authentic ones. The norm here is to use baking powder or baking soda as a quick leavening agent and call it a day. It’s faster and easier (and probably cheaper).)
(Side note 2: My mother still has the same crazy old waffle iron she’s had since before I was born. So far in my adult life I’ve gone through four waffle irons. This isn’t because I decide to buy a new one on a whim; it’s because they keep breaking. Why do appliances today suck so bad?)
My second waffle disaster was when I learned I was allergic to dairy and eggs. The disaster being that I could no longer order waffles off any brunch menu, for the most part.
There was no chance I was giving up on waffles and throwing out my waffle iron, though. So I began my search for the perfect dairy-, egg-, and yeast-free waffle recipe. The requirements were pretty simple: crispy yet fluffy waffles that don’t taste like cardboard and don’t contain any allergens. Most recipes failed the test and though my recipe fits the requirements, it is a little denser than your typical waffle. It’s the closest I’ve ever come and it is honestly so, so delicious that most people don’t realize it’s vegan when I serve it!
Here’s the great thing about these waffles: you can freeze and reheat them and they might even taste better that way. Since my waffle iron is on the larger side and uses so much batter for just one waffle (about half of this recipe), I can only eat 2-3 sections of a waffle before I’m full. The rest I freeze for whenever I need a quick breakfast or as pre-gym snacks for my husband. Put a slice or two in the toaster, defrost, then toast, spread with some almond butter, honey and chia seeds and you have a delicious little meal!
The first thing you want to do is combined your coconut milk and lemon juice so that it can curdle and create a vegan buttermilk. After you’ve let this sit for 5 minutes you can add in your maple syrup, oil and vanilla extract and whisk together. I like to do this all in a large liquid measuring cup so that I don’t have to dirty a bunch of smaller measuring cups.
Next, stir together all of your dry ingredients in a small bowl: rolled oats, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Combine with the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined, and let sit for 10 minutes while your waffle iron preheats. The batter should be pretty thick and will get a little thicker as it sits.
Once the waffle iron is hot, coat it with a light spray of non-stick cooking spray and pour in enough batter to make a full waffle. The amount of batter needed will vary by waffle iron. For instance, my old waffle iron used about 1/2 cup of batter while my new iron uses 1/2 of the total batter for just one waffle! If in doubt, use a rubber spatula to spread a 1/4 inch layer of batter across the bottom side of the waffle iron and go from there. You’ll know if it’s enough after you’ve made the first waffle!
Since I like my waffles with a nice crispy shell, I cook mine between level 5 and 6 on my iron (the two highest levels). This is something you’ll need to play around with on your waffle iron until you get the result you want. The other key to a crispy shell: letting the waffles cool on a wire rack until you serve them. Even if this is just for 2 minutes it will make a difference!
These waffles can be served many ways. I often like them plain with a side of maple syrup for dipping. If I’m going to the gym soon after eating I’ll spread on a layer of almond butter then drizzle with some honey, flax seeds and chia seeds. They are also delicious with lightly macerated mixed berries and a dusting of powdered sugar or dipped in chocolate and sprinkles.
A few notes: the coconut milk can be subbed with any other milk alternative with an equally delicious result. The oil can also be swapped for whatever oil you prefer in baking. I’ve tried these with olive oil before and they were delicious but a little more on the savory side. Because I don’t like things super sweet, I use the minimum amount of maple syrup in these to give a hint of sweetness. If you like things sweeter, feel free to increase the amount of maple syrup in the recipe. You can also swap the maple syrup for honey or agave.
- 1¼ cup coconut milk + 1 tsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup grapeseed or coconut oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 1¾ cup flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- pinch sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Combine coconut milk and lemon juice in a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Add in oil, syrup and vanilla extract, if using, and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently stir until just combined. Let batter sit for 10 minutes while your waffle iron is heating.
- Lightly coat your waffle iron with a spray of non-stick cooking spray then pour enough batter in for a full waffle. The amount needed will vary per waffle iron. Mine takes about half the batter for just one waffle! Cook according to the instructions provided with your waffle maker.
- Remove from the waffle iron and let cool on a wire rack. Serve with your choice of toppings.
Let me know if you’ve tried this recipe! Comment below or post a photo to instagram and tag me @champagneandfrites!