German waffles are typically thinner, sweeter and made in a heart shaped waffle maker. However, you can make this recipe in your regular waffle maker and still get delicious results (just a little thicker in texture). Oh my! These totally zapped me back to my childhood! My mom could barely keep up with making them for us since my siblings and I wolfed them down the minute they came off the waffle iron! The same will likely happen in your household when everyone smells the sweet vanilla aroma wafting through your entire house! You’ve been warned!
*Good To Know*
- What other types of sugar can I use?
You can use brown or cane sugar. Honey or Maple syrup is a great sugar substitute and stevia is a healthier option.
- What’s the difference between German vs. Belgian waffles?
German waffles are usually made in a heart shaped waffle maker and the batter is made with more sugar (including vanilla sugar) to create a little crisp on the waffles. The waffle texture is a little more dense and thinner than standard waffles.
Belgian waffles are made in a regular square or round waffle maker (I used this Breville waffle maker) and the batter has whipped egg whites folded in to create a fluffy, soft waffle and is thicker than German waffles.
- How do I prevent an overflow of batter while making waffles?
Since there are different waffle makers that vary in size, to prevent an overflow, test your first batch with a small measured amount of batter. For example, make your first waffle with a 1/4 cup batter. Increase it to 1/3 cup and even to 1/2 cup until you reach the perfect waffle size (without an overflow). You can also follow the recommended amount by your waffle maker manufacturer’s instructions.
- How long can you keep waffle batter in the fridge?
You can make your waffle batter and refrigerate it in an airtight container up to 2 days. When ready to cook, gently combine the batter with a spatula or whisk to re-integrate some liquids that may have separated.
- How do you store leftover waffles?
In an airtight container, waffles will last between 2 to 3 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer (wrap individual waffles with wax paper before freezing in airtight container for easy removal later). To reheat, you can microwave them. If you want a little crisp, you can reheat them in the oven, in a nonstick pan on the stove on medium low heat or pop them into a toaster (best and easiest way).
Simple ingredients you need
From your pantry
- All purpose flour
- white sugar
- vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
- baking powder
From your fridge
- unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
- eggs (bring to room temperature)
- 3.25% M.F. whole milk (or heavy cream if you like a richer taste)
- lemon zest (optional)
How to quickly bring dairy to room temperature
Room temperature ingredients help create a smoother batter. If you forget to place your ingredients out ahead of time, a trick you can do to soften the butter is to place it (wrapper free) into a microwave friendly bowl, set it to “Auto defrost” on your microwave and ‘thaw’ it 15 seconds at a time until the butter is soft enough to the touch but not completely melted. For eggs, submerge them (uncracked) in a large bowl with hot tap water for about 5 to 10 minutes or you can place all of the cracked eggs into a small measuring cup, then place this small cup into a larger measuring cup filled with hot tap water for 5 to 10 minutes (make sure the water does not spill into the small measuring cup).
How to measure flour
You may have heard of the “scoop and sweep” method before. Scoop flour into a measuring cup and sweep (or scrape) with the back of a butter knife excess flour away from the surface. This should give you precise measurements each time (instead of shaking your measuring cup). Do not pack flour into your cup like you would with brown sugar. Flour has air in it and if you pack it into your cup, it will end up measuring more flour than you need for your recipe.
How to make waffle batter
In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together unsalted butter, sugar, salt, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Mix in one egg at a time until everything is combined. In a large measuring cup, combine milk with water (this is just preference for a less rich waffle. You can use 2 cups whole milk or 1 cup heavy cream + 1 cup water). Alternate between adding flour and milk water to the creamed butter until everything is mixed together (scrape bowl in between additions of flour). The reason we are alternating between the flour and milk water is so that our batter is mixed evenly. The end result should be a thick, smooth batter.
How to make German waffles
Preheat your waffle iron to desired temperature (ie. light, medium or dark). I used this nonstick Breville waffle maker which did not require any oil spray, if yours does, only lightly coat your waffle iron with oil spray since our batter already has enough butter in it to make waffles nonstick. Pour 1/3 cup batter over waffle iron, spread batter with a spatula if needed and cook according to manufacturer instructions until waffles have reached desired doneness. When done, allow waffles to cool for a minute on a wire rack before serving. Serve with toppings of your choice such as fruit, nutella, jam, honey, whipped cream, butter, maple syrup etc.
German Waffles (Less Sweet)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ⅓ cup white sugar, (or 1 cup sugar for sweeter waffles)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract, or 1 envelope (9 g) vanilla sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest, optional
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup 3.25% M.F. homogenized milk, or 33% M.F. heavy cream for richer flavour
- 1 cup water, room temperature
- Preheat your waffle maker to desired temperature (ie. light, medium, dark)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together butter, sugar and salt for 5 minutes on medium speed. Add vanilla extract, lemon zest and continue mixing on medium speed until well combined.
- On low speed, add 1 egg at a time into creamed butter and mix well for 1 minute before adding the next egg (scrape down bowl in between additions). Add 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 cup of flour and mix well on low speed. In a large measuring cup, combine milk with water, then pour in a splash of this into the the mixer bowl and continue to mix on low speed. Repeat this alternation until all of the flour and milk water are combined into the creamed butter (scrape down bowl in between additions).
- Spray waffle iron with light oil (if needed). Pour in 1/3 cup of batter to waffle iron, spread batter with a spatula if needed and bake according to manufacturer instructions until desired doneness is reached. Allow baked waffle to cool on a wire rack for 1 minute. Serve with any toppings of choice. Enjoy!