Food

The Famous Waffles

The Famous Waffles

A month ago, this was just a waffle recipe. But like many things in this strange new normal, it’s suddenly something else…

Before we were all quarantined, most mornings, my two teenagers were out the door within 12 minutes of waking up. If I got them to eat something it was by begging them to just grab this granola bar! or this apple! while they shoved textbooks into their backpacks and rushed out, feet half into shoes, flattening the heels of their sneakers. If there’s anything good I can say about what’s going on right now, it’s that we are able to have a civilized breakfast. One of my daughters saunters downstairs at 9:00 and asks if we can have crêpes or waffles or pancakes, while the other is already pouring herself a cup of coffee before heading to history class (read: the laptop upstairs in her bedroom).

And here’s the thing. I’m only too happy to oblige! Because guess what else homemade waffles are right now besides breakfast? They are comfort and control, a feeling that lasts about as long as it takes to finish my coffee, or at least until I log on to twitter.

The waffle recipe also happens to be famous, and, of course, delicious. It’s from Marion Cunningham (of Fannie Farmer fame) and requires an overnight rise. The night before you want to make them, you mix a few of the ingredients with yeast, and in the morning, you wake to a batter that is three times the size. (In that way, you might also call the recipe a Project for Kids.) I’ve been meaning to make them forever, and now I’m not sure why I waited so long. They are crispy on the outside, almost custardy in the middle, and have a special savory-ness that will make you swear off the box mix forever. Or at least until our lives go back to normal.

Marion Cunningham’s Overnight Raised Waffles
This recipe makes 8-10 waffles. They’re so delicious, you should make enough for each eater to have at least two.

1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
2 cups milk, warmed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Add 1/2 cup warm water to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle in yeast. Let stand to dissolve for 5 minutes.

Add the milk, butter, salt, sugar, and flour to the yeast mixture and beat until smooth and blended. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand overnight at room temperature.

Heat a nonstick waffle iron. Whisk eggs and baking soda into batter. Pour about 1/2 to 3/4 cup batter into waffle iron. Bake until they are golden and crisp.

Serve with maple syrup and butter or your favorite jam or lemon curd or Nutella and strawberries.

What have you been cooking these days?

P.S. A lazy egg sandwich and a Trader Joe’s breakfast hack.

  1. Hey! I made this recipe today using same measurements and the waffles turned out to be amazing! I topped them with some blueberries.

  2. Michelle says...

    If I prepare them during the day, what is the minimum time to rise? Hoping to make them for later today to watch the Parks and Rec special !

  3. I feel like everyone is making waffles at the moment. Maybe I need to get on this! I can’t remember the last time I did, will have to dig out my grandmas old cooker I think

  4. Anne says...

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! We’ve made them twice now and it’s such a special way to start the day when everything else feels like it’s completely out of control. I don’t have a waffle iron, so I just make them like pancakes and it works great. We also mix them in several bowls with food coloring so we can make rainbows for my toddler. Even with that extra step, they are so easy and quick. It’s the perfect pick-me-up.

  5. BonBon says...

    Thanks so much super helpful! I’m going to try it tonight and see what happens tomorrow.

  6. BonBon says...

    I want to try this recipe but would like to use my sourdough starter instead of commercial yeast. Anyone know how much starter I should use? I’m new to this!

    • Heather says...

      So it looks like you first make a “sponge” with your starter and the flour, milk, and sugar in the Farmer recipe. Follow the instructions on KAF for making the “sponge”. You then add in the butter and eggs the next day. Then the salt and soda. I imagine you can use all the farmer measurements, but really you could also just straight follow the KAF recipe. The recipe as it stands on KAF is 5 stars out of 544 reviews. It seems like a solid recipe. They have incredible bakers over there and they produce some of the best commercial ap and bread flour.

      https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/classic-sourdough-waffles-or-pancakes-recipe

  7. Shannon Desmond says...

    My dad LOVES waffles, they are his very favorite food, but also definitely a special occasion food. So him and I have two days a year that we will always eat waffles, together or apart. That is Opening Day of the Denver Broncos football season, and Super Bowl Sunday. They are Waffle Days. But until we found this waffle recipe, we never had a perfect waffle to do with the occasion. Then I found these one’s on someone’s blog and when we tried them, we know. These. Are. The. Waffles.

  8. Mallory says...

    Made them this weekend, and seriously, thank you.

  9. These are the only waffles we make! Seriously — the absolute best.

  10. Julee says...

    Jenny!
    We made these waffles this morning (mixed batter last night)- thanks for sharing the recipe!
    My mom had a Fanny Farmer cookbook when I was growing up.
    Everybody, make the waffles! They’re delish and it’s fun to try new recipes.

  11. K says...

    I had a jar of sauerkraut so I googled if sauerkraut pancakes existed and they did so I made them and they were delicious, like if pajeon and latkes had a baby.

  12. rachel says...

    they look amazing! But kinda makes me uneasy to have all of those spoil-able ingredients sit at room temp for 12 hrs.

    • Adrienne says...

      I haven’t died yet. :). That said, I can’t see why you couldn’t put it in the fridge for 12 hours. It will rise more slowly, but will be fine.

  13. Madison says...

    Does anyone know how this turns out with a flax or chia egg? or other egg substitute? I am allergic to eggs.

  14. Jen says...

    I have a Belgian waffle maker, could this recipe work in that?

    • Tanya says...

      I make these in a Belgian waffle maker- delish!

  15. Christine says...

    I bought a waffle maker on Amazon yesterday!

  16. Mary W says...

    This made me think it might be time to try some sourdough starter. I made blueberry buttermilk waffles this weekend and they were great. We had a couple left over that I need to remember to dig out of the freezer.

  17. Heather says...

    These are now on my list for When yeast is back on the shelves in metro Denver, CO!

  18. Heather says...

    Great post, I’m happy to hear that some families are being brought together during these difficult times. Truly special. Added to that, hands down, this is the best waffle recipe EVER. My family has been making these for over a decade. However, I would like to make one correction. I love Marion Cunningham. She’s an impressive woman who fought an incredible battle, and her Bridgecreek Ginger Muffins on pg 66 of her Breakfast Book are out of this world. Kristen Miglore/Genius Recipes also featured them over on Food52, so the recipe is posted online. That said, this Yeasted Waffle, aka Raised Waffle recipe, is NOT Marion Cunningham’s, and I believe credit should be given where it is due. When Marion Cunningham revised the Fanny Farmer cookbook back in 1984, she OMITTED this yeasted waffle recipe from the revised cookbook. Evidently, she later saw the error in her ways, because three years later, she published the recipe in her Breakfast Book Cookbook. Cunningham also makes mention of it being Farmer’s recipe in the headnote. I get that Farmer died over 100 years ago, but still, it’s disappointing that the internet, in general, has largely scrubbed her name from this, her most famous recipe. I just wanted to make mention of this. I recognize that it’s a stupid thing to quibble over, but in the same respect, the fact that the recipe is Farmer’s makes the recipe all the neater. The recipe is then 124 years old as opposed to 33. It is not often that a recipe in the precise form it was written survives 124 years. It is a testament to Ms. Farmer, and it is fitting considering that Fanny Farmer was the first person to introduce the concept of standardized measurements in recipes ie, we can thank her for recipes as we currently know them.

    • Ingrid says...

      Thanks for the history. Interesting!

    • Pauline says...

      Credit where credit is due! Thanks Heather for pointing this out – much appreciated

    • Chelsea says...

      Yes! Thank you for bringing this to light :)

  19. Jeanne says...

    Wait, stop the presses….your teen comes down at 9am?! My friends and I are lucky to get noon.

    • jennyg says...

      Ha! I can relate! Attendance taken by 10 am…back to bed/classroom!

  20. J says...

    Hooray! My social distancing comfort purchase was a waffle iron!

    • Amanda says...

      Now you can make hash brown/tater tot ‘waffles’ too!!!

  21. Hayley says...

    Yep, I can attest, these waffles are the best and have been my go-to waffle recipe! Definitely leave the batter out on the counter (it’s safe) overnight, for the best flavor!

  22. Lisa says...

    I literally read the recipe at 10 pm, got up from my chair, and have the waffles ready to go for the morning! I’m so excited! Thank you for sharing this joy. Also, a small delight is that the recipe and instructions fit exactly in a phone screen shot! :)

  23. Bethany says...

    When making overnight yeast recipes, I never use more than 1/2 tsp…even if the recipe calls for a full packet. It’s never failed me yet!

  24. Sandra says...

    Is it OK to leave all of that stuff out over night unrefrigerated?

    • Sandra says...

      Oh, just saw that the eggs get added later…that makes sense.

    • rachel says...

      i agree

  25. jane says...

    I’ve made a couple savory baked oatmeal loaves – good for breakfast or dinner. Also, I don’t really drink coffee but am going to try this whipped coffee for breakfast tomorrow because it looks irresistible and I have a jar of instant espresso in the cupboard for brownies. Has anyone tried it? The people of Greece and India have apparently made this for years with a spoon in approx 3mins – will try that first. If successful it will top homemade almond milk.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=86QgYvlWEU0

    • JessicaD says...

      So funny – my daughter returned from Italy 2/29 obsessed with this drink. Her host mother (she was on an exchange program) made it for her each morning. She now makes it here. I think she uses less milk so it’s a frothier drink. Enjoy!!

    • Grace Ann says...

      It’s kind of weird that just instant coffee, sugar & water become whipped like cream. I wonder what makes it able to do that. It looks tasty but that aspect freaks me out a bit.

    • Mary W says...

      Love this video. So restful. And the recipes are genuinely 3-ingredient. Not 3 main ingredients plus 7 staples from the pantry. I’m going to share with my co-workers.

  26. Bailey says...

    We never have milk of any kind (plant or animal) in our house, but we usually have plain yogurt. For that reason buttermilk recipes usually work well because I can just water down some yogurt. Would the sourness of yogurt affect the yeast in this recipe? Or could it work with just water and a little extra butter to make up for the milk fat?

    • Tanya says...

      I made these Monday! Best waffles ever- the recipe is in the Food 52 genius recipes cookbook. If you want a dessert waffle you can add an extra tablespoon of sugar with the eggs. I’m going to try making these with less yeast (sold out near me)! The batter can stay in fridge x 1 week if omit eggs and baking soda and add only prior to cooking. Night before plan to make waffles, take out of fridge and put on counter

    • Blea says...

      I keep the small kid size (1 cup) containers of milk in pantry for when I absolutely need milk for a recipe and don’t want to buy a quart and waste the left over.

  27. Charlie says...

    Hi! These look delicious! My girls have a milk allergy. I substitute butter for ghee normally, and they tolerate well. Do you think the recipe could work if I also substitute cow milk for a vegetable milk, or is it going to to too much twisting the recipe?
    Thank you very much!!
    Keep safe!

    • Krista says...

      I have made these with non dairy milks and they always turn out beautifully.

  28. Renee says...

    Do these freeze well?

  29. Kathryn says...

    Haha, I have been trying to buy yeast for 3 weeks because we usually make our own pizza dough, but that space is as empty as the toilet paper area! Another good reason to keep looking!

    • a says...

      Kathyrn – not sure which city you’re in but if you can, I’d suggest trying an Asian grocer. I was able to find an entire box of yeast packets at my local Korean grocer and my friend said she was able to find some at her Japanese one too. I was surprised as I couldn’t find it anywhere online, etc. as well.

    • Kristen says...

      We are trying to make yeast this week by soaking raisins.

    • Alex says...

      If you’re in need of pizza dough, try reaching out to local pizza places! We have a few spots in town that will sell dough for just a few dollars, and it’s a great way to support small businesses right now : )

  30. Purnima says...

    Yes!!! My all time favorite waffles. Several years ago, Molly Wizenberg recommended on her blog adding buckwheat flour to this recipe, and it is life-changing. Instead of 2 cups all-purpose, we use 1 and 1/3 cup AP flour and 2/3 cup buckwheat flour. Everything else stays the same. The results are complex, nutty, and just so good!

    • Coco says...

      Do they taste like the waffles in Belgium? I remember those having a very thick batter

  31. karen says...

    Those made my tummy rumble.

    This odd time is truly letting us slow down a little. Hope everyone is safe and enjoying their own version of a waffle.

  32. Erin says...

    Can you convert the yeast measurement into teaspoons for those of us with a jar of active dry yeast in the fridge? Thank you!

    • Joanna says...

      It says on the side of the jar.

    • Heather says...

      It’s 2 1/4 teaspoons. The information is usually on the side of the jar! :)

  33. Ugh I’d love to make those but we’ve been out of yeast in our area for about a month!

  34. Claire says...

    Man, maybe I need to get a waffle-maker now!

  35. Tessa says...

    We are loving waffles over here too, definitely going to try out this recipe this weekend! But, our waffle iron is on its last legs. Wondering if anyone has a favorite waffle iron to suggest?

    • Kate says...

      We ADORE our Breville waffle maker! It’s pricey but it makes perfect waffles every time and it lasts the test of time…

    • Jenny Rosenstrach says...

      I love mine, it’s a Waring, but seems to be discontinued! This one from Cuisinart looks similar, but I’d be curious to hear other people’s recommendations.

    • Michelle says...

      I bought a Waring Belgian double sided waffle maker and it’s the bomb. Cuisinart bought Waring but seems to have keep the quality the same as I have since gifted a newer one and compared to my vintage. I prefer the Belgian deep hole waffle but the little ones have their charms. Honestly, a small cuisine TT will do the job. But if you want it to be a ritual, and you have the space, a Waring is a luxury. Coincidentally I woke up early this morning to find my husband made waffle batter after I went to bed. I love him so much.

  36. Lauren E. says...

    I asked for a waffle maker for my birthday one year and my mom laughed and said I’d NEVER use it. A few years later, it’s one of my most used small appliances! It’s just SO easy and the results are so freaking delicious. I use The Joy of Cooking’s waffle recipe and it’s so so so so good.

  37. Rosalie says...

    I also made waffles today! They were heart shaped and tasted so good. A great quarantine ‘bake’ :)

  38. covid says...

    We have been making a lot of dutch babies around here… not too much work (don’t have to babysit the pan, just throw it in the oven and wait) and no yeast, but you do need a cast iron pan and a blender.

    • Suz says...

      I have never used a blender to make a Dutch baby pancake. I mix well with a fork and let it sit. Also I have used Pyrex dishes and other pots when I need to make 2 or 3 of them at one time. They always turnout well, as long as I melt the butter in whatever pan I am using.

    • Kim says...

      I’ve been making Jenny’s Dutch Baby recipe from DALS. No blender, just a bowl, a whisk and a baking dish.

  39. Sarah says...

    Turns out my neighbor sells yeast for a living and just hooked us up with a big bag! Things we learn during quarantine. First going to try the no knead bread but these are next!

  40. Diane Li says...

    Hi Jenny,

    These look delicious and so easy! I’m excited to try, but don’t have a waffle maker. :( Can you recommend one?

  41. Beth Frasso says...

    Yes! This is my favorite waffle recipe, and everyone loves them. If you are rationing your yeast you can make with a half packet (or 1 tsp), and I recommend starting them earlier in the evening, like 6:00 pm for a longer rise.

  42. Em says...

    Yum! These look so good. Definitely starting these tonight to surprise the family with tomorrow morning.

  43. Daisy says...

    Yes I have made waffles/pancakes with sourdough starter, or a mix of pinch of baking soda and baking powder or buttermilk/plain yogurt. No need for yeast. I have actually never made waffle using yeast

  44. Uma Ganesan says...

    I am originally from India. We make a batter called Idli/dosa batter (with rice and lentils). I have been making waffles using this batter for a long time and they come out great. I have never used yeast in the waffle batter, yeast at this time is scarce anyways. I have at times mixed whole wheat/ all purpose flour with a couple of spoons of plain yogurt, pinch of baking powder and have left it overnight for great results as well.

    • Golden Moon says...

      Can you please share your idili/dosa recipe with us? I am a huge fan and would love to make some of both and remember glorious days visiting in S. India. Thank you!

    • amelia says...

      wow, i am so intrigued. would love to try the dosa batter one day. thanks for sharing, Uma.

    • Uma says...

      Hello Golden Moon,

      Glad to see a Idli/Dosa fan:) Making the batter is a bit of a process. But I am so used to it and having the batter ready takes care of dinner most nights. For best results, need to use Idli rice and Lentil to be used is called Urad dal. My Ratio of Lentil to rice is 1:4. In colder months, I add another handful of Lentils. Soak Rice and Lentil separately overnight or 6 hrs minimum. Add about couple of teaspoons of fenugreek to the lentil. I have a wet grinder just for making this batter. I know folks who grind them using sturdy blenders. I grind rice and lentil separately. Grind the Lentil first minimum for 20 mins. Then grind rice till it is well done. Add handful of salt (for 5 cups worth of batter). Mix both of them well for a couple of minutes. I warm up the oven for a couple of minutes and let it ferment for 6-8 hours. Fermentation Time depends on the Weather. A lot of folks expedite fermentation by fermenting the batter in Instapot. I use the same batter for both Idli and dosa. I just add water to the batter to make it a bit watery to make dosa. Good luck if you end up trying it. There are tons of tutorials online and on YouTube. Here is a comprehensive tutorial: https://www.cookwithmanali.com/idli-dosa-batter/

  45. Brienne says...

    I have some buttermilk That’s about to go bad and nothing to do with it…can I use it for the milk in this recipe?

    • Katherine says...

      You can use buttermilk in just about any baking recipe that calls for milk. I always sour my milk even when recipes don’t call for it. Makes everything fluffy and light.

    • Jane says...

      Also, it doesn’t really go bad the day it says on the package. It can’t really turn sour like milk, so… You can normally use it much much longer, as long as you don’t see mold.
      Just throwing that out there because waste not, want not, right?! Hopefully??

    • K says...

      You can also freeze buttermilk.

  46. Kathleen Copeland says...

    I ordered a Dash mini waffle iron two weeks before quarantine. Tiny delicious waffles definitely makes isolation more palatable.

  47. bridget l. says...

    these are THE BEST waffles ever!!

  48. Kate says...

    Cannot wait to try these! And what great timing – our waffle maker arrives tomorrow.

  49. Haley says...

    HOW DO WE FIND YEAST RIGHT NOW ANYWHERE??? I wanna continue my beautiful stress baking and continually eat waffles, but how in this world do we find yeast and flour?? Please advise!

    • Elle says...

      I got a whole pound of it last week from King Arthur Flour. Now I have to figure out what to do with it, the flour and the bread pan I ordered with it . . . .

    • Kim says...

      I was having a problem finding flour in all the bog box stores, but finally found it at Costco. They sell 25 lb. bags. If you have a warehouse club membership (Sam’s or Costco) I would say try there. Full disclosure: I panicked and bought bought two 5 lb. bags for $45 online from some Kentucky distributor before I found it at Costco (slaps forehead).

  50. Hayley says...

    Best waffles ever! They also freeze/reheat really well :D

  51. Jojo says...

    YOU HAVE YEAST????

    • Connor says...

      King Arthur just got more in stock on their website. It’s backordered but better than nothing.

    • Anne says...

      My thoughts exactly! haha

    • Em says...

      LOL I was thinking the exact same thing ^

    • Jackie says...

      That was my first thought. No yeast anywhere right now.

    • Amy K S says...

      My question exactly! I can’t find yeast anywhere.

    • Claire says...

      Hahahahahahahahahahaha.

    • Amy says...

      I was thinking the exact same thing! Could these be made w/o yeast?

  52. Greer says...

    My family loves these: https://www.101cookbooks.com/best-waffle-recipe/ No yeast needed! I often cut the recipe in half because it makes a ton. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge or freezer and toasted when you’re ready to eat them.

    • Purnima says...

      Yes!!! My all time favorite waffles. Several years ago, Molly Wizenberg recommended on her blog adding buckwheat flour to this recipe, and it is life-changing. Instead of 2 cups all-purpose, we use 1 and 1/3 cup AP flour and 2/3 cup buckwheat flour. Everything else stays the same. The results are complex, nutty, and just so good!

  53. mindi says...

    Is there a way to make waffles without a waffle iron?

    • DIana K. says...

      Just call em pancakes

    • Pru says...

      Mindi, I’m so pleased you asked as I was wondering the same thing!

  54. Meghan says...

    I made your double chocolate banana loaf yesterday, Jenny. It was promptly devoured! It’s been so great getting to know you through COJ. I subscribed to your newsletter and look forward to cooking more of your recipes :D

  55. Megan says...

    Breakfast. For. Dinner.

    • Angela says...

      AMEN! My birthday was the other day and that was my request. My kids were thrilled that my cake was pancakes and I was thrilled I didn’t have to make myself a cake! One of the reasons I married my husband is his willingness to make B&Gs for me.

  56. Lori says...

    I wonder if I could use my sourdough starter for this instead of yeast? Hmmm…

    • Jane says...

      Lori, yes, you can! Almost out of yeast here, and as I make all the baked goods we eat myself (always have) and am NOT leaving the house, I have been doing almost all of my baking where yeast would be needed with my sourdough started and it works beautifully – just give it enough time to rise (but not too much). For waffles, overnight sounds about right if you use a small amount of starter. It won’t rise as much, I suspect, but it will work.

  57. ZK says...

    Would instant yeast work too? I never understand the difference.

  58. Lynn-Holly Wielenga says...

    Yum! My in-laws (of whom I am currently quarantined with) love waffles. I’d like to make these, but I have a gluten allergy.

    Jenny- do you think Cup of Cup flour as a substitute would work?

    • Scott says...

      I tried these w a gluten free flour blend (Jules) overnight / this am and it worked out great! The best waffles I have ever made (GF or not).

  59. Kate says...

    Could the batter work as pancakes? Looks amazing but no waffle maker here!

    • Bethany says...

      I’ve made them as pancakes, and while they aren’t crisp like waffles, they’re soooo yummy and different (due to the yeastiness)! Somewhat between a regular pancake and a crepe in consistency. Warning…my kids didn’t like them. But I did!!!

  60. Stephanie says...

    Can we make pancakes instead (we don’t have a waffle maker)? Looks amazing!

    • Sarah says...

      This is my question too.

    • Marcie says...

      Definitely! That’s what I did when my waffle iron broke :(

    • Sarah says...

      Thanks! We’ll have to give this a try.

  61. Melanie says...

    Can’t wait to try this recipe! Waffles are my absolute favorite. Yum. Warm maple syrup, defrosted wild blueberries (using what we’ve got!). Now I know what we’re having for breakfast tomorrow!

    KL- I wish I had stocked up on way more yeast as well. I’m starting to bake all my own bread this weekend and am worried about running out also. I’m gluten-free and buying bread is SOOOO expensive. I’m going to try making my own now. And why not make regular for the rest of the family.

  62. JC says...

    Wish I could make this but every store is out of yeast right now. :(

    • Alexandra says...

      ….. and flour!

    • JANA says...

      i found flour online at Bluebird farms out of Washington State :)

  63. Louisa says...

    As someone who routinely bakes with yeast (weekly pizza night and overnight waffles!), I am becoming unglued by the lack of yeast right now. We ran out yesterday, I had no clue it was a hot commodity, and so went to a store and noticed they were out. I went to the next store. Then looked on amazon. It’s the little things. (Also we had a sizeable earthquake last night but it’s the yeast shortage that is really messing with me!)

    • Anna says...

      You can make your own sourdough starter using just flour and water. ( Tons of stuff if you Google it). In a week or two you will have starter you can feed indefinitely, and use in many, many recipes instead of yeast. And no it won’t make everything taste “sour”. Don’t be intimidated! If I can do it anyone can! I am rooting for you!

    • Louisa says...

      We’ve got the sourdough starter going (pancakes, mostly!) – I’ll google how I might substitute it! Thanks!

  64. Ok. YUM!!! I am now searching for GF version of this because I need to utilize the waffle iron more, now!! Also, Trader Joe’s has the most delicious lemon curd ever. I definitely put it that on my buttered toast this morning (because quarantine calls for butter and fruity goodness)! Have a happy Wednesday!

    Libby

    • Jo says...

      I would just sub the flour for GF flour (for me, King Arthur’s works the best, though I also love Cup 4 Cup and Bob’s Red Mill) and see what happens! (I have celiac, as does my son and half my extended family, so I do lot of this!) xo

  65. Amy says...

    Yum!

  66. KL says...

    These look delicious but with yeast in such short supply (at least in Canada) I’m SOOOO hesitant to use an entire package!!! If anyone has a dupe using a sourdough starter would love to hear it.