The Best Yeasted Belgian Waffles

These yeasted Belgian waffles (Brussels waffles) make the best waffles that are crispy on the outside with a light and fluffy interior.

a stack of two belgian waffles on a white plate topped with cream and sliced strawberries. dusted with icing sugar, a black plate with waffles in the background

Before we dive into this yeasted Belgian waffles recipe, know that you can find two main waffles in Belgium – Brussels Waffles and Liege Waffles. This crispy waffle recipe is for making light and airy Brussels waffles. If you haven’t tried a yeast-based waffle before, you’re in for a treat.

The batter for these yeasted waffles is best prepared the evening before and placed in the refrigerator overnight. This long, cool ferment lets the batter rise slowly and increases the flavor the following day. It also means that making waffles for breakfast the next day is nice and easy since the work of preparing the batter has been done the night before. 

Difference between Brussels and Liege waffles 

Brussels waffles (known as Brusselse wafels) are amazing waffles named after the capital of Belgium. They’re super light and airy inside, with a crispy outside.

They use a yeast-leavened batter, are traditionally rectangles, and feature deep wells to hold powdered sugar and other fillings. There are so many waffle shops and street vendors in Belgium selling Brussels waffles; they are such a popular street food.

The batter for this waffle is like a pourable cake batter that fills up all the grooves in the waffle iron. Many waffle recipes claim to be Belgian, but they’re often made with baking powder or soda, which will never give the same flavor.

a stack of steaming waffles

Liège waffles

A Liège waffle (Luikse wafels) is very different. It is also known as a sugar waffle. Though they have a similar grid waffle pattern to Brussels waffles, Liege waffles are denser and very sweet, almost like sweet pastry or bread.

They often have chunks of pearl sugar throughout the waffle for a sweet crunch. The batter for liege waffles is more like a sticky dough that is pressed into the waffle iron. Liege waffles aren’t even rectangles like Brussels waffles are. They are shaped rustically when the dough ball is pressed into the waffle iron.

Ingredients

Find the actual ingredient amounts written in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here is a rundown of what you will need.

Wet ingredients

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Butter (unsalted butter or salted)

Dry ingredients

  • All-purpose flour
  • Sugar
  • Instant or active dry yeast
  • Salt

The method

  1. In a saucepan combine the milk and cubes of butter. Warm it over medium-low heat until the butter has melted. Take it off the heat and stir the milk and melted butter to let it cool slightly, then pour it into a large bowl.
  2. To the warm milk mixture add the yeast, sugar, salt, all-purpose flour, and eggs and whisk them together until combined. It will be a bit lumpy and that is fine. Cover the bowl with a lid or a plate and place it in the refrigerator for an overnight rise.

For same-day waffles, let the waffle batter rest on the bench at room temperature instead, for 2 hours or until doubled. This way is much quicker but they won’t be as flavorful.

The next morning

  1. Take the batter from the refrigerator and stir it with a fork to deflate it. It will be very thick. Add 2-4 tablespoons more milk to the waffle mix to create a pourable cake batter consistency.
a spoon stirring bubbly yeast waffle batter
  1. Preheat the Belgian waffle iron. Once hot, pour in approximately ½ cup of batter per waffle, though this will depend on the size of your waffle maker and the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Bake them for 3-4 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
waffle batter being poured into a black waffle iron
baked waffle in iron.

Serving and storing

To keep your homemade waffles crispy, serve them the moment they come from the hot waffle iron. If they sit and cool down they will lose their crispiness. You can get them crispy again by placing them back in the waffle iron on low heat.

Leftover waffles can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Waffles can also be frozen and reheated in the toaster.

Serve the yeast waffle with your favorite toppings. Brussels waffles are often served purely with icing sugar and eaten by hand, however, you can add many more toppings such as: 

  • Chopped berries or strawberry compote
  • A scoop of ice cream
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Maple syrup or apple syrup
  • Whipped cream
  • Creme fraiche
  • Brown sugar or vanilla sugar
  • Fresh strawberries or other fruit.

What waffle maker is best for Belgian waffles 

You do need a special Belgian waffle maker to make the classic ones. Choose a rectangle waffle maker with deeper pockets. This will make the most traditional and airy waffles. If you have one that can flip upside down, this will create a much more even bake.

Pour the waffle batter in, close the machine, and flip it upside down for a minute before flipping it back the right way round and continuing baking. This allows the batter to coat the top of the machine evenly. 

a stack of two waffles on a white plate topped with cream and sliced strawberries

Related recipes

Love waffles? Why not try sourdough waffles too? Or for another yeasty sweet treat try these buttermilk donuts or brioche donuts.

If you’re in the mood for pancakes instead, these sweet cream pancakes are so fluffy!

a plate of waffles.

The Best Belgian Waffles with Yeast

Yield: 10 Waffles
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 35 minutes

These are Belgian waffles leavened with yeast that are crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside.

Ingredients

  • 360g (1 ½ cups) whole milk, plus another 2-4 Tbsp later on
  • 80g (5 ¾ Tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 250g (2 cups*) all-purpose flour
  • 30g (2 ½ Tablespoons) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp instant or active dried yeast
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, add 360g of the milk. Add the butter cubes and warm them over low-medium heat until the butter has melted. Leave it to cool down to lukewarm, then pour it into a large bowl.
  2. Add the yeast, sugar, salt, flour, and eggs and whisk them together until combined. It will be a bit lumpy, but that is fine. Cover the bowl with a lid or a plate and place it in the refrigerator overnight. For faster waffles, the waffle batter can also ferment on the bench for 2 hours or until doubled, though they won't be as flavorful.
  3. Once fermented, stir the batter with a fork to deflate it. Add 2-4 Tbsp of milk to create a pourable cake batter consistency.
  4. Heat the waffle iron. Once it is hot, pour in approximately ¼- ½ cup of batter per waffle; this will depend on the size of your waffle maker. Bake them for 3-4 minutes until deep golden brown and crispy.
  5. Serve the waffles immediately to retain their crispiness.
  6. The baked waffles can be frozen for future use and reheated in the toaster.

Notes

*The cup sizes given are for US cups. Note that these are smaller than metric cup sizes. For best results, use grams.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 195Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 143mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g

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18 Comments

  1. This recipe made perfect waffles. Light and crispy. Cooks even in the waffle machine. I doubled the recipe and added 2 tsp vanilla for a little extra flavor.

  2. I have tried several different recipes for waffles, and this is deffinetely one of the best, if not the best one. They are tasteful, really light and cripsy. I liked them very much!
    That tip of turning the iron upside down for a minute is great!

  3. Thank you for sharing. I love these waffles. I believe they are the same as what I used to buy from Ralph’s before all of a sudden they discontinued for some reason a couple of months ago. Why should they do this to a good product like that? I am very suspicious about it. Anyway, please let me know if I can find them in any supermarket or I can order online. I remember it was in a black box. Hope they will bring it back. None of the waffles that we tried before can beat those square crispy Belgian Waffles. Merry Christmas!

  4. I’m a Belgian American born in Gent and have been making my Belgian Grandmother’s recipe for 20 years. Then the night before mother’s day, I couldn’t find the card! I turned to Google and this recipe and I was so pleased. Obviously I can’t walk on Grandma Vlaamse’ grave but these were fantastic! Even had my 8-year old twins doing most of the work to pass on the tradition!!! Thank so much!!!

    1. I am just returning from a visit to Antwerp and Bruges, and craving the incredible taste of the waffles I had, I was online looking for the best recipe. Your review is high praise and super encouraging, Ben!

  5. Oh, yes! This is a great waffle!!
    If I were making these for myself, I would have opted for the overnight ferment (with my sourdough starter or even commercial yeast). I love that flavor profile. But I made these for my daughter and new son-in-law and he is a bit skittish about any unfamiliar flavors. So I went with the 2-hour ferment. These were super light, tasty and crispy. Just perfect. And I mean perfect for all of us, regardless of our place on the culinary spectrum. I will make these again. And again. Thanks so much.

  6. I made this today for the first time. I followed the recipe exactly preparing everything yesterday evening leaving it in the fridge overnight. I added the three tablespoons of milk this morning, but the batter was a little too thick to just pour out on to the waffle plates. Not to worry, I was able to do the entire batch in a flip-over Belgian waffle maker, but do you have any suggestions as to what I can do to make the batter more pourable? I am currently in England so used British organic plain flour, if that makes any difference?
    These were the best waffles I’ve eaten this side of Belgium. Everyone loved them, both young and old.

    1. Hey Dean, feel free to add more milk as needed to make it more pourable! That’s what I do if it thickens too much :). So happy you loved them!

  7. I’m so glad I found this recipe! The waffles were delicious, very light and fluffy! Thank you for explaining the yeast. It explains why so many recipes claiming to be Belgian do not taste right!! You mentioned saving waffles, but can I save the batter? I’m new at using yeast. Thank you again for the authentic recipe!

  8. January 2024!

    This is the EXACT recipie I’ve been craving all my life but never been able to find.

    Made it last night and enjoyed with friends this morning. They. Were. Perfect. Such a good medley of textures and flavors. Not too sweet, but lots of depth from the yeast.

    You are a Goddess! I don’t hesitate to say I’ve made thousands upon thousands of waffles over the years and tried hundreds of recipes and variations.

    This. Is now my go to staple. So easy. So rewarding.

    Seriously. Thank you!!
    -One very happy Benji ❤️🧇

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