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Waffle History

Page 4: Waffles Types

Different Types Of Waffles

Over time, dozens of types of waffles have evolved. The most famous are:

  • AMERICAN WAFFLE. A waffle that is leavened with baking powder, unlike the Belgian/Brussels waffle, which is leavened with yeast (to make it thicker). American waffles can be sweet with sugar or served with sweet toppings, or savory and used as a base for entrees, such as stew, smoked salmon or chicken and gravy.
  • BELGIAN WAFFLE OR BRUSSELS WAFFLE. What is known as a Belgian waffle in the U.S. is called a Brussels waffle in Belgium. It is lighter and crisper than the Liège waffle (see below), with deep “honeycomb” pockets, and is often served as a dessert waffle. In Brussels, the waffles are rectangular and much larger in size than American waffles. They can be garnished with a simple dusting of confectioners’ sugar, spread with chocolate sauce and/or whipped cream or piled high with strawberries, bananas and nuts—the Belgian equivalent of a sundae. In America, novelty shapes include hearts and roses, Mickey Mouse, and Hello Kitty.
  • LIÈGE WAFFLE. The Liège waffle is the second major type of waffle eaten in  Belgium—although it lays claim to being the “original waffle” with a 600-year  history. It was invented by the chef of the prince-bishop of Liège, a city in eastern Belgium. While the Brussels waffle is a crisp dessert waffle, served with a sweet topping and eaten with a knife and fork, the Liège waffle is a smaller, handheld snack food in the manner of a donut. It has a yeast dough and is golden-yellow, softer and denser in texture than the Brussels waffle, with a caramelized sugar coating from the last-minute addition of pearl sugar that provides a lightly sweet, distinctive flavor. It also can be flavored with vanilla or cinnamon.

The Liège waffle is not only smaller, but sweeter and heavier (more filling) than the Brussels waffle. It also has irregular edges, as compared to the Brussels waffle, which is perfectly rectangular or square with even sides.


  Liege Waffle
Photo of Liège waffle © copyright of the Belgian Tourist Office NYC/USA,
  • HONG KONG WAFFLE or EGG WAFFLE. This type of waffle is street food, topped with peanut butter and sugar, or filled with fruit. Hong Kong Egg Waffles are also referred to as egg puffs,eggettes or bubble waffles. The sweet, waffle-like batter is cooked in a special mold (bottom photo) which produces a waffle sheet with soft, oval ’eggs’ or ’bubbles.’ The eggs can be easily broken off for snacking, or the entire waffle can be consumed at once. In addition to the fold-over waffle in the top photo, the waffles are also filled, rolled into a cone shape, and served in a paper sleeve.
  • KRUMKAKE. A Norwegian waffle cookie, traditionally made during the Christmas season. The Scandinavian version of a pizzelle.


Above: Hong Kong or egg waffle (photos courtesy Nordicware). Below, the waffle maker (photo courtesy CucinaPro).

  • MALT or MALTED WAFFLE. A waffle to which malted milk powder is added for a brighter, malty flavor. Basic recipe: 1 egg, 1 cup flour, 3/4 cup milk, 3 tablespoons malted milk powder, 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt. Separate the egg; beat white until stiff. Separately, mix dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix egg yolk, milk and melted butter. Add this to dry ingredients and blend. Fold in beaten egg whites. Prepare according to waffle iron instructions.
  • PIZZELLE. A thin, crispy, golden brown Italian cookie made from flour, eggs, sugar, butter and flavoring, such as vanilla, anise or lemon zest. It is cooked in a special pizzelle iron (photo at right), similar to a waffle iron, that has a decorative pattern, typically a snowflake, which is impressed into the cookie. The cookie can be sprinkled with powdered sugar. Unsugared when it is still soft, it can be rolled up into a cone for ice cream or a tube for cannoli.


  Chef's Choice Pizzelle Maker
Crispy pizzelles. Learn more about this pizzelle maker.
  • POTATO WAFFLE. The toaster-waffle version of a potato pancake, common in the U.K. It’s made of reconstituted potato, oil and seasonings. Hold out for real potato pancakes or hash browns.
  • SOFT WAFFLE. A recipe with more eggs that creates a waffle that is softer than typical crisp waffles; the flavor is more like eggy pancakes.
  • STROOPWAFEL. A sandwich cookie: two thin waffle wafers with a syrup or dulce de leche-type filling.
  • TOASTER WAFFLE. Pioneered by Eggo, this category includes plain or filled waffles that go from freezer to toaster to plate.

    Photo of Dutch Moon stroopwafels by Saidi
    Granados | THE NIBBLE. Read our review of
    Dutch Moon stroopwafels.
    • WAFFLE. A light, crisp battercake made of flour, sugar, eggs, and fat, baked in a special appliance (see waffle iron, below) that leaves a grid pattern of honeycomb-inspired squares on both sides.
    • WAFFLE CONE. The “sugar cone,” supersized and made with white sugar (photo above). Sugar cones are made with brown sugar or molasses for a deeper flavor and are crunchier. See the history of the ice cream cone.


    Waffle cones (photo courtesy Teo Gelato).
    • WAFFLE IRON or WAFFLE MAKER. An electric appliance used to make waffles. Originally waffle irons were two sheets of iron with a hinge and handles, held over a fireplace. The first electric waffle makers were a godsend, but the pockets were still a mess to clean up. Today’s waffle makers include nonstick cooking surfaces for easy cleanup, timers and displays that indicate when the waffle is ready, and switch-out plate options that enable the appliance to be used as a flat-surfaced griddle and a ribbed grill as well.


      Waffle Maker
    Find out more about this Presto Waffle Maker.
    • WAFFLE PIE. A multi-layer wafer cookie dipped in chocolate. Another definition for waffle pie is a casserole dish made of a base of cubed waffles, mixed with a variety of other ingredients. The waffles take the place of bread in a bread pudding. This type of waffle pie can be sweet or savory and served hot or cold. An example of hot waffle pie is a casserole of waffle cubes, chopped tomatoes, bell peppers, green onion, corn kernels, chiles, diced Jack cheese, covered in a custard mixture (milk, eggs, cumin and salt), baked, and served with a drizzle of maple syrup and sour cream.

    For an extensive look at pancakes and waffles, see our six-page Pancake & Waffle Glossary.


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    Last Updated  Mar 2021

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