This is one of our base recipes. Pre-made waffle mixes can be enticing for their simplicity, but homemade whole wheat waffles are super easy, AND you get to control the ingredients that go into your body! These healthy waffles are made with 100% whole wheat flour, giving you a boost of fiber that traditional waffle mixes don’t usually provide. We use white whole wheat flour to keep the color light and the flavor mild. Trust us, your kids and family won’t even notice!
Three Must-Know Cooking Skills
For light and fluffy waffles, learn how to:
Culinary Tips for the Best Whole Grain Waffles
Be sure to measure the flour correctly. Fluff, spoon, and level! Packing it into the cup will result in dense waffles.
If you tend to use a lot of syrup to top your waffles or you just prefer a less sweet waffle, use 1 Tablespoon of sugar. If you like to top it with fresh fruit, plain yogurt, and/or nut butter, use 2 Tablespoons.
Don’t overstir! Too much mixing can result in tough waffles. Stir gently until all ingredients are moistened; the batter should be slightly lumpy. If the batter looks a little too thick, add more buttermilk. If too thin, add a spoonful of flour.
Don’t have time to make the batter in the morning? Whisk the batter together the night before and give it a gentle stir in the morning. Now all you have to do is heat the waffle iron and get cooking!
Want the convenience of a pre-made waffle mix so that you can make healthy waffles whenever you want? Multiply the dry ingredients with your desired yield, and you’ll be ready to throw together nutritious waffles anytime! This mixture works for pancakes too because the dry ingredients are exactly the same. Store in an airtight container in the pantry.
The only differences between our pancake and waffle recipes are that these waffles have double the fat and one extra egg compared to the pancake batter. To turn this into a whole grain pancake recipe, reduce the butter by half and leave out one egg. Click here for all of the tips for our fan-favorite whole grain pancakes base recipe!
If you have kids, invite them to help you make this recipe. It keeps them distracted from their hunger while they help cook, and they have fun measuring and mixing!
- White Whole Wheat Flour: substitute whole wheat pastry flour or spelt flour. You can also substitute regular whole wheat flour, but the flavor, color, and texture won’t be quite as light. If you don’t have white whole wheat flour, you can substitute half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour, although this will slightly decrease the fiber content. To make gluten-free waffles, use a gluten-free flour mix, such as Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour, but note that the fiber content may decrease.
- Sugar: substitute honey, maple syrup, or agave. Mix liquid sweeteners in with the wet ingredients.
- Buttermilk: substitute kefir or homemade buttermilk. To make your own buttermilk, combine 1 cup of milk with 1 Tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice and let sit for 10 minutes to allow the milk to curdle. If you want to make vegan whole wheat waffles, use soy milk.
- Egg: substitute a flax egg or ¼ cup fruit puree. To make a flax egg, mix 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseeds with 3 Tablespoons water. Let sit for 10 minutes or until thickened.
- Butter: substitute coconut oil or canola oil. However, there’s just no replacing the flavor of butter!
- Vanilla: substitute ¼ teaspoon of any flavor extract that you like (almond, coconut, lemon).
Base Recipe Variations
This is a base recipe, so the goal is for you to customize it to your taste! Use this recipe as a guide, but don’t be afraid to add extra ingredients, including spices such as cinnamon or cardamom.
Add any toppings of your choice – coconut flakes, flaxseeds, nuts, nut butters, fruit, etc.
Turn these into whole wheat oatmeal waffles by adding ½ cup oats to the batter. This will create a slightly thicker texture, but you may like the added nuttiness that oats add. If too thick, add more buttermilk. With the added oats, you now have multigrain buttermilk waffles!
To make pumpkin whole wheat waffles, mix ½ cup pumpkin puree in with the wet ingredients, and add 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice with the dry ingredients.
To make banana whole wheat waffles, mash 1 very ripe banana in the bowl before adding the other wet ingredients.
Equipment Recommendations for Easy Whole Grain Waffles
Use these kitchen tools for recipe success!
Are whole wheat waffles healthy?
These ones are! This whole wheat waffle recipe is full of nutritious ingredients that will keep you satisfied and energized for hours: whole wheat flour, low-fat buttermilk, and low added sugar.
Whole Wheat Flour
Whole wheat flour is a good source of fiber, B vitamins, Vitamin E, trace minerals, and phytonutrients. Replacing refined grains (i.e. white flour) with whole grains (i.e. whole wheat flour) may reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. (1)
Confused about the pros and cons of gluten? Check out our gluten article that provides evidence-based information about this controversial protein!
The words butter and milk imply that this liquid is a high fat, creamy beverage, but actually, buttermilk doesn’t contain any butter! It was traditionally the liquid left behind after churning butter, but nowadays, food manufacturers have altered the process by culturing and fermenting milk to create a sour-tasting product. Therefore, buttermilk contains many of the healthy nutrients found in milk: calcium, protein, and B vitamins.
Less Added Sugar than Leading Brands
High sugar consumption is not good for health, and in general, most Americans eat way too much. Men should aim to consume less than 9 teaspoons (~36 grams) of sugar per day, and women should aim to consume less than 6 teaspoons (~24 grams) of sugar per day. (2) This entire recipe only contains 1 Tablespoon of added sugar, which is only 1-2 grams per waffle (depending on your waffle iron size)!
Learn more about hidden sugars in this article.
Hold the waffles in a warm oven (170 ºF) or the warm setting in a microwave until ready to eat. Serve with Greek yogurt, fruit, nuts/nut butter, or a side of scrambled eggs for a balanced breakfast full of healthy carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
How to Store Buttermilk Whole Wheat Waffles
Want whole grain waffles from scratch every morning? Cook once, and eat all week! Multiply the recipe by your desired final yield, cook, and cool. Place cooled waffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Frozen whole wheat waffles are great for a quick “reheat and eat” breakfast. For best quality, place cooled waffles in a single layer on a baking sheet, freeze for 1-2 hours, then place in a freezer-safe container. This helps prevent the waffles from sticking to each other. Reheat in the toaster for a nice crispy exterior until warmed through.
Want more healthy breakfast ideas?
Check out these other delicious base recipes, and as always, make to YOUR taste!
Whole Wheat Waffles Base Recipe
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1-2 Tablespoons sugar*
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½-1 teaspoon spices (optional)
- Dash kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat waffle iron. No need to spray or grease (the butter in the batter helps the waffles come off easily).
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, optional spices, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, butter, and vanilla.
- Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients. Using a spatula, stir to combine. Do not overmix.
- Use a portion scoop or measuring cup to scoop batter onto waffle iron. Cook according to the waffle iron's directions or until golden brown. Enjoy!