These authentic Belgian waffles (made with a secret ingredient) are fluffy, crispy and simply irresistible!

Learn the best tips and tricks to make this homemade waffle dough with yeast.

A dollop of sweetened creme fraîche and fresh fruit is all you need to reach Belgian waffle bliss. Enjoy for breakfast, dessert, or a fabulous brunch with family and friends!

An authentic Belgian waffle on a white plate, with a blue linen towel behind it.
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I really should call these “waffles so good, we had them for breakfast and dinner,” but, for the sake of being plain, I’ll call them the best Belgian Waffles. These are true Belgian Waffles and I’m not backing down!

Years ago, my friends and I ventured to Bruges Waffles in Salt Lake City. I knew from the first bite that I never wanted another ordinary waffle again.

What differentiates these from traditional waffles is that they’re made from dough. Really fabulous dough (which we will talk about in a bit).

A close up of a Belgian waffle topped with creme fraiche.

What are Belgian Waffles?

Thick, delightful waffles made from dough (not batter) with pearl sugar hidden inside to pack a little crunch. They’re often topped with sweetened creme fraîche and fruit, but they’re so amazing, they don’t need anything. There’s just no comparison!

Don’t even think about adding butter and syrup. You won’t need them, and that’s what makes these so special and so different! Trust me, you’ll never want to eat a traditional waffle again!

What’s the Difference Between A Belgian Waffle And A Regular Waffle?

There are two ingredients – yeast and Belgian pearl sugar. The yeast creates a chewy texture, while the pearl sugar adds those little pockets of sweetness.

In the waffle iron, the little bits of sugar caramelize into little bites of happiness… pure happiness and joy.

For more of my favorite Easy Breakfast Ideas, head over to this incredible roundup!

An authentic Belgian waffle on a white plate, with a blue linen towel behind it.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Active Dry Yeast – This is one of the secrets that sets this authentic Belgian waffle recipe apart from the rest. The yeast not only creates lift and adds flavor, but it provides that extra special chewiness you will never get from a traditional waffle recipe. Learn more about Baking with Yeast here.
  • Lukewarm Milk – For best results, bring it to a temperature of 100 degrees, either over low heat on the stovetop or in 30-second increments in the microwave. If you don’t have an instant read thermometer, no worries. It should feel slightly warm when you stick your finger in the center.
  • Eggs – The eggs bind the batter, but also provide richness.
  • ButterMelted and cooled. If the butter is too hot when adding to the yeast mixture, it will kill the yeast. Again, it should be slightly warm to the touch.
  • Vanilla – A decadent sweetness you just can’t get from sugar.
  • Flour – Unbleached, all-purpose flour is all you need. The yeast is going to provide much of the structure and chewiness.
  • Salt – For balance and flavor, fine sea salt works best. It dissolves more easily into the batter.
  • Belgian Pearl SugarThe secret ingredient! Besides the yeast, this is what makes an authentic Belgian waffle recipe so superior! You can make Pearl Sugar, or buy it pre-made. Read on to learn more about this special sugar.
Yeast packets on a marble countertop.

What Is Pearl Sugar?

How I went for years without knowing about Belgian pearl sugar, I do not know. But this is what gives the fluffy waffle recipe it’s authenticity.

It’s simply compressed sugar crystals that are formed to create larger sugar pieces that will not dissolve into baked goods.

You can find them at specialty food stores, World Market and gourmet super markets. But note, there’s Swedish pearl sugar and Belgian pearl sugar. I highly recommend the Belgian because they are larger in size.

How to Make these Belgian Waffles

  1. Activate Yeast – Sprinkle the yeast over the lukewarm milk in a large shallow bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes. Belgian waffle recipe ingredients in a mixing bowl. Yeast and milk in a white bowl.
  2. Combine Wet Ingredients – Whisk in eggs, butter and vanilla into the yeast mixture until just combined. Set aside. Belgian waffle recipe ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. Combine Dry Ingredients – In a separate large bowl, mix flour and salt. Create a well in the center. A white mixing bowl full of flour, with a well shaped into the center for a Belgian waffle recipe.
  4. Make a Well – Pour the wet ingredients into the well and gently mix until the Belgian waffle dough just comes together.Belgian waffle recipe dough ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  5. Rise – Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Looking inside an oven, with a bowl topped with a towel. Belgian waffle recipe dough ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  6. Stir in pearl sugar.Belgian waffle recipe dough ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  7. Make in Waffle Iron – Place a ball of dough into the center of a waffle iron pre-heated to medium high and cook until golden, about 3 minutes.
  8. Garnish – Top with sweetened creme fraîche, fresh fruit and enjoy!

How to Make Sweetened Creme Fraîche

Yes, you can make it from scratch, but I love a shortcut! We like our Creme Fraîche a little sweeter than it comes at the store.

  • Combine 7.5 ounces (one container) pre-made creme fraîche with 1/2 cup powdered sugar.
  • Whisk until combined and there are no remaining powdered sugar lumps.
  • Store for up to one week in a sealed container in the fridge.
An authentic Belgian waffle on a white plate, with a blue linen towel behind it.

Tips

  • I specify lukewarm milk since the warmer temperature helps activate the yeast.
  • Your butter should also be lukewarm in this recipe.
  • If you’re feeling festive, make your own heart-shaped strawberries! Simply remove the stem, cut a small v and slice vertically. Simple and beautiful!
  • These Belgian waffles are much heavier than a traditional waffle.
  • The homemade waffles remain crunchy hours later, if you want to save some for dessert. Feel free to add a scoop of ice cream for the ultimate decadence.
  • You could also cover the dough for use later in the day/evening. Yes, I’ve tried both (in the name of research) and the waffles came out beautifully!

Scaling up, down or substituting? You’ll love this printable Measurement Conversion Chart!

An authentic Belgian waffle on a white plate, with a blue linen towel behind it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to cook a Belgian waffle?

This answer can vary depending on the model and setting of your waffle iron. As the homemade waffle dough cooks, it will release steam. Wait for the steam to stop coming out to check for doneness. At medium high heat it takes about 3 minutes.

What goes with Belgian waffles?

These authentic Belgian waffles do not even need maple syrup or butter, that’s how good they are! But to really take them over the top, I enjoy a dollop of sweetened creme fraîche and fresh sliced strawberries.

Serving Suggestions

An authentic Belgian waffle on a white plate, with a blue linen towel behind it.

Dietary Considerations

  • To make Gluten Free, use a 1:1 gluten free flour meant for baking.
  • Nut Free
  • Vegetarian

How to Store

  • Room Temperature – Belgian Waffles can sit out at room temperature for up to two hours safely.
  • Refrigerate – Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.
  • Freeze – Allow to cool. Line baking sheet with parchment. Place cooled waffles on the baking sheet 1/2″ apart. Freeze 2 hours. Place in freezer safe airtight container and freeze up to 4 months.

How to Reheat Belgian Waffles

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment. Add waffles.
  3. Bake 10 -15 minutes.
An authentic Belgian waffle on a white plate, with a blue linen towel behind it.

More Brunch Inspiration

A Belgian waffle topped with creme fraiche drizzle, on a white plate with a linen napkin to the side.
5 from 15 votes

Authentic Belgian Waffle Recipe

An Authentic Belgian Waffle Recipe made with a secret ingredient. Dollop with creme fraiche and fresh fruit to enjoy for breakfast, brunch, or dessert!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 3 minutes
Resting Time: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour 3 minutes
Servings: 8
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Ingredients  

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup lukewarm milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup butter melted and cooled (slightly warm)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces Belgian pearl sugar

Instructions 

  • Sprinkle the yeast over warm milk in a bowl (no more than 100 degrees F). Let is stand 15 minutes.
  • Whisk eggs, butter and vanilla into yeast mixture until blended. Set aside.
  • Mix flour and salt. Create a well.
  • Pour liquid mixture into well and stir until combined into dough.
  • Cover bowl with a light cloth and allow to rise in a warm place 30 minutes.
  • Stir in pearl sugar.
  • Place a ball of dough on medium high waffle iron and cook until golden – about 3 minutes.

Tips

Substitutions and Notes

  • Lukewarm Milk – I specify lukewarm milk since the warmer temperature helps activate the yeast. For best results, bring it to a temperature of 100 degrees, either over low heat on the stovetop or in 30-second increments in the microwave. If you don’t have an instant read thermometer, no worries. It should feel slightly warm when you stick your finger in the center.
  • Butter – Salted or unsalted. Melted and cooled. If the butter is too hot when adding to the yeast mixture, it will kill the yeast. It should be just slightly warm to the touch.

Make Creme Fraîche

Yes, you can make it from scratch, but I love a shortcut! We like our Creme Fraîche a little sweeter than it comes at the store.

  • Combine 7.5 ounces (one container) pre-made creme fraîche with 1/2 cup powdered sugar.
  • Whisk until combined and there are no remaining powdered sugar lumps.
  • Store for up to one week in a sealed container in the fridge.

To Store

  • Refrigerate – Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.
  • Freeze – Allow to cool. Line baking sheet with parchment. Place cooled waffles on the baking sheet 1/2″ apart. Freeze 2 hours. Place in freezer safe airtight container and freeze up to 4 months.

To Reheat

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment. Add waffles.
  3. Bake 10 -15 minutes.
Calories: 524kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 383mg | Potassium: 118mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 835IU | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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37 Comments

  1. We get these with fried chicken at a local diner. They also include a side of white gravy. Sweet, savory, crunchy, and creamy! So delicious. I’ve had the pearl sugar in my shopping cart to make these since we aren’t currently going out to eat. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  2. Hi! May i know how much (in grams) is a packet of active dry yeast?
    And can I substitute the pearl sugar with caster sugar?

    Thanks!

    1. I have not cooked much so forgive me if this is a dumb question. The “vanilla” in the recipe, is that vanilla extract?