Belgian Liege Waffles
These Belgian Liege Waffles are made with a yeasted dough that is studded with pearl sugar which caramelizes as it melts while cooking! These liege waffles are warm, sweet, and will melt in your mouth!
We love serving these liege waffles with a variety of toppings like fresh fruit paired with Lemon Curd, Nutella Whipped Cream, Raspberry Sauce, or Salted Butterscotch Sauce, topped with Greek Yogurt Whipped Cream!
Why This Recipe Works
- Inspired by Waffle Love. The Waffle Love food truck in Utah is famous for their amazing Belgian liege waffles! The waffles are straight up addicting, so I created this Waffle Love copycat recipe inspired by those delicious waffles so you can make some at home!
- Yeasted waffle dough. These perfect Belgian waffles are made with a yeasted bread dough instead of a waffle batter. This gives them substance and provides a deliciously rich texture and flavor.
- Pearl sugar waffles. This liege waffle recipes uses pearl sugar which provides delicious pockets of caramelized goodness when you dig into these!
- Milk: The milk adds the necessary liquid to combine with the yeast and help form the dough.
- Active Dry Yeast: This yeast is already yeast that needs to be activated. So this is why it’s important to let the mixture sit so the yeast can bubble. (As a side note, instant yeast is pre-activated and instantly ready to use.)
- Granulated Sugar: The granulated sugar adds the sweet base to the yeasted waffle dough.
- Bread Flour: Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour (bread flour has 10-13% whereas all-purpose has 9-11%).
- Unsalted Butter: Using melted butter will help distribute the pockets of buttery flavor throughout the entire mixture.
- Belgian Pearl Sugar: Characteristic to liege waffles the addition of pearl sugar provides pockets of melted, caramelized sugar.
- Combine the milk, sugar and yeast. Heat 3/4 cup milk to lukewarm (about 110ºF). Add it to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add 1 tsp granulated sugar and 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast. Gently mix. Let sit for 10 minutes for the yeast to bubble.
- Add the eggs and butter. Add 2 large eggs and 1 cup melted butter to the bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add the flour. Add 2 cups of flour and mix for about 30 seconds (until the flour is wet). Add the remaining sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp vanilla extract, and 2 cups of flour. Mix until the dough pulls away from the bowl (about 4 minutes).
- Let dough rise. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size (about 1-2 hours). Press down on the dough in the center of the bowl to deflate it. (If making ahead of time, at this stage wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight).
- Add the pearl sugar. Place the dough on a clean work surface. Flatten slightly and place 1 1/4 cups Belgian pearl sugar on top. Knead in the pearl sugar until evenly distributed.
- Divide into portions. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Forming into rough ball shapes. Let rest for 10 minutes while you heat your waffle iron.
- Cook the Belgian liege waffles. Place the waffle dough ball in the center of the waffle iron and gently press the top down on the dough. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve the Belgian sugar waffles! Serve these liege waffles with Biscoff, Nutella, freshly whipped cream and fresh berries. Enjoy!
Making the Belgian Liege Waffle Dough
Make sure the milk has been warmed to a temperature of 100°F-115°F. Yeast needs a warm environment to activate. I warmed my milk to 110°F.
The sugar acts as food for the yeast. As the yeast feeds on the sugar the yeast produces carbon dioxide which allows the dough to rise. Yay for food science!
If your mixture hasn’t changed within the 10 minute period, it’s a sure sign your yeast is old and needs to be replaced.
Kneading pearl sugar into the dough isn’t an easy task. The pearl sugars don’t stick to the dough easily, so it takes a little finagling to get them evenly dispersed.
Cooking Belgian Liege Waffles
If your waffle iron has temperature control, that’s ideal! Heat your waffle iron around 320°F (the temperature at which sugar melts) to 340°F (the temperature at which sugar caramelizes).
Don’t heat the waffle iron over 350°F because sugar begins to burn at this stage. Start low and test from there.
Not all waffle irons have temperature or heat control. If this is your waffle iron, you can heat the iron up, turn it off and let it cool slightly and then add the liege waffle dough to the waffle iron.
The Belgian liege waffles are done when the sugar has melted and the waffles are golden in color. The first waffle tends to be a trial waffle as you’re getting used to the waffle iron temperature.
If you aren’t serving the waffles right away you can keep the waffles warm in a 200°F oven.
The secret to Waffle Love’s whipped cream? Use mascarpone in the whipped cream! It helps the cream keep it’s structure and not melt as soon as the cold cream touches the warm waffle.
Top the waffles with Nutella, cookie butter, lemon curd, or whipped cream! However you choose to eat them, I know you’ll love ’em!
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing
If you want to make the dough in advance, wrap the dough after deflating it after the rising period and store in the fridge overnight. Continue in the morning by removing the dough from the fridge and letting it sit at room temperature for 30-40 minutes or until it’s close to room temperature.
However, you don’t have to let the dough rest overnight you can continue straight through if desired.
Store liege waffles in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days. Reheat in the oven until warmed through.
To freeze the waffles, let them cool down or come to room temperature. Once cooled place them in a ziplock bag and put in the freezer for up to 1 month. To reheat the waffles, thaw them in the refrigerator and then place them on a baking sheet in a 250°F oven until warmed through.
For freezing liege waffle dough, portion the dough into the 12 balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Store in an airtight container or freezer safe bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. Remove and let thaw in the fridge overnight. Cook as directed.
Belgian liege waffles use a yeast raised dough, whereas regular waffles use a batter. Liege waffles are sweeter than a traditional Belgian waffle. You can serve liege waffles for breakfast or dessert! (But seriously, breakfast food is dessert in my book. Always).
Today, Belgian waffles refer to any regular waffles made with a batter in a waffle iron. Brussels waffles are made with a yeast-leavened batter whereas belgian liège waffles are made with a yeast-leavened dough. Regular American waffles are made with a batter leavened with baking powder and/or baking soda.
Yes! Follow the recipe until just prior to cooking the waffles. Wrap the 12 dough balls studded with the pearl sugar in plastic wrap. Store in an airtight container or freezer safe bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. Remove and let thaw overnight in the fridge. Cook as directed. Enjoy!
Yes just use the regular waffle iron you have! It’s best to have a waffle maker that lets you adjust the temperature since pearl sugar burns easily. But if you waffle iron doesn’t, see my Recipe Tips section for details.
More Breakfast Recipes
- Buttermilk Waffles Recipe
- Chocolate Chip Waffles
- Old Fashioned Buttermilk Pancakes
- English Pancakes
- Fluffy Japanese Pancakes
Belgian Liege Waffles
- Heat the milk to lukewarm, about 110°F.
- Add the warm milk to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add 1 tsp of the granulated sugar. Add the yeast. Lightly mix. Let sit for 10 minutes so that the yeast can bubble.
- Add the eggs and melted butter and whisk to combine. Add 2 cups of flour. Mix for 30 seconds or so, or until the flour is wet. Add the sugar, salt, vanilla and the remaining 2 cups of flour and mix for 4 minutes. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
- Deflate the dough by pressing down on it in the center. At this point you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight if you want to make the dough in advance. You would then continue in the morning by removing the dough from the fridge and letting it sit at room temperature for 30-40 minutes or until it's close to room temperature.However, you don't have to let the dough rest overnight you can continue straight through if desired.
- Transfer the dough to a clean counter. Flatten the dough slightly and place the pearl sugar in the center. Knead the sugar into the dough until evenly distributed.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal portions of dough.
- Cover the dough balls and let them rest for 10 minutes. Heat your waffle iron.
- Place dough balls in the center of your waffle iron. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until they are golden brown and the sugar has melted. Keep an eye on the waffles as each waffle iron is different.
- Serve warm. Top with Biscoff, Nutella, fresh whipped cream and berries.