Ring in the fall season with these homemade Pumpkin Waffles! These waffles are crisp on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. There’s nothing like pumpkin spice to add that extra cozy autumn flavor to your family breakfasts. 🍁
If there’s ever a sliver of fall creeping in, I immediately crank out the pumpkin and start baking! I love incorporating pumpkin spice and pumpkin puree into my baking — especially when it comes to breakfast foods.
If you haven’t tried my pumpkin pancakes recipe, please do! I know you’ll love it. You’ll probably love it so much that you’ll want to use it for more than just pancakes … maybe even waffles? Wrong. Pancake batter and waffle batter are not interchangeable! (When I learned this fun fact several years ago, I was surprised too!)
That’s why I’m sharing this buttermilk pumpkin waffles recipe with you. Because we all need more pumpkin in our life.
Why can’t you use pancake batter to make waffles?
Well, when you break down the differences between pancakes and waffles, you’ll notice two completely different textures. Pancakes, as true to their name, are like flat cakes — soft on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Waffles instead are crispy on the outside and light on the inside. Alton Brown easily breaks down how the two batters differ to create these changes:
First, waffles have a higher fat content in the batter to help give the crispy exterior and higher sugar content to give a nice caramelization to the waffles — which you don’t get in pancakes.
If you use pancake batter for waffles, you’ll miss those two really important things that are characteristic of waffles!
Now that we know more about why we need a special waffle batter, let’s make these delicious waffles!
- Flour — all-purpose flour.
- Cornstarch — helps the waffles get crisp on the outside. If you don’t have cornstarch use all purpose flour.
- Baking powder & baking soda — leavening agents used to create delicious waffles.
- Ground cinnamon
- Pumpkin pie spice — added to elevate and pumpkin flavor in the waffles.
- Butter — melted. I use unsalted butter. This ingredient really helps the insides become nice soft and tender.
- Buttermilk — at room temperature. You can microwave the buttermilk for 20-30 seconds until it’s no longer cold.
- Pumpkin puree — this is just canned pumpkin puree. Or you can make your own.
- Vanilla — we add just a little vanilla to compliment the other spices that are in the waffles.
- Eggs — yolks and white separated. We’ll be whipped the egg whites and folding them into the batter. Doing this results in a waffle with light and fluffy insides.
- Granulated sugar — adds sweetness.
How to Make Pumpkin Waffles
- Combine the dry ingredients (minus the sugar).
In a large bowl whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set aside.
- Combine the wet ingredients.
In a medium bowl, combine butter, buttermilk, pumpkin puree, vanilla, and egg yolks. Whisk until fully combined.
- Combine wet & dry ingredients, gently whisking (or use a fork) until just combined.
- Whip the egg whites.
In a separate bowl add the egg whites. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Then add the sugar to the egg whites and beat on medium/high speed until sugar has been fully mixed in.
- Fold in egg whites.
Using a spatula, fold the egg whites into the batter. Do not overmix.
- Let batter rest and preheat waffle iron.
Let the waffle batter rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the waffle iron to your desired temperature (I cook mine on high) and the oven to 200°F. Place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet and place it in the oven while it preheats. Meanwhile, grease the waffle iron with butter or cooking spray. When ready, scoop 1/2 cup -1 cup of batter onto the waffle iron. Waffle irons differ in size, so you may need more or less batter. Cook until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes (depending on your iron). Serve warm with cinnamon brown butter pecan syrup.
- Place in oven to stay warm.
To keep waffles warm, place waffles on the baking sheet in the oven, this simple step keeps the waffles warm and helps crisp up the exterior too.
Tools Used For This Recipe
Mixing bowls – these are my favorite! And you’ll need all 3 for this recipe.
Waffle Iron – this is the waffle iron we own and use. I have to be honest, it is the best! It’s not cheap, but ever since we bought it 2 years ago, we comment all the time how much we love it.
Whisk – the same whisk I use!
Hand mixer – used to whip the egg whites.
Cooling Rack – this one is oven safe and the exact same one I use!
Mix the egg whites until soft peaks form. If you whip them too much (until stiff) it makes it harder to incorporate into the other ingredients. Remember, whipping the egg whites seems unnecessary but I promise it’s worth it! This extra step creates a lighter waffle that ones made without whipping the egg whites.
If your waffle iron isn’t “non-stick” make sure you grease it before using! You don’t want your waffles sticking to the iron. You can use your fat of choice: butter, vegetable oil, or a generous dose of nonstick cooking spray. If using butter or vegetable oil, use a pastry brush to get all the nooks and crannies. My waffle iron (linked above and in the recipe card) is nonstick, so I don’t have to grease it before using. One other major reason why I love it so much.
Because of the moisture levels in these waffles, you’ll want to cook them a tad longer than original buttermilk waffles.
To keep the waffles warm, place them in a 200°F oven. You can place them directly on the oven racks or my preferred method is to place them on a cooling rack that has been nestled into a baking sheet.
Remember, don’t use pancake mix to make waffles or waffle mix to make pancakes! See my notes above on how the two batters differ.
It’s OK if you have a few pockets of the egg whites throughout your batter. You do not want to overmix your batter. The key to getting light and fluffy waffles is to gently fold in the egg whites to keep as much air in the batter as possible.
Why rest waffle batter?
Letting the batter rest for 10 minutes allows the gluten to relax and expand, creating a more tender waffle interior.
How to freeze waffles?
I love making waffles, freezing them, and then popping them in the toaster for a quick breakfast. Wrap the waffles individually in plastic wrap then place in a ziplock freezer safe bag. Pull them out of the freezer when you want to eat them!
What goes well with pumpkin waffles?
I highly recommend my cinnamon brown butter pecan syrup with these waffles! It’s a recipe that takes maple syrup to a whole new level with all the flavors of fall you love! If you’re looking for a store-bought option that pairs well with these waffles, I recommend Uncle Bob’s Butter Country syrup. They do buttermilk syrup in a few flavors that are super yummy!
Do pumpkin waffles take longer to cook than buttermilk waffles?
Yes. Due to the water content in the batter (from the pumpkin puree), pumpkin waffles will take a bit longer than normal waffles. Just make sure you leave them in the waffle iron long enough to cook all the way through.
More Breakfast Recipes
- Homemade Buttermilk Pancakes
- Belgian Liege Waffles
- Pumpkin Pancakes
- Buttermilk Waffles
- German Pancakes
- Cinnamon Rolls
- Pumpkin French Toast Bake
- Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats
If you make this recipe and love it, I would be so grateful if you come back to leave a rating and review. Thank you! ❤️
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter – melted
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk – at room temperature
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs – separated
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- In large bowl whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine butter, buttermilk, pumpkin puree, vanilla, and egg yolks. Whisk until fully combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, gently whisking (or use a fork) until just combined!
- In a separate bowl add the egg whites. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Then add the sugar to the egg whites and beat on medium/high speed until sugar has been fully mixed in.
- Using a spatula, fold the egg whites into the batter. Do not overmix.
- Let the waffle batter rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the waffle iron to your desired temperature (I cook mine on high) and the oven to 200°F. Place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet and place it in the oven while it preheats. Meanwhile, grease the waffle iron with butter or cooking spray. When ready, scoop 1/2 cup -1 cup of batter onto the waffle iron. Waffle irons differ in size, so you may need more or less batter. Cook until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes (depending on your iron). Serve warm with cinnamon brown butter pecan syrup.
- To keep waffles warm, place waffles on the baking sheet in the oven. This simple step also helps crisp up the exterior too.