Buttermilk Pumpkin Waffles
Ring in the fall season with these homemade Buttermilk Pumpkin Waffles! These pumpkin 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 you’re a fan of pumpkin for breakfast, then you’ll love my pumpkin pancakes (and if you’re a chocolate chip pancakes lover, my pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes), pumpkin steel cut oats, and pumpkin French toast casserole.
Why This Recipe Works
- Specific recipe for waffles. Pancake batter and waffle batter are not interchangeable! 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. 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!
- Perfect pumpkin flavor. This pumpkin buttermilk waffles recipe yields perfectly pumpkin waffles! The flavor is so warm and fall-like.
- Guaranteed to make fluffy waffles. Thanks to the baking soda + buttermilk combination and the beaten egg whites, this pumpkin waffles recipe is guaranteed to produce fluffy waffles every time.
- Cornstarch: This helps the waffles get crisp on the outside.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: This is added to elevate the pumpkin flavor in the waffles.
- Butter: The butter 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. When the buttermilk is combined with the baking soda, the acid in the buttermilk makes the baking soda react, causing air bubbles which helps the waffles become fluffy.
- Pumpkin Puree: I use Libby’s pumpkin puree.
- Eggs: Yolks and white separated. We’ll be whipping the egg whites and folding them into the batter. Doing this results in a waffle with light and fluffy insides.
- 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 over mix.
- Let batter rest and preheat waffle iron. 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 the buttermilk pumpkin waffles warm, place them on the baking sheet in the oven, this simple step keeps the waffles warm and helps crisp up the exterior too.
Egg Whites: 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. This extra step creates a lighter waffle than if made without.
Waffle Iron: If your waffle iron isn’t nonstick 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 is nonstick, so I don’t have to grease it before using it.
Cooking: 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.
Pumpkin Waffle Batter: It’s OK if you have a few pockets of the egg whites throughout your batter. You do not want to over mix 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.
Storing and Freezing
Store the cooked waffles in an airtight container or Ziplock bag in the fridge for 3-4 days. When ready to eat, remove from the fridge and place in the toaster to warm up and crisp up the outside.
Freeze the cooked waffles in an airtight container or Ziplock bag in the freezer for 1-3 months. Remove from the freezer and place in the toaster to thaw, warm up and crisp up the outside.
Letting the batter rest for 10 minutes allows the gluten to relax and expand, creating a more tender waffle interior.
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!
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!
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
- 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.
This recipe was originally published on Nov. 3, 2020. It was republished on Nov. 27, 2021, to include additional information and photos.