Thick German waffles served with cherry sauce and whipped cream, this is one of the most popular German desserts.
How to make thick and crispy German waffles at home, a perfect Sunday breakfast or a really decadent dessert.
We do love waffles in Germany! Either thickly covered with icing sugar or with cherries and cream.
What is the difference between Belgian and German waffles?
Well, there is not a huge difference. From my point of view, the biggest difference is that the Belgian ones are baked in a rectangular waffle maker, while the German everyday waffles are often baked in a heart-shaped waffle maker, which makes – obviously – heart-shaped waffles.
The heart-shaped ones might be slightly thinner due to the waffle maker, but otherwise, they are pretty much the same.
American history of Belgian waffles
Belgian waffles were introduced in America by a Belgian person, Maurice Vermersch.
They became a huge success in North America, where they started being served with a topping of sliced strawberries and whipped cream. Nowadays, you can top your waffles with just about anything.
I do like the waffles as they are, I like their taste and texture and unless I am really in the mood for a sumptuous dessert, I am happy with eating a plain waffle sprinkled with just a hint of icing sugar.
When still studying in Germany, ages ago, I used to work at the local flea market. The market was a huge hall with many different areas where people would bring their stuff and try to sell it on weekend, once a month.
I didn’t have anything to sell, I just worked in the so-called “Waffelstube” – Waffle room. So, obviously I was making waffles, coffee and tea. So many waffles, thousands of them during the 2 years or so I worked there. So, you might say, I am a German waffle expert. 🙂
We used to have these ancient Belgian waffle makers, battered and old, needing to be greased before each batter addition, difficult to clean at the end of the working day. But, they made the best waffles ever, absolutely perfect: thick, totally crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
I still use the flea market batter recipe to make waffles at home. We used to make it in huge buckets there, we needed about 6 buckets full of batter every day and we used to stir that amount of batter with an agitator machine, the kind my husband uses for mixing lime wash paint.
So, I had to scale down that recipe a lot. 🙂 And I also changed two other things: first of all, I use butter instead of margarine, and nowadays I prefer to whisk the egg whites before I fold them into the batter.
How to make waffles?
- You need a good Belgian waffle maker (Amazon affiliate link) .
- Usually, the waffle makers don’t need to be greased before baking the waffles but make sure to read the waffle maker’s directions for use before starting, especially if the waffle iron is new and you are not familiar with it.
- Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites with salt until soft peaks form. Set aside.
- Mix the soft butter (or margarine, if you wish) with sugar, vanilla sugar, or extract. Add the egg yolks and mix to incorporate.
- In Germany, we would definitely use vanilla sugar, but if that is not available, you can replace it with ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or a few drops vanilla aroma. See below for instructions on how to make vanilla sugar at home.
- Mix the flour and baking powder together. You should sift them as well for fluffier, airier results. Add to the butter mixture alternating with the milk, stirring after each addition, and starting and finishing with the flour.
- Add the mineral water and stir again shortly.
- Carefully fold in the stiff egg whites.
- Bake according to the directions of your waffle maker. My waffles took about 6-7 minutes to become crisp and nicely browned on the outside, while remaining soft and fluffy on the inside.
- My waffle maker also has different temperature settings and I prefer using a medium high one, for instance 4 or 5 out of 6 temperature settings. But that is a matter of personal taste, adjust the temperature setting accordingly.
How to serve?
Sprinkled with icing sugar is a practical way of serving waffles. This way, you can also eat on the hand.
The typical German way of serving them is with cherry sauce and whipped cream sweetened with vanilla sugar. So good, you should definitely try this version!!!
The American way of serving them is either with sliced strawberries and whipped cream, with different kinds of syrups, like maple syrup for instance, but other sorts as well.
Any kind of berries, topped with whipped cream and drizzled with syrup or runny honey would be great as well.
How to store?
The waffles keep well for one or two days. Let them cool completely, place them into an airtight container or wrap them well in cling film/plastic foil or aluminum foil.
When ready to serve again, you can easily reheat the waffles in the toaster. Alternatively, place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper and reheat at about 100 degrees Celsius/ 200 degrees Fahrenheit until warm and crisp again.
The waffles can also be frozen. Wrap them tightly and freeze them. Reheat them as instructed above.
You can also eat them at room temperature. We often eat the leftovers for breakfast, topped with jam (strawberry, apricot, etc) or drizzled with a little honey.
How to make vanilla sugar
To make your own vanilla sugar, place some granulated sugar into a bowl and stick a vanilla pod in the sugar. Place the lid on and use it as needed. Stir the sugar from time to time (when removing some for using in recipes for instance). You can refill the jar with sugar many times before the vanilla pod would stop being able to flavor the sugar.
Alternatively, you can use empty vanilla pods to make vanilla sugar. Cut the vanilla pods into pieces and place them to a food processor together with granulated sugar. Process until you obtain a powder. Fill in jars and use as needed in a recipe.
More toppings for waffles:
The classic Cherry Sauce with whipped cream
- 3 eggs
- 1 pinch salt
- 125 g unsalted butter 4.4 oz/ ½ cup, soft
- 75 g sugar 2.6 oz/ ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar OR ½ teaspoon vanilla extract Note 2
- 250 g all-purpose flour 8.8 oz/ 2 cups
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 250 ml milk 8.4 fl.oz/ 1 cup
- 125 ml mineral water 4.2 fl.oz/ ½ cup
- To serve:
- cherry sauce
- whipped cream
- Beat egg whites: Separate the eggs. Whisk egg white with a pinch of salt until stiff. Set aside.
- Beat: Place the soft butter, sugar, vanilla sugar, or vanilla extract into another bowl, mix until creamy. Add the egg yolks and mix well until the sugar is dissolved.
- Batter: In another bowl, sift together the flour and the baking powder. Start adding them to the butter mixture alternating with the milk. Start and finish with the flour.
- Stir in the mineral water. Carefully fold in the stiff egg whites.
- Bake the waffles according to the directions of your waffle maker. My waffles took about 6-7 minutes to become crisp and nicely browned on the outside while remaining soft and fluffy on the inside.
- Temperature: My waffle maker also has different temperature settings and I prefer using a medium-high one, for instance, 4 or 5 out of 6 temperature settings. But that is a matter of personal taste; adjust the temperature setting accordingly.
- Bake: Pour some batter into the waffle iron, regarding the instructions of the waffle maker again. Close the waffle maker and bake until the waffle is golden.
- Time: Usually, the waffle makers will have a way of letting you know that the waffle is ready, either a (green) light or it will make some sound. But that depends on the waffle iron you are using.
- Keep the waffles warm in the oven by 100 degrees Celsius/ 200 degrees Fahrenheit until you are finished with baking.
- Serve the waffles warm with cherry sauce and whipped cream or as suggested above.
- Always use a digital kitchen scale in baking; it ensures the best results (Amazon affiliate link).
- The nutrition is calculated only for the waffle without the topping.
- See blog post for instructions on how to make vanilla sugar at home.
- The waffles can be baked in advance and reheated in the oven at about 100 degrees Celsius/ 200 degrees Fahrenheit until warm and crisp again.
- They can also be frozen and reheated the same way or in the toaster.