Is it possible to be in love with a kitchen appliance? Because I think my new waffle maker has stolen my heart (sorry, boys!) Just look at how beautiful these easy mini pumpkin waffles are!
In my lemon-coconut pancakes post, I described myself as a pancake-making veteran. Well, let’s add waffles to that title too!
At some point in my adolescent life, I became obsessed with making pancakes and waffles from scratch. But being a kitchen newbie meant that I made a lot of mistakes (i.e. waffles that were dry, dense, tough, and gummy). If you’re passionate about home cooking, you take a lot of pride in what you create in your kitchen. So recipe fails really freaking suck. Once, I got so frustrated that I gave up and avoided pancake/waffle recipes for years. Good thing I gave them another shot, or these beauties wouldn’t exist today!
These pumpkin waffles aren’t dry, gummy, or dense at all. On the contrary, they’re fluffy with SOFT centers and CRISPY edges. A.K.A everything you want in a waffle. A.K.A. the perfect brunch for those chilly autumn weekends. Just picture yourself wrapped up in a blanket with a full plate of these. Oops, you’re drooling now.
In this post, you’ll discover not only a delightful recipe, but super helpful tips and tricks to spare you the soul-crushing disappointment that comes with bad waffles.
What you need for easy mini pumpkin waffles
Don’t you just love recipes with super long lists of expensive, hard-to-find ingredients? Of course, not. I don’t either!
It doesn’t get any simpler than homemade waffle mix. 90% of the ingredients are already sitting in your pantry:
- All-purpose flour – Yields fluffy waffles when measured correctly. Use either a digital kitchen scale or the scoop-and-level method to measure your flour.
- Baking powder – To give the waffles rise.
- Sugar & salt – Waffles aren’t supposed to be super sweet, since they’re usually served with maple syrup. But that doesn’t mean they should be completely flavorless and bland without it. Use the right amount of sugar and salt for a superstar breakfast.
- Spices – Compliment the pumpkin flavor.
- Canned pumpkin puree – I use either Libby’s or Trader Joe’s organic canned pumpkin. Don’t use canned pumpkin pie mix.
- Buttermilk – For moisture and tang.
- Eggs – Separate the egg yolks and egg whites for ultra-fluffy results. Yes, it’s slightly more work but completely worth it.
- Butter – Provides flavor.
- A good waffle maker – Honestly, owning a waffle maker is one of life’s simplest joys. And the great thing about them is that they’re not too expensive at all. I use the Dash mini waffle maker which has over 60,000 five-star reviews on Amazon and which literally cost me only $10. Plus, it’s so cute and compact, it barely takes up space in my kitchen.
How to make waffles from scratch
If Aunt Jemimaâ€™s boxed mix was as big a part of your childhood as it was in mine, it may be a little difficult to part ways with it. But trust me, itâ€™s incredibly simple to make waffles from scratch, and they taste way better than anything a pre-made mix yields! Find the steps below:
- Preheat your waffle maker.
- Mix together dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, etc) in a large bowl. Then, mix together liquid ingredients in a medium bowl. Since we’re separating the eggs, add the whites to a smaller bowl and beat them to stiff peaks.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir very gently until just combined. Next, add the beaten egg whites and gently fold them into the mixture.
- For mini waffles, pour 1/4 cup of batter into the waffle iron. For larger waffles, use 1/3-3/4 cup batter, depending on your waffle maker.
- Cook them. I’ve found that with the Dash waffle maker, 4 minutes is the sweet spot that yields waffles with slightly crisp edges and soft centers. This is how I prefer mine, but be sure to cook them to your liking.
Preventing gummy, dry, and dense waffles
Like a lot of foods, waffles are simple, but not foolproof. It’s easy as hell to eff them up, and it happens to the best of us. Don’t be so quick to blame a recipe though, because the harsh truth is that a bad waffle is usually the cook’s fault. But this is absolutely preventable if you avoid these common mistakes:
- Using too much flour: Let’s say the recipe calls for a cup of flour, so you dip your measuring cup directly into the bag of flour. But this yields 20% more flour than intended, and there goes your waffles! Measure flour by using either a digital kitchen scale or the scoop-and-level method.
- Using cold ingredients: Allow the eggs and buttermilk to sit out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- Not letting the butter cool: Please don’t pour hot melted butter straight from the stove/microwave into your liquid ingredients. Allow it to cool, otherwise you’ll scramble the eggs, and the waffles will be a mess.
- Overmixing the batter: Overmixing leads to over-development of gluten, which makes waffles tough. When making your batter, gently stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. It is perfectly fine for the batter to have some lumps.
- Not preheating and greasing the waffle iron: Be sure to preheat the waffle maker before starting your batter. Once heated, spray a small amount of your preferred non-stick cooking spray.
What goes good on easy mini pumpkin waffles?
Now, for the best part: TOPPINGS. My favorite things to put on waffles include homemade whipped cream, honey butter, chopped nuts, and fruit sauce! And, of course, you can always go with the classic maple syrup.
How to store easy mini pumpkin waffles
Wrap leftover waffles in plastic wrap and foil, and place them in the freezer. They’ll keep for up to three months. Reheat them in the toaster for that just-made taste!
Easy Mini Pumpkin Waffles
- Mini waffle iron
- 1 1/2 cups (180g) all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon (14g) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 2 large eggs, yolks and whites separated room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- Preheat your waffle iron. Whisk flour, salt, baking powder, spices, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, beat pumpkin puree, buttermilk, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and cooled melted butter together until smooth. In a smaller bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks (when the beaters are removed, the whites should stand up firmly without flopping over).
- Pour the wet ingredients (not including the egg whites) into the dry ingredients, and gently stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. Finally, add the egg whites to the mixture, and fold until smooth with no unblended streaks. Be careful not to overmix here, as well. Batter will be thick with a few lumps.
- Spritz heated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. For mini waffles, pour 1/4 cup batter into the waffle maker. For American or Belgian-style, pour 1/3-3/4 cup batter. Cook according to your waffle iron's directions, then transfer finished waffles to a cooling rack. Serve warm with your favorite toppings.
- Wrap completely cooled waffles in plastic wrap and foil paper; freeze for up to 3 months. For best taste, reheat in toaster.
- Feel free to experiment with cook time. If you prefer softer waffles, slightly reduce time. If you like your waffles very crispy, cook for longer.Â
- Stacking cooked waffles on top of one another will make them lose crispness. Use a cooling rack for best results.Â