Aretha Frankenstein's Waffles of Insane Greatness

By • August 11, 2011 • 65 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe (originally from Aretha Frankenstein's restaurant in Chattanooga, TN) is the ideal I-just-woke-up-from-a-waffle-dream waffle, a morning-of alternative to the overnight yeasted kind. The cornstarch in the batter helps tamp down gluten formation, making these waffles silky and moist inside with a crust as thin and crisp as an eggshell.Genius Recipes

Serves 2 to 4

  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk or buttermilk (or a combination)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Butter and pure maple syrup, for serving
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Add the milk, vegetable oil, egg, sugar and vanilla and mix well. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a waffle iron. Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook the waffles. Serve immediately with butter and pure maple syrup or hold in a 200 degree oven, directly on the rack (don't stack them or they'll get soggy). These also reheat very well in the toaster.

Comments (65) Questions (3)

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12 days ago ellenu

These are spectacular waffles--just as described, nicely crisp outside and tender inside. I found today that I like them best with a combination of canola and butter, and combination of buttermilk and 2% milk. And I'm also finding that they brown best on my flip waffle maker if all the sections are full (that is probably obvious to the more competent makers of waffles out there) and I bake them for about 5-5.5 minutes.

Food52

24 days ago seedhyka

hi there, i am a new food52 user, im on the lookout for great recipe. found this recipe, and the photo impressed me. Tried to make it this morning, but after i mix them all, i feel like the batter is too light (watery), did i make it wrong? or should it be thick after we rest it? cheers

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24 days ago Ceege

@ Jessica........How do I find Aretha Frankenstein's Pancake Mix. Would really like to give this a try. Thanks for your help.

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about 1 month ago Orange Nectar

Really disappointed with this recipe after reading such glowing reviews. Was looking to try something different from my usual Joy of Cooking (Sixth Edition 1975), which I have made on average at least twice a month since I was a child. I didn't want to bother with a yeast version and was lured by all the positive comments. These were limp (not crisp at all) and lacked any distinct flavor.

Stringio

about 1 month ago Mike Vella

Just curious, but what distinct flavor were you expecting from a waffle?
As for limp, sounds like an issue with your griddle/timing.

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2 months ago Sam

A wonderful and simple waffle recipe, but I definitely would make a few adjustments next time I make it. I was unsure as to whether to have my waffle iron on medium or high heat, and next time I'm putting it on high. The flavor was great, but they struggled a little bit with getting crisp on the outside.

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2 months ago ellenu

Just made these--great recipe. I'd been looking for a waffle recipe that yielded light, crisp waffles and didn't taste like pancakes in another form. I used low-fat buttermilk but otherwise made no changes. This made 3 sets of 4 Belgian waffles in a Hamilton-Beach flip waffle maker.

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2 months ago darksideofthespoon

I love making these... this time though I didn't realize I was out of cornstach and used rice flour. In my opinion these were the best yet! A bit chewier and they stayed warmer longer.

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7 months ago wills

Kids loved it... Agree with earlier comment that salt should be 1/4 teaspoon, not 1/2. Also I used almond milk with tablespoon of (maple flavored, it's all there was) Greek yogurt instead of milk, and 1/3 cup melted earth balance instead of butter. All good.

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7 months ago SherylMc

This recipe produces the BEST waffle I've ever tasted. Thanks for posting.

Citrussegments

10 months ago Alexandra Stafford

I have a question for anybody: Is there a reason why the sugar is whisked with the wet ingredients vs the dry? He reason I ask is because I recently made a huge batch of the dry ingredients, and I included the sugar in the mix. The mix works great, but I'm still curious if there is a reason for when the sugar is added. I love love love this recipe. Make it almost every weekend. Thanks!

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10 months ago FloraTheMachine

Sugar is actually very moist and contains too much water to go with the dry ingredients

Citrussegments

10 months ago Alexandra Stafford

Very interesting. The mix seems to be working fine with the sugar in it, but maybe next time I'll leave the sugar out to compare. Thanks!

Hilary_sp1

about 1 year ago Hilarybee

Great waffle recipe. Yeasted waffles are still my favorite, but I get lazy on weekends and often forget to start the batter the night before. This fills in the gap. I've tried the recipe with oil and with butter--and I prefer the melted butter.

Stringio

over 1 year ago Greatfallsdeb

We LOVED these waffles as written and we make waffles every week. I thought they were perfect and they have become our "go to" recipe (although I can't stop trying new ones).

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over 1 year ago ChezHenry

One other point noted by another commentator-I find that these don't taste as good once frozen and reheated in the toaster, as I normally do with my Waffles, loading up on a batch Sunday morning for some weekday Waffles. Perhaps the cornstarch (fundamentally the only unique item in this recipe) doesn't allow the product to freeze/reheat well?

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over 1 year ago ChezHenry

I have made these 3 times now since joining Food52, and with one important tweak, my family resoundingly loves these. The salt is too high for the amount of batter created. I have reduced it to 1/4 teaspoon and found it perfect. Reviewing many other waffle recipes I use and love, they all use 1/2 teaspoon of salt to 2 cups of flour, which makes sense that it should be halved inasmuch as this recipe has 1 cup of flour (flour+cornstarch=1 cup). I think the cornstarch here is the key to Waffle Greatness, light crispy perfect.
As for many reviewers here stating they didnt get 4 Waffles out of the recipe, I did. This recipe produces exactly 2 cups of liquid batter, and my 20 yr old Oster Belgian Maker takes 1/2 cup of liquid batter per Waffle. Check your Waffle Iron for instructions-I have one that makes Circus Animal Waffles for my kids and that takes 3/4 cup per shot. So just plan ahead-and know that this recipe produces 2 cups of batter so you can sort out how much to make for your particular Iron.

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over 1 year ago fearlessem

I'm just not sure what the fuss is about these. I just got a waffle maker, and tried this as my first recipe... And I just didn't think they had that much flavor -- almost no depth of flavor. They were certainly better than the waffles you get at a hotel make-your-own breakfast bar, but to my taste not by that much... There is a local waffle shop in my town that makes incredible waffles, and I'm starting to wonder if those ones are yeasted...

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over 1 year ago Babcia

I found this very recipe on food.com, doubled. It is the best waffle I have ever tasted! I made it exactly as written, used an OLD waffle iron. It made 5 waffles, just one too many for the two of us. The extra one was toasted the next morning but wasn't nearly as good. This recipe called for 3 tablespoons of sugar; I had no problem with that; it didn't seem too sweet. I would try melted butter and/or honey but I don't want to mess with success!

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over 1 year ago reahpeah

These are wonderful. I made with oat flour and replaced buttermilk with almond milk+a glob of yogurt. Nice, light and crispy!

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over 1 year ago reahpeah

These are wonderful. I made with oat flour and replaced buttermilk with almond milk+a glob of yogurt. Nice, light and crispy!

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over 1 year ago Angie E.

We've been making waffles, pancakes, or crepes every Saturday for the past 10 years (adding 4 children along the way). I just made these this morning and the kids loved them, asking what I had changed in the normal recipe. The boys go with maple syrup. My daughter uses homemade strawberry or raspberry jam. Thanks for the recipe!

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over 1 year ago kstallbe

The most genius of the genius recipes I have made so far. I want to try using this batter for a pancake next... Thoughts?!

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over 1 year ago kstallbe

I made them as pancakes, but made the batter thicker with more flour. Very, very good. Hard to compare though, because waffles beat pancakes every time.

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9 months ago Lori lane

Please try the Betty Crocker pancake recipe and use bacon grease... Follow as is, no adjustments. It's the red Betty Crocker book from long ago. VERY good! Most pancake recipes seem to be flavorless but this one is pretty yummy. Let them get darker, edges get a little crunchy.

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3 months ago Jessica

Forget Betty Crocker...use Aretha Frankenstein's Pancake Mix...better than you could make yourself...it's amazing, and the pancakes turn out over an inch high!