Aretha Frankenstein's Waffles of Insane Greatness

By • August 11, 2011 • 78 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 cup 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 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon 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.
Jump to Comments (78)

Comments (78) Questions (4)


1 day ago Greatfallsdeb

I have used both types of waffle maker and prefer them made with the normal one. I also find them a tad too salty so have cut that back. I use veg oil instead of butter and usually use buttermilk. Light, crispy and fabulous.


1 day ago Lee

I did use a Belgian Waffle maker, which also has a doneness gauge which I leaned toward more well-done than not. Whenever I make pancakes or waffles, I don't like to have batter that is too thick, but certainly didn't add enough extra milk to make it runny. Just kind of a feel thing. We thought the waffles were both light and tender-crispy -- not crispy like a crispy toast or a chip! Hope this helps. I also thought they were perhaps a tad on the salty side, but didn't mind because went well with sweet syrup. I can't remember if I used salted or unsalted melted butter -- I mostly use unsalted when making things like t his, but can't recall for sure this particular time. The buttermilk might have added to the tangy-salty taste as well. I didn't double the recipe, I felt it made more than 4 waffles -- maybe 6, but I did thin out the batter.


1 day ago Jill Murray

I made these tonight for dinner. Doubled the recipe, used melted butter instead of oil. Amount of salt was fine. The batter wasn't thick, but it also didn't seem too thin. They were good, but weren't crispy like I expected. Are they better suited for a Belgian Waffle iron? I just used a regular one. What's the trick to making them crispy?


5 days ago vlucky

I used unsalted French butter and doubled the recipe since my kids have never met a waffle they didn't eat. No whole milk or buttermilk in the house so used a can of 2% evaporated (can was about to expire so I figured, why not?). Added about half of a 6oz cup of 2% Greek yogurt and then topped off with skim to get 2 cups. Since I was doubling, and read some comments, I used 1/4 cup corn starch and 1/4 cup rice flour (another pantry item that hangs out and gets little use in my house. Verdict by my guys: best waffle ever, better than Bittman's overnight. The double recipe yielded 13 waffles in my Krups square 4 waffle iron.


5 days ago vlucky

Actually, I think it was 10 and not 13. Had a lot of other stuff going on and they went so fast I probably miscounted.


11 days ago Lee

I used buttermilk and butter -- I put in a little extra buttermilk because the batter seemed a little thick. They turned out perfect


11 days ago Lee

These were awesome -- so light and crispy to the last bite!


about 1 month ago AB Thinker

Just finished eating the best waffle ever. After tasting the waffle, I will eliminate or reduce the salt. I made it just as the recipe called for it. It was light, it was crispy and it made 4 waffles - just enough for our Cuisinart 4-waffle waffle maker. I measured and followed the recipe exactly.


4 months ago J Hu

I just made these waffles and they came out perfect! I used 2% milk instead and vegetable oil. I'm going to try butter next time. Anyhow, I didn't get it right until making the second one. I have a Cuisinart waffle maker and I put the setting at 3.


8 months ago CurioCook

Interested that there's a lot of comments about the thinness of the batter… just made these and found after sitting for 10 mins, the batter was fairly thick. Turned out great though! Might put more vanilla or spices next time… but would be a fabulous vehicle for savory treats!


9 months ago anisebeer

so, like a few people who have commented, my batch is coming out very doughy-not crisp at all. I can hardly get it out of the waffle iron in one piece. This while the waffle itself is lovely golden brown. Could it be a result of the fact that I used the vegetable oil instead of butter?


9 months ago sbndmom

These are simply the best I've ever had. I made the batter the night before because I wouldn't have time in the morning. Refrigerated it and took it out in the morning before going to church. I wanted the batter to be room temp. They came out perfectly! I could only get 3 waffles with my waffle maker. Next time I'll double it and refrigerate left over batter, if there is any, for the next morning. In the future I'll add bacon or fruit after it's on the waffle maker.


10 months ago Jo Switten

Is it possible to add a conversion table to the metric system for all recepies? It would be great! :)


12 months 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.


12 months 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


12 months ago Ceege

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


about 1 year 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.


about 1 year 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.


about 1 year 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.


about 1 year 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.


about 1 year 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.


over 1 year 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.