Aretha Frankenstein's Waffles of Insane Greatness

By • August 11, 2011 • 71 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 (71)

Comments (71) Questions (4)


22 days 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.


7 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.


9 months ago Jo Switten

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


11 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.


11 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


11 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.


12 months 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.


12 months 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.


over 1 year ago SherylMc

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


over 1 year 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!


over 1 year ago FloraTheMachine

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


over 1 year 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!


almost 2 years 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.


about 2 years 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).


about 2 years 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?


about 2 years 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.