Aretha Frankenstein's Waffles of Insane Greatness

August 11, 2011
21 Ratings
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

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Aretha Frankenstein's Waffles of Insane Greatness
  • Prep time 40 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • 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
In This Recipe
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • ccookery
  • Shwillary
  • MBE
  • Heather Campbell
    Heather Campbell
  • melissa y
    melissa y
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

125 Reviews

Emily June 5, 2021
The best waffle recipe!! I used almond milk instead of cow's milk and they turned out beautifully: crunchy on the edges and soft in the middle and completely moreish
Bertarms April 7, 2021
Worked out well! Two slight changes - reduced the oil to 1/4 cup and separated the egg and folded in the whipped white after the 30 minute resting period. The waffles were light and crispy. Next time I’m going to substitute melted unsalted butter for the oil and we will decide which version we prefer.
ccookery February 26, 2021
The absolute best waffle recipe. I have used this recipe for many years and it's always a winner. Perfection on a plate!
Shwillary January 17, 2021
This recipe is perfect - comprised of pantry staples, easy to follow directions, and a reasonable breakfast for 2 (or for 1, guilty!) A quick fix for lazy weekends and a nice excuse to have breakfast for dinner.
The waffles are best when the batter has had a chance to rest but I haven't had issues or complaints when I've been impatient, either.
I've food-gifted the dry ingredients with instructions for adding wet later, and have found success there also. Insane Greatness Indeed!
MBE June 15, 2020
Nice waffles with little fuss! I usually make waffles with separated eggs etc. and would have to do a direct comparison but I thought these were very good. I appreciated light crispiness promised. I did use melted ghee in place of oil for flavor. I can see if one used melted butter which is around 20% water depending on the type of butter you are using, that the result might be different in texture. The batter was thinner than my beaten egg white version, but it spread nicely and baked beautifully. Can't wait to reheat the leftovers in the toaster.
Heather C. May 31, 2020
I am not a huge fan of these. I am an experienced cook and when I made these the batter is thin, and they turned out spongy and eggy in the middle. I won't be making again.
melissa Y. March 21, 2020
I love not having to separate eggs, use a mixture, and dirty 3 bowls in the process! They make the perfect waffle (it’s better with butter), and can withstand a ton of substitutes. I’ve used potato starch, old baking powder, skim milk only, added nuts, fruit, chocolate chips, coconut—it’s all awesome. (Potato starch actually thickens they batter and gives a crispier outside but isn’t quite as fluffy inside.) Using 3/4 cup batter per waffle only makes 2 waffles, so I triple the recipe and freeze the remainder. It’s a keeper.
bettye198 March 7, 2020
I would substitute arrowroot for the cornstarch. Much healthier.
Benny March 7, 2020
Just made these on our george foreman waffle plates. The batter was thinner than I expected which worried me, but they came out great. Fluffed right up. I quadrupled the recipe and got 16 waffles. Next time I will likely reduce the salt a little, but it is the right amount of sugar. This was not too sweet like most recipes I have seen. The waffle was light, airy, and I think would be a great vehicle for sweet or savory toppings. I will definitely use this one again.
Linda D. December 26, 2019
Loved the waffles. Thank you!
bettye198 October 9, 2019
I would prefer to use butter instead of oil. I came up with separating the eggs and folding in the beaten whites, adding orange or lemon zest and pecans. I do on occasion use buttermilk.
Sarah H. September 18, 2019
These waffles are amazing! I have made several waffle recipes in hopes of finding one that met all my expectations. These are, light and airy, crispy yet also have some substance to them. They go very well with pure maple syrup. They freeze very well, heat up in the toaster oven or an oven on low. These are most definitely our Sunday go-to recipe. I make the batch in doubles, which gives about 6-7 waffles, 3 for breakfast and freeze the remaining. The last time I made them, I had to get them going quickly so I let the batter sit for about 15 minutes, instead of the 30 that the recipe indicated... they turned out totally fine. So if you are in a rush, don't sweat it!
margopdx July 7, 2019
Unfortunately this is not the best waffle recipe. Maybe the easiest, but not the best. The batter is too thin and waffles are too oily and tasteless. The best waffle recipe is Marion Cunningham's from her "The Breakfast Book." Her recipe has several fussy steps, but produces great waffles.
Donna T. May 19, 2020
I have no argument with your comment, but was surprised by it. I have Marion Cunningham's book, and thought about making her's, then thought, why when Arehta's is just so good. I use butter, not oil, and letting the batter sit as instructed allows it to thicken. I've served them often to guests who are as amazed as I by how great they are.
Suzanne F. April 27, 2019
These waffles are so delicious! Light, crisp and tasty. I used butter and separated the egg yolk and beat the egg whites to soft peaks and folded in. I always do that with pancake and waffle batter.
MRubenzahl March 20, 2019
These are soooooo gooooood. I just bought a new Presto FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker.

OMG, this recipe is fabulous!!!! Makes a puffy waffle, crisp edges, chewy yet tender inside, light as air.
Austin B. March 9, 2019
These have been my go-to waffles for a few years, but oh my goodness, they climb an entire nother notch when you toss some blueberries in before you close the waffle-press.
D'nea December 31, 2018
I recently tested these out for my new stovetop waffler. I used all buttermilk, but separated the egg white and whipped with a pinch of cream of tartar until soft peaks. I then folded the whites into the batter (that was not quite mixed all the way as to not over mix). It was a lumpy batter, (a good thing!) and I did not let it sit. They were amazing! We ate them two nights in a row!
Azreen Z. September 14, 2018
I tried this today. Easy to make and most importantly delicious. My children who usually will only eat waffles slathered with Nutella or honey, devoured these plain. I followed the recipe and checked the comments section for tips before proceeding, I appreciate one commentator who included the measurement in metrics as I am used to using scale.
Silkpurs29 January 5, 2018
I’ve been making this recipe for over 7 years. I always make several times the recipe and freeze a bunch.
lyncucu January 3, 2018
These waffles are amazing! I was initially concerned with the thin batter, but they came out nice and fluffy. I noticed the serving size and doubled the recipe. There were just enough for our family of six. This is our new go-to waffle recipe!