What’s the Difference Between Belgian Waffles and Regular Waffles?

First off, if you’re lucky enough to be eating waffles for breakfast, you’re having a great day. Waffles for lunch or dinner? Then you’re really doing it right. Savory waffles with whole wheat flour, cornmeal, and even cheddar are a great way to extend the waffle party all day long. But what’s the difference between Belgian waffles and regular waffles? Belgian waffles are known for their large square and deep pockets that you can fill with butter, jam, or maple syrup, while regular waffles are thinner, and don’t often have the same yeasted batter.

Belgian waffles originated at The Brussels World Fair Expo '58 and were introduced in North America in 1962 at the Century 21 Exposition in Seattle. Belgian waffles typically have a yeasted batter which makes them light and fluffy, but sometimes baking powder is used instead.  Often you can make a Belgian waffle batter that sits overnight, leavening and making for extra fluffy and light waffles that you can start cooking for brunch the second you wake up on a Sunday morning (and is a great option for speeding up the breakfast-making process by planning ahead). Belgian waffles are often much larger than regular waffles in both diameter and thickness, and have to be made in a special Belgian waffle iron. (But of course, there are a number of great hacks for a Belgian waffle maker – see our list of 47 Food Hacks for inspiration!)

Regular waffles are made in a smaller waffle iron that doesn’t make pockets as deep as the Belgian waffle maker and heats up even faster because of its size. These waffles can be made in a variety of shapes (hearts, circles, even characters like Darth Vader, Mickey Mouse, and Olaf from Frozen are options for special waffle makers) and are really easy to store in the freezer for a quick breakfast if you keep them separated with parchment paper in an airtight container.

Can’t decide which waffle rings your bell? Check out these recipes below and figure out which kind of waffle you prefer! Or wait until National Waffle Day on August 24th to set the record straight by hosting a Waffle-Off with a variety of different picks.

1. Savory Cheddar Waffle BLT with Eggs


These savory bacon and cheddar waffles are a great pairing for any kind of meat, or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can use them instead of bread in a sandwich. Get our Savory Cheddar Waffle BLT with Egg recipe.

2. Buttermilk and Brown Butter Waffles (Belgian)


Buttermilk adds a tanginess to these Belgian waffles that are particularly delightful because of the nutty-flavored brown butter. Get our Buttermilk and Brown Butter Waffles recipe.

3. Easy Waffles (Belgian)


This is a basic weekend recipe you should master. Make a big batch and freeze the waffles individually so you can pop them in the toaster and enjoy them all week long. Get our Easy Waffles recipe.

4. Churro-Style Waffles with Spiced Chocolate and Coconut Crema


These are some serious dessert waffles. The waffles contain semolina and half-and-half which adds an extra richness that pairs beautifully with the decadent toppings. Get our Churro-Style Waffles recipe.

5. Overnight Yeasted Waffles (Belgian)

The Kitchn

These yeasted waffles are the ultimate Belgian waffle recipe, chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside. The batter will double or triple while it rises so be sure to use a big enough bowl. Here's the recipe.

6. Classic Crispy Waffles

Food Network

These waffles are the crispiest possible, with the addition of four tablespoons of vegetable shortening in the batter that gives a golden brown sheen to these tasty breakfast treats. Here's the recipe.

7. Whole Wheat Waffles (Belgian)

The Food Network

Whole wheat flour makes these Belgian waffles more substantial than a classic Belgian waffle, but they’re still light and airy due to the addition of apple cider vinegar, which causes a chemical reaction with the baking powder and soda. Here's the recipe.

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