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What’s the difference between Belgian waffles and regular waffles?

By Lucy Yanckello, Ph.D.

Waffles come in all types of shapes, sizes, textures, and thickness. If you are a waffle lover, you have probably heard of Belgian waffles. But what is a Belgian waffle and how is it different from the regular waffle we all know? What makes a Belgian waffle so unique?

What is a Belgian waffle?

A Belgian waffle is similar to the regular waffles we are used to eating in the U.S. in that both types of waffles are made by pouring batter into a hot waffle iron, making unique pockets that soak up butter and syrup. However, Belgian waffles are heavier and thicker than a regular waffle. The recipe for Belgian waffles also contains yeast and egg whites, which gives them a fluffy texture on the inside and crispy texture on the outside.

Are Belgian waffles healthy?

It is important to remember that defining food in terms of absolutes such as “healthy” and “unhealthy” should be avoided, as it adds morality to food. Belgian waffles are a food that you may choose to enjoy on occasion, instead of every day, since they have a high carb and fat content. Belgian waffles are delicious and by no means should be avoided, just eaten in moderation.

What’s the difference between a regular waffle vs. a Belgian waffle? Are Belgian waffles better than regular waffles?

One of the main differences between a regular waffle versus a Belgian waffle is that a regular waffle usually has a denser texture (more similar to cake) than Belgian waffles. Regular waffles are also often made with buttermilk, which gives them a richer, denser texture than Belgian waffles, which are light and airy. Additionally, regular waffles are made in a smaller waffle iron than Belgian waffles; this means their pockets are not as thick and they are thinner (and therefore cook faster).

Can you make Belgian waffles in a regular waffle maker?

No, you cannot make Belgian waffles in a regular waffle maker. It is necessary to have a special Belgian-style waffle iron to make authentic Belgian waffles. These Belgian waffle irons have a deeper grid pattern than a regular waffle maker. In a regular waffle maker, the batter is poured in and the hinged lid is closed. However, in a Belgian waffle maker, the batter is poured in, the lid is closed, and the waffle maker is flipped over so the waffle can cook. For these reasons, a Belgian-style waffle maker is needed to make Belgian waffles.

Is Belgian waffle mix the same as waffle mix?

The ingredients for both regular waffles and Belgian waffles are similar and include flour, milk, eggs, and butter or oil. However, Belgian waffles use egg whites to give a fluffier texture. Additionally, Belgian waffles have yeast in their recipe while regular waffles use baking powder. Another difference between Belgian waffle mix and regular waffle mix is that regular waffles are often made with buttermilk and Belgian waffles are not. Belgian waffles also have more sugar in their batter than regular waffles (almost twice as much!), which makes them sweeter.

What’s the difference between a Belgian waffle vs. pancake? Is Belgian waffle batter the same as pancake batter?

Belgian waffles and pancakes are made with mostly the same ingredients including flour, sugar, eggs, and milk. However, Belgian waffles use yeast and egg whites in the recipe, whereas pancakes use baking powder. Additionally, similar to the difference between Belgian waffles and regular waffles, Belgian waffles have more sugar in their recipe than pancakes. 

Besides the ingredients, the main difference between Belgian waffles and pancakes is in the cooking method. Belgian waffles are made in a special waffle iron that creates a fluffy interior and crunchy exterior, with deep pockets to soak up butter and syrup. On the other hand, pancakes are poured into a pan or onto a griddle. Once bubbles pop up, they are flipped to cook the other side.

Where can I buy Belgian waffles online?

At Wildgrain, we specialize in making high-quality, fresh baked goods that are delivered directly to your door. Wildgrain is the first bake-from-frozen delivery subscription service for breads, rolls, pastries, and fresh pastas. Some of our popular breakfast items include artisanal Belgian waffles, English muffins and slow fermented bagels. Learn more about Wildgrain and our artisanal baking and cooking methods.

 

About the Author

Lucy Yanckello received her Ph.D. in nutrition from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. She currently works as a medical writer and enjoys being able to help people better understand nutrition and science.

 

This content is for informational use only and does not replace professional nutrition and/or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is not a substitute for and should not be relied upon for specific nutrition and/or medical recommendations. Please talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns.

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