Pumpkin Sugar Crunch Waffles
Pumpkin Sugar Crunch Waffles

Pumpkin Sugar Crunch Waffles

Recipe by Sarah Jampel

With caramelized edges and bursts of crunchy sugar, these crisp and slightly chewy waffles are inspired by Belgian Liège waffles, which are typically made from brioche dough that's studded with coarse Belgian pearl sugar. In this recipe, however, the batter is looser, requires no mixer, and is sweetened with smaller granules of Swedish pearl sugar for moments of sweetness in every bite. While the resulting waffles are not quite as dramatically crispy or sugared as their Belgian role models, they’re still decidedly more pastry than breakfast. That said, we don’t think anyone will complain if you serve them with whipped cream on a holiday morning (or anytime, really)! 

10 mins
8 hrs 20 mins
4 large (8") Belgian waffles (about 3 cups of batter)
Pumpkin Sugar Crunch Waffles - select to zoom
Pumpkin Sugar Crunch Waffles - select to zoom
Pumpkin Sugar Crunch Waffles - select to zoom
Pumpkin Sugar Crunch Waffles - select to zoom


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  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, sugar, yeast, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and nutmeg.  

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla until well combined. 

  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. It’s OK if a few lumps remain. 

  4. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the batter overnight and up to 24 hours. The batter will have increased in size and should look spongy.

  5. The next day, mix the pearl sugar into the waffle batter, stirring to evenly distribute. The batter will be thick. 

  6. Preheat your Belgian-style waffle iron to medium-high. Lightly spray with nonstick spray or grease with a paper towel dabbed with vegetable oil. Scoop about 2/3 cup to 3/4 cup batter into the center of the iron, close the lid, and cook for the recommended amount of time, until the waffle is golden brown and crisp, about 4 to 6 minutes. 

  7. Serve immediately, with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar, snow white non-melting sugar, or a dollop of whipped cream, if desired, or keep warm in a 200°F oven until ready to serve. 

Tips from our Bakers

  • Substitute 4 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice in place of the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, if desired. 

  • We tried making these waffles with coarsely crushed sugar cubes rather than pearl sugar. While this substitution works in a pinch, it will likely leave pockets of caramelized sugar on your waffle iron that might be difficult to clean. 

  • To make these waffles on the same day, skip the overnight rise. Instead, let the batter rise for 1 to 2 hours at a warm room temperature, or until increased in volume by about 50 percent. The batter should look airy and spongy when you stir it. Once the batter has expanded, proceed with the recipe as written. 

  • For a less-sweet waffle, omit the 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in the batter. Expect that your batter will not grow quite as much overnight.