Waffles are probably one of the best breakfast inventions, don’t you think? They bake up crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, have wells for capturing maple syrup and other toppings, and can be popped in the toaster on busy mornings. But they often contain milk and butter. Fortunately, making your own fluffy dairy-free waffles is easy with everyday ingredients!
Homemade Dairy-Free Waffles with a Classic Taste and Fluffy Texture
This recipe is adapted from Spends with Pennies. My dairy-free version is easy and versatile, but every bit as fluffy and delicious. To help ensure the best results for you, I have covered a wide range of FAQs and troubleshooting tips below.
Will these Work as Savory Dairy-Free Waffles?
Yes! Omit the vanilla extract. These dairy-free waffles aren’t overly sweet as is, but you can reduce the sugar to 1 tablespoon, if preferred. You could even omit the sugar, but keep in mind that the sugar does help to create a crisp exterior and helps a little to prevent sticking.
Can I Substitute Whole Wheat Flour?
Whole wheat flour will make these dairy-free waffles more dense. You can substitute half whole wheat flour for best results. You might need to adjust the moisture and leavener a little if using all whole wheat flour.
Which Milk Alternative do you Recommend?
Honestly, I just use whatever I have on hand, which is usually an unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk beverage. Most varieties should work just fine. In fact, you can even use a sweetened vanilla variety and omit the vanilla and sugar with good results.
Can I Use Water instead of Milk Alternative?
Yes, you can. The pancakes won’t be as rich in taste and consistency if you use water. Also, the batter will be thinner. Start with a little less liquid than the recipe calls for (1 1/2 cups) and add more, if needed.
What Type of Oil Should I Use?
Your favorite cooking or baking oil will work great. Right now, I’m using extra-light olive oil (not extra-virgin), which has a neutral taste and budget-friendly price. I would stick with a neutral-tasting oil in general. If you opt to use coconut oil, melt it first, and make sure all of your ingredients (liquid and egg) are at room temperature before you start. Cold ingredients will cause beads up coconut oil to solidify.
Can I Use Dairy-Free Butter Instead of Oil?
Yes, you can. Like coconut oil, you’ll want to melt it before adding and make sure all of your ingredients (liquid and egg) are at room temperature before you start.
The Egg Whites Won’t Fold in, is this Normal?
When whipped to stiff peaks, the egg whites can be very lumpy when folded in. This is fine, but I prefer to use egg whites whipped to soft peaks, or fold them in enough so there are only small lumps. Small lumps and bubbles are good, because they help create lighter, airier dairy-free waffles.
Why are My Waffles Too Soft?
Make sure to cook them until golden in your waffle maker. They should come out crisp on the outside. Some waffle makers do struggle to crisp waffles, and the waffles will soften quickly once cooked if you are in a humid climate. Put them on a wire rack, not a plate, or even better, put them in your oven on low to warm and stay crisp while preparing. They can also be toasted later in your toaster or toaster oven, which will “re-crisp” the outside.
Why are My Waffles Sticking?
This is a waffle iron issue. The recipe contains adequate fat to help prevent sticking (this is important – don’t reduce the oil!). But you also need to grease your waffle iron, per the manufacturer’s instructions. Before starting, make sure your waffle iron is clean. Any dried on batter or residue on the grid can cause sticking. Make sure it is fully heated, spray with oil, and then add your batter. Make sure not to peak until the waffles are cooked through, and preferably golden. If your waffle iron doesn’t heat up enough, won’t come clean, or isn’t functioning properly, this can also cause sticking.
Why is My Waffle Batter too Thin?
Waffle batter is typically thinner than pancake batter. But if you whipped the egg whites, it should be on the thicker side. It can be too thin if your baking powder has lost its mojo. To test, put some baking powder (maybe 1/2 teaspoon) in a bowl and pour boiling water on it. It should fizz up vigorously. If it just bubbles a little, but isn’t highly active, then you need new baking powder.
Why is My Batter too Thick?
The thickness of the batter will vary based on climate and altitude. At sea level in a humid climate, 1 1/2 cups liquid can be enough (though 1 2/3 cups works great), while dryer climates will suck up more liquid, and altitude further perpetuates dryness. Luckily, this is an easy fix. If your batter is way too thick, just add a little more liquid. I prefer a “normal” thickness, which is thick but still pours easily and spreads on its own in your waffle maker. It’s a little thinner than pancake batter. But thicker batter that spreads slowly will also work. Keep in mind, whipping the egg whites does create thicker batter.
The Waffles are Too Dense and Taste Eggy. What Went Wrong?
This sounds like baking powder that is fizzling out. As mentioned above, add a little baking powder to a bowl and pour on boiling water. It should fizz up vigorously. If it bubbles but looks unenthusiastic, then your waffles can have more of an omelet vibe. Get fresh baking powder!
Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Waffles
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.
For egg-free and vegan waffles, see our recipes for Aquafaba Vegan Waffles, Whole Wheat Vegan Waffles, or Any Morning Vegan Waffles.
For gluten-free dairy-free waffles, see our recipes for Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Waffles, Vegan Buckwheat Waffles, or Vegan Gluten-Free Waffles.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1⅔ to 1¾ cups dairy-free milk alternative
- ⅓ cup oil
- 2 tablespoons sugar or sweetener of choice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Preheat and grease your waffle iron according to your manufacturer's directions.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt until thoroughly combined.
- Put the egg whites in a mixing bowl and whisk or whip (I use a hand mixer) for a couple of minutes, or until soft peaks form. It's okay if they are stiff peaks, but try not to overbeat.
- In another mixing bowl, mix the egg yolks, oil, sugar, and vanilla (if using) until emulsified. Mix in the milk alternative (use 1⅔ cups in humid climates, 1¾ cups in dryer climates). Add the flour mixture and stir or mix just until combined. Do not overmix.
- Fold in the egg whites until mostly combined. You want as many of those bubbles to stay for fluffy results.
- Pour the batter onto your waffle, close, and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions. They typically take 3 to 5 minutes to turn golden, depending on your waffle iron.
- Leftover waffles can be flash frozen and reheated in your toaster (from frozen).
Savory Option: Omit the vanilla extract and reduce the sugar to 1 tablespoon. Use as a dinner base!
Favorite Toppings: Of course maple syrup and dairy-free butter alternative are perfect toppings. But you can also top these waffles with fresh cut fruit and powdered sugar or dairy-free whipped cream. Move over IHOP!