Whether you’re craving breakfast for dessert or dessert for breakfast, these impossibly fluffy red velvet waffles are sure to satisfy. The tangy cream cheese glaze perfectly complements the sweet waffles—drizzle it on top, or dunk the waffles in like donuts. Feel free to add other toppings as well, such as chocolate chips, berries, or walnuts.
Waffle Versus Pancake Batter
Waffle and pancake batters share mostly the same ingredients, but the ratios and resulting textures are different. Waffle batter has the following qualities:
- It’s thicker (think: scoopable versus pourable).
- It has more fat to achieve a soft, fluffy interior.
- It has more sugar to achieve that crisp, golden-brown exterior.
Liquid food coloring is generally best for batters, but gel food coloring works, too—just use half the amount called for in the recipe since the color is more concentrated. Plant-based food dyes also work, but may impart more of a pinkish hue than red.
It’s OK if you don’t have food coloring—your waffles will still taste delicious.
Should You Let Waffle Batter Rest?
If you can wait, a 5- to 10-minute rest after you mix the batter will give you fluffier and more tender waffles. Why? Resting the batter gives the buttermilk time to hydrate and soften the flour while the baking powder aerates the batter for a proper rise once it hits the hot iron.
How Do I Keep My Waffles Crispy?
If you’re not planning on serving the waffles straight from the waffle iron, place them on a wire rack in a 200-degree-F oven to keep them warm and crispy.
Red Velvet Waffles
Makes about 4 cups waffle batter, enough for 4 (7 to 8-inch) deep-pocket round waffles
For the Red Velvet Waffles
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus more for the waffle iron
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons liquid or 1 teaspoon gel red food coloring (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Cream Cheese Glaze
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons milk
Place the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, granulated sugar, unsweetened natural cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
Place the buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs, red food coloring if desired, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Pour into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined (do not overmix). Let rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a waffle iron and heat the oven to 200 degrees F.
Brush a thin layer of vegetable oil on the waffle iron or wipe with a paper towel dipped in oil. Ladle the manufacturer’s recommended amount of batter onto the waffle iron and cook until the waffle is bright red and crispy on both sides, about 4 minutes. Place in the oven directly on an oven rack to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Make the glaze while the last waffle cooks. Place the cream cheese in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 50-percent power in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until soft and barely melted, about 1 minute total. Add the powdered sugar and milk and whisk until smooth.
Serve each waffle drizzled with the cream cheese glaze, or dunk the waffles in the glaze like donuts, letting any excess glaze drip off.
It’s OK if you don’t have food coloring—your waffles will still taste delicious. You can double-down on the chocolate instead by substituting 2 teaspoons melted chocolate for the food coloring.
Cooked and cooled waffles can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to four days, or frozen for up to two months. Rewarm in a 300-degree-F oven until heated through, about 7 minutes or 10 minutes if frozen.