These Dairy-Free Waffles (Fluffy + Vegan) are literally exploding with delicious goodness. They're my favorite type of easy waffle - thick, fluffy, golden brown, and best of all it's got that homemade healthy feel. Stuffed with sprinkles this homemade waffle recipe makes the perfect fun breakfast or dessert. All you need is a waffle iron, a mixing bowl, and 25 minutes total time!
My vegan breakfast staples are definitely not boring! This waffle recipe pairs perfectly with a warm cup of Ceremonial Cacao Recipe and a side of Stewed Apples Recipe. If you're looking for a savory companion, try my fluffy, grab-and-go Vegan Mini Crustless Quiche.
This recipe mirrors the fluffy texture of a cake without feeling too heavy. It's got a helping of gluten-free oat fiber to satiate you throughout the day, and while the sprinkles are optional, they make it extra fun for littles and celebrations.
In this post, I share the following:
- Which dairy-free milks are best for baking waffles & which one is not?
- I chose the waffle maker based on the top 3 questions to ask yourself before purchasing a new kitchen gadget. Mine flips waffles out in minutes & stores easily.
- Techniques expert waffle makers use to get the perfect batter consistency!
If you want to improve your cooking skills, be sure to read my post, 14 expert tips for enhancing your culinary abilities.
Use this section to jump to areas of interest within the post.
This recipe uses common baking ingredients to deliver fluffy, crispy homemade waffles. Tip: plan ahead by buying coconut whipped cream or dairy-free vanilla ice cream, yum!
- All-purpose flour - I like using Bob's Red Mill Organic All-Purpose Flour for baking (check the Substitutions section of this post for gluten-free options).
- Gluten-free rolled oats - grab a bag of thick-cut rolled oats, and if necessary double check the label for gluten-free. Many of my recipes involve ground oats; there is no need for the extra step with this one. Measure out a cup and add them to the dry ingredients!
- Maple syrup - the sticky, sweet flavor belongs with waffles, but if you prefer, you can substitute it with agave or coconut sugar.
- Baking powder & baking soda - are mandatory ingredients! These are leaveners that give the waffles their fluffy rise and texture. Ensure both aren't expired or left open to the air. Fresh works best, and both last about 3 months in the pantry.
- Plant-based milk - tons of options. I'd recommend soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk. Stay away from canned coconut milk or carton coconut milk. A little further down, in the FAQ section, I discuss swapping milk entirely with water and what that affects.
- Apple cider vinegar - combined with plant milk makes vegan buttermilk. This contributes to the fluffy texture.
- Salt, oil, & sprinkles! - sprinkles are optional since they don't affect the flavor, but they do affect the fun, so I would highly suggest them.
See the recipe card for quantities and full instructions.
Start by pulling out the waffle iron and heating it up! Next, make the vegan buttermilk by adding apple cider vinegar (ACV) and plant milk together in a bowl. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes or until it starts to look curdled. I recommend almond, soy, or oat milk.
Gather all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and fold them together until evenly combined. Make a well in the center for the wet ingredients.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients with a silicon spatula by folding them together and being extra careful not to overmix. Allow the waffle batter to sit for 2-3 minutes, then assess its consistency. It should be pourable, not runny or thick. Add the sprinkles and lightly fold them into the batter before sending the first round onto the waffle iron.
Follow your waffle iron's directions. I set mine to high heat and allow 3-4 minutes. They're finished when golden brown. Give the edges a peak and poke the center if you're not sure whether it's cooked through. The toothpick will come out clean when done.
Hint: I've mentioned this already, but I think it's important - to steer clear of coconut milk with these waffles. You'll combine ACV with the milk, which makes vegan buttermilk. It works hard to make these waffles fluff up! Anytime I use coconut milk when baking, it seems to result in less than desired outcomes. For example, this recipe calls for vegan buttermilk by combining milk with ACV and waiting for it to slightly curdle at room temperature. When I tested this recipe with coconut milk (store-bought in a carton), it wouldn't curdle. Vegan buttermilk is an important ingredient for the waffles' fluffy texture. If you use coconut milk and your buttermilk curdles, go for it! If not, use another milk alternative.
Making this recipe gluten-free? If you're looking for gluten-free waffles, substitute the all-purpose wheat-based flour for gluten-free. My preferred substitute is Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour. You can also use almond flour. Both are substituted 1:1.
Equipment: 3 questions to ask
I love my Ceramic Belgian Waffle Iron. It's non-stick with ceramic plates and allows you to flip the waffles. The perk that had me sold was that you can store it standing up so that it takes up less space in the cupboard and is very easy to pack (waffles on vacation, yes, please!)
There are a ton of different waffle irons out there. When purchasing, make sure to ask yourself:
🧇How often do you plan to use it? Price accordingly.
🧇How well will it store in my kitchen/pantry? Use versus space is the biggest factor when downsizing kitchen equipment.
🧇Check reviews for how well it cleans. Waffle irons can be menaces to clean! The batter can easily overspill, and unless the plates are removable, they might be difficult to get clean. Mine hasn't spilled over, and the surface is really easy to clean with a damp cloth.
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. When ready to eat, reheat in the oven. You can also freeze these waffles! Line the waffles on a parchment-lined baking tray and freeze for up to 3 hours. Then transfer them into a freezer bag for up to 3 months. This keeps the waffles from sticking together while freezing and potentially breaking.
Top tip: perfect waffle batter
Maybe you're not a waffle-making pro, but that's okay! I've got tips for detecting the perfect waffle batter. There are various brands of flour and plant milk, and the consistency of the batter might differ based on the ingredients used. Lean into learning how to determine if your batter is ready to be pressed so you get perfect waffles every time.
(1) Once you have the ingredients mixed together, lean the mixing bowl to its side and watch how the batter travels. Doesn't move? Too thick. Slides quickly leaving a trail? Too thin. The perfect batter is thick and pourable, like honey or maple syrup. It should gradually slide and not stick to the bowl.
(2) If the batter is too thick, add in milk ¼ cup at a time. Being cautious not to overmix! If it's too thin, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until you reach that perfect consistency.
What can I use instead of milk in waffle recipes?
This is a dairy-free recipe, so grab some plant milk! I like soy, almond, or oat milk. You can use hemp, cashew, or rice milk. Steer clear from coconut, canned coconut, or any high-fat milk for texture purposes. Next, I discuss if water is a good replacement for milk.
Can I replace milk with water in this dairy-free waffle mix?
You can, but it won't have exactly the same richness as the milk provides. Milk acts as a creamy binder, especially with the addition of ACV. Using just water will result in a crispier, light-crumb waffle. Still good but not as flavorful or fluffy. You might be tempted to look in the pantry for a can of coconut milk, but from experience, don't do it! It has the wrong texture from the high-fat content.
Should I butter or oil the waffle maker?
Adding a thin layer of neutral cooking oil to the waffle plates is highly recommended, especially if they are not ceramic or non-stick. Steer clear of aerosol sprays, even for general use. They will leave a residue that is hard to clean.
When should I flip my waffle?
For waffle irons that flip: pour the batter into the waffle iron, close then flip! This will distribute the batter for even cooking. Give it a second flip about 30 seconds before the waffle is finished.
How long do you cook waffles in a waffle maker?
Generally, it takes 3-4 minutes. Although, you should refer to your waffle iron's manual for directions. Some have different heat settings etc.
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- 1 waffle iron (See 'Equipment' section of this post for recommendations)
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup organic rolled oats (Use gluten-free if necessary)
- 2 ½ cups plant milk (soy, almond, or oat)
- 1 tablespoon apple cidar vinegar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup oil (Olive oil, coconut oil, or vegan butter)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup rainbow sprinkles (check they are plant-based)
- Setup and turn on the waffle iron.
- Prep the vegan buttermilk by combining the plant milk and fresh apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Allow it to rest for at least 5 minutes until you see the milk slightly curdling.
- Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Create a well in the center and add in the wet ingredients.
- Using a silicone spatula gently fold the ingredients into a batter. Be cautious to not overmix. Let the batter sit for 3-4 minutes then assess the consistency by tipping the bowl and watching the batter flow. The batter should glide and not stick to the sides. It should be pourable and have a consistency like maple syrup. (Refer to the Top Tip section if your batter is too thick or too thin).
- Prep the waffle iron by coating the plates lightly with neutral oil or vegan butter. Pour ½-1 cup of batter into the center of the waffle iron and close the iron. If your waffle iron flips, flip it right away. Refer to the instruction manual on cook times, generally, it's 3-4 minutes.
- Peak to see if it's crispy and golden brown. About 30 seconds before it's done flip it once more then transfer to a plate. Cover with a tea towel or second plate to trap in the heat until ready to eat!