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Crispy Cheddar Waffles

These cheddar waffles are perfectly crisp, meltingly tender, and just the right balance of sweet and savory. They are great for any time of day.

Cheddar waffles splashed with maple syrup on a blue background

Crispy Cheddar Waffles

What is the mysterious element of flavor that makes food taste savory?  It’s umami.  Umami is the Japanese word for the fifth taste (after sweet, salty, sour, and bitter).  Foods with umami pack a deep and satisfying taste sensation.

How can you add umami flavor to your cooking?  Use umami-rich ingredients like aged cheese, soy sauce, tomatoes, mushrooms, and caramelized onions to make food taste better than ever.  New cookbook Umami Bomb: 75 Vegetarian Recipes That Explode with Flavor shows you how to do it with a collection of 75 recipes filled with secret savory power.

Try these sweet and savory cheddar cheese waffles for a sample of the magic of umami.  They’re both crispy and tender, thanks to a couple of secret ingredients.  If you enjoy these waffles, pick up Umami Bomb by Raquel Pelzel at your favorite bookseller to enjoy more umami-themed recipes.

Cheddar waffles on a blue background with maple syrup dripped over them
5 from 7 votes

Crispy Cheddar Waffles

These cheddar waffles are perfectly crisp, meltingly tender, and just the right balance of sweet and savory. They are great for any time of day!

Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine American, American Southern
Keyword breakfast, cheddar, cheese, savory, umami, waffles
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 round waffles
Calories 389 kcal
Author Raquel Pelzel


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sweet rice flour see Note
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs separated
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, plus cold butter for serving (optional)
  • 3 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese grated on the medium-hole side of a box grater (about 1 cup)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Warm maple syrup for serving


  1. Whisk the flour, rice flour, cornstarch, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Preheat a waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Set a sheet pan in the oven and preheat it to 250°F.
  2. Whisk the buttermilk, egg yolks, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. In a separate medium bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment), beat the egg whites with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar until the whites hold stiff peaks.
  3. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture, pour in the melted butter, add the cheese, and stir to combine. Use a whisk or rubber spatula to fold in the egg whites.
  4. Spray the waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray and then add enough batter to fill the waffle mold about two-thirds of the way to the edge. Close the waffle maker and cook until the waffle is browned and crisp. Transfer the waffle to the sheet pan, cover with a kitchen towel, and keep warm in the oven while you make the rest of the waffles. Serve immediately with more butter (if you likand warm maple syrup.

Recipe Notes

Sweet rice flour is ground short-grain sweet rice. It’s available in most health food stores and online. Bob’s Red Mill brand was used for this recipe.

Nutrition Facts
Crispy Cheddar Waffles
Amount Per Serving
Calories 389 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 96mg32%
Sodium 866mg38%
Potassium 190mg5%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 702IU14%
Calcium 181mg18%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe and photos excerpted from Umami Bomb: 75 Vegetarian Recipes That Explode With Flavor by Raquel Pelzel (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2019. Photographs by Kate Sears.

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Recipe Rating


Monday 4th of November 2019

These look yummy! Is there a way to adapt it and use waffle mix instead of completely from scratch?

Katie Moseman

Thursday 14th of November 2019

Possibly. You could make the waffle batter, and then start somewhere in step 3, depending on whether you'd already added butter or not, and then go from there.


Thursday 19th of September 2019

Oh my goodness! These crispy cheddar waffles look amazing! I love savory breakfasts so this is right up my alley. It would be perfect for a brunch! Going to have to try it!

Jona Shares

Wednesday 18th of September 2019

I love waffles and it's been a long time since I made myself one. I guess I will be making this over the weekend again.Why not give a try for cheddar waffles!


Friday 13th of September 2019

That crispy Cheddar waffles looks yum. I need to try this I love sharp cheddar.

Barbies Beauty Bits

Friday 13th of September 2019

These sound so yummy. But I need to go on a diet just reading the recipe. I would have no self control and would eat all that I make!