Liege Waffles

These are the ultimate of all ultimate of all waffles.

Do you hear? ULTIMATE.

It doesn’t get better than this. It simply isn’t possible.

These waffles are crunchy on the outside. Yes, crunchy. They are toffee-like and caramelized due to the secret ingredient: pearl sugar. They have little pockets of air inside. They are flaky and buttery and soft through the middle. They pull apart like brioche or croissants. Yes, croissants. Think of these as croissant waffles. Kind of.

These are traditional Belgian waffles. Liege is a city in Belgium, where these are famous and commonly sold by street vendors. I want to go to Belgium just for these. And, well, maybe for the chocolate.

When I finished high school I worked a job in retail in the city for a few months before I went travelling. Right near my work, was a Frenchman with a Liege waffle stand.

I fell in love.

He sold the waffles for $2 to begin with, and you could have any topping you like, from icing sugar to Nutella and whipped cream. I like them with icing sugar best.

I used to eat those Liege waffles for lunch.

They are much more expensive now, and he sells baguettes as well, but my love for Liege waffles remains. So not long ago, I went on a hunt for a waffle maker.

And in Australia, where waffles aren’t really a big deal, it was difficult. It took me forever to find a waffle maker that had square plates (not round) so I could make Liege waffles.

Then, when I was making these waffles you see here one morning for brunch with a girlfriend, my waffle maker stopped working. That’s right. It broke. Mid waffle-making. The little light just turned off and Mr Waffle Maker died. Disaster.

So I cooked the rest of the dough in the jaffle maker. FAIL. It was raw in the middle. Don’t try this at home.

I printed this recipe out ages ago and can’t remember where it came from. I’ll do some hunting and get a link up ASAP.

These waffles are made with yeast and the dough requires some growing time. If you want to make them for breakfast, make the dough the night before and refrigerate it, covered overnight. It will slowly grow in the fridge and be ready for you to cook in the morning.

1 packet of dry yeast (7g, 1/4oz)
1/3 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 tbsp white sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups plain flour
3 eggs
220g unsalted butter, softened (1 cup)
1 cup of pearl sugar

This is pearl sugar.

It is made in Belgium, and is kind of just clumps of sugar. It is hard to find, so you could always just roughly crush up some sugar cubes to use instead. I have in the past and it worked just fine.

Mix the dry yeast, water, sugar and salt together in a small bowl and set aside for about 15 minutes to let the mixture develop.

Place the flour into a large bowl or into the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Make a well in the flour and pour in the yeast mixture. Begin to knead.

Still kneading, add the eggs, one at a time. Then add the butter about 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing until each addition is incorporated. The final dough will look like a mixture between cake batter and bread dough.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until it doubles in size.

Gently mix in the pearl sugar and let it rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat your waffle iron.

Once the waffle iron is hot and the dough rested, scoop a couple of tablespoons of dough onto each waffle plate. I used an overfilled ice cream scoop.

Look at all that golden, melted, caramelized pearl sugar.

Cook the waffles for about 5 minutes, until golden brown, crunchy and caramelized. Pull one apart and see how amazing it is inside.

Serve warm with a dusting of icing sugar. Makes about 12 medium-sized waffles.

37 Thoughts on “Liege Waffles

  1. Katie Stearns on December 12, 2011 at 1:44 am said:

    these look delicious!

  2. I love thick waffles, and brioche…the fact that you’ve managed to combine the two is both dangerous (only so far as being ‘healthy’ is concerned), and brilliant! They look amazing! 😀
    (I’m sorry about your waffle maker.)

    • Thanks Valerie! They are amazing and I’m sad about my waffle maker too because I can’t make them again (but maybe that’s better as far as my health is concerned!)

  3. Pingback: >Little Strawberry Pies | Butter

  4. I love the Degraves St Waffle Man! thanks for the recipe, I can’t wait to try it out myself

  5. Pingback: Waffle 101: « My "sous-vide" life

  6. Brianne on March 1, 2013 at 10:34 am said:

    When making the night before, do you add the pearl sugar at night while making the dough or wait until the morning 15 minutes before baking?

  7. OMG! I’m soooo happy right now! i’m actually making these waffles right now! i tried before with another recipe and failed, so was a little hesitant but everything went smoothly! thank you! so delicious! the photos are gorgeous btw! it was what attracted me to the recipe.

    do you have any tips or suggestion for cleaning the waffle maker afterward though.. there is just so much butter and sugar crystalizing… >.<

    • Hi Sammee! Happy to hear you love these as much as I do! How were your waffles?
      I’m sorry for the late reply – it’s probably not much help now – but I clean the waffle maker with paper towel/ a wet cloth while its stil hot – it’s the only way!

  8. I have been on a search for a belgian waffle recipe which makes crispy sugary waffles- these were perfect so my search is complete! I made them in my Krups waffle maker:
    I had planned on using pearl sugar I’d previously bought but forgot I’d already used it up. However necessity being the mother of invention, the large crystals of demarara proved perfect so I kneaded demarara sugar in just before cooking the waffles..

  9. What kind of waffle maker iron do u have?!

  10. Angela on July 1, 2014 at 8:40 pm said:

    Hi Natasha

    Very nice blog you have

    Was just wondering about the waffles. I don’t have the square one, but the other thinner waffle maker like a big heart, it was the only one in Myers.

    Do you think that could work? and also can I make the batter the night before?

    Many Thanks

    • Hi Angela,
      Yes Myer are a bit shit with their waffle makers.
      Not sure they’ll work as well, as you’ll have thin waffles so they’ll be crunchy, but not soft and flaky inside.
      I’m sure you could make the batter the night before, just refrigerate it BEFORE the final rise (and before adding the pearl sugar).
      Good luck!

  11. Ange;a on July 2, 2014 at 9:53 pm said:

    Great many thanks

  12. Veronique on July 25, 2014 at 10:26 pm said:

    Hi great blog, I absolutely adore your beautiful blog, pics and amazing recipes, until I came across this…. Home sweet home. They sound and look like an actual Belgian liege waffle! Gosh, I just hope to find the perfect waffle maker so I can bring a little bit of belgium sweetness back again! Yum!

  13. Do you have to use pearl sugar? Can regular granulated sugar work as well?

    • Hi Ally! Yes, you have to use pearl sugar, or like I said in the post, sugar cubes crushed into pearl-sized chunks. Regular sugar won’t work. The idea of the pearl sugar is that it melts when cooking and created air pockets in the dough, giving you a flakiness – regular sugar won’t achieve this :-)

    • Actually, although I’m sure pearl sugar is best, I’ve managed this recipe every time by putting the granulated sugar in just before cooking- that way it doesn’t dissolve and still retains some crunch. (I just managed to buy pearl sugar from a Finnish Christmas market so look forward to trying the original- but don’t avoid the recipe because you can’t find it, the waffles are yummy both ways!)

  14. I just made these and they were phenomenal! Perfect on their own. That pearl sugar… Mmhmmm

  15. Akanksha on March 5, 2015 at 1:24 am said:

    Hi Natasha, thanks for sharing this recipe. Waffle came just perfect. I stored them at room temperature in zip lock bag for kids. After couple of days it some what became chewy on outside but taste was just awesome. Is this how it is suppose to be? It lost its crunchiness.


    • Hi! Happy the waffles worked out for you! Waffles, like most pastries, are really best eaten on the day they’re made, nice and fresh for that crisp outside. If you want to keep them, try toasting them to freshen them up :-)

  16. Oh no! The beautiful pictures you had up are no longer showing up (it says the file is not found).

  17. Tulips on June 4, 2016 at 4:04 am said:

    Natasha the photos for this recipe are not showing anymore ;(, but this is the recipe i was looking for so i will be trying out.

Leave me a comment:

Post Navigation