Are you wondering how to make a vegan waffle that’s exceptionally delicious? Here are a few pointers, in case you don’t get that perfect waffle on the first try. These, alongside just a bit of practice, should take you in the direction of waffle nirvana.
What to Do If Vegan Waffles Are Tough or “Rubbery”
This is probably one of the most common issues. you may have mixed the batter too well–you want it to still be fairly “lumpy” before you pour it into the waffle iron. However, this does not apply to gluten-free vegan waffles that use rice flour, where you want to mix the batter quite well so you don’t end up with dry clumps of rice flour.
What to Do If Vegan Waffles Stick to the Iron
This is no fun. Here are a few things to try:
If possible, let it cook a little longer before opening the iron. In general, vegan waffles seem to need a little longer to cook than non-vegan waffles.
Try adding more oil to the grids–or add at least some oil if you didn’t before, even with a nonstick coating. I find that already-pressurized spray cans of cooking oil work better than the self-fill-and-pump spray cans or applying oil with a paper towel or brush. It’s important to have a thin, even coating.
See this video on how much oil to spray on your waffle maker.
Make sure you’re not damaging your grids when cleaning the iron. Start by reading the manufacturer’s directions for care. If those aren’t available, consider these suggestions.
A toothbrush–again, the softer you can get away with, the better–is safer than using a metal fork or knife. A wooden chopstick with a bit of wet paper towel or cloth wrapped around the end can also be useful. A bare wooden chopstick is probably the last resort if things are really gunked on.
If you scrape up or pit the surface of your waffle iron, including the non-stick coating, that will create more sticking problems. The harder an item you’re scraping the grids with, the more likely that is to happen.
Also read the manufacturer’s directions about what cleaners to avoid. I personally wouldn’t use any harsh cleaners that I didn’t want contacting my food anyway.
If your waffle iron is very old, it’s possible that the coating has pits and scratches in it, especially if you’ve used abrasive or metal items on the grids. You might benefit from a new waffle maker.
What to Do If Vegan Waffles Pull Apart Easily
If you’re going for a particularly light and fluffy waffle, or one that’s very moist on the inside, there’s a greater tendency it will pull apart when you open the iron–you may want to add some egg replacer (like Ener-G) to provide a little additional “binding.”
A tablespoon or so of ground flaxseed (may also require a few tablespoons of additional water, depending upon the consistency of the batter) may help, but may make the waffle seem a bit more dense. Note that flaxseed needs to sit in the batter for at least 3-5 minutes to thicken.
If the waffles are very wet and underdone on the inside when they peel apart, also see the section below on what do when waffles are mushy in the middle.
If it takes a bit of effort to open the iron before the waffle pulls apart, and each half is stuck to its respective grid pretty well–then it’s probably more of a sticking problem. See the previous section.
What to Do If Vegan Waffles Aren’t Crispy Enough on the Outside
Try adding some sweetener such as sugar if the recipe doesn’t already call for it. Or, turn up your waffle iron’s heat, if it has such an adjustment.
You may also need a higher-wattage waffle maker. I recommend one that has at least 1,000 watts spread over not more than one 7-inch round waffle or the rough equivalent. If it’s a flipping or rotating waffle maker, even better.
I’ve personally had great luck with the WMK300 and then WMK300a waffle irons, and have owned several of them over the years. However, it appears that Waring has replaced this model with a slightly lower-wattage (1,000 rather than 1,200 watts) Waring Pro Waffle Maker that still gets good reviews. As I generally have the temperature on my 1,200-watt irons between 5 and 5.5 out of 6, I’m probably never using that much more than 1,000 watts anyway.
This 1,000-watt Oster Belgian Flip Waffle Maker also appears to meet the specs I look for and has many decent reviews. The Presto FlipSide Waffle Maker doesn’t have a temperature adjustment, which is something I strongly prefer, but it’s a bit less expensive and is well-reviewed on Amazon. According to Presto’s site it’s 1,100 watts, even though some other sites claim it has 1,350.
What to Do If Vegan Waffles Are Too Mushy in the Middle
If they’re getting pretty done on the outside but not on the inside, you may need to set the iron’s heat on a lower setting (again, if it has such an adjustment) and cook it a little longer. Or, add less of any “mushy” substance in the recipe the next time around–yogurt, banana, applesauce, etc. Don’t decrease anything by more than a tablespoons, though, as the change may negatively affect other qualities of the waffles.
If they’re also not getting done on the outside, consider a higher-wattage waffle iron as recommended in the prior section. This is especially the case if you’re baking waffles with relatively thin batter. You might be able to get slightly better results on a lower-wattage iron by warming any liquid components of your batter to at least room temperature before mixing and baking.
What to Do If Vegan Waffles Are Too Dry
Experiment with adding a little more of any of the liquid or liquid-containing ingredients: soymilk, applesauce, banana, and/or oil, depending upon what type of flavor you want. Make such changes in small increments, probably no more than two or three tablespoons at a time.
You can also try baking them for slightly less time, provided the outside is done enough for your tastes.
What to Do If Your Waffles Are Just Right
If this is the case, you probably shouldn’t keep the deliciousness all to yourself. A celebration is in order. It’s time to call up some of your friends, tell them to bring over some toppings, and throw a waffle party.
Hopefully these vegan waffle baking tips will provide you with a good start. Happy waffling!
Additional pointers can be found in The Global Vegan Waffle Cookbook.