Here are several valuable waffle party ideas I’ve learned over the years, hosting the longest-running annual party, and hearing from others who have thrown amazing events. These tips on how to make your own waffle party will help you to have a great time, even if you want it to be easy and inexpensive. I love hearing about how much fun others have hosting their own events!
Here’s the quick and easy approach to throwing a waffle party.
These are the basic steps for how to throw a waffle party:
- Invite some guests.
- Ask each guest to bring a waffle topping, unless you have some toppings you’d like to prepare yourself. Or, do a bit of both.
- Make sure you have a waffle maker and some delicious waffle recipes. Just look under the “recipes” section of this site for plenty of ideas. Dairy-free and eggless waffle recipes will meet a broader range of dietary needs, even if your guests don’t identify as vegan.
- After guests arrive, bake delicious waffles, pile on the toppings, and enjoy!
If you want more detailed waffle party ideas and guidance, read on. Some of these approaches can be applied to planning any event.
Determine why you want to throw a waffle party.
One reason (hopefully) is to have fun, but what are your other main motives for throwing such an event? For example:
- Are you hoping to get to know new people?
- Do you want to host an event to reciprocate for friends’ events that you get invited to?
- Do you enjoy showcasing your creative cooking abilities?
- Do you want to sample a broad variety of foods that others bring?
- Are you looking to raise awareness or funds for a particular cause?
Determine what characteristics of the party are most important to you.
The characteristics of the waffle party that are most important to you will flow from your reasons for wanting to host an event. For example, if you’re hoping to get to know new people in some depth, you may wish to have a smaller number of guests so you have time to talk to people. If you want to sample a broad variety of foods from others, rather than showcasing your own cooking abilities, then you may want to ask guests to bring waffle toppings while providing only a few yourself.
Taking a few minutes to determine the above will help to ensure that you’re fully present as a host, and that both you and your guests have the best time possible.
Decide if you want a theme for your waffle party.
The possibilities for themed waffle party ideas are virtually endless, ranging from chocolate to Mexican flavors to “bring a topping that resembles you in some way.” Choose one that excites you. Also consider that some types of day are more fitting for certain themes.
For example, if you want to have a theme with dessert-oriented toppings, consider having it at an after-dinner time, or mid-afternoon so it doesn’t interfere with guests “real” meals. Keep in mind that waffles can also work perfectly well for dinner, as long as enough savory toppings are available, and the waffles are only moderately sweet.
Determine any physical space limitations for your waffle party.
How many people can you comfortably host? Do you have enough room for people to sit once their plates are full, while still leaving room around the table? How much table and counter space do you have for toppings? How much space will the waffle irons and batter occupy?
Imagine yourself in the role of a guest arriving at the waffle party, and consider what all you’ll want and need over the course of the event. Where will you find these things? If you’re uncertain about space, just start small the first time. You can always expand later.
Keep in mind that running two or more waffle irons uses a significant amount of electricity. What are the limitations of your electrical system, if any? If you’re in a house or apartment that was wired within the last few decades, you probably have nothing to worry about. But if it’s an older building, you may want to do a “test run” before the party, making sure you can plug in the desired number of waffle irons without overloading your kitchen circuit.
Determine the amount of raw waffle ingredients you need for your event.
To throw a waffle party successfully, you need to make sure you have enough waffles to feed your hungry guests. First, divide your total number of guests (including you) by the number of waffles each batch makes to get the total number of batches you’ll need to make. Then add at least one batch to be safe. For example, if you’re planning on a dozen guests, and are using a recipe that serves four, you’ll want to make at least four batches of waffle batter (12 guests / 4 waffles per batch = 3 batches, plus an additional batch to be safe).
Once you have the desired number of waffle batter batches, multiply each ingredient by that number to determine the total amount of that ingredient needed for your party. For example, if you’re making gluten-free vegan waffles that require 1 1/2 cups of rice flour per batch, and you’re planning to make 4 batches, you’ll need 1 1/2 x 4 = 6 cups of rice flour.
If you want to be extra safe, include a second extra batch worth of ingredients. You may end up not using these ingredients at all. However, they will provide you with safety padding in case you make any errors while preparing the batter that are difficult to fix. And the last thing you want is extra stress while you’re getting ready for your fun event. If you don’t need to use these extra ingredients for the party, you can always make a batch of waffles to enjoy in the future.
If you’re on a tight budget, make sure the waffles you plan to bake fall within your spending limit.
Once you’ve estimated the total amount of waffle ingredients needed as explained above, you can use it to calculate the overall cost of items you’ll need to buy. You can get as detailed as you wish, but if you want a rough estimate, just look at the items which you’re likely to need to most of. Generally, this will be the flour(s), non-dairy milk, and oil.
If you’re using a recipe that uses 1/4 cup or more of a sweetener like blackstrap molasses or real maple syrup per batch, estimate that as well. Include a can or two of pressurized cooking spray if you don’t already have at least one relatively full and not-too-old can in your pantry. Once you have the rough cost of the waffles, you can determine how much you want to spend on other items, such as toppings and beverages.
Determine what dietary preferences and restrictions you wish to accommodate.
This may be partially driven by your own or close friends’ dietary needs, or it may be driven by your budget. Making diary-free, eggless waffles is not necessarily any more expensive than making waffles with cow’s milk and eggs. However, making several batches of vegan gluten-free waffles that use full-strength coconut milk is going to be a bit more expensive than making wheat-based waffles. (Unless, for example, you have a powerful blender with which you can easily create your own rice flour.)
Find some delicious waffle recipes, and waffle topping recipes if needed.
A number of delicious waffle and topping recipes are under the “recipes” heading of this site, so that’s a great place to start. You’ll find some simpler waffle recipes, as well as more complex ones like yeast-raised waffles if you want to get your gourmet on.
Determine the maximum amount of time you wish to spend baking waffles, and make sure you have enough waffle irons or cooking assistance.
If you want to spend some time visiting with your guests, you probably don’t want to spend the entire waffle party baking. Also, you don’t want your guests to be waiting too long for waffles.
Assume that each waffle will take around 5 minutes to create. Divide the maximum number of minutes you’re willing to spend baking by 5 to estimate the total number of waffles you’ll produce with each iron. For example, if you don’t want to spend more than 30 minutes making waffles, you’ll probably make around 30 /5 = 6 waffles with each waffle maker you have. So if you plan to have a dozen guests at your party, you’ll need to make sure you have at least two waffle irons.
If needed, borrow or purchase another waffle maker, consider decreasing the number of guests you plan to invite, or see if a friend is willing to help you bake waffles. Each waffle iron functions a bit differently, so keep in mind that there may be slight learning curve for anyone helping you.
In your waffle party invitations, let guests know what you’re providing, and what they should provide.
For example, you might decide that you’re providing waffles and beverages, and want guests to bring all the toppings. Also provide clear details on any dietary restrictions you’re looking to accommodate–e.g., if you want everyone to bring vegan toppings, make that very clear. If you’re providing dairy-free, gluten-free eggless waffles (many tasty ones on this site), let your guests know!
Consider ingredient labels for your waffle party food items.
Waffle topping ingredient labels can be helpful for accommodating guests with a variety of dietary needs. During the first few years of hosting waffle parties, I’d often get this type of question from a guest: “Do you know whether this topping has X in it? If not, can you tell me who made it so I can ask them?” As the waffle bar became filled with a range of toppings, I usually lost track of who brought what, and was sometimes unable to help. Sometimes, the guest who brought the topping had already left.
Save yourself time and effort, and use the printable waffle party ingredient labels I’ve already created (pdf format). Have guests include their names on the labels, so that if anyone has questions, they know whom to ask. Also, if you really love a topping and want to get the recipe later, or simply thank the guest who brought it, you’ll know whom to contact.
Borrow a back-up waffle maker in case of sticking accidents.
If you spray your waffle iron grids with oil prior to each waffle, you’ll probably be fine. But sticking still occurs from time to time. A waffle iron can take a while to clean, and it can add stress during an otherwise fun waffle party. Having a back-up provides peace of mind.
Check out additional resources for more waffle party ideas.
If you decide to host a waffle party, let us know about it, and see the other resource pages on this site for additional tips. For even more ideas on how to throw a waffle party successfully, advice on hosting larger numbers of guests, tips on selecting waffle makers, and many more vegan waffle recipes and topping ideas, check out the award-winning Global Vegan Waffle Cookbook.