The first time I used a waffle iron, I was a freshman in college.
The dorm dining hall at my school had a designated table with an iron, and a bowl of batter with a ladle in it. One night, when the tacos or chicken surprise on the menu didn’t particularly appeal to me, I walked over to it.
Utilizing that feeling of adult independence that I had only recently acquired, I made myself waffles for dinner.
In the years between then and now, I’ve eaten delicious waffles made from scratch so many times:
In my friend Sue’s kitchen at a different college in a different state, telling her what a good mom she’d make someday as she handed me a plate; at home attempting to eat healthier breakfasts with spelt Belgian waffles; with my brother at a restaurant called Sola (when I clearly forgot about my diet plans) eating a plateful topped with goat cheese and strawberry rhubarb compote; with blueberries and pecans, covered with fresh berries and whipped cream, and with chocolate syrup…
It wasn’t until recently that I first had the kind of waffle I am presenting to you today, one that defied all of my preconceptions and previous taste experiences. It combines what we know as a waffle with something else entirely: the moist, dense sweetness of banana bread.
I read about several different versions of these waffles online before I made an attempt in my own kitchen, and the blogs that I visited made them look so good, I just knew that I would like them.
Unable to put off making them any longer, I was pulled towards the kitchen one night, and dropped everything I was doing to mix up some batter.
Because the yeast needs time to help the dough to rise overnight, these make a perfect prep-ahead breakfast. You do most of the measuring and mixing the night before. In the morning, all you need to do is add two final ingredients, scoop, pour, and enjoy!
My first bite the next morning was a delightful surprise.
It’s crazy how you can tell yourself in your mind what something will be like, only to discover something entirely unexpected. Be it meeting someone in person for the first time, starting a new job, visiting a city you’ve never been to, or trying a new recipe, when you actually experience it, sometimes it’s so much better than you ever could have imagined. I expected these waffles to taste like banana bread, and I guess what I really mean by that is that I expected them to taste like bananas.
But they really taste like banana bread.
While they have a waffle texture, the taste bears an uncanny likeness to the beloved quick bread. Eating a plateful of them before work one morning, all I could think was, “Yes! Of course! These are perfect!”
They’re both much like other crispy batter breakfasts cooked in an electric iron in some ways, and so similar to banana bread with no time in the oven required, creating the perfect mashup of the two.
I’m kind of glad life is sometimes like this. I don’t always know what a certain situation or experience will be like, and I get to be surprised and delighted by the unusual, the new, and the unexpected. This recipe is truly wonderful, and I hope it delights you as well.
You might want to keep an extra banana or two on hand when you make these, to slice up and scatter on top before serving.Print
Banana bread or waffles? Can’t decide which carb craving to give in to? Whip up these sweet, yeasty treats for the best of both breakfast worlds.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk, warmed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch of ground clove
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 large bananas)
- Cooking oil spray
- In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, and vanilla. The mixture should be warm but not hot. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, brown sugar, yeast, salt, and spices. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and whisk until smooth.
- Stir in the beaten eggs. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, or up to 24.
- About 30 minutes before you want to start cooking, take the batter out of the refrigerator to come a bit closer to room temperature. It should be doubled in size and the surface will be covered in bubbles.
- Stir the sour cream into the mashed bananas, then add this mixture to the batter.
- Heat your waffle iron and cook in batches as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
The estimated 10-minute cook time is for one waffle, after the waffle iron heats up.
- Category: Waffles
- Method: Waffle Iron
- Cuisine: Breakfast
Keywords: breakfast, brunch, waffles, yeast, banana, banana bread
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep
Get out all of your ingredients except the sour cream and bananas, and measure them accordingly.
Melt the butter and warm the milk. I like to do this in the microwave on half power, until the butter is melted completely and the milk is warm to the touch, but not hot. This can also be done in a small saucepan on the stove, if you prefer.
Lightly beat the eggs with a whisk in a separate bowl.
Step 2 – Mix Wet Ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, warmed milk, and vanilla extract.
Step 3 – Mix Dry Ingredients
If you prefer, you can sift these first to remove any lumps. Has your brown sugar gone from soft and light to a solid lump? Check out our tips for softening brown sugar here.
Step 4 – Mix Wet Ingredients into Dry Ingredients
Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry, and whisk until everything is incorporated.
Stir the beaten eggs into the batter and mix until smooth. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap.
Step 5 – Refrigerate
Refrigerate the batter for 12 hours like I did, or a maximum of 24 hours.
By this time, it should have about doubled in size. Mine did not quite reach this point, but it did increase in volume.
Step 6 – Let the Batter Warm Up a Bit
About 30 minutes before you’re ready to start cooking, take the batter out of the fridge. It won’t come all the way back to room temperature, but setting it aside for a bit before you start cooking will take the chill off.
Step 7 – Add Sour Cream and Bananas
Mash the bananas, and stir them into the sour cream. I used a cocktail muddler for this, but a potato masher or a fork will also work well. Be sure to always use ripe bananas for this step!
Stir this mixture into the batter. It will deflate, so you should use a light, quick hand to thoroughly combine the two.
Step 8 – Preheat and Cook
Preheat your waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s directions.
When it’s hot, coat the surface on both sides with nonstick cooking oil spray. Spoon in about 1/2 cup of the batter, or whatever is recommended for the machine that you own.
Close the lid and cook until the steam has almost entirely stopped, for about 4-5 minutes.
If My Two Favorite Breakfast Items had a Baby, It Would Be These Yeasty Bad Boys
These banana bread waffles boast an especially airy batter thanks to the yeast, but it’s the sour cream secret (shhh!) that makes them oh-so-fluffy.
Snag some extra bananas to slice over your finished creation, or go wild with your favorite fruit and dark chocolate shavings. Also, a little extra butter never hurt anybody.
Sometimes, it’s all about the toppings. I love to garnish my waffles with vibrant colors and textures – like a pop of magenta pomegranate seeds.
What fixins are in your breakfast bag of tricks? Share your secrets in the comments below! And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it.
Need more things to drizzle your favorite maple syrup over? Check out these unique breakfast recipes for your first-class ticket to happy town:
- Vegan Pecan Pie Pancakes with Brown Sugar Syrup
- Vegan Sweet Potato Waffles
- Cornmeal Honey Waffles with Whipped Honey Butter (Dairy and Egg-Free Options)
- Crispy Homestyle
Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on December 3, 2009. Last updated: September 20, 2020 at 13:11 pm. With additional writing and editing by Fanny Slater and Allison Sidhu.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.