Liège Waffles

The Liège waffle (or gaufre as we call them in Europe) is made with a yeast dough instead of batter and is dotted with bits of caramelized sugar, and is not, under any circumstance to be confused with Belgian waffles. Never, ever. That would make a whole lot of people angry. Everyone agrees they are absolutely delicious though.

In Belgium there are two types of waffles: the Brussels and the Liège waffle. The Brussels waffle is the most commonly seen. It’s rectangular with a golden-brown exterior, deep pockets and topped with a variety of toppings such as whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate or jam and is usually eaten with a knife and fork. The Liège waffle is golden-yellow, more dense in texture, rich, and the sugar chunks melt and create pockets of crunchy sweet on the inside and shiny, caramelized sugar spots on the outside, and it should be eaten with your hands. You’ll need to use pearl sugar to keep this authentic but it can easily be ordered online.

  • Liège Waffles

    • Serves 4
    • Liège waffle dough:
    • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
    • 1/3 cup warm milk
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 cup melted butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 cup pearl sugar
    • For the Liège waffle dough:
    • Combine the yeast, lukewarm milk and sugar in a bowl and let it sit for 20 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface. Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a Kitchenaid and make a well in the center. Fit the kitchenaid with the paddle attachment.
    • Pour the bubbly yeast mixture into the well and mix until combined. With the mixer on medium speed add the eggs one at a time, melted butter, and the vanilla extract. The dough will be quite thick and sticky.
    • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 2 hours. Mix in the pearl sugar and let the dough rest a little longer.
    • Heat the waffle iron to medium. Pinch 2-inches balls of dough and flatten them slightly. Place the balls of dough in the waffle iron and cook until golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and eat.

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  • Gourmantine C.

    Ah, les Belges, do take their waffles very seriously, I do like the crunchy Liege variety more!

  • Johan Zietsman

    Worthwhile dessert. This is going on my bucket list for when the weather turns a bit cooler.

  • Asha

    ok. i love you!!!!! thats all :P

    I love the Belgian style waffles and always wanted a recipe. Hmm.. interesting, I would not have expected yeast in them!

  • Asha

    ok so.. Sorry!!!! I saw and reacted :D D I like the Liege ones not the other ones :) ))

  • Grasshopper

    Zensei,
    “Place the balls of dough in the waffle iron and cook until golden brown and .” and? AND? the suspense is killing me!

  • http://kirantarun.com/food Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    Deliciousness with the sugar crystals all caramelized in between the nooks and cranny :)

  • http://twitter.com/piesandplots Laura Dembowski

    There is nothing like a great liege waffle. I love the pearl sugar!

  • zenchef

    Thanks, Johan. Enjoy.

  • zenchef

    Time to switch back to carrot juice, Asha. :P

  • zenchef

    Me too, so delicious!

  • zenchef

    [drumrolls] … and.. EAT of course. What was I thinking? :)

  • zenchef

    That’s what makes them so perfect!

  • zenchef

    I love them too. The perfect snack!

  • kitchenriffs

    OK, that does it – I need a waffle iron! These look terrific, although anything with yeast appeals to me. Lovely pictures – the second one is actually my favorite! Good stuff – thanks.

  • Tiffany (bakingattiffanys.com)

    I’m new to your site–this looks so great. Makes me want to go get a waffle iron. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • http://profiles.google.com/gnocchiaifunghi Frank Fariello

    That batter looks incredible! I must confess I hadn’t heard of this type of waffle, but the recipe and photos are enough to tell me they must be worth a trip to Liege…

  • http://www.ouichefnetwork.com Oui, Chef

    There was a slope-side vendor in Courchevel that used to sell these, and I have pictures of all my boys with faces covered with sugar after eating them. For an upcharge you could get them slathered with Nutella….oh la la.

  • http://twitter.com/tasteblog Lori Lynn

    I’ve been away too long. The photo of the dough and sugar is fantastic!
    Thanks for the lesson in waffles!
    LL

  • Danielle

    I’m excited to make these! I ordered the sugar, but what is instant yeast? I have ‘active dry’ — is that the right thing? thanks!

  • zen_admin

    Yes, instant and active dry yeast are the same thing.

  • April

    I had these waffles when visiting Leige and wow, they are delicious! The recipe I have for them is a little finicky, requiring two batters that are added together just before cooking. I will try this recipe to see if I can get that same amazing waffle with less fuss. Thanks!! Beautiful photos too!

  • jenjenk

    oh my gosh. i love liege waffles – i ate this every day i was in Belgium!!!! please send, STAT!

  • Chez Catherine

    Is it important to use a Belgian style waffle maker with the deep pockets, or can an old fashioned waffle iron with regular ‘pockets’ be used with equal success?
    Thank you in advance for your response!

  • zenchef

    Of course a Belgian style waffle maker would be great for this but I used an old fashioned waffle iron with regular ‘pockets’ and I was satisfied with the results. Good luck!

  • molly yeh

    YUMMM!!!! i’m going to send these babies swimmin in some speculoos.

  • Jonny

    We joined a very log line outside Meert Gaufres in Lille on New Years Eve a few years back and were literally the last people served before they shut the shop for the holiday. Theirs are flatter and crispier than the liegeoise you made but just as chewy. Never had anything like it before or since, but we do have an old-fashioned waffle iron that we’ve been meaning to try. This one is bookmarked!

  • Vanessa

    This looks amaaaazing! :)

    http://cafecraftea.blogspot.com