This recipe makes a very excellent crunchy cornmeal waffle for breakfast. We like the slight grit and texture that cornmeal adds; a stack of these doused in melted butter is pretty much perfect.–King Arthur Baking Company

How do I keep my waffles crispy?

You’re in the kitchen, pouring batter and slinging waffles.  But when it comes time to serve them, you realize all that hard work is now just a pile of soggy, limp carbs. You have a couple of options when it comes to serving waffles. First, you can serve them as fast as you can make them, but that means you miss out on table time with everyone. (This is perfect if it’s just you, eating each waffle as it’s made. No judgement, you’re the envy of us all.) Or, a more practical option, you can set your oven to low and pop each waffle right onto the rack as you pull them out of the press. And if they started out a little limp, this trick will also help give them a crunchy edge.

A close view of cornmeal waffles overlapping each other.

Cornmeal Waffles

5 / 3 votes
Cornmeal waffles have a crisp texture with a slight grit. Suitable for either sweet or savory toppings, you can pile these beauties high with whatever you please.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories582 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes


  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 tablespoons (2 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, or 1/3 cup (79 ml) mild vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine or medium grind yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Honey or maple syrup, for serving
  • Butter, for serving


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter or oil.
  • In a separate bowl, blend together the dry ingredients.
  • Quickly and gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones. Let the batter sit at room temperature until light and fluffy and the cornmeal has softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Heat your waffle iron.
  • Spoon the batter onto a hot waffle iron and cook until the waffle iron stops steaming or according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately.

Adapted From

The King Arthur Baking Company’s All-Purpose Baker’s Companion

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 582 kcalCarbohydrates: 77 gProtein: 15 gFat: 24 gSaturated Fat: 13 gMonounsaturated Fat: 7 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 144 mgSodium: 862 mgFiber: 5 gSugar: 12 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2021 King Arthur Baking Company. Photo © 2021 Posie Brien. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I consider myself a waffle connoisseur. There is a time and place for crisp waffles, fluffy waffles, and crunchy waffles. We enjoyed these cornmeal waffles for breakfast, with strawberries and maple syrup—they were great, but I’ll say, I felt they were begging to be eaten with fried chicken.

These won’t replace my trusted breakfast waffle recipe, but these cornmeal waffles certainly will be my go-to for savory dishes. They’re sturdy and the cornmeal adds a nice crunchy texture—and they’re perfect for soaking up butter and syrup. The batter was incredibly fast and easy to mix up; it’s a perfect recipe when you’re hungry because they take no time to get on the table (or for eating straight off the waffle iron as I have been known to do once or twice).

A plate of cornmeal waffles with a bowl of strawberries and pitcher of syrup on the side.

These were such an easy breakfast to make for my family and one that everyone enjoyed. They have enough bite to them that they stand up well even after soaking up butter and syrup. These could easily be repurposed into a savory meal as well, think topped with chili, sloppy joes, egg sandwich, etc.

One thing I found out is if you want them to come out of the waffle iron crispy, don’t grease or spray it, otherwise they’re much softer, albeit still tasty.

I used powdered buttermilk, vegetable oil, and fine ground cornmeal. Everything was measured using the weight measurements if available. I got 6.5 large waffles from this recipe when scooping out 2/3 cup for each cornmeal waffle. We served with butter, syrup, and fresh fruit, delicious. I do think they almost got too crunchy; they’re best eaten fresh as opposed to cooled.

Oh the possibilities! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a cornmeal waffle but after just one bite I knew I was a fan. This recipe is well written and it produces a tasty waffle—savory with a hint of sweetness, crunchy on the outside, and tender on the inside.

I served my waffles two ways: 1) with butter and maple syrup and 2) topped with a fried egg, some chili, and charred scallions—both were delicious.

I made the recipe as written but with a few minor changes. Because I don’t like coarse cornmeal, I purchased medium ground and gave it a quick whiz in my Vitamix for a few seconds—I stopped before it became flour-like. I was really pleased with how this translated into the waffles. They had texture, “a slight grit” as the recipe describes, and they ate nicely. The texture adds character without being too coarse. Two other minor changes – my waffle maker produces Belgium waffles and I sprayed my waffle iron with canola oil before pouring in any batter.

The recipe produced 6-1/2 Belgium waffles. I placed my cooked waffles on a pizza pan and held them in a 170F oven. This kept them warm and crisp while I made the rest of the waffles.

If you haven’t tried a cornmeal waffle, please make these. You will be pleasantly surprised. I feel like I’ve discovered a new delicious “canvas” and I can’t stop thinking about ways to incorporate spices and herbs into future waffles. I will be making these as is and creating new variations for a long time to come. Deee-lish!

I liked how easily the recipe came together and how beautiful it was. The flavor balance was good and it went well with honey and butter (or honey butter). The color was great. This test was borderline because one person thought it was just okay and others thought it was very good.

I do think they were on the dry side. I would probably add a little more butter and/or a little more buttermilk. I could see making some fried chicken and serving them on the cornmeal waffles with maple syrup or honey as a side drizzle.

For many, many years, I’ve been trying to recreate a dish named Kansas Corn Cakes, pancakes that we’ve been ordering for just as many years at a small breakfast spot up on the North Coast. The owner of the place, has refused to give me any tips, so that I could try to make them at home, despite my promising that I would keep everything I would find out to myself. I’ve tried more recipes than I can begin to count, but have never come close to recreating that subtle crunch when biting into one of their pancakes. Well, when I saw this recipe, I thought that perhaps I could come somewhere close to the taste and texture of the pancakes we have so enjoyed for years.

We were so very pleased to discover that the waffles had the taste and texture, in waffle form, that we were looking for. They had a crunch, a slight grittiness that reminded us of the pancakes we enjoy so much, from the cornmeal, that was delightful.

I liked that the batter in this case doesn’t need to sit overnight, like some of the other waffles that we make. As long as we have all of the ingredients in the house, these can be made at a moment’s notice. And I tend to have buttermilk in the house quite often, because I love to make buttermilk mashed potatoes, when making mashed potatoes. Buttermilk mashed potatoes on Friday or Saturday night. Crunchy cornmeal waffles for breakfast on Sunday morning. Doesn’t that work out perfectly?!

My family loved these cornmeal waffles. The first time I made them, I thought they were a little heavy (but no complaints from the family). The second time, I added another tablespoon of butter and an extra egg. They were lighter…but my kids preferred the original recipe. Definitely a winner.

One person’s grittiness is another person’s textural experience. I had fine, course, and medium ground yellow cornmeal. I chose to use medium ground as this waffle recipe attracted me for the crunchy texture and use of buttermilk which normally softens the cornmeal texture.

The preparation for the cornmeal waffles came together in 15 minutes. I used the Cuisinart griddle with waffle plates which makes 4 waffles of 3 x 4 inches at a time. For the complete 4 waffles, I had to use 1 cup of batter for each batch. The batter amount will naturally vary depending on the size of the waffle iron. Each batch cooked in 3 minutes at 350F as recommended. I enjoyed the tip about the lack of steaming from the iron as a sign of doneness.

The final result was a very rewarding fluffy golden waffle with an exterior crunch and slightly gritty texture. We enjoyed these sweet with yogurt and fresh syrupy figs. For a more savory version, we had some with prosciutto, fresh figs, and a drizzle of fig syrup. Both were fantastic. As the recipe indicated, just plain with butter would have been perfect. As for the gritty texture, my daughter and I really enjoyed this. My husband, however, wasn’t as big of a fan as we were. Since he also doesn’t care for pop rock candy, we’ve excused his lack of enthusiasm for this textural experience. It’s not for everyone. No fault of the recipe, though.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Recipe for Kentucky Latkes

    Prepare box of Jiffy cornbread mix adding extra egg or two. Cook just like you would pancakes using mixture of peanut oil and butter. Eat with maple syrup or under something savory like pulled pork. Finish with long neck bottle of beer.

    You’re welcome.

  2. 5 stars
    Topped with butter and cane syrup or sausage gravy and fried eggs, cornmeal waffles or Johnny Cakes are a staple down in the heart of Dixie.