Coconut Waffles {Gluten-Free, Vegan} #SundaySupper

Coconut Waffles – Extra crunchy and crispy on the surface, moist and tender inside. This recipe offers the easiest way to make vegan, gluten free, and dairy free waffles and guarantees the best flavor.

Coconut Waffles - Extra crunchy and crispy on the surface, moist and tender inside. This recipe offers the easiest way to make vegan, gluten free, and dairy free waffles and guarantees the best flavor.

It has been almost a year since I moved to Austin from Beijing, but my adaptation to American food has just started. As part of my get-used-to-the-new-food-culture pilgrimage, one of the things I’ve been trying to embrace is sweet breakfast.

I’m not quite there yet.

I’ve been eating savory breakfasts for thirty years, so changing the habit has been a challenge. In case you were curious, my early childhood breakfast options included tofu soup with gravy, salty fried bread, and fried rice. Later on, my mom banned me from eating fried bread so that I’d lose a few pounds. Then I switched to a single soft boiled egg dipped in sesame-soy sauce with coffee. I’d been eating that same breakfast for over 10 years.

After moving to the US, I was astounded to learn that American people eat sweet stuff for breakfast; stuff, that in my opinion, qualified as dessert, but would never, ever be listed on a breakfast menu. Take donuts, for example. I’ve been consistently frustrated by the fact that the grocery store is always sold out of donuts in the afternoon. I complain every time we pass the donut counter at H-E-B and find the cream-filled donuts all gone. And my husband again reminds me that donuts are a breakfast thing. And I reply that it’s crazy. Every. Single. Time.

Coconut Waffles - Extra crunchy and crispy on the surface, moist and tender inside. This recipe offers the easiest way to make vegan, gluten free, and dairy free waffles and guarantees the best flavor.

Lately I’ve been more tolerant toward sweets for breakfast. Especially waffles. Sometimes restaurants serve them with fried chicken. That makes things much easier for me. What I usually do is eat the chicken first. Then I drizzle some maple syrup onto the waffle and eat it as “dessert”. Problem solved!

Purchasing a waffle maker was a milestone for me. I’m proud to say that now I’m a step closer to American culture. Plus, I found waffle making to be a lot of fun!

In true American fashion, my first waffle was a Cambodian-style waffle, made with a Belgian waffle maker.

Coconut Waffles - Extra crunchy and crispy on the surface, moist and tender inside. This recipe offers the easiest way to make vegan, gluten free, and dairy free waffles and guarantees the best flavor.

During my trip to Siem Reap, we met a waffle lady at the market. She used a cast iron pan on a charcoal stove to make coconut waffles. You could smell the steamy fragrance a mile away. The waffles were made with coconut milk and rice flour. Served by themselves, without any additional sweeteners. They were moist and crumbly, with a slightly crispy surface. Not too sweet, so you could still taste the aroma of fresh coconut. Those were some of the best waffles I’d ever had.

Coconut Waffles - Extra crunchy and crispy on the surface, moist and tender inside. This recipe offers the easiest way to make vegan, gluten free, and dairy free waffles and guarantees the best flavor.

I tried to recreate the coconut waffles with my new waffle maker after the trip. Of course I didn’t have the recipe and I had to do a lot of guesswork. So, my coconut waffles ended up with a different texture, but in a good way.

My recipe produces waffles with a very light color, that are super crunchy and crispy on the surface. The waffles hold extra syrup without getting soggy. In fact, the crunchy texture remains, even after the waffles have cooled down, up to a few hours after they’re made. The texture inside is tender and slightly gooey, a bit like Japanese mochi (sticky rice cake).

Coconut Waffles - Extra crunchy and crispy on the surface, moist and tender inside. This recipe offers the easiest way to make vegan, gluten free, and dairy free waffles and guarantees the best flavor.

I served the waffles in the proper Asian style, with tons of tropical fruit, and just a touch of maple syrup. In our family, this recipe serves four people, which means each person gets a small waffle wedge and plenty of fruit. I won’t judge you if you decide that it really only amounts to a serving for one person, though, because I can certainly finish a whole batch myself.

The waffles are easy to make and the batter is quite forgiving, so please feel free to tweak the recipe to accommodate the ingredients in your pantry.

Coconut Waffles - Extra crunchy and crispy on the surface, moist and tender inside. This recipe offers the easiest way to make vegan, gluten free, and dairy free waffles and guarantees the best flavor.

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it #omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

5.0 from 5 reviews
Coconut Waffles {Gluten-Free, Vegan} #SundaySupper
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 4 waffle wedges
Ingredients
Waffles
  • 1 (403 mL) can full-fat coconut milk (do not shake before using) (*see footnote 1)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup (110 grams) cup white rice flour
  • 1/4 cup (27 grams) tapioca starch
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
Topping options
Instructions
Waffle
  1. Preheat waffle maker.
  2. Prepare a measuring cup for 1 cup of coconut milk. Transfer the top layer of the coconut milk from the can into your measuring cup using a spoon. Once the cup is almost filled, you should start to see coconut water in the lower half of the can. Continue transferring coconut water into the measuring cup until it’s full.
  3. Combine coconut milk and coconut oil in a bowl. Stir to mix well. If coconut oil is solid, heat in microwave for a few seconds to melt it before using.
    Coconut Waffles Cooking Process Coconut Waffles Cooking Process
  4. Combine rice flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Mix with a spatula. Add the coconut milk mixture. Stir until all the ingredients are fully combined and it forms a smooth batter. The batter should thick enough to coat a spoon and not too runny. You should get about 1 cup of batter.
    Coconut Waffles Cooking Process Coconut Waffles Cooking Process
  5. Pour batter onto the center of the waffle grid until it fills up the grid (the amount will vary depending on your waffle maker). Cook until the surface turns slightly golden, 6 to 7 minutes in my case.
    Coconut Waffles Cooking Process Coconut Waffles Cooking Process
  6. Serve warm with your preferred toppings.
  7. Let waffles rest on a cooling rack if not serving immediately. The waffles will remain crispy even after cooling down, but you should serve them the same day.
  8. Store leftover waffles in a ziplock bag in the fridge or in the freezer for up to a month. Reheat in oven or toaster oven for a crispy texture.
Notes
1. I used Thai Kitchen brand full fat unsweetened coconut milk. It separates well at room temperature, into thick, white coconut cream on top and translucent coconut water on the bottom. Make sure you don’t shake the can before using it, and use a spoon to scoop out the cream first. The waffles won’t rise so well if you add too much coconut water into the batter.

The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 of the 4 servings generated by this recipe (toppings not included).

Coconut Waffles Nutrition FactsSweet and Sinful:

Savory Brinner Winners:

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Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my Austin, Texas kitchen.

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31 thoughts on “Coconut Waffles {Gluten-Free, Vegan} #SundaySupper

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  8. Marion Myers

    I love hearing about different cultures and their eating habits. Only knowing an American lifestyle, I found it super interesting that a sweet breakfast was so new to you. I’m glad you are warming up to it, because these waffles sound amazing. Thanks so much for sharing. Loved reading your post and drooling over your stunning photos!

    Reply
  9. Chris Scheuer

    I love hearing about the differences in cuisines. It’s funny how you can feel like such a fish out of water in a new and different country. If these waffles are any indication, I think you’ve adapted quite well! And it’s a lovely mix of healthy and indulgent!

    Reply
  10. Kristen Chidsey

    Thank you for sharing so much about how you grew up–so fascinating. And yes, us Americans do eat WAY TOO many sweets for breakfast 🙂

    Reply
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  12. laura Dembowski

    I love that these waffles aren’t too brown. I like both pancakes and waffles to be just a bit brown. I’m always for serving them with fresh fruit too. I suppose the reason I like sweets for breakfast is then I can eat them twice a day 😉

    Reply
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  17. The Ninja Baker

    As one who grew up in Tokyo, I understand your mystification of why a cream-filled donut would be served for breakfast and not dessert or afternoon snack…Anyway, your vegan coconut waffles are indeed inspired =) Thank you for the recipe!

    Reply
  18. Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine

    These look absolutely delicious! I love coconut anything.

    A lot of people think it’s weird that Americans eat so many sweet things for breakfast! My husband is English, and he just won’t even try to have my protein pancakes or muffins- he saves his for his afternoon tea 🙂 Moving to Asia, I thought it was weird that restaurants sold waffles as dessert!

    Reply
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    1. Maggie Post author

      You’re the most welcome Bia! I’m glad to hear you like the recipe 🙂 Happy cooking and let me know how the dishes turn out when you try out other recipes!
      Have a great week ahead!

      Reply