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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
- 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
- Sliced banana, mango, kiwi, and/or other fruits
- Maple syrup
- Coconut whipped cream
- Preheat waffle maker.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve warm with your preferred toppings.
- 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.
- 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.
The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 of the 4 servings generated by this recipe (toppings not included).
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