14 Types Of Waffles To Upgrade Your Mornings

What is it about a waffle that makes us love them so? Waffles may seem like a pretty basic breakfast food, but they actually have a pretty interesting backstory. According to Time, waffles may have evolved from communion wafers: In fact, the familiar "honeycomb" pattern that appears on waffles may have been designed to represent "interlocking crosses."

Thomas Jefferson brought the waffle iron to the U.S. from France in the late 18thcentury, and shortly thereafter, waffle parties were all the rage. Later innovations, including the electric waffle maker and the frozen waffle, further popularized waffles as a popular food item. 

The nooks and crannies that the waffle possesses make it the perfect vessel for butter and syrup. Additionally, the firm, crisp texture of the waffle is the ideal platform for heavier toppings as well. 

In fact, waffles are far more than just a breakfast food. They can be can be savory as well as sweet. Several different waffle toppings work for waffles, and this versatility allows waffles to be consumed as a morning treat, a lunch or dinner meal, or even as an indulgent dessert. 

1. Avocado toast waffle

Is avocado toast still a thing? The Washington Post suggests that avocado toast became popular in the '90s, although according to Taste, people have been pairing avocados and bread at least as far back as the 19th century and possibly much, much longer. Avocados and waffles, however, make for a combo that is fresh, different, and entirely au courant, not to mention potentially very photogenic.

If you are making your own waffle batter, you might want to omit the addition of sugar from the recipe. If you're going with frozen waffles, simply pick the plain or multi-grain kind as opposed to blueberry or chocolate chip varieties. You can top your waffle with either sliced or smashed avocadoes and add other embellishments such as sliced tomatoes and fried, poached, or chopped hard-boiled eggs. You could even add another waffle to the stack and turn this into a breakfast sandwich.

2. Banana pudding waffle

Banana pudding may not have been invented below the Mason-Dixon line; however, it is an essential aspect of Southern culture (via Serious Eats). Though bananas were once very rare and were considered an exotic delicacy, over time, they have become highly accessible and popular, leading to all manner of banana-based desserts. 

Banana pudding may be an American take on British trifle: In banana pudding, vanilla pudding takes the place of custard, vanilla wafers stand in for cake, and sliced bananas are used in lieu of fancier fruits. Bananas, pudding, and whipped cream may play nicely with cookies, but they also make for great waffle toppings. Simply add pudding, sliced bananas, and whipped cream atop your waffles to crown your creation. 

If you'd like to have these waffles for breakfast and you feel that waffle pudding is a bit much to eat first thing in the morning, you could replace pudding with vanilla or banana-flavored yogurt. On the other hand, if you'd like to dress up your banana pudding waffles a little bit more, we suggest sprinkling this dish with chopped pecans and maybe even a drizzle of butterscotch syrup.

3. Caprese waffle

The Insalata Caprese, also known as the Caprese salad, is an Italian dish that features simple ingredients such as fresh basil, sliced tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Together, these ingredients are meant to symbolize the green, red, and white of Italy's flag. In the 1950s, King Farouk was served these same ingredients in the form of a sandwich, which helped popularize the salad and the sandwich, both of which remain popular today. 

We propose yet another twist on this ever-adaptable dish: The Caprese waffle. If you're making your own waffles, you'll want to skip the sugar, but you could add a pinch of Italian seasoning or perhaps some parmesan cheese to the batter. Once you've made your waffles, top your waffle with sliced mozzarella, and then add a few slices of ripe tomatoes.  

Sprinkle the tomatoes with a bit of salt, then scatter some fresh chopped basil on top. A light (very light!) drizzle of olive oil may be added to this dish if you wish, but it might be best to skip the balsamic vinegar (which is typically part of a Caprese salad) since it might make the waffle too soggy. 

4. Cranachan waffle

If you're not of Scottish descent, you may be unfamiliar with the delicious dessert known as cranachan. While cranachan is considered a dessert, it actually started out as a breakfast food. The main ingredients in cranachan (toasted oats, raspberries, and cream) actually bode quite well for breakfast. They also sound like the perfect toppings for a waffle! 

There are two approaches you can take to making cranachan waffles. One way to make these waffles is to incorporate the oatmeal into the base by either making or buying oat waffles and then topping these with whipped cream and raspberries. The other way is to top your waffle (a blueberry one would work just fine here) with a concoction of whipped cream stirred with oats and raspberries. If you're planning on making cranachan waffles for brunch or an after-dinner treat, you could even flavor the whipped cream with a wee dram of Scotch whisky.

5. Elvis waffle

The late Elvis Presley loved a dish known as the Fool's Gold Loaf, which was invented and served by a Denver restaurant (via Southern Living). This truly over-the-top sandwich was made using an entire loaf of bread, a full jar of peanut butter, a jar of jelly, and a pound of bacon.

This sandwich is estimated to have about 8,000 calories. Elvis created a more streamlined version of the sandwich, which consisted of two slices of bread instead of a whole loaf, along with jelly and mashed bananas.  

Bananas, peanut butter, and even bacon, when eaten in moderation, can be quite delicious as well as relatively healthy. For a very tasty and somewhat nutritious breakfast, spread a waffle with peanut butter (the whole grain kind is a good option). Elvis preferred his peanut butter smooth, but crunchy peanut butter can also be used for these waffles. Top the peanut butter with sliced bananas, then sprinkle the waffle with a slice of crumbled bacon for a meal that's fit for a king. 

6. Fairy bread waffle

Australia has given the world the difficult-to-characterize spread called Vegemite, which certainly can be spread on a waffle if you wish. But if you're looking for a less salty waffle-based snack, you can go with a different Australian invention, specifically, the charmingly simple yet festive creation known as fairy bread

Making this treat is so simple a toddler could do it, and doubtless, many have: Simply take some white bread (never the hearty whole-grain stuff!), butter it, and cover it with sprinkles. Sounds pretty good, but you know what would be even better? A fairy waffle!

The simplest fairy waffles are made the same way as fairy bread, although the waffles should be cooked beforehand. Butter them while they're hot, then let them cool off just a bit, so the sprinkles don't all melt into a muddy-looking mess. 

If you're making waffles from scratch, though, you can also incorporate sprinkles into the batter. This dish can be adorned with yet more sprinkles or else a dusting of sugar. Granulated sugar should be used rather than powdered sugar, as the former will give the waffles even more sparkle without covering up their rainbow-flecked glory.

7. Mango lassi waffle

Lassi might be the grandmother of all smoothies: This yogurt drink has been consumed in India for about 3,000 years. The simplest lassis contain thinned-down yogurt with either sugar or salt. The mango lassi, which is highly popular in the U.S., consists of puréed mango and maybe a little cardamom.

While you could just pour a mango lassi straight, we prefer a slightly less messy and much more photogenic version of this healthy breakfast treat. Start off by topping a plain or whole-grain waffle with yogurt of any type: Low-fat, Greek, skyr, or whatever you have on hand. 

While lassi is typically made with plain yogurt, you could also use vanilla- or mango-flavored varieties. Then, add some sliced mangoes and dust a teeny bit of powdered cardamom on top. If plain yogurt and mangoes alone don't make the waffles sweet enough for you, you could also drizzle them with a little honey or sprinkle some sugar on top. 

8. Peppermint bark waffle

Peppermint bark, and indeed, peppermint itself, is a treat that is inextricably linked to the holiday season. Whether you're looking for a great Christmas morning breakfast recipe or find yourself craving a chocolate/peppermint combo during any other time of the year, you're sure to enjoy these peppermint bark waffles.

In this dish, the "bark" layer is made of a chocolate waffle. You can either make your own by adding a teaspoon of cocoa powder to the batter, or you can use the store-bought kind: Aldi's Double Chocolate Belgian Waffles would work particularly well. Simply top the waffle with whipped cream and finish it off with a sprinkling of crushed peppermint candies (leftover candy canes work are perfect for this).

If you want an even sweeter waffle, you could also add some shaved white chocolate or white chocolate chips to the mix. For best results, sprinkle the chocolate over the warm waffle, let it melt, and then add the whipped cream. 

9. Piña colada waffle

Do you like piña coladas? If so, then you have something in common with former Food Network star Alton Brown. Brown is so fond of Puerto Rico's national drink that he turned it into a waffle recipe for his cookbook entitled "I'm Just Here for More Food.

If you decide to make your waffles from scratch, you can add coconut milk and/or crushed pineapple to the batter. Or, you can use one of these two flavored extracts for your batter. Alternatively, you can start with a plain waffle and add piña colada-type toppings such as shredded coconut, in addition to sliced pineapple pieces that have been sautéed in a bit of butter. For a sweeter waffle, drizzle it with a bit of coconut cream. 

Alternatively, you can also top this waffle with a rum sauce like the one that Brown uses in his recipe. While Brown makes the rum syrup for his pina colada waffles from scratch, you can make a shortcut version by stirring a little rum or rum extract into pancake syrup. Top off these waffles with whipped cream or coconut sorbet, another sprinkling of coconut, and maybe a little paper umbrella: After all, why should cocktails get all the good accessories?

10. Pizza waffle

As anyone who has Domino's on speed dial might know, leftover pizza tastes even better the morning after. What can you do if you're craving a slice of pizza, but you finished off all the pizza the night before? Sure, you could make an English muffin pizza, or its slightly hipper cousin, the pizza bagel, but if you really want to get creative, why not try a pizza waffle?

If you don't want to put pizza toppings on a standard waffle, you can always take a tip from the Pioneer Woman and use frozen bread dough in your waffle maker in lieu of batter. Canned crescent roll dough also works well for this. Simply cook the dough in the waffle iron for a few minutes, then add the sauce, cheese, and any other pizza toppings you like.

Then, just close the waffle maker and cook the pizza for another minute or so until the cheese melts, and voilà! You can now have pizza for breakfast or lunch. or dinner, or maybe even as a midnight snack. 

11. Polar Bear Waffle

If you're not a Milwaukee-area diner aficionado and aren't familiar with establishments like the Omega (a favorite of "Greek Freak" Giannis Antetokounmpo), the Odyssey, or the Pegasus Restaurant, then you probably haven't heard of the Polar Bear Waffle. This hyper-local specialty isn't very well known outside of Brew City. As many people who have tried this dish can tell you, the Polar Bear Waffle deserves a much wider audience. 

This breakfast/dessert dish is quite easy to make at home. It starts with a waffle, preferable Belgian, although just about any waffle will do in a pinch. Top the waffle with a thick layer of butter pecan ice cream, then pile it high with sliced strawberries and bananas. 

Finish off your creation with a few generous squirts (or blops, if you're using the homemade kind) of whipped cream. Yes, you will need a shovel to eat your way through this waffle, though you can rest assured that you will dig your way to pure deliciousness. 

12. Reese's waffle

Peanut butter and chocolate go together quite well, some would say this duo even surpasses the classic peanut butter and jelly. This duo was created by a dairyman called Henry Reese in 1928. Adding a waffle to this incredible duo really takes the dish to a whole new level. 

For the ultimate Reese's waffle, start off with a homemade or store-bought chocolate waffle base. Spread the waffle with a layer of peanut butter, then drizzle it with chocolate syrup (Hershey's, if you want it to be on-brand). Then, go ahead and add some whipped cream if you wish. The pièce de résistance, however, is the generous sprinkling of chopped or crumbled peanut butter cups that are sprinkled atop the Reese's waffle.

Some may feel that this is more of a dessert dish, but according to us, the very presence of the waffle, as well as the protein from the peanut butter,  officially makes this a breakfast food. 

13. Sausage gravy waffle

Sausage gravy, usually served over biscuits, was originally created as a way to make something filling and tasty out of just meat scraps, flour, and drippings. It was originally invented as a cost-effective dish; however, in this day and age, sausage gravy may seem downright indulgent. 

Well, as long as you're going all-out with a breakfast splurge, why not go ahead and replace the biscuits with a waffle? Sausage gravy is easy to make, and it's fairly cheap as well. To make sausage gravy, simply fry up a pound of sausage meat and then use the grease to make a roux with some flour. 

You can add in some butter if the mixture doesn't contain grease. Add enough milk to make the gravy, cook until it thickens, then stir in the cooked sausage and season with salt and pepper. Pour this tasty gravy over your waffle and either eat it as it is or add a little grated cheese and/or a fried egg for an even heartier (yet still very economical) breakfast.

14. Strawberry shortcake waffle

While many classic American desserts are Southern specialties, the same can't be said for strawberry shortcake. Its history can be traced back to 16th century England. Recipes for strawberry shortcake were printed in the mid-19th century in an Ohio newspaper and a cookbook published in Philadelphia.

Traditional strawberry shortcake, which consists of biscuits, whipped cream, and strawberries, is simplicity itself, apart from the shortcake part. While biscuits can be tricky to make, waffles are easy-peasy, so we're going with those instead.

To make a strawberry shortcake waffle, start with your chosen waffle: You can choose from frozen, homemade, plain, chocolate, blueberry, and even whole grain. Cook the waffle, then top it with fresh sliced strawberries. Sprinkle it with a little powdered sugar, then cover your creation with lots and lots of whipped cream. 

Strawberry shortcake waffles are a breakfast item or dessert that is perfect for summer or even in the midst of winter since strawberries are always in season somewhere (like the grocery store produce aisle).