Monday, June 27, 2011

Belgian Liege Waffles

While we were in DC a few weeks ago, we hit up Le Pain Quotidien on a recommendation from Emily. GREAT restaurant, by the way! It was SO delicious we ate there for breakfast two days in a row haha! 🙂

Anyhow, the hubs ordered a belgian waffle and when it arrived, although it looked delicious, he was slightly bummed by the size of it. Well, he took one bite, and mumbled the words “holy cow” with a full mouth! He quickly offered a bite to me saying, “You have GOT to try this!” WOW. It was the sweetest, richest, most delicious thing I’d ever tasted! It was oddly light and dense at the same time (not exactly sure how they do that!).  There was this crispy pearlized sugar that caramelized on the outside: Out. Of. This. World.

I had a flashback to an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay (Waffle edition) that I saw a few months earlier and knew these HAD to be the ‘Liege’ waffles that they spoke of in the episode. I remember them looking SO delicious but had no idea that they would taste THAT different from what I know to be a ‘waffle’.

Apparently there are numerous types of waffles in Belgium, but the two most popular are the Belgian ‘Brussels’ waffle (what we here in the US associate with belgian waffles), and the ‘Liege’ waffle. The Belgian Brussels variety are generally thought of as light, thick, and crisp. The Liege on the other hand are dense rich and crisp on the outside with a chewier center. They are UH-mazing.

I came back from DC on a mission to re-create these babies. I did my research and found out that every good recipe for Liege waffles required something called “Belgian Pearlized Sugar.” I knew I HAD to get my hands on some of it!  I checked THREE stores and came up wempty handed. So I put my mom (aka: the detective) on it and of course she found out where to buy it (she’s good like that)! She ordered some for me on Amazon (thanks mom!)… and I couldn’t wait for it to arrive!

Once they did, I whipped these babies up. They did NOT disappoint! INCREDIBLE.

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Belgian Liege Waffles

Yield: 8 waffles

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 2-3 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


1 packet instant active yeast
3/4 cup milk, warmed
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 oz belgian pearl sugar

Powdered Sugar
Drizzle of Agave Nectar (or a sprinkle sugar)


Warm milk in microwave for 15-20 seconds (until warm to touch - not hot). Dissolve the yeast into the warm milk. In stand mixer with dough attachment, add the flour and salt and mix together slightly. Add the milk/yeast mixture, butter, and eggs. Combine well. Lastly mix in the vanilla (optional). Scrape batter into a bowl (making sure dough is fully incorporated), cover and allow to rest and rise for 30 minutes. Note: dough is pretty sticky (don't worry!).

Preheat Belgian Waffle Iron and spray with non-stick cooking spray. When ready to cook waffles, fold 8 ounces of pearl sugar into the dough-like batter. Scoop out heaping 1/3 cups of the batter into the middle of the waffle iron, close, and cook until lightly golden (about 2-3 minutes per waffle).

Dust waffles with powdered sugar and top with toppings of choice. I mixed fresh berries with a a drizzle of agave nectar (may substitute a sprinkle of sugar for the agave). Perfection.


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23 Responses to “Belgian Liege Waffles”

  1. 1

    Mike — June 27, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

    If I ever meet a Belgian, I will hug him…their beer and the waffles can’t be beat! Great recipe, LOVE!

  2. 2

    Lindsey@Lindselicious — June 27, 2011 @ 6:12 pm

    Your description of the waffle has made me want one so badly! The pics look delish too. Heading to Le Pain Quiotent to try it! (getting a waffle iron and the sugar sounds like a bigger goal) LOL

    • Kristina replied: — June 28th, 2011 @ 11:12 am

      You won’t be disappointed! We LOVED Le Pain Quotidien! 🙂

  3. 3

    Felice - All That's Left Are The Crumbs — June 27, 2011 @ 6:51 pm

    These sound fantastic. I remember that episode of Throwdown. Lucky I just cleaned out my pantry because I now have room and I can order some Belgian Pearlized Sugar.

    • Kristina replied: — June 28th, 2011 @ 11:13 am

      I just cleaned mine out too – i’ll probably buy the 12 pack of the pearl sugar (it’s THAT good!)… and I now have space! haha 🙂

  4. 4

    Tina@flourtrader — June 27, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

    Thanks for sharing such a unique and tasty recipe. I would like
    to make these but am wondering if you could use just a regular
    waffle iron or you have to have a belgian one.

    • Kristina replied: — June 28th, 2011 @ 11:15 am

      i would assume that it would work fine… I’ve never tried it since I don’t have that type of waffle maker, but I don’t see how it would make that big of a difference (other than the cooking time might be slightly different) Let me know if you try it!

  5. 5

    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — June 27, 2011 @ 9:17 pm

    I love a big waffle. Looks wonderful with the fruit and powdered sugar!

    • Kristina replied: — June 28th, 2011 @ 11:15 am

      Thanks Erin!

  6. 6

    Michelle — June 28, 2011 @ 3:13 am

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! It sounds wonderful, and I can’t wait to try it!

    • Kristina replied: — June 28th, 2011 @ 11:15 am

      You’ll LOVE it! I’ve never had anythign like it! 🙂

  7. 7

    Mom — June 28, 2011 @ 7:38 am

    These are absolutely amazing! BEST waffles ever!

    • Kristina replied: — June 28th, 2011 @ 11:16 am

      You’re partial haha

  8. 8

    Emily @Cleanliness — June 28, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

    I agree with Mom, these are rockin’ 🙂

  9. 9

    Christina of Form V Artisan — June 29, 2011 @ 8:08 am

    Ok. HOLD THE PHONE. I lived in Belgium for a while and stalked this man who sold Liege waffles on the street. When he wasn’t there I would freak out. Sometimes I would buy 2 at once just in case. It’s totally about that special sugar – that makes it! And you’re absolutely right – they’re dense, chewy and rich. Far superior compared to the “Belgian waffles”.

    Thanks for posting.

  10. 10

    Mr Incredible — June 29, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

    What is the history of the Liege waffle?

  11. 11

    Kelly — June 29, 2011 @ 9:16 pm

    Ooo this looks delicious and I love your pictures! 🙂

  12. 12

    Nancy — June 4, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

    I’m just wondering what kind of a waffle maker you used?

  13. 13

    Nikki @Pennies on a Platter — January 1, 2013 @ 10:56 am

    I just got a new Belgian waffle maker for Christmas and HAVE to try this! But, holy cow, that pearl sugar is expensive! lol! I’m on a mission to find it cheaper somewhere with free shipping. 😉 Happy new year!

  14. 14

    Vanessa — April 23, 2014 @ 2:47 am

    This looks amaaaazing! 🙂

  15. 15

    John Francisco — January 6, 2015 @ 1:23 pm

    What kind of waffle maker do you own? Trying to find one that does not desperate them into quarters but that’s all I can find.

    • Tina replied: — January 10th, 2015 @ 10:10 am

      Mine has the segments too… but I don’t mind it 🙂

  16. 16

    Sonja Caywood — May 23, 2017 @ 10:02 am

    LOL, I had the EXACT SAME EXPERIENCE IN THE SAME RESTAURANT! I found you while looking for that recipe, and can’t wait to try this. Thank you! Man, those were the best waffles ever-

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