Sweet Potato Waffles made with whole wheat flour and scented with festive gingerbread spices. This easy recipe makes perfect healthy freezer waffles that you can simply pop in the toaster when you're in the mood for waffles. A great make-ahead breakfast for any time!
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When I was a kid, we were not allowed downstairs on Christmas morning until We Wish You A Merry Christmas started playing on our ancient record player. It was on actual vinyl, and set on a timer to start playing around eight o'clock in the morning.
We'd be poised and ready at the top of the stairs, listening for the click of the record player turning on, and as soon as we heard the first notes start to play, "Weeeeeeeeee WISH you a Merry Christmas..." the four of us would come thundering down the stairs.
The rule was we were allowed to open our stockings right away, but before we got to the gifts under the tree we were required to eat breakfast. To make the agony of being forced to eat a proper breakfast before we could get at our presents a little more tolerable, we were allowed to eat store-bought toaster waffles - I'm not naming names, but the brand rhymed with schmeggo - on this one magical day of the year, and we thought that was pretty much the best thing ever.
Have you tried a store-bought toaster waffle recently? Let me tell you, even with all that childhood nostalgia wrapped up around them, they are not good. So cardboardy! That chemical after taste! And, they make your teeth feel weird... what is that?! Our juvenile tastebuds did not know what's what.
Luckily, I know a secret. The schmeggo toaster waffle people would not want you to know this, but folks, you can MAKE YOUR OWN TOASTER WAFFLES!
It gets better: you can make your homemade toaster waffles with delicious, good for you, recognizable, real-food ingredients. AND, you can make then in advance, pop them into the freezer, and then come breakfast time all you need to do is drop your waffles into the toaster - from frozen - and *poof!* your breakfast is done did.
How do you like them waffles?
Let's talk specifically about these waffles, because these aren't ordinary waffles. Nope. These are Spiced Sweet Potato Waffles, and folks, they are delicious.
What's in these Sweet Potato Waffles?
- Sweet potato purée --> perfect if you have some leftover from making vegan sweet potato casserole or sweet potato pudding.
- Whole wheat flour --> I use white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour for a lighter waffle.
- Buttermilk --> Mmmhmm. Love that tang.
- Eggs --> To bind these beauties together.
- Molasses --> For that gingerbread spice thang.
- Olive oil --> But you can totes use melted butter if you prefer.
- Baking powder and baking soda --> To leaven things up.
- Ground ginger --> Spice.
- Cinnamon --> Up.
- Nutmeg --> Your.
- Cloves --> Life.
Do you need any special equipment to make sweet potato waffles?
You will need a waffle iron, obviously. I just have a real basic waffle iron and it does the job just fine.
How do you make these waffles?
If you’ve known me for any time at all then you already know that I am a very lazy baker. If you’re new here, know that I’m always on the lookout for ways to use only one bowl. So here’s my lazy baker’s method for making these sweet potato waffles:
Step 1: In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potato purée, eggs, milk, and melted butter.
Step 2: Place a sifter over the wet mix, and sift the flower, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg directly over the wet ingredients.
Step 3: Use a silicon spatula to mix the dry ingredients into the wet, until just barely mixed.
Step 4: Let the waffle batter stand for 10 minutes while you’re heating up your waffle iron. This is essential for light and fluffy waffles!
Step 5: Brush or spray your waffle iron with butter or oil. I use soft butter and a silicon brush because I don’t have one of those misto things.
Step 6: Scoop a quarter cup or so of waffle batter into each section of your waffle iron (the amount will vary depending on the size of your iron) and close.
Step 7: Cook the waffles according to the directions on your waffle maker. Mine take about 3 minutes and are done when a little green light goes on.
How to freeze waffles
I heartily encourage you to make an extra big batch any time you’re making waffles, and freeze them for future use. The trick is making sure the waffles are completely cool before they go into the freezer.
Pop the waffles out of the waffle iron and onto a wire wrack to cool. Once they’re cool, pop them into a freezer bag. I love using silicon freezer bags as a sustainable option, and I also just keep a regular freezer bag in the freezer as my “waffle bag” (patent pending) and fill it up whenever I make a fresh batch.
How do you re-heat frozen waffles?
My preferred method is in the toaster, but you can totally use the microwave or the oven as well.
My kids also like to eat their waffles frozen, because, like most kids, they are weirdos.
To be perfectly honest, I actually prefer my waffles out of the toaster; they're much more crisp and delicious than if you'd eaten them right out of the waffle iron. So much so that if I'm not pointedly making a batch of freezer waffles, I always (ALWAYS!) make an extra big batch so I can stash some away.
Hey Nutrition Lady, what's the deal with sweet potatoes?
Orange fleshed sweet potatoes are incredibly rich in beta-carotene, a pre-curser to vitamin A. In fact, some studies have shown that sweet potatoes contain even more bioavailable beta-carotene than leafy green vegetables.
Sweet potatoes also contain storage proteins called sporamins which have unique antioxidant properties. Also valuable for their anti-inflammatory benefits and blood sugar regulation, sweet potatoes are loaded with fiber, which helps steady the pace of digestion and regulate glucose uptake.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6, potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and phosphorus complex carbohydrates.
Other Make-Ahead Breakfasts You Might Enjoy:
Vegetarian Frittata with Corn and Tomatoes
Vegetarian Breakfast Burrito
Vegetarian Breakfast Casserole with Swiss Chard and Gruyere
Vegan Banana Waffles
Sweet Potato Strata with Smoked Gouda and Leeks
Spiced Sweet Potato Waffles
- ½ cup sweet potato purée
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour*
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- butter or olive oil for the waffle iron
- Plug in your waffle iron and let it heat up while you're mixing up the waffle batter.
- In a large bowl whisk together sweet potato puree, eggs, molasses, and olive oil.
- Place a sifter over the wet ingredients, and sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cloves directly on top of the wet mix.
- Use a silicon spatula to mix the dry ingredients down into the wet. Do not over mix.
- Let the waffle mix stand for 10 minutes while the waffle iron heats up.
- Grease your waffle iron, if needed, and scoop ¼ cup of waffle batter into each section.
- If you're planning to freeze the waffles, cook them until just before golden brown and then remove to cool on a wire rack.
Originally published December 20, 2017. Updated, edited, and republished Dec 14, 2019.
Made these this morning but with pumpkin because that’s what I had. I accidentally doubled the pumpkin, so I used 1/2 amount of buttermilk and it worked out great! Very tasty!
Delicious. My only complaint is that made a double batch to have some leftovers and I was only left with 4 after everyone was finished. Baby and toddler approved!
forgot to rate this recipe - so scrumptious, so hugge in this cold winter.
What a great idea, Katie - we had them tonight for Pancake/Shrove Tuesday. I made half the batter into pancakes, and half into waffles.
Thank you for the recipe.
I loved reading about your Christmas morning tradition. I can picture it in my mind's eye. We always went to early service at church, followed by a brunch of vegetable and sausage strata and fruit salad, and only then did we start opening presents. A lot of delayed gratification for young-uns! Anyway, your waffles sound wonderful, and I appreciate you highlighting how to prep them for freezing. Unbelievably we don't have a toaster, using the grill in our top oven instead. But I'm sure they would turn out just fine with this method, too. Happy New Year when it comes to you in Mauritius!
Church then brunch THEN presents? Oh, the torture! How funny that you don't own a toaster! I think these would do just fine to be crisped up in the oven as well, or even stove top in a little butter in a skillet. Hope you've had a fab holiday, Kellie!
Just made these. They are delicious! Wish I'd doubled the recipe as I've eaten two already for lunch. Not many left to toast.
Linda from Veganosity
Your mom really did torture you and your siblings, Lol! Such a fun story. 🙂
Store bought waffles are nasty. I know what you mean about the strange feeling on your teeth. I thought I was the only one. Scary to think what that could be. Your waffles sound amazing! I'm loving the sweet potato part, so delicious!
That waffle teeth feeling - it's like biting into a green banana but worse! Hope you had a great holiday, Linda!
So good! These are outstanding.
I don’t have a waffle iron, but would like to try these as pancakes. Any modifications you recommend before I start experimenting?
Sorry for the late response! I haven't tested these as pancakes, but I imagine they'd work out just fine. You may want to thin the batter a little bit so they spread more easily when you cook them. Let us know how they turn out if you try this!
I finally got around to making Sweet Potato Gingerbread Pancakes. The recipe as written doesn’t say what to do with the buttermilk; I mixed it with the other wet ingredients. My batter did not need any additional liquid to be the right consistency for pancakes rather than waffles, hooray! The pancakes are good, but I think I’ll try increasing the spices next time.
Hi Lynne, I'll update the recipe, thanks for catching that. You were right to add the buttermilk with the wet ingredients! Definitely add extra spices to suit your tastes; some people prefer more, and others less. Glad these worked as pancakes for you!