Homemade Belgian Liège Waffles, an easy authentic Belgian Sugar Waffle recipe! These easy from-scratch Belgian waffles are sticky and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The best with your favorite toppings for breakfast, brunch, snack, or even dessert!
I should warn you, once you make these Homemade Belgian Liège Waffles you’ll have a very tough time going back to regular American-style waffles. These Liège Waffles are a bit more work than regular liquid batter waffles, but so worth it. These waffles are sticky sweet and crispy on the outside and soft and light on the inside. The best!
I love waffles, don’t you? You might remember my Chicken Stuffed Waffle Pops that I made on Rachel Ray awhile back? Yum! But these Belgian waffles are sweet and perfect for special occasions, holidays, brunch, and even Mother’s Day!
My family and I went to New York City years ago and saw these food stands and food trucks with these most amazing hot of the griddle Belgian waffles. There was no going back. Have heard Jamba Juice also makes a great waffle, but I haven’t tried them (yet…) so until then, homemade is the way to go.
After trying those food truck waffles, next thing I knew, I was doing a lot of research on how to make authentic waffles like those because I knew the regular old waffle batter wasn’t going to cut it anymore.
What are Belgian Liège Waffles
What’s a little different about the Belgian waffle recipe for Belgian Liège Waffles (sugar waffles) is that it makes more of a DOUGH rather than an “American” Belgian liquid waffle batter. You divide the dough up into balls, then place the dough balls in your waffle maker rather than pour the batter into your waffle iron.
Belgian Liège Waffles are made with a yeast dough and pearl sugar. The sugar is larger chunks of sugar and the sugar carmelizes when cooked. These waffles are thick and have a sweet sticky crispy exterior and soft light dough consistency on the inside. There are also Belgian Brussels waffles that are similar but without pearl sugar.
The Belgian waffles we get in the United States in all the local restaurants and hotels are typically just made from a simple liquid waffle batter and cooked in a thick waffle maker. The taste and consistency is so different.
Equipment You May Need
- Waffle Maker – You’ll need a good Belgian waffle maker. I have this Cuisinart one–> Belgian Waffle Maker. I love it, works great, and it creates thick Belgian waffles. I think it’s the best waffle maker for Liège waffles that I have found. However, if I was in the market for a new one, I think I would look for one that has removable plates like this one –> Removable Plate Belgian Waffle Maker.
- Scale – A digital kitchen scale comes in handy to divide up the dough before cooking.
- Tongs – Waffle irons get HOT, so some tongs like these waffle tongs are much needed to remove the waffles.
(Full printable recipe card is at bottom of post.)
Belgian Liège Waffles Ingredients
- Milk – I used skim milk because that’s what we typically have around, but you could definitely use what you have such as 2% or whole. Warm it up slightly before mixing with the yeast to help activate the yeast.
- Yeast – I used a 0.25 ounce packet of active dry yeast. Have heard some people have had luck making sourdough versions of these waffles without yeast, but I haven’t tried.
- Flour – Regular all-purpose.
- Butter – Unsalted, but if you only have salted, you may want to adjust the amount of salt. Soften to room temperature.
- Eggs – Large.
- Salt – As I mentioned above, if you only have salted butter, you may want to reduce the salt.
- Vanilla – Or you can use your favorite flavoring or extract instead or in addition to the vanilla. Almond extract would be delicious.
- Belgian Pearl Sugar – You definitely need Pearl Sugar for these waffles. Pearl sugar is like little chunks of sugar much more coarse than granulated sugar. Please do not substitute regular sugar. If you really have to make a no pearl sugar version, I have heard some people have had good luck with chopped sugar cubes, but I haven’t tried.
How to Make Belgian Liège Waffles
Step One: Mix together the warm milk and yeast and let stand about 5 minutes to help activate the yeast.
Step Two: Stir in the rest of the ingredients except the pearl sugar, until well combined. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until double in size, about 30-60 minutes.
Step Three: When the dough has doubled, carefully mix in the pearl sugar until evenly distributed.
Step Four: Lightly grease your waffle maker and preheat. I like to brush a little vegetable oil on my waffle maker.
Step Five: Divide the dough into 2 to 4 ounce balls (depending on how big you want to make them). Place the dough balls in batches in your waffle maker. Bake about 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.
(Full printable recipe card with full details is at bottom of post.)
- Top the Belgian Waffles with your favorite toppings like maple syrup, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, fresh fruit, fruit sauces, whip cream, ice cream, or just a little powdered sugar. This Cinnamon Banana Sauce would be really good, as well as this Peanut Butter Sauce or Strawberry Sauce or even these Strawberries for Shortcake would be perfect.
- These waffles would be fun for a waffle bar breakfast or brunch even after a sleepover party! Or a fun dessert bar idea!
- For a fun twist, you could turn these into savory waffles by adding some fresh or dried herbs or spices, or maybe your favorite cheese or even precooked meat. Be creative!
- Make a simple cannoli version by topping with this homemade Cannoli Cream. Yum!
Quick Tips for Best Results
- Please use pearl sugar for the best results. Granulated sugar will not result in the same sticky crispy waffle.
- Make sure your waffle maker makes THICK waffles. I don’t think this will work as well with a regular thin waffle maker so I highly recommend a good quality Belgian waffle maker.
- Serve the waffles while they’re warm and still fresh. Although you can reheat any leftovers in the oven or toaster oven.
Belgian Liège Waffles FAQ
How should I store the waffles?
I would store any leftover waffles in an airtight container or resealable bag in the refrigerator.
Can I freeze the waffles?
Yes! These waffles freeze great. I’d freeze the waffles in a single layer on a lined baking sheet then store in a resealable bag. Or be sure to wrap them well if you want to store them longer.
How long will the waffles last?
The waffles will last a few days in the refrigerator or a few months in the freezer if wrapped well.
For the pearl sugar, I have heard of people buying sugar cubes at their grocery store then putting it in a food processor and pulsing until smaller chunks. I haven’t tried it, so can’t say how it compares. You can also use your favorite extract or flavoring in addition or instead of the vanilla extract. Almond extract would be delicious!
Can I use low-fat ingredients?
You could try a lower fat butter or margarine as well as egg whites but I have not tried either so can’t say how well they will turn out or how they will taste.
What else can I add to this Belgian Liège Waffle recipe?
You can add your favorite mix-ins such as nuts, chocolate chips, or other baking chips. Be careful though, some mix-ins may burn a bit on the waffle maker. You can also add your favorite extracts or flavorings as well as spices (such as cinnamon).
Can I make this vegan/vegetarian/low carb/gluten-free?
Here are some suggestions, but I can’t guarantee results. Be sure as always to check particular brands and ingredients if you’re following a specific diet or have diet restrictions or allergies.
Vegan – This recipe would be tough to make vegan since half of the ingredients are not vegan friendly. Although you could try substitutes for the butter, eggs, and milk. Although most vegans will eat yeast, I’d double check on that one too.
Vegetarian – These waffles are vegetarian.
Low-Carb – These waffles are tough to make low-carb. To make slightly lower carb you can reduce the sugar. Or use some of the pearl sugar and substitute a sugar substitute for some.
Gluten-Free – You can try a gluten free flour baking substitute but I have not tried so not sure how well they waffles will cook.
Other Brunch Recipes You May Enjoy
- Cranberry Orange Muffins – Jumbo muffins with fresh cranberries and a little orange. Panera Copycat recipe!
- Pull-Apart Monkey Bread – Start with refrigerated biscuit dough and you’ll have a great brunch idea in no time.
- French Canadian Crepes – A family favorite passed down for generations.
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins – Bakery-style muffins full of banana and chocolate!
Hope you enjoy these delicious from-scratch Belgian Liège Waffles! Tell me in the comments what you topped them with.
Belgian Liège Waffles (How To) Video
Check out this quick video tutorial my son Jordan put together of him showing how this recipe comes together…
You might also like these Shrimp Stuffed Waffle Pops!
Belgian Liege Waffles (Sugar Waffles)
- 3/4 cup milk warmed to about 100-110 degrees F
- 0.25 ounce active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces Belgian Pearl Sugar
- Place warm milk in a large bowl. Whisk in yeast. Let sit about 5 minutes.
- Stir in flour, butter, eggs, salt, and vanilla into yeast and milk until well combined. Cover bowl and let rise until dough is about double in size, about 30-60 minutes.
- When dough is about double in size, mix in pearl sugar.
- Lightly grease your waffle maker then preheat according to manufacturer directions.
- Divide dough into balls about 2-4 ounce each (depending how big you want them). Place dough in batches in your waffle maker. Bake waffles for about 3-5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Top with your favorite waffle toppings.
(Nutrition data is provided when available for informational purposes only and calculated using an online nutritional calculator. For the most accurate information please calculate based on specific ingredients and brands you use as well as any changes you made to the recipe. I am not a certified nutritionist or registered dietician and any nutritional information provided should only be used as a general guideline and estimate.)
This post was originally published in August 2017, but updated in May 2021 with additional information.
Tamara M kelly says
I am making these for an event but need to make 260. How far in advance may I make the dough and how do I store it when making the waffles?
Lisa Huff says
I don’t have any experience saving this dough for a long time so can’t say for sure but might be ok for a day or two in the fridge. I’d suggest testing out a small batch for a big event like that beforehand. BUT these waffles do heat up well so you could actually make them all a day or two before and reheat in the oven.
Would it be ok to make the dough a bit ahead and wait to cook them? I’m having a dinner party and would like to serve for dessert.
Lisa Huff says
Yes! The dough should be ok for awhile.
Excellent recipe. I make a vegan version ALL. THE. TIME. Just use plant-based butter, plant-based milk, and sub Just Egg or Vegg for the eggs (I don’t recommend “flag egg” for this recipe). I’ve tried other vegan liege waffle recipes and this one veganized is the best, hands down.
*flax egg, not flag
Lisa Huff says
Thank you so much Marcela!
I just recently had these at a festival. I had to go down the rabbit hole and thoroughly investigate! I’m so glad I ran across your post. I have a couple questions though does the sugar within the batter melt or do the waffles have crunchy bits of sugar inside? Also in a pinch could raw sugar, larger than turbinado size substitute? I read that raw sugar maintains a little more molasses flavor, which might be nice. 🤩 thank you for this recipe! And tell your son he did a good job demonstrating🙂
Lisa Huff says
Thanks for the sweet comment! The sugar in the batter does melt so you you shouldn’t have chunks of hard sugar. You could use sugar cubes and break them up a bit. You really could use any kind of sugar BUT it will not result in the same texture. I’d order some of the sugar to start and then experiment with other sugar so you have a frame of reference. Hope you enjoy!
Helen S. Fletcher says
You might want to make sure your readers know the difference between Swedish and Belgian pearl sugar. Swedish will not work in this recipe.
Lisa Huff says
Thanks Helen, I will add a note about that!