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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Liege Belgian Waffles

When I was in Salt Lake a few years ago, I met up with some friends at Bruges Waffles & Frites. It was the first time I had eaten a Liege Belgian waffle and I instantly fell in love. The sweetness and the texture come together to create waffle magic. (P.S. Bruges’ fries are amazing, too! Here is my post about our visit to Bruges if you’re interested.)

Liege Belgian Waffles |

Not too long after that, my Aunt Sue posted a recipe for Liege waffles on our family Facebook page. I’ve had that recipe tucked away for two years waiting for the moment I finally got around to purchasing Belgian pearl sugar so I could make the waffles.

pearl sugar |

That still hasn’t happened, BUT…when we moved away from Menlo Park earlier this year, our Swedish friends the Montags gave us a box of Swedish pearl sugar as a going away gift. They know how obsessed I am with bulle and Swedish pearl sugar is what you traditionally top the bread with. It was such a great gift, they know me too well!

Swedish pearl sugar |

Anyway, Swedish pearl sugar is smaller than Belgian pearl sugar, but I decided it was close enough and finally gave the waffle recipe a try.

Liege Belgian Waffles |

These waffles are a dream, best eaten at brunch or even as dessert. They are CRAZY sweet. As Sue points out in the recipe, you sort of feel like you had sugar shot straight into your veins! But in a good way, of course.

I highly recommend this recipe and Liege waffles in general. Such a delectable treat! And, yes, cleaning your waffle iron afterwards is a big pain, but it’s worth it!

Liege Belgian Waffles
Recipe type: Breakfast
  • 2 C flour
  • 1 C Belgian pearl sugar*
  • 1 C melted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 package yeast (2 T)
  • ⅓ C lukewarm water
  • 1½ T granulated sugar (vanilla sugar if you have it)
  • ⅛ t salt
  1. Mix yeast, 1½ T sugar and salt into the lukewarm water. Let yeast dissolve and sit for 15 minutes (it should get foamy). In the meantime, melt the butter.
  2. Put flour in a large bowl. Make a hole in the middle and pour in the yeast mixture. Whisk together the eggs and melted butter and add to the flour as well. Knead until you get a nice, even dough. Let it rest and rise until dough doubles.
  3. Gently mix in the pearl sugar.
  4. Let dough rest for another 15 minutes. Preheat Belgian waffle iron.
  5. Place waffle dough into the waffle maker (see Sue’s notes below for a tip on this part) and bake for 3-5 minutes. Because the sugar was mixed into the dough later in the process, it will melt and caramelize and give you that special Liege waffle taste. Be careful when removing waffles from the iron as the sugar can be hot and sticky. Place on a cooling rack so the waffles can crisp up.
Sue's notes: I can’t find the original website to credit the brilliant person who wrote this recipe. Also, you need to think of the batter as a ball, almost like picking up a blob and being able to chuck it at someone across the room. It does not pour AT ALL! You will press the iron down over the dough to flatten it out to bake. Also, when the waffles are cooked, they will need to be prodded out of the waffle iron. They seem kind of floppy when first baked. Place them on a cooling rack and as they cool a bit, they become crispy as the caramelized sugar needs to cool to get hard. They are crispy and amazingly delicious. I could only eat a quarter of a waffle without feeling like I had literally shot sugar straight into my veins. BEWARE OF SUGAR SHOCK! P.S. I only use the Waring Pro Waffle Baker that you flip once you place the batter in the baker.

Jane's note: I don't have a fancy Waring Pro Belgian waffle iron. Mine is a simple iron, but it IS a Belgian maker - you want the thicker waffle plates for this recipe.

liege waffle dough |

*Here is a website where you can Belgian pearl sugar straight from a town called Tienen in Belgium. You can also get Belgian pearl sugar on Amazon. Sue has also used turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw) and says you get a similar effect. Liege waffle purists don’t even like using the Swedish pearl sugar, but you can do whatever you want as far as I’m concerned! 😉

Liege Belgian Waffles |

Liege Belgian Waffles |

Liege Belgian Waffles |


  1. These have been on my list to try for so long now, ever since I had my first one at Bruges too.

  2. 2

    Mmm, looks delish. I’ve never even heard of pearl sugar before now, but the debate between the different sugars is interesting! (And makes me want something sweet….)

  3. I love the Swedish sugar and that is the exact brand I buy at my supermarket here in Sweden!

  4. 4

    Oh my, those look fabulous!

  5. 5

    Love Bruges! Can’t wait to try these!

  6. 6
    Aunt Sue

    So…anyone living in SLC…there is an awesome vintagy food trailer in the parking lot to Dan’s Foods on Wasatch Blvd that serves hot Liege waffles every Saturday morning. Come early as the line gets super long! You might even see my son,John, baking away! (Saturday’s Waffle)

  7. 7

    Hmmm….. waffles….

  8. 8

    I actually meant to write Mmmm….. not Hmmm….. Tired today 😉

  9. I’ve never heard of these. But you are very convincing, I desperately want! I love a yeasted waffle.

  10. 10

    I’m lucky enough to live in SLC and LOVE Bruges! Seriously A.MAZ.ING! But it’d be great to be able to make some at home, especially those Sunday mornings that Bruges is closed.

  11. 11

    Hi! I made the liege waffles today because I saw the recipe both in your blog and from but mine came out quite runny as soon as I added the melted butter. It combined fine but I felt maybe there was too much butter? As it separates a little. Did you really melt all of the 1 cup butter in the microwave? Or did you just let the cube/block of butter in its form war, to room temperature without microwaving it? The end result was good! But my batter didnt look anything like the pictures from your post. I made it twice since I wanted to recheck if I maybe just measured one item wrong, but after making sure everything was okay with my 2nd batter, it still looked the same. Pls help 🙁 Thank you!!

    • Jane Maynard

      I think you are JUST FINE, especially if your final product is coming out. 🙂 So, yes, I melt the whole cup of butter and the mix it in. When you look at the dough in my photo, it’s hard to tell, but there is a sheen of butter all around the dough. I felt like I had to keep mixing and mixing and it was still kind of “greasy” but mostly mixed in. the dough on zen can cook looks much “dryer” than mine did. you could try mixing in softened butter instead of melted, but I think whatever you’re doing is working just fine, so I probably wouldn’t worry about it.

      hope that’s helpful!

  12. 12

    I just came across your post through pintrest. My Hubby took me to Bruges. It was so good, I came home and googled liege waffles. I first tried the recipe with Swedish pearl sugar and it came out similar to yours with harden bits of sugar. I did some research and found out that most Belgium pearl sugar in the US is really just a larger form of Swedish pearl sugar and I didn’t want to wait to order sugar online. So, I used sugar cubes that I broke into smaller pea-sized chucks with a rolling pin. It melted much better and gave the waffles that crispy sugar coating that is so good!

    • Jane Maynard

      jessica, what a great tip! I will have to try that next time. I’m also thinking sugar in the raw may give the same effect. I’ll have to have a sugar-off! 🙂

  13. 13

    Hi! About how long does it take for the dough to rise?

  14. 14

    Hi Jane,
    Just some clarification on the sugar. There are 2 types of pearl sugar, one is Swedish and the other is Belgian. The Swedish pearl sugar is compressed under high pressure is designed to resist melting. It makes for a good sprinkle on baked good and looks like pretzel salt. Belgian pearl sugar is very different. It’s much larger (6-9mm in diameter) and made of beet sugar that melts/browns/caramelizes faster than cane sugar. This is what makes Liege waffles unique, the creme brulee like crust. Belgians actually seek a balance of melted sugar and unmelted pearls to give 2 different types of textures.
    – US Based Liege Waffle Dough Manufacturer and Distributor
    – The only full butter dough available commercially

  15. 15
    Beverly Axen

    I’m totally enjoying your blog!! I’ve seen what you make and now will tell you about my dinner last Friday. I love to cook. My friends pretty much allow me to do much of it and when I visit friends in WA, they want me to do all the cooking! Last Friday, I was able to purchase Porterhouse steaks at my favorite market for $5.99lb. I bought two, took off the wrapping paper, placed them on a plate, and proceeded to dry them gently with a papertowel. I seasoned them with Montreal steak seasoning and pepper and placed them uncovered in the fridge for 8 hours to allow the cool air to dry them out. Thirty minutes before grilling I brought them out and placed the plate on the counter while my grill was heating up. In the mean time, I removed the silks from 4 ears of corn leaving the husks intact. I soaked them for 20 minutes in a pan of water before wrapping each ear in aluminum foil. I quickly sliced a pound of mushrooms and 1 large onion. I put one grill burner on low and put the corn over it. The two steaks went over the other two burners which I now turned to med low. Then I set the timer on my phone for 5 minutes. I made sure any fires were kept at bay and rotated my corn so as not to have any hot spots. after five minutes, I flipped the steaks and timed for 4 minutes. After the alarm dinged, I removed the steaks to a platter, covered them in foil, and let them sit while I started cooking the onions in a cast iron skillet with butter. Once they carmelized, I put in the mushrooms and a bit more butter. Right at the end, I put in a splash of red wine. I carefully removed the aluminum foil and husks from the grilled corn and laid them directly on the grill to get the charred flavor. We served grill steaks with onions and mushrooms, grilled corn slathered with butter, salad, and lots of red wine (Malbec or a Cabernet). For dessert, I peeled and halved peaches (it is that time of year) and grilled them as well. I had three bowls of Breyers Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and I sliced the warm peaches on top with whipped cream. YUM! There were three of us eating and it was delicious!!

  16. 16
    Susan Lutz

    I am making these today, I started to make another recipe from another blog, but saw that the waffles turned out a bit too heavy. I am about to put the dough on the waffle maker. Wish me luck. I will post results soon!

    • hope they turned out! I will say that liege waffles are quite heavy to begin with, but hopefully this recipe was more what you were looking for! 🙂

  17. 17
    Food Sage

    Have some really important tips and time saving suggestions forvthise who want this to be easier and turnnout really well.
    1. Use a stand up mixer and place the yeast, water and sugar in a mixer bowl and mix to dissolve yeast. Do not add the salt at this time. Salt inhibits the yeast growth. Add the salt later when you add the flour. Let sit 15 minutes to get foamy.
    2. Do not completely melt the butter. It makes it too hard to incorporate. Either leave the butter out for three or four hours on the counter unwrapped or place it in the microwave for a minute at the lowest or second to lowest setting just to make it pliable but not melted.
    3. Add the eggs to the foamy yeast mixture right in the mixer bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of double strength vanilla extract. This recipe screams for vanilla and not including it will leave you with a hole in the flavor profile. Mix well to combine. Then add 1 cup of flour, and mix with the dough hook. Stop every 30 seconds or so to incorporate what is stuck on the sides. It will be shaggy looking at this point and have some raw flour, it does not have to be a uniform batter at this point.
    4. Add both sticks of softened butter, the second cup of flour and the 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Mix with dough hook on low speed. Stop every 30 seconds or so to incorporate what is stuck on the sides. After everything is incorporated and you see no more raw flour, use a spatula to push down any dough on the sides, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the bowl in a warm spot (about 100°F max) to rise.
    If you want less sweet waffles, cook some of the dough without adding the pearl sugar.

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