If you love brunch, and you love waffles, then you’ve probably asked yourself how to make waffle mix better. Not everyone has the time to make waffles from scratch, and the boxed stuff does a pretty good job.
Good, but not great. If you’ve ever wondered how to make your boxed waffle mix taste like you made it from scratch, then you’re in the right place.
Keep reading to learn the 6 best ingredients to add to turn average waffle mix into something extra special. Plus, you’ll learn additional tips to make your batter stand out and make you look like a brunch professional.
Best Ingredients to Add to Make Waffle Mix Better
As good as boxed waffle mix is, it can always use a little help. Even a dash of spice (as you’ll see later) can make a huge difference in the flavor of your waffles.
Here are some of the best ingredients to add to your next batch of waffles.
Adding cinnamon is one of the best ways to elevate your next brunch feast. When it comes to your waffle mix, you should add ½ tablespoon of cinnamon per 4-6 waffles.
In addition to cinnamon, you can add any spices you like. This includes nutmeg, cloves, even straight up pumpkin pie or chai spice is sure to taste delicious. Just remember that you can always add more flavor after you’ve made your waffles, but you can’t take any flavor out. So, add your spices slowly.
Try this recipe: These banana waffles are made from scratch, and yet they’re just almost as easy as opening a box.
Boxed waffle mix obviously does not include butter, and yet that is easily one of the most essential ingredients needed to make waffles taste so good.
While you can add butter after the waffles are made, it’s also easy to add it straight to your batter. To add butter, simply add 3 tablespoons of melted butter to your batter for every 4-6 waffles.
Alternatively, if you’re vegan, then you can add coconut oil to your batter. Be sure to buy fractionated coconut oil if you do not want the coconut flavor to come through.
Try this recipe: These waffles made with no milk have butter infused in the batter, not to mention they take just 35 minutes to make.
If you love giant, Insta-worthy Belgian waffles – the kind that restaurants only serve one of – then you need to try adding yeast to your boxed waffle mix.
Yeast is used as a leavening agent. It acts by eating the sugar from the flour and producing carbon dioxide, which creates a lot of air bubbles. This reaction creates a fluffy batter that makes for bouncy, slightly tangy waffles.
To add yeast to your waffle mix, either add 1 ½ teaspoons of instant yeast directly to your batter, or dissolve 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast in your liquid (let sit for 10 minutes) then add the liquid to your batter. This is for every 4-6 waffles.
Whichever method you choose, allow the batter to sit, covered and in your fridge, for at least 8 hours. After this, gently mix your batter before cooking your waffles.
Lemon or Orange Zest
Lemon zest is one of those secret ingredients that is guaranteed to make your waffles stand out. A little goes a long way and adds a lovely sense of freshness. Orange zest does the same thing, and which you choose really depends on what you’re in the mood for.
To add lemon zest or orange zest to your waffles, add 1 tablespoon for every 4-6 waffles.
Keep in mind that this will definitely add a slight citrus element to your waffles, so pair this hack with toppings such as fresh fruit, whipped cream, or orange blossom honey.
Boxed waffle mix is made to be simple, which is why some key ingredients get left out. Vanilla extract is one of those ingredients that belongs in any baked brunch treat.
To add vanilla extract to your waffle mix, simply add to your batter 1 teaspoon per every 4-6 waffles.
Side note, depending on the mood you’re in, you can swap vanilla extract for almond extract, peppermint extract, or orange extract. The opportunities are endless.
Try this recipe: These mochi waffles taste great when you combine the vanilla extract with sweet rice flour.
Milk or Buttermilk
Most boxed waffle mixes call for liquid, meaning water, but milk is an easy swap that will make a big difference. Simply swapping the “liquid” for a milk of your choice is guaranteed to result in more rich, flavorful waffles.
You can also swap milk for equal portions of buttermilk if you want even more rich, full flavor.
Tips for Making Boxed Waffle Mix Taste Better
Even if you don’t have the ingredients listed above, you can still make a couple adjustments to your batter to make the waffles turn out better.
Here are a couple simple tips to make your waffles turn out better than simply following the directions on the box:
Sift the ingredients
Sifting adds air to the dry mix, which in turn will allow for fluffier waffles. This is a good habit to do with all kinds of baking, as it prevents cakes from becoming too dense.
Don’t overmix the batter
Overmixing the batter will result in additional gluten forming, which will result in tough and/or chewy waffles. You want to mix the batter just enough so that everything is homogenized and there are no lumps, but don’t mix more after that.
Let the batter rest before making the waffles
Letting the batter rest for 10-15 minutes will give the baking soda and baking powder time to do their thing. As the ingredients infuse together, chemical reactions take place which result in bouncy and delicious waffles.
Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately first, then combine
By mixing the dry ingredients first, then the wet ingredients, then adding them together, this is the best way to guarantee everything gets mixed uniformly.
Most baking recipes recommend this process, and that’s probably because it guarantees no lumps or baking soda bubbles (if you’ve ever bitten into one, you know it doesn’t taste good).
Whether you’re in a rush, or you’re having a last minute brunch emergency, there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a box of waffle mix. That being said, with a few minor adjustments, you can easily make your waffle mix better.
Yes. Using milk instead of water in waffle mix is a great adjustment to make your waffles turn out more full in flavor and rich in texture.
Small adjustments can be made to make waffles taste even better, such as adding cinnamon, lemon zest, buttermilk, melted butter, vanilla extract, or even instant yeast.
Olivia has been in love with all things food and libations for nearly a decade. When she’s not cooking up new recipes, she enjoys bikepacking, wine tasting, crocheting, and traveling in her camper van up and down the Pacific Northwest.