Pumpkin Waffle in Iron

Pumpkin waffles were the first waffle recipe I ever seriously worked on, even before I became obsessed with Liège waffles. It’s the spices. In just the right proportion to the waffle and to one another, there’s an alchemy that tastes like everything that is pure and perfect – and one which always brings back a flood of holiday memories.

For years, I used pumpkin purée as the base of these waffles. It was easy to get year-round, and since almost everyone uses Libby’s for pumpkin pies, the flavor was just what one would expect. The purée wasn’t the perfect solution though. Not only was it a lazy approach for me to use canned pumpkin, but its fiber content produced a waffle that liked to hold onto moisture and which wound up much denser than I would have preferred. After about 90 rounds of recipe refinement, I got it to a workable point; however, I always knew the density was a fatal flaw. The solution was that I’d have to juice a pumpkin. That was the only way I could get the flavor without the textural downsides.

Pie Pumpkin

Last fall is when I finally made the plunge into pumpkin juicing. I wish I had done so years before. The process is simple. You cut a pie pumpkin into quarters, scraped out the seeds, cut off the hard skin, then chop the fruit into chucks that you can toss in a juicer. For this photo series, I used a 2.4 kilo pie pumpkin and was able to yield 630 grams of juice. That’s enough for 10 waffles.

Pie Pumpkin

After I juice my pumpkins, it’s a strangely cloudy mix of liquids and solids, so I like to filter the juice to get a more homogenous final product.

Pumpkin Juice

Filtering Pumpkin Juice

The rest of the waffle is generally consistent with my master waffle recipe, with just a few adjustments. Since the pumpkin juice makes up much of the liquid, the milk has been cut back and the butter amount has been upped, to help offset the fat loss from the reduction in milk. There’s also slightly more sugar in this than my usual, but only about 5 grams per waffle. The spices are a mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove; measurement of them, the salt and the leavening is, as always, key.

Weighing Ingredients

Once you have everything weighed, be sure to sift thoroughly.

Sifting Waffle Ingredients

The final mixing of the batter should be done in two stages – as is the case with any baking soda or baking powder leavened waffle. First, add the butter, egg, and milk to the wet ingredients. Blend until all the dry ingredients are just moistened. There will be lumps. Then add the pumpkin juice and finish blending. The moment you have all the juice incorporated, the batter should be as smooth as silk and quite thin.

First Blending Stage

Second Blending Stage

Pour the batter onto the iron, and give it 3:25 at 191°C/375°F. As you saw in the top shot of this post, it will turn out perfectly cooked.

From there, all you have to do is eat it up. For this particular shot, I topped the waffle with Kinney’s Sugarhouse maple, which is an exquisite and full-bodied maple. Another great choice would be Hilltop Boilers, which has smoky elements that can play well with the spices. The full recipe is below. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Waffle Recipe
Serves 2
Rather than using pumpkin purée. which results in a dense waffle, this recipe uses fresh pumpkin juice. It retains all the flavor you'd get with purée, while still delivering a perfectly crisp on the outside, tender on the inside texture.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
  1. 112.0g all-purpose flour
  2. 12.0g corn flour
  3. 10.0g light brown sugar
  4. 6.8g baking powder
  5. 2.8g salt
  6. 1.og ground Indonesian/Korintje cinnamon
  7. 0.88g powdered ginger
  8. 0.38g freshly-grated nutmeg
  9. 0.30g ground clove
  10. 62g egg (heated in a very warm water bath and then lightly beaten)
  11. 27g melted butter at 43°C/110°F
  12. 104g whole milk at 43°C/110°F
  13. 120g pumpkin juice 43°C/110°F
  1. Preheat your waffle iron to 191°C/375°F
  2. Sift the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  3. Add the warm egg, butter, and the milk. Mix to moisten the dry ingredients (there will be lumps).
  4. Add the pumpkin juice, and finish blending the ingredients. The batter will be smooth and of a thin consistency.
  5. Pour the mix into the preheated iron and cook for 3 minutes 25 seconds.
  1. Remove the waffle from the iron and place on a wire rack to cool. When the waffle has cooled below 49°C/120°F, place the waffle back into the iron to cook for 10 seconds longer. Serve immediately.
Waffle Recipes: Professional Formulas for Artisanal Waffles http://www.waffle-recipes.com/