You’ll wake up with a smile on your face, when you know these Cinnamon Waffles are waiting for you. Flavored with ground cinnamon and dotted with bits of zucchini, these make-ahead waffles are perfect for breakfast, a quick snack, or even a fun dessert, loaded with Maple Whipped Cream.
About ten years ago I started tucking shredded zucchini or carrot in my waffles. I don’t know why I’d never crossed paths with a vegetable waffle before; we do it for cakes and breads. Turns out it’s a habit that has stuck — and that my children love.
These Cinnamon Waffles are a great way to start early in the morning with your eight a day, and they are beautifully make-ahead.
Why Make This
These are super easy to make. These waffles mix up easily and bake up quickly. Yes, you have to measure a little more than you would with a mix, but the effort is minimal.
They are very make-ahead. I love to cook up a big batch of waffles to stash in the freezer. They make for easy breakfasts as the kids can grab as many as they like and warm them in the toaster.
They’re a little more nutritious than your average waffle. Typically waffles are loaded with sugar and fat, but these babies boast whole grains, just a wee bit of sugar, and did I mention they have vegetables in them? What more could you ask for?!
(See the ingredient notes for ways to boost the nutrients even more.)
While you’ll need to make sure you’ve got a great waffle maker, the ingredients list is pretty simple. Here’s what you’ll need to make these Zucchini Cinnamon Waffles:
flour – I use both whole wheat pastry flour as well as unbleached all-purpose flour in these waffles. You can use all of one if you prefer. If you’d like to use regular whole wheat flour, don’t use more than 2 cups of the total amount of flour as the waffles will be too heavy and dense.
sugar – There’s not a lot of sugar in these which allows for extra maple syrup or honey when you serve them. You can brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup instead of granulated sugar in the batter if you like.
baking powder – Baking powder is necessary for these waffles to get adequate lift. However, there are lots of baking substitutes if you run out. If you need to make your own baking powder for this recipe, use 3/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 2 teaspoons cream of tartar for each tablespoon needed. For the full recipe, that would be 3 teaspoons baking soda plus 8 teaspoons cream of tartar.
salt – It’s such a minute amount of salt, but you’ll miss it if you omit it.
ground cinnamon – Use whatever variety you like, but don’t leave it out. It puts the cinnamon in cinnamon waffle.
buttermilk – I like to use real cultured buttermilk, but if you don’t have that you can substitute 2 cups milk and 2 cups yogurt. Increase the protein by using Greek yogurt. If you have leftover, remember to freeze buttermilk, use it in these buttermilk recipes, or use it to culture your own buttermilk.
neutral oil – I use avocado oil, but you can use whatever oil you typically use for baking. You can also use melted butter. Remember this is a bulk batch and makes a lot of waffles.
eggs – Waffles are soft and tender inside thanks to the eggs. You can use a flaxseed egg substitute, but the texture won’t be the same.
zucchini – This is a great recipe for using up zucchini. If you don’t have zucchini on hand, you can substitute shredded carrot. So good!
There are lots of ways to jazz up your standard waffle recipe. This zucchini cinnamon waffle mash up is just one way. Consider these other options:
- Swap some protein powder in for some of the flour.
- Use a different baking spice instead of cinnamon, such as ground nutmeg or ginger.
- Substitute mashed banana, applesauce, or pumpkin or butternut squash puree for some of the oil.
- Fold in shredded carrot in addition to or instead of shredded zucchini.
- Omit the sugar and cinnamon and stir in shredded cheese (such as cheddar or parmesan) in addition to the zucchini.
- Swap some cornmeal for the flour for Buttermilk Corn Waffles.
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk to blend.
2. In another large mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and zucchini.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold to combine.
4. Allow the batter to rest for five minutes before baking in your waffle maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve immediately with butter and syrup.
To make waffles in advance, you can do one of 3 things:
- Make your own mixes! Assemble the dry ingredients in an airtight container or zip-top bag. Label with the date, contents, and baking instructions, being sure to list what wet ingredients need to be added. Store the mix in a cool dry place.
- Meal prep. Prepped food is good for up to 4 days. Store the cooked waffles in the fridge for best results. Check out these tips for meal prep waffles.
- Freeze the waffles. After you’ve cooked the waffles, cool them on a rack, then package them in an airtight container or zip-top freezer bag. Label with the date and contents and store in the freezer.
These cinnamon waffles are delicious as a breakfast served with butter and syrup alongside some Homemade Turkey Sausage or Baked Bacon. They are good with scrambled eggs or Yogurt Berry Parfaits. Waffles are also delicious served as a dessert with whipped cream and sundae toppings.
If you’re using a basic waffle mix, there are lots of different things you can stir in to spice it up, including ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, pumpkin pie spice, or apple pie spice.
Knowing how much it costs you to prepare a recipe can help you decide if it’s the type of recipe to make regularly or one you might want to save for special occasions. Let’s crunch some numbers and see how this recipe pencils out.
- unbleached flour – $0.60
- whole wheat flour – $0.44
- sugar – $0.05
- baking powder – $0.24
- cinnamon – $0.05
- salt – $0.01
- buttermilk – $3.20
- oil – $0.32
- eggs – $0.50
- zucchini – $0.25
Purchased at a mid-range grocery store at non-sale prices, the ingredients for this recipe cost $5.66 or 28 cents each!
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Zucchini Cinnamon Waffles
- 4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup baking powder
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 4 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup neutral oil
- 4 egg
- 1/2 zucchini for 1 cup shredded
- toppings for waffles such as butter, syrup, whipped cream, cinnnamon sugar, and fresh berries
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk to blend.
- In another large mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and zucchini.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold to combine.
- Allow the batter to rest for five minutes before baking in your waffle maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve immediately with toppings.
This post was originally published on August 10, 2011. It has been updated for content and clarity.