These gluten-free & keto protein waffles are not the usual American style waffle, light and fluffy like pancakes. These are proper hefty and crispy waffles, like the ones you have in Amsterdam, which are funnily enough not Dutch waffles but Brussels waffles. Matters not, I love both.
Serve them with a homemade keto “maple” syrup and you’re golden – bonus recipe at the end!
Oh, have you seen keto waffle recipes that require a second step to “crisp” them up? Can you imagine removing a sad and limp waffle from the waffle maker and them popping it in a toaster to bring it to life before you can enjoy? No!
These keto vanilla waffles have a perfect, crispy texture just out of the iron!
The LikeHotKeto waffles just take easy to find ingredients that you can get in any supermarket – no xanthan gum or psyllium husk needed for the batter!
Almond flour and whey protein – If you are familiar with my recipes you must have noticed that I rarely use just one flour for the structure of any baked item. There isn’t, unfortunately, one keto flour as magical as wheat flour, that which turns everything – even plain water – into a bakeable dough.
Combining more than one keto flour in most of my recipes isn’t something that I do to complicate things, but for two important reasons: To perfect the texture and to improve nutrition by adding variety.
Almond flour is excellent for keto baking, but I prefer to limit my intake because it has too many calories and anti-nutrients.
This keto waffle recipe can be either done with vanilla or unflavored whey protein. If using vanilla flavored whey, most likely you’ll not need to add a keto sweetener, but this depends on your whey protein brand AND your sweet tooth.
The vanilla whey protein I used for these keto waffles is naturally sweetened with stevia, and it’s less sweet than most whey protein brands that use sucralose. If in doubt, just try a little bit of the batter, or make a mini first waffle to see if it’s sweet enough for your taste.
If using unflavored whey protein, add some vanilla extract separately. To sweeten, use erythritol, or any keto sweetener of your preference. Even liquid sweeteners are fine for this keto crispy waffle recipe, such as stevia drops, as the sweetener doesn’t play a role in the batter texture.
Natural yogurt or sour cream – When baking with protein powders, it’s always important to add an ingredient that serves as a moistener in the batter. Protein powders, and specially whey, are really drying and just plain liquid isn’t enough to create a stable mixture. For these keto blender waffles, the best choices are plain or Greek yogurt or sour cream.
Mozzarella cheese – The mozzarella is essential to make our keto waffles deliciously crispy!
The use of mozzarella in waffles
Do you think mozzarella it is a weird addition to waffles, only seen in the world of keto and low-carb baking? Well, I have an interesting fact your you: I found out that one of the world’s first waffle recipes actually had cheese as an ingredient!
There’s an anonymous manuscript from the 14th century called Le Menágier de Paris, a bit sexist by today’s standards, that shows some of the earliest written accounts of waffles. In two of them, the author recommends the use of cheese, between layers in the waffle batter, or grated and mixed in. So nobody can’t say cheese isn’t a traditional ingredient in a waffle!
A good part of the translated manuscript can be found here, and it’s a highly recommended read for folks with an interest in historic cookery. The waffle recipes are towards the end of the document, right after the explanation on how to gut hedgehogs and squirrels.
American vs Belgium waffles
American and Belgium waffles are actually the same waffle: It is not a difference in the waffle recipe, but rather a difference in the waffle machine plate style. But the difference in results achieved using the exact same recipe is enough to justify the confusion.
A Belgium style waffle iron is the best waffle machine you can buy, and the delicious waffles it produces simply can’t be beaten. The deeper pockets in the Belgium waffle plates promote a delicious contrasting texture of crispness and fluffiness, thanks to the heightened difference between the thinner and thicker waffle iron surfaces.
The deeper pockets in a Belgium style waffle iron have another amazing advantage: it increases the pooling area for the toppings!
The superiority of the Belgium style waffle iron is unquestionable. Really, if you are looking around for waffle irons, go for Belgium!
How to make keto crispy waffles
It’s best to use a proper, high powered blender here, so you can have a perfectly smooth batter in no time. If all you have is an immersion blender, don’t worry: it will work just as well, you just need to be careful to blend all bits to reach the necessary smoothness.
You can start preheating your waffle iron at this point. (Mine takes about 5 minutes to get ready).
Add the ingredients to the blender jug: eggs and Greek yogurt or sour cream (full fat!), followed by the powders (almond flour and vanilla whey protein) and the softened butter (1). If using unflavored whey protein, add vanilla extract and erythritol (or any other keto sweetener).
Blend everything until completely smooth, then add the mozzarella cheese and baking powder (2) and blend until the mozzarella is completely absorbed and indistinguishable form the surrounding creamy batter (3).
Brush the waffle iron with butter or ghee: Now, depending on how intimate you are with your waffle iron, you might skip this step. I had too many traumatizing events of waffles broken in the middle (they would separate, half stuck to the top plate and half stuck to the bottom plate) with my old iron. Granted, I had ruined it with non-stick spray.
But now I’m babying my new waffle iron and always start by brushing some butter, or ghee. I prefer ghee because it is softer (I can just easily pick it up with the brush) and it has a higher smoke point than butter.
So, if you choose to do so, spread the fat of your choice in between the grooves of the waffle iron with a pastry brush (4) before pouring the keto waffle batter onto the center of your iron: I’m lucky enough to have a huge waffle machine that makes two giant waffles at a time! This keto waffle batter is quite thick, so you might need to spread it a little bit with the spatula. It will not run through the grooves as most waffle recipes do.
Although, be warned, the consistency of the dough may vary according to the brand of whey protein, and also between the vanilla flavored or unflavored versions. Flavored whey protein powders come with extra ingredients that, in my experience, do help make the batter thicker. The waffle versions I’ve made with my unflavored whey were a bit runnier. Solution? No need, the waffle will come out great as well.
In my preheated waffle iron, the waffles were done after 5 minutes only, at 205 °C (400 °F). Use this as a starting point, unless you have a different instruction that came with your waffle machine.
How to use and care for a waffle iron
- Never use a non-stick spray on your waffle maker! The waffle irons are generally coated in a non-stick surface, and when you add the non-stick spray it will just make it sticky. I know it sounds weird, but to keep your non-stick surfaces not sticking (all your pans and grills and even the cake and muffin tins) just use regular fat, such as butter, ghee, lard or oil.
- Use non-stick utensils, such as silicone or wooden. I know sometimes is tempting, you think you can use just the tip of a fork to fish the waffle up, but what if the waffle is a bit stuck? What if you need to jiggle it up? Silicone tongues are really the best option here, and for non-stick grill cooking as well.
- Don’t peak! If the waffles aren’t set, opening the waffle machine might ruin their shape. Check if you waffle iron came with instructions for temperature and timing, or follow my suggestions, but avoid opening the machine until you are almost sure they are ready.
- How to keep the waffles crispy: as you remove the waffles from the waffle iron, don’t pile them up, as you would pancakes. Put them side by side, or in individual plates. You want to keep the edges of the waffles crisp, and for that you need to prevent the heat and moisture from being transferred from one waffle to another, which will make them damp.
The best keto waffle toppings
- Whipped cream with keto shaved dark chocolate or chocolate chips
- Whipped cream and sliced strawberries, blueberries or raspberries, sprinkled with powdered erythritol
- Keto cinnamon “sugar” – just mix the cinnamon with powdered keto sweetener
- Butter – yeah, just some full flavored grass-fed butter! 🤤
- Keto ice-cream
- Drizzle of melted sugar-free chocolate
- Sugar-free pancake and waffle syrups, like chocolate, caramel or maple syrup
Oh, and I’ll admit – if you do IIFYM, go for real, organic maple syrup. Just one or two tablespoons hopefully won’t break your macro bank and unfortunately I haven’t yet found a substitute that brings so much joy.
For a homemade keto maple syrup substitute: if you don’t have sugar-free maple syrup lying around, and don’t want to spare macros for real maple syrup, you can do a quick sauce that will help fill that hole. Or all the holes, depends on how much you pour on top of your keto deep pocketed waffles 😋
Bonus recipe: keto maple syrup
I ran out of my keto maple syrup, so I whipped up a quick substitute to drizzle above the keto waffles for their photo session. It’s a really simple sugar-free sweet spiced syrup, that does its job well enough if you don’t want to have naked waffles.
Add in a saucepan a cup of water, a cinnamon stick, about 10 cloves, a couple of slices of ginger, some freshly grated nutmeg – about a pinch. Boil the water and spices for around 5 minutes, to make a spicy tea, of sorts.
Turn off the heat, then add sweetener, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon of blackstrap molasses or black treacle, for the burnt sugar flavor – yes, blackstrap molasses is sugar, but used in this proportion I consider it as spice. You can leave it out if that’s your preference.
Mix it all until the sweetener is fully dissolved, and then sprinkle a bit of xanthan gum on top, whisking it in quickly to avoid clumps. Done!! Just drizzle the keto syrup on top of your waffles!
If having this syrup warm, straight away, or warming up on the microwave later on, you can add about 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum. If you are having the syrup cold, 1/8 teaspoon of xanthan gum is enough, as the syrup gets thicker as it cools down. Enjoy!
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