Liège Waffles


Malin Elmlid bartered her bread for Belgian pearl sugar, the key ingredient in these Liège-style waffles: The smooth balls of sugar add pops of sweetness and caramelize to make the exterior crisp. Elmlid sometimes flavors her waffles with saffron, but the vanilla-scented ones here are more traditional. More Waffle Recipes

Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 35 mins
16 waffles


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 1/3 cup lukewarm water

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted (about 1 cup), plus more for brushing

  • 1 cup Belgian pearl sugar (see Note)


  1. In a small bowl, whisk the brown sugar and yeast into the lukewarm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mix the flour with the salt. Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix at medium speed until shaggy, about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for 20 seconds between each. Whisk the vanilla with the 1 cup of melted butter. With the mixer at medium-low, gradually mix in the butter until smooth; the batter will be thick and very sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the batter rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

  2. Stir the pearl sugar into the risen batter. Cover again and let rest for 15 minutes.

  3. Preheat the oven to 250°. Preheat a Belgian waffle iron and brush it with melted butter. Gently stir the batter to deflate. Using about 2 tablespoons of batter for each, cook the waffles according to the manufacture's directions until they are golden and crisp; brush the waffle iron with melted butter as needed. Transfer the waffles to plates or keep them warm in the oven, then serve.

    Liège Waffles
    © Ailine Liefeld

Make Ahead

The batter can be prepared through Step 1 and refrigerated overnight.


Belgian pearl sugar is available at specialty shops and at

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