Crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Waffles are perfectly spiced and bursting with chunks of sweet, tender apples...and they make your whole house smell heavenly as they bake!
One of the things I've missed over the past few months of writing my cookbook has been making homemade breakfasts for my kids. It sounds silly, but making homemade breakfast has always just been "my thing." We've had slow cooker dinners coming out the ears, of course, but that left me with no time left to stock the fridge and pantry with the usual breakfast staples that I like to feed my kids during the school week -- granola, breakfast cookies, smoothies, baked oatmeal, muffins, and the like. And even though my kids were perfectly happy eating cereal, the first thing I wanted to do today -- when I wasn't otherwise occupied putting three different recipes in three different slow cookers -- was make some waffles!
My 3-year-old has actually been eating frozen waffles lately, and I recently picked up an apple cinnamon-flavored variety that quickly became her new favorite...and I have to admit they make the whole house smell amazing when they're in the toaster. So in my newfound freedom this morning, I decided to take my tried-and-true Homemade Whole Wheat Waffle Mix and turn it into easy, from-scratch Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Waffles! Let's just say that the aroma emanating from the waffle iron -- and the subsequent fluffy goodness under a pile of warm cinnamon apples and a drizzle of maple syrup -- put those frozen waffles to shame.
They're crisp on the outside. They're tender and fluffy on the inside. They're lightly kissed with cinnamon and riddled with steamy pockets of soft, sweet apples. And if you really want to make them special, you can even sautée some sliced apples in butter, cinnamon, and sugar for a topping that takes them over the, er, top!
And since this post is already in contention for the wordiest post ever, I may as well go for broke and share one more quick little story with you. See that shiny golden bowl holding the apples in the background of these photos? Well, last week a certain middle child had an exceptionally good day at school, which earned him a special trip to the class Treasure Box. And instead of picking out a toy for himself, he chose this shiny gold plastic bowl to give me as a prop "for my recipe pictures."
Seriously, how sweet is this boy? My heart just about melted. It's the most beautiful ugly bowl that I've ever seen. And not only am I featuring it in this post, but I'm now determined to figure out a way to sneak it into one of the remaining cookbook photos that I need to take in the next month. So keep your eyes peeled for the notorious golden bowl in print(!!!) come October... 😉
Oh, happy day...it's finally time for the recipe! Thank y'all again for hanging in there with me...through the past few months and the past multiple paragraphs. I so appreciate each and every one of you. And now let's celebrate with Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Waffles...hooray!
More Apple Breakfast Ideas
- Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
- Apple Cider Baked Donuts
- Overnight Slow Cooker Apple Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal
- Healthy Applesauce Muffins
Apple Cinnamon Waffles
For the Waffles:
- 2 ½ cups Homemade Whole Wheat Waffle Mix, see NOTES below if not using mix
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 ¼ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large apple, peeled & diced
For the Cinnamon Apples:
- 3 large apples, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter, plus additional as needed
- Cinnamon sugar, see NOTES
- Preheat waffle iron. Measure Homemade Whole Wheat Waffle Mix into a large bowl. Whisk in cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In another bowl or large measuring cup, combine buttermilk, applesauce, melted butter, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into flour mixture and stir until all ingredients are incorporated, but do not over-mix (a few lumps are fine). Fold in diced apples and allow to rest for a few minutes.
- Cook the waffles according to your waffle iron's directions. Remove waffles to a cooling rack (in a single layer) and serve immediately, or keep warm by placing directly on the oven rack (again, in a single layer) in an oven that's been heated to 200°F and then turned off.
- While the waffles are cooking, make the Cinnamon Apples by setting a large skillet over medium heat and adding the butter. Once the butter has melted, swirl to coat the pan and add the apples, tossing them in the butter to coat. Allow the apples to cook for about 3 minutes until they begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Generously sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, stir, and repeat until the apples are well coated. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally and adding more cinnamon sugar as desired. Add an additional pat of butter during the cooking process if needed, and cover the pan for a few minutes if you wish to speed up the softening of the apples. Apples are done once they are as tender as you like, with sugar that has started to caramelize. Serve apples hot over warm waffles with a drizzle of pure maple syrup, if you wish.
- If not using Homemade Whole Wheat Waffle Mix, use the following dry ingredients in its place: 2 ¼ cups whole wheat PASTRY flour, 2 tablespoons cornmeal, ¾ teaspoon baking soda, and ¾ teaspoon salt.
- Homemade waffle batter works best if all of the ingredients start out at room temperature. Otherwise, the melted butter may re-solidify in little shards once the cold buttermilk hits it. But if I don't have time, I hurry the room temperature thing along by putting my whole eggs in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and zapping the other cold ingredients in the microwave for just a few seconds.
- Because of the apples inside, these waffles may be prone to sticking, so I recommend lightly spraying your waffle iron with a non-stick cooking spray. I've avoided cooking spray for a long time because I don't want the propellants ending up in my food, but there are now all-natural cooking sprays available without propellants. I typically use a coconut oil version when baking. Or you can always just brush your waffle iron with melted butter.
- I make my own Cinnamon Sugar by mixing ¼ cup sugar + 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and storing it in a shaker