If you've ever been to Brussels, or any city in Belgium for that matter, you may have been struck with the mouthwatering scent of sugar wafting through the streets. That's because on practically every street corner there's a vendor selling one of the many types of waffles that exist in Belgium.

One of the most common types of waffles is the Gaufre de Liège - which comes from the Belgian town Liège, not far from the border of Germany. This waffle is known for its sugar crusted top and pillowy middle. Dipped in chocolate or simply dusted in powdered sugar, it is delectable bliss.

I was first introduced to this godly treat when I would visit my paternal grandparents who used to live in the heart of Brussels. In fact, my grandfather used to make these waffles when both he and my grandmother ran their own pastry and chocolate shop. So how do you get the perfect caramelized coating and fluffy center in these waffles? Both my grandfather and street vendors said it was a secret they were not sharing any time soon. 

However, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on my grandfather's recipe, which revealed the secret ingredient: Belgian pearl sugar. This compacted type of sugar (which you can buy on Amazon or try to make on your own) spreads throughout the dough when baking, giving the Gaufre de Liège its signature look and taste. Trust me, it is totally worth it. So get out your mixer and order your Belgian pearl sugar now, because before you know it people are going to be begging you to make this Liege waffle recipe for them every weekend.

Gaufres de Liège (Liège Belgian Waffles)

  • Prep Time:2 hrs 30 mins
  • Cook Time:5 mins
  • Total Time:2 hrs 35 mins
  • Servings:16
  • Medium


  • 1/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter melted plus some more for brushing
  • 1 cup Belgian pearl sugar
cookie, candy, chocolate, waffle, cake, sweet, pastry
Mireille Heidbreder
  • Step 1

    Combine the lukewarm water, brown sugar, and active dry yeast in a mixing bowl. Whisk all the ingredients then let them rest for about 5 minutes and/or until the mixture is foamy.

  • Step 2

    In a separate mixing bowl that can be used with a standing mixer, combine the all-purpose flour and salt. Mix for about 30 seconds at medium speed.

  • Step 3

    Make a "well" in your dry mixture and then pour in the yeast mixture in the middle. Mix for 1 minute at medium speed.

    #SpoonTip: The "well" in the dry mixture is made so the dough when mixed will incorporate the yeast mixture in a manner that will result in the batter resembling "crumbly". If your batter is thick, you may want to start over.

  • Step 4

    Add 1 egg to the mixture and once again mix at medium speed for about 30 seconds. Repeat this step two more times with the remaining 2 eggs. At this point your dough should look quite sticky and chunky.

  • Step 5

    While the mixer is still running, melt the two sticks of unsalted butter. Then combine the melted butter with the vanilla extract, and pour this butter mixture into the flour mixture while again still mixing. Mix for about another minute. Make sure to pour in the butter mixture SLOWLY (if you pour it in too quickly you will end up with super soggy waffles).

  • Step 6

    Once all the mixing is complete, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest (or proof) for about 1 hour and 45 minutes. This is so the dough can rise and the yeast can work its magic.

  • Step 7

    After the dough has risen, add 1 cup of Belgian Pearl Sugar and fold the sugar into the batter. The dough will be VERY sticky, but make sure to really integrate the sugar.

  • Step 8

    Prepare your waffle iron. Once it's ready and hot enough, brush some melted butter on both sides of the waffle iron. Then place about 1 cup of waffle batter on the lower portion of the waffle iron and lock in place.

  • Step 9

    Cook waffles for about 3-5 minutes, or whatever standard timing your waffle maker has programmed. Take your waffle out and enjoy!

    #SpoonTip: For Waring waffle makers, like the one used in the video, it takes about 3 1/2 minutes to cook these waffles.