How to Make Sourdough Waffles That Amaze Your Family

by Heather

Updated 12/15/2020

Is there anything better than homemade waffles? I didn’t think so, until I tried these sourdough waffles, and they blew my mind!

The key ingredient is sourdough starter discard.

What is sourdough discard?

Sourdough discard is the sourdough starter you have left over after you’re done feeding. Feeding a starter just means you take a small amount of your existing starter and add water and flour. (Don’t have a starter? Learn How to Make Sourdough Starter in Six Easy Steps!)

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But what happens to the rest of the starter that’s left behind – your discard?

You can discard it, as the name implies. Scrape it into the garbage, then rinse your container in hot soapy water.


You can add it to other recipes! This adds a boost of nutrition from your starter, and makes regular recipes more flavorful. For example, Belgian waffles are good, but sourdough Belgian waffles are amazing!

If you’re growing tired of feeding your starter, or if you’re planning a long vacation, consider drying your starter and storing it in the pantry. Check out How to Dry (and Revive) Your Sourdough Starter for Long-Term Storage for step-by-step instructions on both drying and reviving your starter.

Sourdough Starter

One of my favorite discard recipes to date is these sourdough waffles. I’ve tried about a half dozen waffle recipes, and my husband (ever the critic) never really loved any of them, until these.

I use an Oster double-sided waffle iron that cost me about $50. Much like any new kitchen appliance, it took a little while to get used to the iron’s “personality”, including which heat setting I prefer, how much batter to use, and how many minutes it takes to make a perfect waffle.

One other thing to pay attention to: how fresh is your baking soda? If it’s been sitting in your pantry for a year or more, your waffles will come out more dense than if you had a fresh box. It’s worth the dollar to get new baking soda and have a much better end result. I personally try to replace my baking soda every six-ish months. I put the old box in the back of the fridge to keep it smelling fresh.

After you pull the waffles from the iron, place them on a cooling rack. This ensures they don’t become soggy on the bottom as they cool. We usually eat our pancakes and waffles with maple syrup, but these are so good they can be eaten plain, or with a little sprinkle of icing sugar. If you don’t have a waffle iron, you can also use this recipe as sourdough pancakes.

Don’t forget to include your kids in this process!

Making sourdough waffles is a fun experience for both kids and adults, so bring them into the kitchen and let them see how waffles are actually made! Invite them to help mix, to watch you pour the batter into the iron, and to see what they look like when you lift the lid and they’re fully cooked!

It’s definitely a “wow” moment for children, and you have the ability to give that to them! This will form memories for years to come.

Enjoy, and happy baking!

Check out The Web’s Largest List of Sourdough Discard Recipes for other sourdough discard recipe ideas!

Sourdough Waffles

A tasty way to utilize your sourdough discard. One of my favorites!
These waffles always come out light, fluffy, crispy and delicious. They're so good, a sprinkle of powdered sugar is sufficient!
They are sure to impress family and friends for a stay-in brunch.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Resting time 12 hrs
Total Time 12 hrs 20 mins
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine Belgian
Servings 5 waffles


The Night Before

  • 2 cups all purpose flour (300g) preferably unbleached
  • 2 cups buttermilk (475g)
  • 2 tbsp sugar (30g)
  • 3/4 cup sourdough starter discard (215g) unfed

The Morning Of

  • entire overnight sponge
  • 1/4 cup butter (55g) melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon optional
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract optional


The Night Before

  • Overnight sponge: stir the unfed starter discard and measure out 3/4 cup (215g). In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, buttermilk and the 3/4 cup (215g) starter.
  • Cover with a kitchen towel and leave on counter overnight, letting the sponge rest at a room temperature between 65°F – 70°F overnight, or 12 hours.

The Morning Of

  • In the morning, start by preheating your waffle iron. Peek at your sponge and see how much it grew! (Older kids love this part.)
  • Beat together the butter and eggs in a small bowl. Stir into the overnight sponge.
  • Add the salt, baking soda and optional ingredients if using, and stir to combine. You’ll notice the batter start to produce bubbles – this is how you know it’s ready!
  • Spray cooking oil on your preheated waffle iron and pour batter onto the plate. Close the lid and bake according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • When waffles are done, remove with silicone tongs and serve immediately, or place on cooling rack, to guarantee crispness. 
    Tip: Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet in a warm oven to hold your waffles as you cook the remainder. This will allow air to circulate around the waffles, preventing them from becoming soggy on the bottom.
    Tip: To freeze, allow to cool completely on cooling rack, then stack and place in freezer bags. Parchment paper in between waffles is optional, but not necessary. Reheat in microwave or toaster.
Keyword Discard, Sourdough

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The Internet's Largest List of Sourdough Discard Recipes — Leavenly March 24, 2020 - 2:39 pm

[…] Sourdough Waffles […]

Dyann April 27, 2020 - 1:53 pm

Just checking the amount of starter in this recipe as 3/4 cup is listed in ingredients but 1 cup in instructions. I’m not sure if I’m misreading this recipe. Thanks for clarifying.

leavenly April 27, 2020 - 2:03 pm

Hi Dyann! Thanks for catching this – I reduced the amount of starter for better flavor, and forgot to change it in the instructions! I’ve just updated it. Nice eye! Happy baking 🙂

TW April 29, 2020 - 11:55 am

I don’t see the amount for the sugar. It is is your directions but not your ingredients.

leavenly April 29, 2020 - 1:51 pm

Nice catch! I’ve added it in the list of ingredients: 2 tablespoons! Thanks for letting me know 🙂

Tara April 30, 2020 - 8:17 am

You mentioned baking soda in the instructions but it isn’t in the ingredient list and I’m not sure how much to use.

leavenly April 30, 2020 - 9:17 am

I must have been seriously sleep deprived when I wrote out this recipe! I apologize – it’s 1 tsp of baking soda. I will update the recipe today!

Tara April 30, 2020 - 9:32 am

That’s what I guessed and these were sooo amazing! I didn’t start the night before so it only got a 30 min rest on the countertop. Great texture and not really sour (which I like). That probably develops overnight.

leavenly April 30, 2020 - 1:26 pm

Great to know that they still come out delicious even if they can’t ferment overnight! Thanks for the feedback 🙂

Akta Shah May 5, 2020 - 4:36 pm

How many Belgian waffles would your recipe make? I’m assuming 3/4 cup batter to be about 1 waffle. Look forward to trying your recipe!

leavenly May 5, 2020 - 7:42 pm

I had it on there, but then my recipe app updated and it disappeared! It makes about 5-6 full-size Belgian waffles. Have fun!

Sourdough Blueberry Mini Muffins — Recipes — Leavenly May 8, 2020 - 12:49 pm

[…] For other discard recipe ideas, check out Zucchini Bread with Sourdough, and my personal favorite, Sourdough Waffles. […]

Brittany May 10, 2020 - 8:25 am

5 stars
My starter just became ready to use and this was the first thing I made; they are fabulous! Any idea if the leftover batter can be frozen? Thanks for the amazing blog, can’t wait to try more recipes!

leavenly May 11, 2020 - 8:12 am

Hi Brittany, I’m so glad you love these! I would say it’s safe to freeze the batter. The fermentation process has already occurred by the time you’ve made your whole batter (it happens overnight, in the sponge) so go for it! Let me know how it works for you if/when you try it!

Janet July 19, 2020 - 10:32 am

Hi! I didn’t have time to put these together today, but I will try tomorrow. One question…do you think I could use whole wheat white flour???

leavenly July 20, 2020 - 12:52 pm

Sure you could! The whole wheat flour may absorb more liquid though, so I would initially mix with 1/2 cup less flour, then add more flour by the tablespoon to get the desired consistency. 🙂

Cindy Lawrence July 24, 2020 - 7:51 am

5 stars
I made these a couple days ago and this recipe is so good. I added cinnamon and vanilla to the recipe. The waffles came out perfectly crispy on the outside and very tender on the inside. I would highly recommend this recipe and would make it again. Delicious!

leavenly July 24, 2020 - 9:54 am

Thank you for the review, Cindy! I’m so glad you loved them 🙂

Patti July 29, 2020 - 5:46 pm

Hi, will this work with discard from a starter that’s not bread ready? My starter is on day 9….lots of bubbles but it hasn’t risen since the first feed.

leavenly August 4, 2020 - 3:08 pm

Yes, absolutely! As soon as your new starter is showing signs of life, even if it’s just bubbles, you can use it in discard recipes.
Check the smell before you feed; if it smells slightly sour, as it should by Day 9, you’re even better off to make sourdough discard recipes 🙂
Feel free to email me at with any questions about your starter and we can troubleshoot together!

Jonathan Moas August 2, 2020 - 8:48 am

5 stars
This is one of the most dynamic recipes out there. It works for breakfast with eggs, syrup, ice-cream (I’m not a great dad), stinky cheese, pretty much anything. It works for dinner with fried chicken and cayenne maple syrup, and on and on! Thank you for the amazing recipe… One question, does the batter hold for longer than a day?

leavenly August 4, 2020 - 2:59 pm

Waffles and ice cream? You sound like a GREAT dad! 😛
You’re officially a Sourdough Papa!
Thanks for the glowing review, Jonathan 🙂
I wouldn’t hang on to the batter longer than a day, simply because you’re already leaving milk out overnight and I would worry about spoilage. That said, I’m curious now about whether or not the batter is freezeable…? I will try this out!

Cristina September 13, 2020 - 10:32 am

5 stars
I got 14 waffles out of this recipe! They were delicious and in freezing the extras for the kids to have on busy school mornings.

leavenly September 15, 2020 - 9:21 am

Love this! Thanks Cristina!

Leesers September 19, 2020 - 4:37 pm

These are so good, I will never make any other waffle again. The husband has asked for a double batch weekend so he will have enough through the week! I haven’t the heart to tell him that I doubt they’ll last past Tuesday!

Thanks for posting this. On my way to start deleting all of my other waffle recipes that will never be used again!

leavenly October 24, 2020 - 9:03 pm

Thanks for this wonderful review!

Mike Holland May 23, 2021 - 12:47 pm

5 stars
THESE WAFFLES ARE AMAZING! (added the optional cinnamon and vanilla) Made them for a family brunch with my kids and grandkids instead of my usual buttermilk waffle recipe. They were devoured quickly. My wife who is not a big waffle fan had more than her share!

They are very crisp and crunchy on the outside and delicious in middle. This one will replace my usual recipe!

Heather June 15, 2021 - 11:20 am

Thanks so much for this review, Mike!


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