Buttermilk Winter Squash Waffles or Pancakes
I make pancakes and waffles pretty frequently (FYI: you can use the same batter for both!), but I don’t think to share the recipe(s) often. Earlier this week a photo of my winter squash waffles was featured on Food52‘s Instagram page and got a big response, which was a good reminder to share! Pumpkins are great, but there are a ton of other equally delicious, nutritious winter squashes around. I used what I call “bumpkin,” a butternut squash and pumpkin hybrid, which is obviously not a very common find. However, puree from just about any winter squash–butternut, acorn, delicata, kabocha, pumpkin–or even sweet potatoes would work in this recipe (here’s how to make your own). This recipe makes at least 3 large waffles in my waffle iron, but the amount varies based on your equipment.
These waffles/pancakes are definitely on the moist side (sorry, I know that’s a gross word, but it’s the most accurate one in this case!) because of squash puree. If you like under-baked cookies, you’re going to love these. You can customize the recipe to the type of flour you prefer or have on hand. I used whole wheat flour, but a variety of other flours should work, too.
Also! A note on buttermilk, because not all buttermilk is created equally. Traditional buttermilk is actually the byproduct of butter making and has a very similar consistency to regular milk. I’m not entirely sure why, but it makes the best pancakes and waffles ever. If you can get your hands on some of that, do it! The buttermilk you find in a carton at the supermarket is milk and/or cream that’s been cultured, which is why it’s labeled as “cultured buttermilk.” That kind of buttermilk works well, too, but it’s much thicker and you may need to thin the batter out a bit with milk.
1/2 c winter squash puree (how to make your own)
1 large egg
1 c buttermilk
2 Tbsp maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
3/4 c flour (all purpose, whole wheat, gluten free, etc.)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter, melted (optional)
1 tsp lemon zest (optional for garnish)
butter, syrup, honey, whipped cream, etc. for serving
waffle iron (optional)
In a bowl or large measuring cup, add 1/2 c winter squash puree, 1 large egg, 1 c buttermilk, 2 Tbsp maple syrup, and 1 tsp fresh ginger. Mix well to smooth consistency.
In a separate bowl, mix together 3/4 c flour, 1 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix well. Stir in 1 Tbsp melted butter (optional), and let batter rest for a few minutes while you preheat your waffle iron or pancake griddle.
When waffle iron is preheated, grease if necessary. Pour in batter, remembering to leave some room for batter to expand. Cook to desired doneness. For pancakes, heat a griddle or wide pan to medium heat and grease as necessary. Spoon out batter and cook for a couple of minutes until the edges start to set and bubbles start to pop in the batter. Flip and cook for another 30 sec to 1 min (slightly more if they’re super thick/big).
Garnish with desired toppings. I love just butter, lemon zest, and a little pure maple syrup or honey. Whipped cream, ice cream, lemon curd, apple butter, or a holy host of other options would be delicious, too.
Replace buttermilk with 1 c milk + 2 tsp lemon juice. Non-dairy milk with some lemon juice can work, but the result will probably not be quite as fluffy.
Substitute fresh ginger with 1/2 tsp ground ginger or 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice (or any of your favorite spices). Add any dried spices with the dry ingredients (flour, etc.) rather than with the wet.
Self-rising flour can substitute the flour, baking powder, and salt in the recipe.
Leftover batter can be stored in the fridge for a day or two. Stir batter and thin out with milk if it’s gotten too thick. Separation is normal. Alternatively, make any extra waffles or pancakes and refrigerate or freeze them. Reheat in a 350 degree oven or in a toaster.
Due to the moisture from the squash puree, these waffles don’t stay crisp for very long, so I recommend eating them ASAP!