Cardamom Waffles With Cherries and Almonds

I was shocked when my father-in-law admitted to us a few years ago that he had never, in his life, had a waffle. (When we asked why, he said he wasn’t sure why he hadn’t eaten a waffle, except that he figured they just couldn’t be that exciting.)

We therefore, took him to eat at our favorite Waffle House in Columbus, forthwith, and ordered for him a waffle with a side of sausage.

He took a bite, and declared quite distinctly, “I like waffles. I should eat more of them.”

So, we went to the Waffle House again the next morning.

He had a lot of waffles to catch up on.

Now that we live in Athens, there is not a Waffle House close by.

So, when we get a hankerin’ for a hunk of waffle, I must hie myself off to the kitchen and whip some up.

Which is what I did this morning, although I didn’t feel like making my usual recipe which involves buttermilk (which I don’t have on hand) and beaten egg whites. I was too lazy for egg-white beating, and having a dearth of buttermilk, I decided to try a different recipe.

The following recipe, which is much easier to throw together in the morning pre-coffee, I adapted considerably from Marion Cunningham’s Classic Waffle recipe from The Breakfast Book. I left out the vegetable shortening, and used half whole wheat flour, added vanilla extract, cardamom and cinnamon, and some cream to her already excellent recipe.

I decided that I wanted some fruit to go with my waffles, and as any longtime reader should know, I am of the firm belief that cherries make nearly everything better. So, I dug out a jar of sour cherries in light syrup, and plopped them in a saucepan with a dab of butter, some almond extract a bit of sugar and some cardamom, and cooked them down while I made the waffles. When most of the liquid was gone, I thickened the rest of it with a cornstarch and cold water slurry, then put it all in a sauceboat and served it warm with some sliced almonds on the side.

Not only did the waffles with cherry sauce and almonds turn out to look pretty, they smelled divine and tasted golden and buttery, tart and sweet and crunchy. They were awesome.

While we ate these for a special Sunday breakfast, I think that you could serve these with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream for a great homey, comfort-food dessert. And think of the possibilities for a breakfast in bed on Valentine’s Day, especially if you have one of those fancy machines which makes heart-shaped waffles. It would make a very pretty presentation with the golden waffles, crimson cherries and maybe some white whipped cream.

Very pretty indeed. And quite romantically tasty as well.

If you want to try a vegan version of this recipe, I suggest exchanging the milk and cream with 1 1/2 cups almond milk, and using canola oil in place of the melted butter. For the eggs, use vegan egg substitutes–they should work fine. I suspect that waffles made with these ingredients will be crisper in texture than those made with dairy products, so adjust cooking time to account for this. Just leave the butter out of the cherry sauce.

Cardamom Waffles With Cherries and Almonds
Ingredients for the Waffles:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy or light cream
1/3 cup butter, melted


Whisk together all dry ingredients until well blended.

Beat vanilla into eggs, then stir this mixture into the milk. Stir in cream.

Mix the wet ingredients well into the dry ingredients until very blended, then whisk in the melted butter.

Following your waffle-maker’s instructions, bake your waffles until crisp and golden.

Makes about eight small waffles.

Ingredients For Cherry Sauce:

1 16 ounce jar sour cherries in light syrup (or one pound of frozen sour cherries, thawed)
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon almond extract
1-2 tablespoons raw sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water
sliced almonds


Pour contents of jar into saucepan and add all other ingredients except cornstarch and almonds. Simmer over medium heat, stirring now and then, until liquid is reduced by half.

Bring cherries to a boil, then add cornstarch and cook, stirring, until thickened.

Remove from heat, and keep warm until you serve.

Garnish with sliced almonds.


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  1. Those sound absolutely delicious. Too bad about there being no waffle house around, sometimes it’s just the thing. But I guess you’ll probably manage just fine. I looove your blog, I usually catch your posts on food porn in livejournal. I don’t usally comment, but I would like you to know you’re an inspiration and you’ve got one adorable and clever baby.

    Comment by Adrianne — January 21, 2008 #

  2. Thanks, Adrianne–Kat is truly an awesome wee one.

    And I am glad to be an inspiration.

    I just found out last night, though that there is a Waffle House that just opened about an hour or so from here–between Lancaster and Columbus. Which is still not really close, but it is closer than all of the ones which are in Columbus.

    But still, in an hour, I could have made my own waffles….so I guess I shouldn’t get too excited. We probably won’t visit there unless we are in Lancaster and need something to eat.

    Comment by Barbara — January 21, 2008 #

  3. I have to say, I absolutely adore your blog. I’ve been watching it through Food Porn for a little while now, and everything that you have made makes my mouth water. I went and read the story about the cherry trees and your writing makes my heart move.

    For this, I thank you.

    Comment by John — January 21, 2008 #

  4. Thank you very much, John. I am glad to have touched you with a little story from my childhood.

    I am sad to say that those cherry trees are gone. One of the last times we went through Charleston, my hometown, I saw that the entire back yard of that house had been paved over as a parking lot.

    It is sad–not only did we have that pair of cherry trees, there was a giant mimosa tree in the middle, with a circular flower bed around it and a vegetable garden off to the side, along Mrs. Welch’s house. My Dad grew huge red and yellow beefsteak tomatoes in that plot, and we grew some carrots–my favorite root vegetable, and green onions there. There were also big Rose of Sharon trees all along the edge of the yard, along the fences, and they were gone–they bloomed purple, white and pink in the summer, in big flashy blossoms.

    It was sad to see it all transformed into asphalt.

    Comment by Barbara — January 21, 2008 #

  5. Oh, this looks beautiful. We make waffles pretty often (usually from Vegan with a Vengeance) so I look forward to the experiment of veganizing yours!

    Comment by Alexis — January 21, 2008 #

  6. Cardamom and cherries sounds heavenly. Thanks so much for sharing this unique recipe.

    Comment by Susan from Food Blogga — January 22, 2008 #

  7. I used to just give up on spur-of-the-moment recipes that included buttermilk, but then I saw this magical *powdered* buttermilk that seems to keep forever (well, long enough that I run out before anything odd happens to it). I did a quick web search – this is the same one that I use
    My grocery store keeps it in the baking aisle.

    I also buy powdered egg whites in the same section.

    Comment by Valerie — January 22, 2008 #

  8. Valerie–I tried that powdered buttermilk in my other waffle recipe and it made them taste really weird, so I didn’t ever use it again. It is such a good idea, but none of us liked the taste it imparted to the end product that we just got rid of it.

    Comment by Barbara — January 22, 2008 #

  9. Love your recipe for these waffles, especially the addition of cardamom. Your father-in-law story made me smile just thinking of him having his first waffle:-)

    Comment by Colon Cleanse Geek — June 9, 2008 #

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