These easy gluten-free waffles are perfect for fall, made with real pumpkin puree and a hint of pumpkin spice. Enjoy them smothered in maple syrup or a dollop of dairy-free whipped cream for a paleo-friendly brunch.
When you live in Chicago, you embrace autumn the second it arrives. Or, rather, you begrudgingly accept it, whine about it for awhile to your warmer-climate-dwelling coworkers, and then embrace it. As every Midwesterner understands, the seasons often jump from humid, sweat-dripping summers to frigid, icy winters, literally overnight, bypassing fall altogether.
So when sweater-and-boots-but-not-yet-parkas season officially hits, we take full advantage.
Fall, however fleeting, is my husband’s favorite season. And while it may feel like autumn for all of two weeks outside (if we’re lucky!), we really make the most of it in the kitchen. I’ve recreated the infamous pumpkin spice latte, baked pumpkin muffins and and a pumpkin bread with maple glaze, and — for those chilly evenings where you just want one treat — whipped up a single-serve pumpkin cake, made in the microwave.
When I married a man who insisted our wedding be in the fall – he loves the season that much – I knew there was a lot of pumpkin in my future. But when we then had a child who will infamously eat all of 12 things (willingly), and waffles are one of them, this recipe became fated.
So, to score the wife-slash-mom-of-the-season award (and create a drool-worthy homemade brunch), I set out to create the best paleo waffles I could create — with a hint of pumpkin spice, of course.
How To Make the Best Gluten-Free Waffles, Pumpkin Spice Style
To make gluten-free pumpkin waffles, start by preheating your Belgian waffle maker.
In a food processor, combine your wet ingredients — including the pumpkin puree, avocado oil (or olive oil), vanilla, egg, and apple cider vinegar. Blend for 10 seconds, or until well combined. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a hand mixer or standing mixer.)
Next, add your dry ingredients, including the almond flour, tapioca flour, sugar, coconut flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and a fourth teaspoon salt. Blend again, scraping the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure your waffle batter is well combined.
Using a measuring cup, pour roughly 1/4 cup of the batter into your preheated waffle iron at a time, and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Your crispy waffles should turn out golden brown. Use a fork or spatula to remove them from your waffle iron.
Recipe Notes: Tips for Pumpkin Spice Gluten-Free Waffle Success
If this is the first time making gluten-free or paleo waffles, you may have a few questions. Below, I dive into substitution tips and answers to frequent reader interactions to make your pumpkin waffles a success:
- Can I substitute the almond, tapioca, and coconut flour for another gluten-free flour blend? Unfortunately, no. Baking is pure chemistry, and you cannot substitute one gluten-free flour — like almond, cashew, or rice flour — for another in paleo recipes. (Unlike substituting all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour, which can be substituted at a 1:1 ratio for one another.)
- Can I substitute the coconut sugar? Yes. You can substitute another granulated sugar, like brown sugar or monk fruit. Do not substitute a liquid sweetener, such as honey or maple syrup.
- Can I substitute the avocado oil? Yes. You can use olive oil or (if it’s all you have on hand) canola or vegetable oil. I do not recommend using coconut oil or unsalted butter.
- Can I substitute the baking soda? No. Contrary to popular belief, baking powder and baking soda have different chemical makeups. (Plus, baking powder typically contains corn starch, which is not paleo-friendly.)
- Can I substitute the pumpkin? Yes. If you can’t find pure pumpkin puree, you can substitute mashed sweet potatoes or mashed butternut squash, although it will slightly dilute the pumpkin flavor. Do not use canned pumpkin pie filling.
- Can you substitute the pumpkin spice? Yes. If you do not have pumpkin spice on hand, you can make your own using ground cinnamon, nutmeg, a teaspoon ground ginger, allspice and ground cloves. Refer to the recipes notes.
- Is there a gluten-free flour brand you recommend? Bob’s Red Mill is a reputable brand that carries every flour within this recipe. You can find it in most health food stores, large grocers, and online on Amazon.
- Can this recipe be made vegan? Technically, you could use a flax egg (rather than the egg white and egg yolk), but I haven’t tried it.
- Is this recipe low-carb or keto? No. If you look at the nutrition facts below, you’ll see one serving size contains 22 grams of carbs. If you want to reduce the carb count, substitute for a sugar-free sweetener, like granulated monk fruit, for the coconut sugar.
- Can I use these paleo waffles as a pancake recipe? Yes. If you do not own a waffle iron, simple grease a flat skillet with cooking spray to make pumpkin pancakes instead. They will be extremely thick, so if they don’t spread in the skillet as much as you’d like, add a splash of your milk of choice to the batter to thin it out slightly.
- How can I jazz this recipe up a little? Since this is a pumpkin spice waffle recipe, I recommend sticking with toppings with a similar flavor profile, such as chopped pecans, walnuts, chocolate chips, maple syrup, almond butter, or a dollop of dairy-free whipped cream. I would avoid flavors such as fresh berries (like blueberries) or bananas.
- How long will these waffles keep? Cool any leftover waffles completely, then store in an airtight container in the fridge for five days, or in the freezer for three months. Meal prep hack: You can reheat frozen waffles in the toaster oven for an on-the-go breakfast option.
Enjoy This Gluten-Free Waffle Recipe for a Paleo-Friendly Brunch
This gluten-free pumpkin waffle recipe is one the whole family will love. Made with a blend of coconut, almond, and tapioca flours, this gluten-free and paleo breakfast recipe will surely be the new spotlight of your weekend brunch. Plus, with just a few simple steps and basic ingredients, you’re just 20 minutes away from easy, yummy pumpkin spice waffles
- 1 large egg (warmed to room temperature)
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup blanched almond flour
- 5 tablespoons tapioca flour
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar or maple sugar
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- Scant 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- Preheat your waffle iron according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Add the eggs, pumpkin, oil, vanilla, and vinegar to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the "s" attachment.
- Blend for 10 seconds or so, until combined.
- Add the remaining ingredients and blend again for another several seconds. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then blend for another few seconds.
- Cook according to your machine manufacturer's instructions in approximately 1/4 cup portions.
- Make sure you're using pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. The easiest way to confirm is to check the label: pumpkin should be the only ingredient.
- Full cool leftovers, then store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- If you don't have a food processor, you can do this in two bowls: mix the egg, pumpkin, oil, vanilla, and vinegar in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add the wet mixture to the dry, and mix until well combined.
- Make your own pumpkin pie spice mix: stir together 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon allspice and 1/4 teaspoon cloves until well combined. (Recipe from People Magazine Oct 12, 2020).
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 276Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 89mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 4gSugar: 11gProtein: 6g