Cinnamon Roll Waffles are a combination of two of our favorite breakfasts in one! Fluffy, golden buttermilk waffles get the royal treatment with a brown sugar cinnamon and maple cream cheese drizzle in this over-the-top breakfast mash-up!
When it comes to special breakfasts, these cinnamon roll waffles are probably my new favorite. I mean, we already love homemade cinnamon rolls and I have made cinnamon roll french toast before by using leftover day-old cinnamon rolls dipped in egg batter (so good!), so it's not a shocker that waffles would get the cinnamon roll treatment sooner or later.
I actually tested this recipe a few different ways before ultimately taking this approach. If you search Pinterest or Google you will find lots of recipes advocating just using a can of Pillsbury Grands cinnamon rolls and simply cooking them in the waffle iron, so that was our first attempt.
They were okay, but not exactly what I was hoping for because they tasted basically the exact same as when they are cooked in the oven, only with a slightly different texture. It was actually a little deflating to realize that the taste didn't evoke any of the classic waffle flavor that I love.
So I went back to my favorite buttermilk waffle recipe and decided to give them cinnamon roll treatment by drizzling them with cinnamon brown sugar butter mixture to evoke that gooey center of a truly scrumptious cinnamon roll. And then of course they needed cinnamon roll icing to really sell the whole thing.
I tested a few different versions of that icing and ended up liking one with cream cheese and maple extract best. The maple extract is optional if it's not something you have on hand, but I really feel like it unifies the concept of waffles with maple syrup and cinnamon rolls, tying the two together in a breakfast marriage made in heaven.
The end result is absolutely amazing. Paul took one bite and immediately said that this version hit the ball out of the park. You actually get both waffle AND cinnamon roll in one bite and it totally works.
These waffles are perfect for weekend breakfasts or brunches. But I would happily serve them as a dessert, which is honestly how I like waffles best anyway.
- Flour: Regular all-purpose flour provides the basis for these homemade waffles.
- Sugar: A little granulated sugar gives just a hint of sweetness to the waffle batter, while powdered sugar and brown sugar are used to make the two icings.
- Buttermilk: I love buttermilk and use it in lots of recipes, but if you don't keep it on hand I'll give you an easy substitute below.
- Eggs: I wanted to simplify the waffle batter here so I just beat the eggs before adding them to the batter rather than separating the egg whites and beating them until fluffy. I hardly notice a difference and it's much less hassle!
- Butter: I like to use butter in the waffle batter instead of oil for the best flavor.
- Baking powder and baking soda: These two work together to make nice, fluffy waffles that are crisp on the outside.
- Salt: A little salt keeps the waffles from being bland.
- Vanilla extract: I love using my homemade vanilla extract to add dimension and flavor to my batter.
- Cream cheese: Even if cream cheese icing isn't your thing when it comes to cinnamon rolls, I really recommend it here because it cuts the sweetness a bit and really sells the whole cinnamon roll side of things.
- Maple extract: This is optional but it really does make a difference! I tried a version of the icing using just maple syrup and the maple flavor didn't come through strong enough. Maple extract does the job much better.
- Milk: Use only as much as you need to thin out the icing until you can drizzle it.
How to Make Cinnamon Roll Waffles
- Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl: Start by combining the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Give everything a quick whisk so you don't end up with pockets of baking powder or baking soda in the batter.
- Whisk wet ingredients in a separate bowl: Beat the eggs with a fork, then add them to the buttermilk along with the melted butter and vanilla extract. Gives these all a quick stir so they are evenly distributed. This will make it so you don't need to stir the batter as much to get everything incorporated. Less stirring means better texture and fluffier waffles.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients: Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir them together by hand using a large spoon just until combined. It's okay if the batter is lumpy!
- Cook waffles on a hot waffle iron: Pour the batter onto the preheated waffle iron sprayed with cooking spray so they don't stick. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown and crisp on the outside. Rather than setting the finished waffles on a plate, I like to set them on a wire rack while cooking the rest of the batter. This helps them stay crispier since they don't steam on the bottom.
- Make the maple cream cheese icing: While the waffles are cooking, blend some softened cream cheese, melted butter, powdered sugar, and maple extract in a bowl using a hand mixer until smooth. Add just enough milk to make a pourable icing, then transfer to a ziploc bag for drizzling.
- Make cinnamon brown sugar topping: In another bowl, stir the remaining melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together. The brown sugar doesn't dissolve and the mixture tends to separate, so you will need to stir it again right before serving. Transfer to another plastic bag for drizzling.
- Drizzle waffles with both toppings: When you are ready to serve the waffles, snip the ends of both ziploc bags and drizzle both icings over the waffles. We liked them best stacked 2-3 high with a generous amount of both icings on top. Trust me that you won't need any additional maple syrup with these waffles!
Yes, you can freeze these for enjoying later if you have leftovers or want to double the batch so you have some on hand for quick breakfasts. Both of the icings can be frozen in bags and reheated and squished until they are pourable again.
Sure! If you don't have cream cheese on hand, you could do a simple glaze without it. But it definitely adds dimension so I recommend it.
I used to always beat the egg whites separately when making waffles then folded them into the batter just before cooking them. You can absolutely take that approach if you want to, but I didn't notice a significant difference and it saves time to just skip that step.
Buttermilk substitution: If you don't have any buttermilk on hand, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a 1 cup measuring cup then fill the rest of the way with milk. Let this sit for 5-10 minutes to curdle, then use in place of the buttermilk in the recipe.
- Keeping waffles warm: If you want to keep the waffles warm between batches, you can stick them in a warm (200 degree F) oven. Or you can always stick waffles in a toaster for a few seconds to crisp up the outsides before serving.
- Use a wire rack: I highly recommend placing cooked waffles on a wire rack. This allows air to circulate underneath the waffles so they don't steam themselves and lose their crispness that they have when they are fresh out of the waffle maker.
More Breakfast Recipes
- How to Make the BEST French Toast
- Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes
- German Pancakes
- Easy Rhubarb Breakfast Cake
- Cinnamon French Toast Sticks
- Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake
- Fluffy Toasted Coconut Pancakes
Did you make this recipe?
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Cinnamon Roll Waffles
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 6 Tablespoons salted butter melted
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Topping
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 Tablespoons salted butter softened
- ½ teaspoon maple extract
- 2-3 Tablespoons milk or heavy cream
- ¾ cup brown sugar packed
- ½ cup salted butter melted
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat a waffle maker so it is hot when you are ready to cook the waffles.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract.
- Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture, stirring by hand with a large spoon just until combined. It's okay for the batter to be lumpy.
- Spray the waffle maker with cooking spray so the waffles won't stick. Pour the batter onto the waffle maker. Keep in mind that the batter will expand when you close the waffle maker and try not to overfill. Close the lid and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the waffles are golden brown and crisp on the outside. Transfer the finished waffles to a wire rack while you cook the rest of the batter.
Cream Cheese Icing
- While the waffles are cooking, beat the powdered sugar, cream cheese, softened butter, and maple extract in a bowl with an electric hand mixer until smooth. Add just enough milk or cream to make a pourable glaze. It shouldn't be too thin though.
- Transfer the icing to a ziploc bag and set aside.
Brown Sugar Glaze
- Stir the brown sugar, melted butter, and cinnamon in a bowl until combined. It will want to separate if you make this in advance, so you might need to reheat and stir again to combine just before serving.
- Transfer to a ziploc bag and snip off one corner. Drizzle the brown sugar glaze over the waffles, then drizzle with the cream cheese icing as well and serve immediately.
- Buttermilk substitute: If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can make an easy substitute by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a 1 cup measuring cup. Fill it the rest of the way with milk, then let this sit for 5 to 10 minutes before using in this recipe in place of the buttermilk.
- Freezing: The waffles, cream cheese icing, and brown sugar glaze can all be frozen for 2-3 months. Toast the waffles in an air fryer or toasted to reheat. The cream cheese icing and brown sugar glaze can be reheated in the microwave.
Adapted from All Recipes.