What is the name for Belgian waffles in Belgium?


Belgian waffles are a popular breakfast food worldwide, famous for their light, fluffy texture and crispy exterior. While they are often associated with Belgium, many people are unaware of the true name for these delicious treats in their country of origin. In this article, we will explore the history and culture behind Belgian waffles, including their different varieties, unique qualities, and the name by which they are known in Belgium.

Belgian Waffles: A Brief Overview

Belgian waffles are a type of waffle that is made with yeast batter, resulting in a light and airy texture. They are typically served with whipped cream, fruit, or other toppings, and are a popular breakfast item in many countries around the world. Belgian waffles are often confused with American waffles, which are denser and sweeter, and are made with baking powder instead of yeast.

The Origin of Belgian Waffles

Belgian waffles have a long and storied history, dating back to the Middle Ages. While the exact origin of Belgian waffles is unknown, it is believed that they were first made by monks in the abbeys of medieval Belgium. These early waffles were made with flour, water, and salt, and were cooked on a hot stone. Over time, the recipe evolved to include yeast, sugar, and other ingredients, resulting in the light and fluffy waffles we know today.

The Different Types of Belgian Waffles

Belgian waffles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be made with different types of batter. The most common types of Belgian waffles include the Brussels waffle, which is rectangular in shape with deep pockets, and the Liege waffle, which is smaller and denser, with a caramelized sugar coating. Other types of Belgian waffles include the Gaufre de Liège, which is similar to the Liege waffle but with added raisins, and the Gaufre de Bruxelles, which is a thinner, crispier version of the Brussels waffle.

What Makes Belgian Waffles Different?

Belgian waffles are known for their light, fluffy texture and crispy exterior, which is achieved by using yeast in the batter and cooking the waffles at high heat. The yeast causes the batter to rise and creates air pockets in the waffle, resulting in a light and airy texture. The high heat used to cook the waffles also creates a crispy exterior, which is a hallmark of Belgian waffles.

Belgian Waffles in Belgium: A Culinary Delight

Belgian waffles are a beloved culinary tradition in Belgium, where they are often served as a dessert or snack. They are sold at food stands and cafes throughout the country, and are typically topped with whipped cream, chocolate, fruit, or other sweet toppings. Belgian waffles are especially popular in Brussels, where they are served hot and fresh from street vendors and cafes.

The Name for Belgian Waffles in Belgium

Contrary to popular belief, Belgian waffles are not actually called "Belgian waffles" in Belgium. Instead, they are known by a variety of different names depending on the region and type of waffle. In Brussels, the most common name for a waffle is a "gaufre," while in Liege, they are known as "gaufres de Liege." Other names for Belgian waffles include "Brussels waffles," "dense waffles," and "pearl sugar waffles."

The History Behind the Name

The reason why Belgian waffles are not called "Belgian waffles" in Belgium is because the name was actually coined by Americans in the 1960s. At the World’s Fair in 1964, a Belgian waffle stand was set up, and the waffles were so popular that they became known as "Belgian waffles" in America. The name stuck, and today, "Belgian waffles" is the most common name for this type of waffle around the world.

Do Belgians Call Them "Belgian Waffles"?

While some Belgians may refer to waffles as "Belgian waffles" when speaking to tourists, it is not a common name for waffles in Belgium. Most Belgians simply refer to them by their regional or specific names, such as "Brussels waffles" or "Liege waffles."

How to Order Belgian Waffles in Belgium

To order a Belgian waffle in Belgium, simply ask for a "gaufre" or the specific type of waffle you want, such as a "Brussels waffle" or "Liege waffle." Waffles are typically served with a variety of toppings, so be sure to ask for your preferred toppings when ordering.

Other Delicious Belgian Treats to Try

In addition to Belgian waffles, Belgium is known for a variety of delicious treats, including Belgian chocolate, speculoos cookies, and frites (Belgian fries). Be sure to sample these delicious foods during your visit to Belgium.


Belgian waffles are a beloved culinary tradition in Belgium and around the world. While they are often called "Belgian waffles" outside of Belgium, they are known by a variety of different names in their country of origin. Whether you prefer the light, fluffy Brussels waffle or the dense, caramelized Liege waffle, there is no denying the deliciousness of this beloved breakfast food. So next time you’re in Belgium, be sure to try a gaufre or two and discover the true taste of Belgian waffles.

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Elise DeVoe

Elise is a seasoned food writer with seven years of experience. Her culinary journey began as Managing Editor at the College of Charleston for Spoon University, the ultimate resource for college foodies. After graduating, she launched her blog, Cookin’ with Booze, which has now transformed into captivating short-form videos on TikTok and Instagram, offering insider tips for savoring Charleston’s local cuisine.

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