Is Waffle Batter the Same as Pancake Batter? Difference and Reasons Explained.

Is waffle batter the same as pancake batter? Yes, they are the same in terms of ingredients. However, the difference between waffle and pancake batter greatly depends on ratio and treatment of the ingredients. We discuss why this matters.

These criteria helped us to test that theory by using a store-bought just add water pancake mix and whipped it up to make some average waffles instead.

Origin of Pancake

One of the earliest known reference to pancakes dates back 2000 years ago to the province of Shandong during the period of the Three Kingdoms. According to the ancient story, the legendary strategist, Zhuge Liang encountered a problem to feed his soldiers before an impending battle. He instructed his cooks to mix wheat flour and water to make a batter and cook it over their shields or flat griddles over a flame. With their bellies filled and morale on the high, they went on to win their battle. That was when the Jianbing guozi was born and has since become a popular street food throughout China.

Another source has suggested that the humble pancake may be the oldest breakfast food in history after evidence was found in the belly of the ancient iceman called Otzi, dating back some 30,000 years ago.

Later on, as early as the 14th century, bakers began preparing bread dough in circular molds called tins. These tins eventually evolved into smaller pans, and the dish became known as a pancake.

Today, they are sometimes known as griddle cakes, hot cakes or flapjacks.

Differences Between Waffle and Pancake Batter;

There are differences between waffle and pancake batter even though the ingredients are the same. We compare real-life recipes to see the differences below;

Is Waffle Batter the same as Pancake Batter?

1. Ingredients

Are waffle and pancake mix the same? Pancake and waffle batter are the same because they primarily consist of flour, eggs, sugar, butter and milk.

However, their ratios and treatment of some of the ingredients are different in order to produce different results. This is because we expect pancakes to be soft and floppy on our plate but we want our waffles to be soft on the inside with a stiff crispy outer layer, making it perfect to soak in delicious drizzled maple syrup.

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2. Ratios

Waffle batter tends to have a consistency thicker than pancake batter because there is more fat and sugar content to produce a crispy exterior and soft interior that we are expecting. The sugar caramelises and the fat from the butter and eggs help to cook the waffle batter nicely while it’s in the waffle iron.

This is why it is more plausible to make waffles out of pancake mix but you will not be able to do so vice-versa if you’re using a store-bought pre-mix specifically for waffles.

I have chosen some popular waffle and pancake recipes from various sources to get an idea of the ratios involved in both type of recipes. 

I have also used their built-in conversion calculator to adjust each recipe to yield about 4-5 pancakes and waffles respectively for the sake of standardizing them for comparison.

These recipes have garnered anywhere between 100-3000 top rated reviews;

Our Pancake and Waffle Recipe Sources;

pancake vs waffle ratio comparison 2
Pancakes vs Waffles Mix Ratio Comparison:

Pancakes vs Waffles Mix Ratio Comparison:

Pancakes vs Waffles Mix Ratio Comparison:

From these comparisons, we can see that the ratio is more or almost double the amount needed for waffles as compared to pancakes in regards to their eggs and butter content respectively.

Even though the amount of eggs is the same for the pancake and waffle recipes from, they still use more oil in the making of their waffles.

80ml of vegetable oil for the waffles recipe means that it is more than 4 tablespoons of butter that converts to approximately 60ml or melted oil. Is butter better than vegetable oil for waffles is still very much a preference rather than a science-tested theory, making them both pretty good choices either way.

This shows that the fat content is much higher in waffles batter because we need it to create that crispy outer layer with a soft interior.

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Milk and sugar plays a part in it too as milk appears to be in higher content for the pancake recipes because most people prefer their pancakes to be fluffy. Based on these comparisons, it may not play such a major role as we expected initially. However, this may play a more significant difference if you want Belgian waffles instead of regular waffles.

3. Color and Texture

Are Waffle and Pancake Batter The Same?

In the aspect of color both are recognized to have a yellow surface sandwiched by a distinct golden brown coating. We expect our pancakes to look golden brown with a soft yet fluffy consistency with a crispy age and floppy characteristic.

In terms of waffles, we want them to be golden brown too but have a fluffy texture on the inside with a crispy outer layer that is needed to soak up the lovely syrup along with any liquid or fruity toppings.

4. Appearance and Equipment

Traditionally pancakes are round but waffles can be round too or square. These days plenty of modern shape cutters will give you pretty much any shape that you can imagine.

Pancakes are cooked on a griddle or skillet whereas waffles are cooked in a hot waffle iron.

5. Treatment of Ingredients

Some waffle recipes suggest to separate the eggs. Beating the egg whites until they produce stiff peaks that will help to give rise an extra crispiness to waffles.

For pancakes recipes, some might ask you to whisk the egg whites until you get soft peaks that will help to create extra fluffiness and softness to your pancakes.

Using baking powder or baking soda helps as a leavening agent for the waffle and pancakes batter, giving more rise and producing a fluffy texture.

It would be great to use it, if you have it on hand but certainly not a necessity as it doesn’t affect much in the taste of the pancakes or waffles in the end, mainly just texture if that’s what you’re after. That’s why some recipes omit this ingredient.

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This post has also helped us to try this all-in-one just add water pancake mix that just needed water to turn their powdered concoction into waffles. We were able to turn just add water pancake mix into average waffles instead with some additional tweaking to the recipe.

6. Toppings

Pancakes are like sponge cakes; they’re soft and absorb everything around them. They’re great for soaking up juices, syrup, milk, coffee, and even juicy toppings such as strawberries, raspberries and apricot.

Waffles, however, are much firmer and crispier. They’re almost like thin crepes, and they’re easier to flip over. And because they don’t require as much batter, they contain less air bubbles. This makes them perfect for adding more solid toppings.

The best part about waffles is that they’re easy to customize. There are endless ways to add flavor and texture to your waffles. From berries and bananas to chocolate chips and nuts, you can put just about anything you want without them sliding off the top.

7. Cooking Time

Generally, pancakes are quicker to cook as they have less content compared to a waffle. One pancake takes only a few minutes to cook, keeping them moist and floppy as compared to a waffle.

To get the best results for your waffles, you will need to preheat your waffle iron. This could take about 10-15 minutes before you pour in the batter. Once the batter is in, the iron will take another 10-15 minutes to cook the waffle.

Is Waffle Batter the Same as Pancake Batter Summary

We hope we have given you some insight into the common question, are waffle and pancake mix the same? Their ingredients sure are the same but the ratio and method of cooking them are not.

You can easily turn either one into a savory dish too. Half the sugar content in their batters then cook up some bacon, cheese and chives instead.

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Eve MayHew

Eve Mayhew is a stay-at-home Mum, graphic designer and wife who takes more of a relaxed and practical approach to her lifestyle. She prefers to live a more stress-free life and enjoys food and drink in moderation by counting her blessings rather than counting the calories or feeling guilty over the odd soft drink or fast food fix every now and then. (Contact Author)