What is the Difference Between Pancakes and Waffles

The main difference between pancakes and waffles is that pancakes are soft, fluffy, and somewhat dense, while waffles are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

Pancakes and waffles are two classic breakfast foods everyone loves. Although they share some similarities, there are notable differences between the two. From their ingredients and preparation methods to their texture and toppings, each dish has unique characteristics that set it apart.

Key Areas Covered

1. What are Pancakes 
   – Definition, Texture, Preparation 
2. What are Waffles
     – Definition, Texture, Preparation 
3. Similarities Between Pancakes and Waffles
     – Outline of Common Characteristics
4. Difference Between Pancakes and Waffles
    – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Pancakes, Waffles

Difference Between Pancakes and Waffles - Comparison Summary

What are Pancakes

Pancakes are a beloved breakfast food enjoyed around the world. They are made by creating a batter from eggs, milk, and flour, which is then fried on a hot surface with butter. Depending on the recipe, pancakes can be thin and crispy or thick and fluffy. We usually serve pancakes with a variety of delicious toppings and sauces, like maple syrup, sugar, bacon, whipped cream, and mixed fruits. The main ingredients in a pancake batter are plain flour, milk, eggs, and a pinch of salt. Additionally, we use oil or butter to cook the pancakes.

Compare Pancakes and Waffles - What's the difference?

Types of Pancakes

There are two main types of pancakes:

Crêpes – These thin, French-style pancakes can be filled or topped with sweet or savory ingredients and are often crispy around the edges. Traditionally, crêpes are eaten on Shrove Tuesday.

American-style Pancakes – These pancakes are thick and fluffy and are closely associated with breakfast in the United States. They are much thicker than crêpes due to the addition of baking powder or whipped egg whites to the batter. American-style pancakes are typically served with sweet toppings like fruit, chocolate chips, and syrup, as well as savory accompaniments like crispy bacon.

What are Waffles

Waffles are another delicious breakfast treat that is enjoyed by many around the world. They are crisp bread-like cakes with a distinctive surface of uniform indentations resembling a honeycomb. They have a crispy exterior and a softer interior. To make waffles, we make a pourable batter using a combination of flour, milk, oil, sugar, eggs, salt, and baking powder. There are also all-purpose baking mixes available in supermarkets and grocery stores, which only require the addition of liquid ingredients before use. Once the batter is ready, we have to pour it onto a waffle iron, which cooks the batter and creates the signature honeycomb pattern.

Pancakes vs Waffles

We generally serve waffles for breakfast or brunch. We can top them with a variety of toppings such as syrup, fruit, or butter. Moreover, waffles can be sweet or savory, depending on the ingredients used in the batter and the toppings added afterward. Sweet waffles are often served with whipped cream, syrup, fruit, or chocolate, while savory waffles may be topped with cheese, eggs, bacon, or other breakfast foods.

Similarities Between Pancakes and Waffles

  • Both pancakes and waffles share some of the same basic ingredients, such as eggs, milk, and flour.
  • They are popular breakfast/brunch food.
  • We can make pancake and waffle batters from scratch using similar dry ingredients or pre-made mixes.
  • Moreover, we can use a variety of toppings on them, from classic butter and syrup to fruit, whipped cream, or savory options like chicken and waffles.

Difference Between Pancakes and Waffles


Pancakes are thin, flat, circular pieces of cooked batter made from milk, flour, and eggs, while waffles are cakes that are crispy with a distinctive pattern of deep squares on both sides and are prepared by cooking batter in a waffle iron.


Pancakes are usually soft and fluffy, while waffles are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.


Although both batters contain similar ingredients, the ratios of ingredients differ. Generally, pancakes have more baking powder and milk, while waffles have more butter and an extra egg.


Pancakes can be made on the stovetop in a frying pan or on a griddle, while waffles require a waffle iron.


Pancakes are usually round in shape, while waffles can be made in various designs, from round to square or even novelty shapes.


The main difference between pancakes and waffles is that pancakes are soft, fluffy, and somewhat dense, while waffles are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Moreover, although both pancake and waffle batters contain similar ingredients, such as eggs, milk, and flour, the ratios of ingredients differ.


1. “Everything to Know about Pancakes.” Erudus.
2. “What is a Waffle?” Delighted Cooking.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Pancake With Raspberries” (CC0) via Pexels 
2. “Plate of Waffles and Raspberries” (CC0) via Pexels 

About the Author: Hasa

Hasanthi is a seasoned content writer and editor with over 8 years of experience. Armed with a BA degree in English and a knack for digital marketing, she explores her passions for literature, history, culture, and food through her engaging and informative writing.

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