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Last updated: March 30, 2021
This article about stroopwafel irons carries a bit of nostalgia for me. As a child, with my Dutch heritage, I was lucky enough to be treated to stroopwafels (stroop waffles, or thin waffles) every now and then.
And today, I still happily make my very own stroopwafels, because they are just so irresistibly delicious. Not healthy though, but it’s okay to indulge sometimes.
To share my enthusiasm for stroopwafels with you, I am going to explain what they are, what they are not, and what you need to prepare them in your own kitchen at home. Yum!
What Is a Stroopwafel?
Originating from The Netherlands, a stroopwafel is essentially a cookie that consists of two thin layers of baked dough that are joined by a caramel filling. The Dutch word “stroop” means syrup, and “wafel” means “waffle”.
Sounds simple, right?
A stroopwafel is indeed quite a straight-forward affair. But as with so many delicacies, it’s important to get things right. And that involves the crispiness, the chewiness, the thickness, the grid pattern on the outer layers, and the flavors.
Stroopwafels were “invented” in the Dutch city of Gouda at some point in the 19th century, but nobody seems to know exactly when. Mass factory production of stroopwafels started to take off in the 20th century. If you ever get to visit The Netherlands, chances are you’ll find stroopwafels on every street corner.
Unfortunately, there are lots of thin waffle products marketed and sold as stroopwafels, but in reality they aren’t authentic stroopwafels at all. Similarly, you will find a lot of thin waffle makers marketed as stroopwafel irons, but they aren’t.
A thin waffle simply isn’t the same as a stroopwafel. A thin waffle can come in various shapes, flavors and sizes. But a stroopwafel is a very specific type of wafer cookie, with its own unique shape, grid pattern, texture and ingredients.
What About the Belgian Waffle?
An authentic Dutch stroopwafel is also not the same as a typical Belgian waffle, but they do often get mixed up.
A Belgian waffle typically is much thicker than a stroopwafel, and also has a different pattern. It also doesn’t have a caramel filling on the inside.
Lots of thin waffles are similar to the traditional Belgian waffle, but they are also not the same as the traditional Dutch stroopwafel at all.
Let’s have a look at what goes into an authentic Dutch stroopwafel, so you can make them yourself with an iron.
Note that the below ingredients for the waffles and the filling aren’t set in stone, they are guidelines only. You’re free to experiment and adjust where necessary.
Dough (for the waffles):
- 1 tsp (half pack) active dry yeast
- 1/4 large cup warm milk
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 raw egg
Mix the milk and yeast in a bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes. Add the egg, melted butter and sugar, and stir in the flour. Knead the mixture into a ball and allow to rise for an hour or so.
Filling (for the inside):
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp dark corn syrup
Place all ingredients in a saucepan and stir until boiling. Allow the mixture to cool off once the butter and sugar have dissolved.
How to Make Stroopwafels With a Stroopwafel Iron
With the dough and the filling we’ve created in the previous step, here’s how to turn them into stroopwafels with an iron:
- Place 2.5 tablespoons of dough (per stroopwafel) on the iron
- Close the iron and let it cook for a little over a minute until they are golden brown
- Slice the cookie into two layers with a sharp knife while they’re still warm
- Spread about 2 teaspoons of the caramel filling onto one layer and add the other layer on top
- Optional: place the stroopwafel on the iron for a short time just to warm it up if preferred
Note that you can also choose to spread the caramel filling between two cookies, rather than slicing one open. Whatever is the easiest for you.
Characteristics of a Good Stroopwafel
What do I think are the non-negotiable characteristics of a true Dutch stroopwafel?
- They must be thin
- They must be crispy and chewy
- They must have a thin layer of smooth caramel-type filling inside
- The outer layers must have the right grid pattern
I say this with a bit of tongue-in-cheek of course, but I do think it’s important to get the essentials right.
Which Stroopwafel Irons Do I Recommend?
Stroopwafel irons that can make perfect, authentic stroopwafels, with the right texture and patterns, are very hard to find. They’re essentially sold as thin waffle makers, or pizelle makers, not real stroopwafel irons.
However, if you get the ingredients and process right, with the below three kitchen appliances you can still make delicious cookies that resemble stroopwafels.
1. CucinaPro Nonstick Electric Pizzelle Maker
This is an example of a good quality pizelle maker that you could also use for making stroopwafels. It can make two cookies with different patterns at one time, each measuring 5 inches.
The thick baking plates make sure that the heat gets distributed perfectly, and the steam guard protects your hands. Also very important is the non-stick surface, which makes cleaning up super easy.
- Pizzelle Baker- Makes 2 pizzelles at one time- Recipes Included!
- Pizzelle Maker- Cookies measure at 5 inches, the perfect bit size for cones
- Pizzelle Press- Steam guard protects hands. NEW Updated Model has GREY nonstick...
2. Palmer Electric Belgian Cookie Iron
While this model is branded as a Belgian cookie iron, it’s actually very suitable for making Dutch stroopwafels. It can bake two thin and crisp waffles on high quality aluminum plates.
The cast plates extend down the side of the unit, which makes for really easy cleaning in case of any overflow.
- Made in USA
- Bakes 2 thin and crisp belgian cookies
- Cast aluminum plates
3. Chef’s Choice Nonstick Pizzelle Maker
This is another nonstick pizelle maker which can be used to make stroopwafels. This Chef’s Choice model has room for three 3-inch waffles to be prepared at once.
It’s an electric appliance with baking and ready lights, and comes with an easy to clean overflow channel and a locking latch for perfect thickness and uniform baking.
- Bakes three 3-inch pizzelle at once in 45-60 seconds, recovers heat instantly
- Nonstick plates; overflow channel for excess batter
- 9 inches wide, 3-1/4 inches high, 10 inches deep; stores upright; cord wraps
Are you excited about stroopwafels after reading this article? Are you keen to try and make them yourself?
If you’ve never had real stroopwafels before, I recommend you buy a pack first and see if you like them. Try and find them at your local supermarket, or otherwise buy them online.
I know for a fact that not everyone likes them, mainly because of their rather unique texture and flavors. But if you do find them as delicious as I find them, then it may be worth investing in a little stroopwafel iron!