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Cosy autumn breakfast: Spiced pumpkin waffles

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Try these comforting, and nutritious, spiced pumpkin waffles by North Shore Mum and organic foodie and gardener on the Burke’s Backyard team, Rachel Potter. They’re sure to be gobbled up by the whole family.

Autumn is a time to relish the flavours of seasonal produce and heartwarming spices. These waffles put fresh pumpkins centrestage. Combined with cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and vanilla, you’ll feel like you’ve just given yourself and the kids a big warm hug! No waffle maker? No problem. This recipe can easily be cooked in a frying pan as delicious pancakes or pikelets.

We’ve also supplied ingredient substitutes for egg-free and gluten-free diets. Why not give these options a try even if you don’t need to cater for intolerances? They are healthy and nutrient-dense, so will be a great addition to any diet.

Most ingredients can be found in a standard supermarket, however we have provided below details of a store that can help you with any harder-to-find supplies.

Waffle ingredientsSpiced pumpkin waffles

Makes 4 large waffles

160g cooked pumpkin puree (roughly 1 generous cup chopped raw pumpkin)
2 eggs (or substitute with chia/flaxseed gel – see note, below)
100ml buttermilk (see note, below)
1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
¾ cup wholemeal spelt flour (see note, below)
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp powdered cardamom
¼ teaspoon powdered cinnamon, plus extra to dust
¼ tsp powdered ginger
¼ tsp powdered vanilla (or pure vanilla extract)
Pinch sea salt
Fresh strawberries and Greek yoghurt, to serve


  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine.
  2. If you have time, let the mixture rest for 5-10 minutes. This will help the baking powder to release carbon dioxide when it reacts with the lactic acid in the buttermilk, giving extra volume and lift to your waffles.
  3. In four batches, pour the batter into a greased waffle pan and cook until golden. If using a frying pan, cooking in batches on medium heat, place ⅓ to ½ cup of mixture for each pancake (or 1 Tablespoon of mixture for each pikelet) into the pan and cook until golden on both sides.
  4. Serve warm with a dollop of fresh Greek yoghurt, some fresh strawberries and dusted with a little cinnamon.

The plated waffles. Yum!


  • Egg substitute: 1 egg = 1 Tablespoon chia seeds or flaxseeds combined with 3 Tablespoons water. Make this the night before or a few hours in advance so that the mixture becomes gel-like.
  • For a gluten-free option: a generous ⅓ cup coconut flour can be used instead of spelt flour, or ½ cup buckwheat flour (not actually wheat at all) or ½ cup hazelnut/almond meal if no nut intolerances.
  •  If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use plain milk with a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice added. The lemon will curdle and thicken the milk instantly and provide the acid base needed to create light and fluffy waffles. Alternatively, half milk/half natural yoghurt or kefir milk could be used.

 Vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger

Tips and health info

  • Spelt flour is a great alternative to standard wheat flour as its gluten content is far lower and its high water solubility means its nutrients can be readily absorbed into the body. This is not a flour for people with coeliac disease, but some gluten-sensitive people may find they can tolerate this flour without any side effects.
  • Cardamom is a delicious spice and its health benefits are numerous. It has been proven to help digestive issues and assist in the elimination of toxins from our bodies – detoxification through the kidneys. New research has also linked cardamom to the relief of symptoms of depression and high blood pressure, and even hiccups.
  • If you haven’t introduced your children to spices such as cardamom and ginger, this recipe is a great way for them to taste the interesting flavours and develop their tastebuds.
  • Lacto-fermented foods (or cultured foods) deliver an abundance of beneficial bacteria that help digestive systems stay healthy. Buttermilk, kefir milk, natural (unsweetened) yoghurt are great for your kids to get these beneficial bacteria.
  • To locate any hard-to-find ingredients, such as spice powders, spelt flour and baking powder, head to The Source Bulk Foods, Shop 2/183-191 High St, Willoughby.
Yummy spiced pumpkin waffles

My four-year-old son Reef loves them!

What do you serve with your waffles or pancakes? Strawberries are definitely a favourite, but there must be all kinds of other fruits and condiments that go well, too. Share your taste tips in the comments section below.

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