Difference between: pancakes and waffles

This Difference Between is an age-old battle: pancakes vs waffles.


Pancake: a thin, flat cake of batter fried on both sides on a griddle or in a frying pan; griddlecake or flapjack.

Waffle: a batter cake with a pattern of deep indentations on each side, formed by the grid-like design on each of the two hinged parts of the metal appliance (waffle iron) in which the cake is baked.

Both pancakes and waffles:

  • Are breakfast items.
  • Are “quick breads” – contain no yeast.
  • Have the same primary ingredients: flour, eggs, baking powder, and milk.
  • Are typically topped with syrup, butter, and sometimes fruit.
  • Are available boxed, or you can make them from scratch.


  • Are round-shaped.
  • Are richer and more dense.
  • Are cooked on a skillet.
  • Are often stacked.
  • Tend to stay moister than waffles.
  • Not including toppings, pancakes have 20% less calories than waffles.


  • Are cooked on a waffle iron, and take the shape of the waffle iron – square or round.
  • Have indentations that allow the syrup and butter to gather.
  • Contain more fat than pancakes, allowing a more crisp exterior.
  • Tend to have more eggs than than pancakes.
  • Some recipes call for separating the egg whites and yolks, with beating the egg whites first.
  • Go better with dessert items such as ice cream than pancakes.

In conclusion, waffles are lighter and fluffier than pancakes, with receptacles to hold the toppings in. Pancakes are are not as fattening as waffles, but most of the calories of course come from the toppings.

What side to you land on? I’ve always been a pancake girl myself.

1 thought on “Difference between: pancakes and waffles

  1. One of my mom’s famous winter dishes was Creamed Chicken served over a waffle. Waffles are only for dessert!

    Also, your picture of pancakes is why I don’t eat them often away from home–those are discuses–way too thick. Should be thin, as in your description. 🙂

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