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These cornbread waffles with maple mascarpone topping are a hearty way to breakfast or brunch, weekend-style; they’re also naturally gluten free.

Cornbread Waffles with Maple Mascarpone
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Mornings for us revolve around coffee, coffee, and more coffee. On most days, breakfast is supremely simple fare. But on special occasions or with guests, we’re inching towards becoming people who breakfast. Or brunch: at least! We actually didn’t own a waffle maker until last year, after we had a lazy morning waffle brunch with our pal Ashley in Denver. Now, our waffle maker is here to stay. And with it: we’ve been making these light and fluffy cornbread waffles ever since. They’re naturally gluten free, and seriously satisfying: we like them even better than a “standard” waffle! Keep reading for all our secrets.

Love waffles? These Fluffy Gluten Free Waffles are magically airy, Best Vegan Waffles are classic, and these Best Blueberry Waffles are perfectly tangy.

Cornbread Waffles with Maple Mascarpone

How we ended up with a waffle maker

Our pal Ashley is 1000% passionate about breakfast, and this cornbread waffles recipe is an adaptation of her own. As I mentioned, Alex and I aren’t breakfast people. But after she made us cornbread waffles in the slanty morning light, with freshly brewed coffee and the intoxicating smell of dough browning…suddenly we were 100% convinced that making space in our cupboard for a waffle maker would be worth it. And we haven’t been mad about it. (For example: our Favorite Blueberry Waffles with Blueberry Sauce are now a tradition. Yum.)

Anyway, it seems only fitting to honor the breakfast queen with this cornbread waffles recipe, on the birth of her first little one! These waffles with maple mascarpone are a mixup of Ashley’s cornmeal waffles and our maple mascarpone topping. We love the dense texture and complex flavor of these gluten free cornbread waffles, which are made with cornmeal and oat flour. For our version, we combined them with this fluffy sweet mascarpone cheese topping. It started out as a dollop on top, but ended up with a messy schmear, which seemed absolutely appropriate.

How to make cornbread waffles

These waffles are naturally gluten free, but even better: they’re made with wholesome whole food ingredients so you don’t get a big sugar high after eating them! Instead of refined flour, they’re made with cornmeal and oats, which keep you full longer. And they’re sweetened lightly with maple syrup, making them have no refined sugar either. This isn’t just to make them “healthy” — it truly makes you feel better after eating them than you would with the standard waffle! That’s a win, in our book.

You’ll notice this cornbread waffles recipe uses both cornmeal and masa harina. Masa harina literally means “dough flour” and is used to make the dough for homemade tortillas and tamales. It’s flour milled from dried hominy: corn kernels that have been soaked in a limewater solution to remove the hull. Masa harina is ground very finely. While it’s not used in a typical cornbread recipe, it helps to make the light and fluffy texture in these cornbread waffles.

Here are the general steps on how to make these cornbread waffles (see below for the full recipe):

  • If using rolled oats, grind the oats in a food processor for about 1 minute until oat flour forms.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the dries: masa harina, cornmeal, oat flour, baking powder and kosher salt.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: egg, milk, melted butter, and maple syrup. Mix in the dries into the wets.
  • Let sit undisturbed for 7 minutes. After sitting, the batter becomes very thick and unpourable.
  • Pour into a preheated waffle iron and cook until golden brown.

Related: Gluten Free Breakfast Ideas for Everyone

What is the difference between a regular waffle maker and a Belgian waffle maker?

This cornbread waffles recipe makes about 4 regular waffles or 2 Belgian waffles. What’s the difference? Belgian waffles are much larger than regular waffles: their both larger in diameter and thicker, with a deeper grid pattern. This makes Belgian waffles even fluffier than regular waffles because they are taller. If you make Belgian waffles, remember that a serving size is ½ of a Belgian waffle: not the whole thing!

Alex and I ditched our standard waffle maker in favor of a Belgian waffle maker. We like how they’re fluffier and taller than a standard waffle. Here’s the waffle maker that we got: we love it! It’s also great for gifts (like wedding gifts!).

Get it: Belgian Waffle Maker | Amazon

Cornbread Waffles with Maple Mascarpone

Looking for brunch recipes?

We’ve banded together with some friends from around the internet to celebrate Ashley in a virtual breakfast-themed party. Along with our cornbread waffles, here is the full list of recipes:

This cornbread waffles recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten free.

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Cornbread Waffles

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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 regular waffles or 2 Belgian waffles 1x
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These cornbread waffles with maple mascarpone topping are a hearty way to breakfast or brunch, weekend-style; they’re also naturally gluten free.



For the maple mascarpone

  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

For the cornbread waffles

  • ½ cup masa harina
  • ¼ cup fine or medium ground cornmeal
  • ¼ cup gluten-free oat flour (make your own by processing ¼ cup rolled oats in a food processor or high-speed blender until finely ground)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup milk (or almond milk)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil), melted and cooled
  • 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
  • Chopped pecans, for serving


  1. Preheat a waffle maker to medium high heat; grease it if necessary.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the mascarpone with 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup, then set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the masa harina, cornmeal, oat flour, baking powder and kosher salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, then whisk in the milk, melted butter, and maple syrup. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Let sit undisturbed for 7 minutes. After sitting, the batter becomes very thick and unpourable.
  6. Scoop half of the batter onto the heated waffle maker and gently spread it into an even with a spatula. Cook until golden brown. (The resulting waffle will be golden brown and soft, but it will firm up a bit as it cools. If the waffle maker is too hot, this may prevent the inside from cooking fully).
  7. Serve immediately with maple mascarpone. To store leftovers, let cool fully and freeze in an airtight plastic bag; reheat in a toaster or oven. (This recipe makes 2 large waffles or 4 small; if you scale it up, place the cooked waffles in a 300F oven to keep warm while cooking the remaining waffles.)


Adapted from Edible Perspective

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Griddle
  • Cuisine: American

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Fran Velich says:

    I have blood sugar problems and have been looking for flour alternatives.

    Do you have any cookie or lemon bar recipes? Any suggestions for substituting
    xylitol or agave? I use agave with maple flavoring for maple syrup. No problems.

    Do you have just a baking cookbook? I already cook mostly veggies/salads. I used to bake up a storm and I miss it

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Hi! We don’t have any baking recipes with alternative sweeteners, sorry!

  2. Elise Gahan says:

    WOW! These look like the best breakfast possible!

  3. Bethany @ Athletic Avocado says:

    These waffles look incredible! I love all things cornmeal and waffles! The two together? DROOL!

  4. Katrina says:

    These waffles sound sooooo good! Such an awesome flavour!

  5. heather (delicious not gorgeous) says:

    maple mascarpone schmear?! sounds like the sort of thing that should be kept in the fridge at all times to be spread on everything (:

  6. Allyson (Considering The Radish) says:

    Masa and marscapone together? Yes! These waffles look fantastic- and like a prefect way to celebrate.

  7. Ashley says:

    Oh my goodness! You + Gena are the sweetest (and sneakiest) ever. I’m seriously the luckiest and this celebration means more than you could ever know. I cannot wait for you to meet this little lady and smother her with your love. Also, you must know that waffles + cornbread are my absolute favorite, so I am beyond excited to see these!! Love the idea for this topping and will be trying it asappp!!! (Just saw it was adapted from my recipe, hehe…love that!) THANKS AGAIN!!!! xoxo

  8. Melissa Coleman says:

    Fluffy and dense? I’m all in. Thanks for organizing this sweet shower!

  9. Gena says:

    Sonja, these look so hearty and good. I’ve been on a cornmeal-in-everything kick this fall, so I can’t wait to try a vegan version!