Oatmeal Waffles

Making waffles without oil is pretty unheard of, but oil-free waffles are indeed possible and completely delicious. This recipe works for both classic (small-well) and Belgian (large-well) waffle irons. Before you begin, review the Waffle Tips to follow.


While I have seen many no-oil waffle recipes, the “no-oil” usually applies to the batter, not the waffle iron. Most cooks still spray or rub their waffle iron with a little cooking oil. But I don’t want oil in my batter or on the surface of my waffles. The addition of a few nuts (cashews) or almond butter in this recipe helps to keep the waffles from sticking, but also consider the below tips for greater success.

2 cups nondairy milk (plus more to thin batter as it sits)
1 ounce dates, pitted and quartered (about 2 Medjool or 4 Deglet Noor)
1 ounce raw, unsalted cashews (about ¼ cup), or 2 tablespoons almond butter
1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats, ground into flour in a blender
½ cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Sliced fruit, such as bananas, strawberries, and/or blueberries, to top waffles
1 recipe Strawberry-Date Syrup (optional)
Extra cashews to grind on top of waffles (optional; see Notes)

1. Place the milk, dates, and cashews or almond butter into a small bowl, and set aside at least 15 minutes (so the dates can soften).

2. Place the oat flour into a medium bowl, along with the cornmeal, baking powder, and cinnamon, and mix with a fork. Plug in your waffle iron and set on medium.

3. Blend the milk, dates, and cashews or almond butter in a blender until smooth. Pour into the bowl of dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Allow the batter to rest for one minute. (Add a little nondairy milk as needed between cooking the waffles, as the batter will thicken).

4. Pour ½ to ¾ cup of batter into the center of your heated waffle iron for classic waffles, or ¾ to 1 cup for Belgian waffles; no oil is needed on the irons. Close the lid, and cook until the indicator light shows that they have finished cooking (refer to your waffle iron’s manual). All waffle irons will vary slightly, but generally classic waffles cook in 3 to 4 minutes, and Belgian waffles in 4 to 5 minutes (see Waffle Tips below).

5. Serve immediately, topped with sliced fruit and Strawberry-Date Syrup.

Using a rotary cheese grater, grate some cashews (or any type of nut) on top of your cooked waffles, for a little extra richness without going overboard on fat.

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 3 to 5 minutes per waffle (depending on type/size)
Serves: 2 to 4 (makes: 6 six-inch classic waffles or 3 Belgian waffles)

Tips for Successful No-Oil Waffles

Use a waffle iron with a nonstick coating, preferably an iron that has never been oiled before (since the oily residue may encourage sticking). If you have a nonstick waffle iron that is very old, consider buying a new one; they’re pretty inexpensive. But beware: new nonstick waffle iron instructions state to oil the surface the first time, so disregard that.
Read your waffle iron’s manufacturer’s instructions to get a more accurate estimate of how long waffles in that unit should take to cook. Each waffle iron is a little bit different.
Set the heat at medium. Each waffle iron is different, so experiment with the heat setting that works best for your iron. Mine has 5 heat settings (5 is hottest), and I find that setting it to 4 works well.
To promote easier removal, pour in just enough batter so that the edges of the waffle come just to edges of the iron without spilling over (otherwise it becomes tricky to remove, as it wants to split in half).
When the “done” light comes on, lift the lid slowly (beware of escaping steam). If it just doesn’t want to open yet, give it another 30 to 60 seconds, and then try again. Even when the waffles are done, sometimes the lid still requires a firm tug to get it to separate from the waffle, since we are not using oil. Slightly overbaked waffles are preferable to underbaked ones (which can result in a gooey, sticking mess).
Always be prepared with a fork to gently help release the waffle from the irons. Your waffles may stick a little, and the halves may start to come apart. Gently pry the edge of the stuck side off the iron with a fork, and the two sides will fall back together and still taste great.
To keep your waffles warm as you make them, transfer them to a baking rack in your oven set to 250°F.
Have patience and find the amount of batter and the heat setting that works best for your taste and your waffle iron, and make a note for next time.


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  1. Margarita says


    I wanted to make these for a long time, and just noticed you recently revised the recipe. I don’t eat any waffles because they are normally packed with a lot of things I don’t like to put in my body, but your recipe sounded so delicious that I wanted to try this healthy version.

    Just as your other recipes, they were delicious: enough sweetness, crispy, and the cinnamon made my place smell so good. My husband who does eat waffles also loved them. (The only substitution I made was almond butter for peanut butter)

    Thank you again for your delicious ideas

    Margarita :)

  2. Cathy says

    Thank you Cathy. I liked your original recipe, but this one is even better. I used an old non-stick belgian waffle maker and every waffle came out perfectly. I’ll be making waffles more often now. This recipe seemed less messy and easier than the original one. Thank you so much for the updated version. Yum!

  3. michele says

    I love waffles — indeed, the only gf frozen food I have ever bought are gf, vegan, fruit-juice sweetened waffles, but the quality is inconsistent…. These meet all my desires — no processed sugar, no gluten, no animal products, the only problem is our waffle iron is a gluten time bomb! So I am off to Amazon to look for a new waffle iron on sale, thanks to you!

  4. Annabelle says

    Would love a recipe for savory waffles with filling. A vegan restaurant makes them near me but I am sure they use oil and I haven’t been able to figure out how they get them so yummy. Love this site!

    • says

      Hi Iris, I’m not sure, never done that. Maybe if you use double-acting baking powder (where it starts acting when wet meets dry, as well as with heat). Maybe make a half batch and try it first. :)

      • Iris says

        Hi Cathy. I made the waffle batter ahead and refrigerated it overnight. Used double acting baking powder. Worked perfectly! Delicious recipe as well as healthy. Thanks!

  5. says

    I was really excited about this recipe. My husband loves waffles and I have gluten issues so this was something I thought we would both be able to enjoy. I got your waffle iron and got started. I could not use the nut butter you recommended since I am allergic to nuts. So I used applesauce. Needless to say the waffle stuck like glue to the waffle iron. Once the everything cooled the waffle I made came out of the waffle iron and tasted great. I used the rest of the batter for pancakes and they were good. I am not giving up! Next I am going to try using ground chia seeds. Thanks so much for the recipe and for your site.

    • says

      Hi Josie, I used to make them with no fat, and I could but it was a challenge. I had to be very careful about removing them. You really need some bit of fat blended all through to help resist sticking it seems. Soaked sunflower seeds may work; not sure about chia. Let me know how it goes. :)

  6. Lynn says

    I have oat flour that I am trying to use up. Is the amount of oat flour the same as the oats called for in this recipe?

  7. Patsy Birkner says

    These waffles are heavenly. I added 2 t. orange extract. Good! And the oat flour is the same measurement as using oats. These did not stick to my new waffle iron. Hurray! Thanks, Cathy.

  8. Candice says

    Is there something I can substitute for the dates in this recipe? The commenter above added orange extract– can an extract be used to replace the dates as a sweetener?

    Thank you for so many great recipes!

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