How to Make Authentic Stroopwafel

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The recipe for caramel-filled stroopwafel may hail from the Netherlands, but you can make them at home in a few simple steps.

If you’ve ever traveled through Europe, then you likely indulged in at least one (or one hundred) stroopwafels during your trip. These crisp cookies are perhaps one of the most famous Dutch snack items found in restaurants, cafes, street carts and supermarkets throughout the Netherlands.

What Is a Stroopwafel?

Stroopwafels are thin, crisp, waffle-like cookies that are filled with sweet caramel filling. Pronounced str-OH-hope-wah-full, which literally translates to “syrup waffle,” stroopwafels are made from a stiff, enriched dough that is pressed and cooked in a special hot waffle iron. While the ingredients for stroopwafels are very simple, the method does require a bit of speed, patience and practice. Once cooked, each cookie has its edges trimmed and then is carefully sliced in half while still warm before being filled with caramel and sandwiched back together.

What Does a Stroopwafel Taste Like?

The best way to describe the flavor of a stroopwafel is an unrolled sugar cone filled with a sweet and sticky, maple-flavored caramel. They’re crispy on the outside and sweet and gooey on the inside. It’s worth noting that stroopwafel caramel is much sweeter than other caramels and also has a slight molasses flavor due to the use of brown sugar.

What’s Inside a Stroopwafel?

Traditionally, stroopwafels are filled with a special caramel-like syrup made with pure maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and vanilla. Variants for fillings include honey, hazelnuts, chocolate or classic caramel sauce.

How are Stroopwafels Served?

Stroopwafels are most often served fresh, while still warm. This ensures the cookies are crisp and the filling is still soft and chewy. However, stroopwafels that have cooled are almost always served with a hot cup of brewed coffee. The stroopwafel is placed over the hot coffee and allowed to rest on the rim of the cup for several minutes. The steam from the hot coffee gently warms the stroopwafel filling so it softens up and returns to the perfect consistency.

Read more about how to eat stroopwafels.

How to Make Stroopwafels

Ingredients

Waffle Cookies

  • 2 cups (250g) flour
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Filling

  • 1-1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Tools

Plan to use a special stroopwafel iron or a pizzelle iron.

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the stroopwafel dough

In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine the flour, yeast, cinnamon and sugar. Next, use a pastry blender to cut in the pieces of butter. Continue to work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles small coarse crumbs.

Slowly add in the warm water (110° F) and mix until loosely combined. Add the egg. Then, add salt and knead the dough for 2-3 minutes until the ingredients are fully blended and a soft, stiff dough forms. The dough should resemble a dense sugar cookie dough.

Step 2: Let the dough rest

Once the dough is mixed, remove it from the mixer, shape it into a ball and wrap it with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 30-45 minutes.

Step 3: Prepare the filling

While the dough rests, prepare the filling. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and melt it into the butter over medium-low heat. Add the cinnamon and maple syrup and then bring the mixture to a strong simmer. Whisk the sauce continuously until the sugar completely dissolves and a smooth caramel forms. (Learn more about how to make caramel.) Stir in the vanilla extract and then reduce the heat to your stovetop’s lowest setting to keep the caramel warm.

Editor’s Note: If your stovetop’s lowest setting still makes the caramel simmer, remove it from the heat to prevent the caramel from crystallizing. You may transfer the caramel to a glass bowl nested in a water bath of hot water to keep it warm.

Step 4: Portion and form the dough

shaping stroopwafels doughLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

After 30 minutes, unwrap the dough and then divide it into 10-12 equal pieces. Use a food scale for accuracy if you can. For a 4-inch pizzelle iron, aim for balls of dough that weigh 45-50g each. Once divided, gently roll each portion of dough into a smooth ball between your hands.

Step 5: Cook the waffles

stroopwafel cooking in pizelle ironLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Preheat a stroopwafel or pizzelle iron. Start with its medium heat setting and adjust accordingly after making your first waffle. Once preheated, place a single ball of dough onto the iron and clamp the iron shut firmly. If your iron has a latch to lock it close, use it. Let the waffle cook for 45-60 seconds, or until steam ceases to emit from the iron. Depending on your iron’s heat settings, this could take up to 90 seconds. When the steam subsides, open the iron and remove the waffle. It should have an even, golden color.

Editor’s Note: We found that placing the ball of dough slightly off-center, towards the rear hinges of the iron, resulted in the most evenly shaped cookies once the iron was pressed closed.

Step 6: Trim and slice

stroopwafel with rough edges trimmed away using a round cookie cutterLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Working quickly, place the hot waffle onto a cutting board. Use a round cookie cutter to trim the rough edges of the waffle away. Trimming the waffles also makes it easier to slice them in half. Don’t skip this! Once trimmed, use a sharp knife to carefully slice the warm waffle in half horizontally. Imagine you’re trying to remove the skin from a filet of fish.

carefully cutting a stroopwafel in halfLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Editor’s Note: Do not cook more than one waffle at a time even though your press may have two spots to cook waffles. The waffles need to be cut as soon as they come off the hot iron while they are still warm and pliable. Once they cool, the waffles will simply crack and crumble if you try to slice them.

Step 7: Assemble

a sliced stroopwafel ready to have maple caramel filling spread on itLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Spread one half with a generous layer of warm caramel syrup and then top with the other cookie half. Gently press the two halves together so the filling reaches all the way to the edges. Repeat until all the waffles are cooked and filled.

warming a stroopwafel over a cup of hot coffeeLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Where to Buy Stroopwafels

If you’re not quite ready to tackle making stroopwafels at home, no worries. There are several great store-bought options available at retailers nationwide. Some of our favorite brands include Belgian Boys, available on Amazon and at most supermarkets, and Daelmans, available on Amazon and at World Market.

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Lauren Habermehl
Lauren Habermehl is a recipe developer, food photographer and creator of the blog, Frydae. She is a prolific quoter of FRIENDS, lover of weekend DIY projects and procrastinating fitness enthusiast who enjoys exploring the Milwaukee-area with her husband, daughter and ugly mutt named Tyson Doodles.