Orange Waffles with Poppy Seeds

These Orange Waffles are crisp and full of bright citrus flavor and the added crunch of poppy seeds. Top them with your favorite maple syrup, and you’re ready for breakfast or brunch in under 30 minutes.

Whether it’s in orange poppy seed muffins or these orange poppy seed waffles, it’s time for the lemon to step aside and let the orange take the spotlight in your kitchen. So pull out your waffle iron, and let’s make this orange waffle recipe!

two orange waffles on a cooling rack.
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oranges, poppy seeds, Grand Marnier, butter, sugar, milk, eggs, flour, salt, baking powder and soda on a countertop.

Most of the ingredients in this orange poppy seed waffle recipe are the same as any other classic waffle recipe. Here’s what makes this orange waffle recipe the best waffle recipe:


  • poppy seeds – poppy seeds give the waffles some texture and crunch.
  • orange zest and orange juice – orange oils and juice give that sunshine-y burst of flavor.
  • Grand Marnier – adds even more orange flavor to your orange waffles.

Love oranges? Make my orange zest French toast waffles or chocolate orange cake.

Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations and substitutions

  • If you want even lighter orange poppyseed waffles, you can separate your eggs and add the yolks when the recipe calls for eggs. Then whip the whites and fold them into your orange waffles at the end.
  • No oranges? Sub store-bought juice.
  • Sub in lemon zest and lemon juice if you must.
  • Sub vanilla for the Grand Marnier.

Baking formulas

To create these orange waffles, used a simple formula you can also use to create your own waffles. I mentioned a few posts ago, when researching my kale and cheese quick bread recipe, that I discovered Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio. Among all the baking ratios, Ruhlman includes a ratio for pancakes. That ratio is (by weight) 2 parts flour to 2 parts liquid to 1 part egg and a half part fat. In usable terms, that’s 8 ounces (about 1 and three-quarters cup) of flour, 1 cup of milk or buttermilk, 2 eggs, and 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) of butter.

To make orange poppy seed waffles instead of orange poppy seed pancakes,, the baking ratio stays the same. But waffles have slightly more fat, so we increase the butter by a tablespoon or two and add a bit of sugar.

Recipe tips and tricks

Waffles and pancakes are made using the muffin method, where you start with dry ingredients and then add in the wet ingredients all at once. You can see other examples of the muffin method in my blueberry chocolate chip muffins and sourdough apple muffins.

Tip from the wise quacker: to make waffle batter ahead of time, mix your dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls. Just don’t combine them until you’re ready to make your waffles!

Step 1: Plug in your waffle iron to pre-heat. Mix your dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

large glass bowl with flour, poppy seeds, and flecks of orange zest and a whisk.

Step 2: Add your orange juice to a glass measuring cup, ideally 2 cups or larger. That way you can add the milk to total 1 cup, your eggs and liqueur, and whisk it all together without making a mess!

2 cup pyrex measuring cup with milk and two egg yolks visible.

Step 3: Add the melted butter and wet ingredients from the measuring cup to the dry ingredients. Stir with a spatula only until you no longer see traces of flour. Do not over-mix.

poppy seed batter in a glass bowl with a red spatula.

Make your orange poppy seed waffles according to your waffle maker’s instructions. Serve the orange waffles immediately with maple syrup, or you can keep them in a warm oven as you make them to serve all at once.

Recipe FAQs

It’s not orange season, can I buy OJ for this orange waffle recipe?

Sure. Feel free to omit the zest and make orange juice waffles! You’ll want to strain the juice if it’s pulpy.

Can I freeze these orange waffles?

You could easily make a half batch of these instead of the full. Or make the full batch and freeze the extras, if you have any! Waffles do freeze really well. Just reheat them in the toaster.

I don’t have Grand Marnier in the house. Is there something else I can use?

You can use orange extract or vanilla in place of the Grand Marnier. Just know that neither one is a substitute if you are avoiding alcohol.

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.


Orange Waffles with Poppy Seeds

5 from 1 vote
Category: Breakfast
Cuisine: Unspecified
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes
Servings: 6 half-cup waffles
Calories: 319kcal
These orange poppy seed waffles are crisp and full of bright citrus flavor. Top them with a bit of syrup, and you're ready for breakfast or brunch.
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  • Waffle iron


  • 5 tablespoons (71 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • cup (225 grams) bleached all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • zest and juice from two small or one medium orange, separated this should yield about ¼ cup of juice
  • up to 1 cup milk, to total 1 cup of liquid
  • 2 eggs, see note about separating if desired
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur


  • Turn on your waffle iron to heat it.
  • In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest).
    1¾ cup (225 grams) bleached all purpose flour, ¼ cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup poppy seeds, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
  • In a large measuring cup, add the orange juice and then add milk so that the liquid total is 1 cup. Add the eggs and Grand Marnier and beat lightly until uniform.
    zest and juice from two small or one medium orange, separated, up to 1 cup milk, to total 1 cup of liquid, 2 eggs, see note about separating if desired, 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
  • Add the liquid from the measuring cup and the melted butter to the dry ingredients. Mix together only until the mixture has been incorporated fully. Do not overmix.
    5 tablespoons (71 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • Preheat your waffle iron and waffle per the manufacturer's instructions.


This orange poppy seed waffle recipe will make 6 one-half cup waffles.
The most important thing to remember is to not over-mix the orange waffle batter.


Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 420mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 437IU | Vitamin C: 0.04mg | Calcium: 205mg | Iron: 3mg
Love this recipe?Mention @Uglyducklingbakery or tag #uglyducklingbakery!

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