Nutella Smothered Sourdough Waffles

October 27, 2017

Alright, lets talk about sourdough. Or better put, “naturally leavened” baked goods, made using a sourdough starter rather than commercialized yeast. And what’s with the starter? It’s this amazing thing that is actually living which you take care of daily/weekly depending on your baking schedule. A little flour, a little water, and some chill time on the counter. It sounds easy, but many failed attempts have left me feeling pretty dumbfounded over the years. That was until a little packet in the mail arrived from my friend Emilie over at The Clever Carrot. Inside was about a tablespoon or so of dried up sourdough starter. Yes! She had smoothed out her starter at home in New York on a baking tray, dried it out, crumpled it up, and shipped it off to live here with me in California. I never knew you could do such a thing! And thus began my sourdough baking.

Actually, it began the next day when her newest cookbook arrived, Artisan Sourdough Made Simple. In here Emilie covers all the nitty gritty details of growing your own starter, maintaining it, drying it to share with others, and of course baking with it – oh these recipes, folks. From traditional loaves, to ones with folded in spices, fruits, nuts, and even chocolate (!). Then there is basically an entire section on focaccia, recipes for rolls, enriched sweet breads, and then one of my favorite sections at the end covering ways to use up your leftover sourdough starter. The thing is, whenever you feed your starter you have to toss half of it in order to keep from lugging around a gallon size starter bin in your kitchen (it can grow real big, real fast). But instead of tossing out some of your once-bubbly-but-now-deflated starter you can use it in things like these waffles.

I would almost (definitely) maintain a sourdough starter just to make these waffles. Aside from some of the best flavor I’ve ever experienced in a waffle, they have this incredible texture. When you tear the waffles they stretch with this beautiful elasticity, and are incredibly fluffy on the inside with an amazing chew. I looked at Emilie’s beautiful recipe containing eggs and butter and thought what would I substitute eggs with normally? Lately it’s been applesauce in my baked goods, so I decided on that substitute. Then there was the butter, which is something usually replaced by oil, but that I would again replace by applesauce. So I got crazy and replaced them both with applesauce. And guess what? It totally worked. And the waffles don’t taste a hint like apple sauce. The milk in the original recipe was easily swapped with a plant variety, and I used honey in place of sugar. We really loved the subtle honey flavor, but feel free to use cane sugar or maple too.

If you have a vibrant sourdough starter, have failed many attempts, or are itching to get your first one going – I highly recommend getting Emilie’s cookbook. It has something in there for every level and is sure to inspire you! Her recipes are so delicious, and in true Emilie style, are beautifully photographed with stunning styling in every shot. She even has a section at the end with some of her favorite recipes to “go” with bread. Her ribollita soup is happening next in my kitchen for sure. It’s soup season, not matter what California says.

Now where did the nutella come from? A couple who I follow on Instagram were in France a few weeks ago and shared a video of them eating a waffles smothered in nutella, and I decided right then and there that my life would be sub-par until I was able to recreate the same. I took my peanut butter cup frosting from this brownie post and subbed in hazelnut butter with coconut nectar (the maple was too maple-y) and just like that – the best vegan nutella I had ever tasted. I hope you give it a try with these waffles, they really are a special pair. Definitely one of my favorite things I’ve eaten, quite possibly ever? I’ll go there. And although Emilie’s are rolled in a cinnamon sugar coating in her cookbook (which sounds insanely amazing) I think she would approve of the nutella-slathering done here still ;).

We are off to visit our friends who just moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho this weekend and I couldn’t be more excited (!). Fall. Jackets. Leaves. Cool crisp air and some hang time on it’s gorgeous lake are in our future these next three days. Get ready for some fall color overload in my stories on Instagram. You can follow along there for a dose if you’d like too. I hope for so much peace, love, and joy for you all this weekend. And lots of nutella smothered waffles (with coffee, so good). -xx


Recipe for sourdough waffles slightly adapted from Artisan Sourdough Made Simple. Reprinted with permission from The Clever Carrot and Page Street Publishing

Makes 4 to 6 waffles, depending on your iron size.

sourdough waffles
1/2 cup leftover sourdough starter
1 cup plain plant milk
2 teaspoons honey
6 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
1 cup whole grain flour (I used hard white wheat)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 cup hazelnut butter
1/2 cup coconut nectar
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup pure soy milk (or other plant milk)
optional: pinch of salt

Make the nutella: place all of the ingredients in an upright blender and puree on low until smooth. Increase the speed up to high and stop when it will no longer blend. It should be smooth and silky, if not, stir with a spoon and do it again until it reaches the right consistency. Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge. Should keep for one to two weeks.

Make the waffles: Combine the plant milk and honey in a small sauce pot and warm on the stove for one minute, whisking to dissolve the honey. It shouldn’t feel hot or cold when you place your finger in the milk. Pour into a medium mixing bowl, add the apple sauce and sourdough starter, and whisk well. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine until there are no more clumps of flour – and being careful not to over mix.

Preheat your waffle maker and brush with a little coconut oil if necessary. Add the amount of batter needed for your size waffle maker and cook until golden brown. Keep waffles warm on a cookie sheet in a 200F oven while you cook the rest of the batter. Serve slathered in plenty of the homemade nutella above. Extra waffles can be frozen and reheated in a warm oven when desired.

NOTE: For the Belgium-style waffles I posted on Instagram here I used this waffle maker. For the thinner waffles above I used this maker. Both are lined with the toxic non-stick coating from my nightmares, and I am currently on the hunt for a good ceramic iron. Right now it looks like Oster makes a few, but the reviews haven’t sold me yet. 

I love seeing what you create! Be sure to tag your photos on Instagram with #FWmakers.

This post contains affiliate links (they are underlined for clarity). Purchases you make through these links will help fund the work I do here on Faring Well at no extra cost to you. Thank you sincerely for your constant love and support.


  • Reply Jessica October 27, 2017 at 3:22 am

    You’re such a gem! I love how you’ve taken Emilie’s master techniques and recipes and made them you’re own! These waffles look fabulous…and that Nutella… oh. my. Have a wonderful time this weekend. Soak up every moment, relax and enjoy. In times of uncertainty with moving (or any life event) taking a break and spending time doing what you love, with those you love, is SO important. Now, if there was some way I could entice you to pack up and move to STL. Fall leaves, four seasons…hot dishes. enough said. sending you so much love, Jessie!

    • Reply Faring Well November 2, 2017 at 12:48 pm

      Thank you so much Jess! I’m really glad you like my rendition of these waffles here, we are super jazzed on them! And the trip was everything I needed and more, thank you, it really works wonders to get out of your world for a few days when dealing with big life decisions! Hoping you’re doing so well, and I just know we will get to hang in STL some day too. xx

  • Reply Marina Gunn October 27, 2017 at 7:14 am

    I love this so much Jessie! Can’t wait to try the recipe, especially the Nutella ♥️Have a safe trip to CDA! 🍂☀️

    • Reply Faring Well November 2, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      Thank you Marina! And yes yes yes to trying the nutella.

  • Reply Lauren Shaber October 27, 2017 at 8:02 am

    As always, such stunning photos!

    • Reply Faring Well November 2, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      You’re so kind thank you Lauren!

  • Reply Sarah | Well and Full October 27, 2017 at 8:34 am

    These waffles look amazing, Jessie! I need to get my hands on Emilie’s cookbook because I have so many questions… where do you buy a sourdough starter?! Is it hard to bake sourdough?! It’s actually one of my favorite types of breads, but I’m just so bad at baking that I’ve always felt intimidated to make it :(

    • Reply Faring Well November 2, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Yes! Emilie’s book would help tons. She is the best at communicating these complicated ideas (to us) in such approachable terms and steps. I hope you give it a go, I just know you’ll catch the baking bug! xo

  • Reply Laura October 27, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    We just got back from Idaho and it was gorgeous! You will love it. This recipe looks amazing, though I have no clue (though lots of interest) about generating a sour dough starter.

    • Reply Faring Well November 2, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      Thank you Laura! I hope you had a fabulous trip too. It was so beautiful, the fall color there is incredible! And I would definitely recommend reading through Emilie’s posts on sourdough starters on her blog, and then getting her book if you feel motivated to take the leap. It really is so fun, and much less scary that I had expected it to be :).

  • Reply Emilie October 28, 2017 at 10:56 am

    You know I’ve been ALL ABOUT these waffles ever since you posted them to Insta. I love the addition of applesauce- just brilliant! I actually have some applesauce from Trader Joe’s so I’m definitely going to try this soon. And that NUTELLA!!! Whaaaat? I want to lick the screen. You know what I really love about all this? Feeling your inspiration. To see your own spin on this recipe (in all of its chocolatey glory!) makes me beam with pride! Thank you so much for your sweet words and sharing all of your sourdough baking endeavors with me! xoxo

    • Reply Faring Well November 2, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Oh thank you Emilie! You are the best. I hope you find my rendition holds up to yours when you give the applesauce a go! I’m so grateful for you enabling me to go on these adventures in the first place, you put so much effort into all that you do and it is really appreciated friend.

  • Reply Maya | Spice + Sprout November 16, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    I am so excited about this! I just made my first sourdough starter from scratch this week and it should be done and ready to use by Saturday. Just in time for weekend waffles! These are definitely getting in my belly first thing. They’ll be my first ever sourdough creation! xx

    • Reply Faring Well November 17, 2017 at 7:25 am

      Yay Maya! An honorable first sourdough recipe by far ;) and way to go making your own starter too! Whoop whoop! :)

  • Reply Jenn January 10, 2018 at 5:40 am

    In the market for a set of non toxic pots and pans. May I ask what you use for cooking? Can’t wait to try this recipe! I’ve made sour dough for 2 years and am always in need of recipes for the tossed starter remains. ❤️Jenn

    • Reply Faring Well January 12, 2018 at 8:30 am

      Hi Jenn! Absolutely, I actually link to them on my equipment page – you can find the link in my side bar if you don’t mind me sending you there! They are by GreenPan. <3

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