Stroopwafels: History, Homemade Recipe, and Global Variations Explained

Stroopwafels: History, Homemade Recipe, and Global Variations Explained

Stroopwafels, a traditional Dutch treat from the city of Gouda, started in the late 18th century. Initially, bakers made these waffles from leftover bread crumbs and syrup, creating an affordable snack for the poor. Over time, the recipe evolved, gaining sophistication and popularity not just in the Netherlands but globally.

Key Ingredients

Stroopwafels consist of two thin waffle layers filled with a sweet caramel syrup known as “stroop.” The dough includes flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and yeast. For the syrup, you need brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Together, these ingredients create a delightful balance of crispy waffle and gooey caramel.

Making Stroopwafels at Home

Equipment Needed

Creating stroopwafels at home requires specific tools. A stroopwafel iron, essential for achieving the thin waffle texture, is the primary piece of equipment. Use a stand mixer or hand mixer for uniform dough mixing. A rolling pin helps to achieve the desired dough thickness. A sharp knife or cookie cutter ensures precise waffle cuts. For syrup, a saucepan is needed to melt and blend the ingredients.

  1. Prepare the Dough: Combine 4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup unsalted butter, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 large eggs, and 1 packet active dry yeast in your bowl. Mix until a smooth dough forms.
  2. Rest the Dough: Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rise for 45 minutes in a warm place.
  3. Divide the Dough: After rising, divide the dough into 20 equal-sized balls.
  4. Heat the Iron: Preheat your stroopwafel iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Cook the Waffles: Place a dough ball into the iron, pressing and cooking for 1-2 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Split the Waffles: Use a sharp knife to split the waffle horizontally immediately after removing it from the iron.
  7. Prepare the Syrup: In a saucepan, heat 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup unsalted butter, and 1 cup corn syrup over medium heat, stirring until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  8. Assemble the Stroopwafels: Spread a layer of syrup on one waffle half, then press the other half on top.

Enjoy your homemade stroopwafels with a warm beverage for an authentic Dutch experience.

Stroopwafels Around the World

Variations in Different Countries

Stroopwafels, though rooted in Dutch tradition, have been embraced globally with unique variations. In the United States, you’ll often find stroopwafels with additional fillings such as chocolate or hazelnut spread. In the UK, some vendors offer mini stroopwafels perfectly sized for tea dunking. Japan’s stroopwafels may include matcha-flavored syrup, catering to local palates. Tailored to regional preferences, these variations showcase the adaptability and universal appeal of the stroopwafel.

Serving Traditions

Around the world, stroopwafels are enjoyed in numerous ways. In the Netherlands, you typically place one over a hot cup of coffee or tea to warm the syrup. In Italy, you’d likely pair stroopwafels with a cappuccino. In the United States, many prefer stroopwafels as a standalone snack or as a sweet treat in lunchboxes. These serving traditions highlight the versatility of this delightful treat, making it a global favorite.

Pairing Stroopwafels with Beverages

Coffee and Tea

Stroopwafels complement coffee and tea exceptionally well. The caramel syrup inside the stroopwafels melts slightly when placed over a hot cup, enhancing the taste experience. In the Netherlands, it’s common to rest the cookie on top of the mug for a few minutes, allowing the steam to soften it. Whether you enjoy a cappuccino, latte, or an espresso, stroopwafels add a sweet contrast to the coffee’s robust flavors. For tea enthusiasts, the chewy texture and sweet syrup balance any type of tea, especially black and chai varieties.

Other Drink Suggestions

Beyond coffee and tea, stroopwafels can pair beautifully with many other beverages. Hot chocolate, with its rich and creamy texture, complements the caramel and waffle layers perfectly. Milk, whether cow’s milk or plant-based, offers a refreshing contrast and makes for a delightful dunking experience. Desserts are commonly enjoyed with sweet wines like Moscato or port; stroopwafels can also enhance these pairings. For a unique twist, consider pairing stroopwafels with flavored liqueurs such as Irish cream or amaretto. Each sip highlights the cookie’s caramel notes and provides a harmonious flavor profile.


Stroopwafels offer a delightful blend of crispy and gooey textures that have captured hearts worldwide. Making them at home can be a rewarding experience, allowing you to enjoy their authentic taste straight from your kitchen. Whether you prefer traditional caramel syrup or unique variations like matcha or hazelnut, there’s a stroopwafel for every palate.

Pairing stroopwafels with your favorite beverages enhances their flavor, making them a versatile treat for any occasion. From warming them over a hot drink to enjoying them as a standalone snack, these Dutch delights bring a touch of sweetness to your day. Explore the global variations and serving traditions to find your perfect way to enjoy stroopwafels.

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