Gluten Free Salted Caramel Apple Waffles

waffles apples bacon featuring cup4cup

When you were growing up, was your pantry stocked with Bisquick – the all in one miracle pancake, waffle, biscuit and cookie mix? Now the next question… is it still stocked with Bisquick?? Well if you answered yes to that second question I have some news for you… There are some new mixes out there for you to try! I created gluten free salted caramel apple waffles using the new Cup4Cup pancake and waffle mix and I want to share the recipe with you.

You’ve probably noticed there has been a surge in the gluten free segment due to the increased awareness of Celiac disease which causes a severe immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Major food brands including Betty Crocker have recognized the need for gluten free options for consumers and thus they in turn created gluten free flour alternatives some of which taste pretty good.

One of my favorite gluten free flours though is Cup4Cup, designed by Chef’s Lena Kwak and Thomas Keller of the highly regarded restaurant, The French Laundry in Yountville, California. I was very excited to hear that Cup4Cup was launching a new gluten free pancake & waffle mix this year, and to promote their product they sponsored a friendly competition to create your best recipe using their mix.

Cup4Cup pancake and waffle mix

I didn’t have a waffle maker at the time, so I opted to make citrus ricotta pancakes with a blueberry compote. I was so humbled to find out that they picked MY RECIPE as the winning dish for their contest! The incredible prize was an All-Clad Belgian Waffle Makerand Cup4Cup graciously included a packet of their pancake & waffle mix, Jack-pot!! :)

With summer sadly coming to an end (even though lately it’s been steaming hot in Southern California), I thought that the perfect introduction to the beginning of fall would be to make a waffle recipe with my favorite fall fruit, apples! I can’t wait for you to try my gluten free salted caramel apple waffles recipe and let me know what you think.

This nifty All-Clad waffle maker has a range of heat settings which can determine how soft, crunchy or dark to make your waffles. I prefer a golden brown crispy yet tender waffles, so with that in mind I made a practice batter to test the heat setting and time combinations that would yield the perfect waffle. I found the “5” heat setting for 6-7 minutes gave me the texture that I wanted, but also realized that those settings changed based on the type of add-in’s I chose for my batter. So it’s good to test out your own batter to get a feel for the best range.

The Cup4Cup pancake & waffle mix gave a nice golden brown waffle, crispy exterior, and a little more dense interior than other wheat flour recipes I have used in the past. The thicker gluten free batter was similar to the consistency of a liege waffle, which I love!

delicious-plate-carmel-apple-waffles

I selected Granny Smith apples for it’s tartness and firm texture in order to balance the intense sweetness from the caramel sauces. The apples were sauteed with butter, cornstarch, lemon juice, sugar and spices until tender. Then a nice rich caramel sauce was created in the pan. I also made a salted caramel sauce for dipping each bite of the crunchy waffles. A dollop of fresh cinnamon whipped cream ties all of the warm spice flavors together with the salted caramel apples and crispy Belgian waffles. So incredibly delicious!

Dipping granny smith apple in caramel sauce

You must try this recipe for salted caramel sauce, it is insanely good! I tasted the caramel before I added the salt and thought it had a nice sweetness. However once I added the salt, the caramel completely transformed into a richer, deeper flavor and smoother mouth feel – it was perfection! You could use the sauce to drizzle on pies, ice cream, french toast, in your lattes or hot chocolate or just simply dip your favorite apple and you will be in heaven!

Delicious waffles and carmel sauce

The classic combination of apples, cinnamon and caramel really gets me in the mood for fall. This indulgent salted caramel apple waffles recipe is the perfect treat on those cool fall mornings to enjoy with a piping hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Enjoy!

TIP #1 – Make sure your waffle iron is hot! This helps to ensure even browning of the surface and evenly cooked waffles. If you like your waffles even more crispy, heat in a warm oven set at 200°F for an additional 10 minutes. You can also keep the cooked waffles in the warm oven until your done cooking all of the batter. This will keep the waffles nice and toasty until your ready to serve!

TIP #2 – You will notice steam produced from the waffle iron while it is cooking the batter, this allows the batter to fully expand into the plate cavities, and yield a fuller waffle. As the gases from the leavening agents (egg and baking powder) are formed in reaction to water and heat, the bubbles cause the batter to expand while the proteins in the waffle cooks and hold shape, this will give a nice a light product. When steam is no longer visible, this is a good indication that the waffle ready! Check the color and texture of the waffle, and cook a few additional minutes if needed until your desired color and texture is reached (I check after each additional minute).

Gluten Free Salted Caramel Apple Waffles
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5 to 6 Belgian Waffles
 
The classic combination of apples, salted caramel and spices are the perfect topping for this fall inspired gluten free waffle recipe!
Ingredients
Salted Caramel Sauce-
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Caramelized Apples-
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges (about 12 wedges per apple)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
Apple Waffles-
  • 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter (for sautéing apples)
  • ¼ cup of diced Granny Smith apples (1/8” dice)
  • 1 pouch of Cup4Cup Pancake & Waffle Mix
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon Whipped Cream-
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
Salted Caramel Sauce-
  1. Heat sugar and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat, until the sugar is dissolved. If needed, use a wet pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan.
  2. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, without stirring, about 5 to 6 minutes, until the syrup is a deep amber color.
  3. Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble. Stir in the unsalted butter, and salt. Set the caramel sauce aside, keeping the sauce at room temperature.
  4. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks, reheat before serving.
Caramelized Apples-
  1. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add apples, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, stirring frequently, 10-12 minutes, or until fork tender but not mushy. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla extract and lemon juice. Set caramelized apples aside.
Apple Waffles-
  1. Preheat lightly oiled waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add diced apples, cooking for 3-4 minutes, or until apples are tender but not mushy. Set aside.
  3. Mix together one pouch of Cup4Cup Pancake & Waffle mix with cinnamon, nutmeg, milk and one egg.
  4. Add in melted butter, vanilla extract and cooked apples. Stir enough to incorporate. Do not over mix. The batter will be thick and it is best to use immediately.
  5. Scoop batter onto preheated waffle iron. You may need to gently spread the thick batter to evenly distribute the batter in the waffle iron. Depending on the size of your waffle iron, each waffle cavity will need a different amount of batter. For example, each cavity in my waffle iron can hold ⅓ cup of batter.
  6. Cook waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions. However, watch for the waffle iron to stop steaming as an indication the waffles are almost done cooking. I used 6-7 minutes for my waffle iron on setting 5, checking for a golden brown color and slightly crispy exterior.
  7. The waffles can be kept warm in an oven set to 200°F until ready to serve.
Cinnamon Whipped Cream-
  1. Add heavy whipping cream, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract to a large bowl. Beat the whipping cream mixture with a whisk until soft peaks have formed; the whipped cream should hold its shape when scooped, but not look grainy or curdled, which indicates over whipping.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To Serve-
  1. Rewarm the caramelized apples if needed. Top each pancake with the caramelized apples and the pan sauce, top with cinnamon whipped cream and drizzle with salted caramel sauce. Enjoy!
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