Wholesome Cacao Nib Waffles

In the wise words of Leslie Knope, “Everyone should love waffles. If they don’t, they’re crazy”.


Leslie, I couldn’t agree more. This morning I bring to you a refined twist of the classic breakfast, cacao nibs serving as our star. And, though they’re not piled high with whipped cream, they reaffirm the morning-amazingness which is a warm plate of waffles. 


Cacao nibs have become a new staple in my kitchen due to my new found love for acai bowls (a recipe will come soon, not to worry). They have the perfect crunchy, nutty and deeply chocolate flavor that pairs extremely well with the sweetness of acai and fruit. In waffles, the flavor and texture achieved is very different, yet equally delicious. The cacao nibs soften a bit, maintaining some of their crunchy structure, but not taking away from the fluffiness of the waffle. They add a subtle cocoa-y note and make the batter look like a giant bowl of cookie dough. With a few sprinkled on top of the cooked waffles, you get the best of both textures.

I found inspiration for the recipe from a beautiful blog, “Love and Lemons,” but added my own wholesome twist. The batter comes together so simply that you’ll be questioning why you would ever eat anything besides waffles. I’m serious, it’s really that easy. Combine the wet and whisk the dry. 

A generous amount of cacao nibs are added directly into the dry ingredients so there’s none of that add-at-the-end and just-barely-mix nonsense. Remember when I told you these were quick and easy to make? After the batter comes together it is scooped onto a piping hot waffle iron, lightly oiled, and cooked for 4 minutes.

Once the time is up, they come out of the press steaming hot and smelling of strong vanilla and cocoa. The edges are crispy and slightly salty, begging for a drizzle of pure maple syrup or a dollop of unsweetened apple sauce. Cutting into the waffle reveals the fluffy, soft and cacao-nib-flecked interior and, if your household is anything like mine, they will all be gone in less than 30 minutes.

Whip up a batch of waffles, make some iced coffee and binge watch some Parks and Recreation. Life is for enjoying, right??

Wholesome Cacao Nib Waffles

(Adapted from Love and Lemons)

Makes 10 individual waffles

1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)

1.5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons melted coconut oil

1 tablespoon unsweetened apple sauce

1.5 tablespoons pure maple syrup

0.75 teaspoons vanilla extract

1.25 cups whole wheat flour

0.75 cups all purpose flour

2.5 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons ground flax seeds

0.5 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of sea salt

0.25 cup cacao nibs

1. Preheat waffle iron. Make sure to leave plenty of time for it to heat up, if the iron isn’t hot enough when you add your batter the waffles might stick. 

2. In a large liquid measuring cup, combine almond milk, vinegar, oil, apple sauce, maple syrup and vanilla. 

3. In a large mixing boil, whisk together flours, baking powder, flax seeds, cinnamon, salt and cacao nibs. 

4. Add wet to dry and mix until all streaks of flour are gone. 

5. Lightly brush waffle iron with oil and scoop in batter. Let cook for at least 4 minutes. 

6. Serve hot and top with fresh fruit, extra cacao nibs, apple sauce or maple syrup.


If you make these, I’d love to see them! Tag me on Instagram and use #thesweetestbeet.