Norwegian sour cream and vanilla waffles with orange marmalade and cinnamon

Norwegian sour cream and vanilla waffles

Waffles, who can resist them?

I’m not talking about those faux “Belgian” varieties you get deep-frozen at Iceland but the homemade, sweet, buttery waffles with a hint of tartness from the addition of sour cream every Norwegian grows up with.

My grandmother, always primed for unexpected visitors, habitually kept a bowl with sour cream and vanilla waffle batter in the fridge. Invariably a neighbour or long lost relative from Minnesota would turn up (I’m not kidding, it seems we have millions of relatives in Minnesota, the Dakotas, Colorado, Wyoming, Alaska…) and no one could resist Granny Johansen’s sour cream and vanilla waffles.

This was of course in the halcyon days before The Atkins diet and carbophobia set in, visitors now would probably turn to jelly at the sight of such wholesome carb goodness, or have the audacity to ask if quinoa and amaranth waffles were available, with a topping of alfalfa sprouts and broccoli for good measure. Fascists. Killjoys!

Anyway, as it was Mother’s Day and my Mama loves waffles I rustled up a batch especially for her. We had them with an assortment of toppings: strawberry compote (vintage 2005), fresh fruit and plain cinnamon and sugar. You could top them with maple syrup, fresh summer berries, hot chocolate or butterscotch sauce, or indeed all of the above for a riot of colours, textures, tastes and well, for the hell of it.

I liked the orange marmalade and cinnamon version featured in the photo above so much that I thought I’d share the recipe here with you. Let me know your favourite waffle toppings, am always open to suggestions. Provided they’re not low carb ;-)

be liberal (ie. messy) with the toppings

Norwegian sour cream and vanilla waffles:

Makes 3-4 servings

  • 230g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 70g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 70g melted butter, slightly cooled
  • 70ml water
  • 150g sour cream
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
  • a few tablespoons of orange marmalade diluted with a splash of hot water (orange blossom honey would also be good)
  • freshly sliced oranges
  • cinnamon


You will need a waffle iron (see below about the offer from Robert Dyas)

Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, make a well in the middle and then add all the liquid ingredients. Stir together until you have a sticky batter. You’ll know that it’s sticky enough if it takes a couple of seconds for the batter to drop from the spoon when you lift it out of the bowl.

Set the batter aside for 30 minutes to allow the starch cells in the flour to swell, which will thicken the mixture to give you fluffy light waffles. Then you just scoop a small ladleful of waffle batter on to the middle of each base section of your preheated waffle iron, close the lid and wait until the indicator light shows that they’re cooked (or lift the lid a smidgeon and sneak a peak before that, if you’re impatient like me). When they’re ready, the waffles should be golden and crispy on the outside, fluffy and light on the inside. Serve piping hot with slices of orange, some orange marmalade drizzled on top and a few sprinkles of cinnamon. If you wanted to make boozy waffles you could spike the marmalade with brandy, or even better Grand Marnier. Slivers of almonds, pistachios or little nuggets of walnut wouldn’t go amiss here either.

* Incidentally a double waffle iron at the bargainous price of £14.99 is on offer at Robert Dyas. I can’t vouch for the quality of the iron but frankly at that price I’m tempted to snaffle it. All the better for making multiple waffles at brunch, non?

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18 Responses to Norwegian sour cream and vanilla waffles with orange marmalade and cinnamon

  1. I think I would have liked Granny Johansen :)

    Love the sound of the combo of sour cream, vanilla, cinnamon, and orange. Dreamy. Making me dribble just thinking about it!

    • Heh, she was a firecracker old Granny Johansen. No low-carb fascism in her house that’s for sure.

      Get thee a waffle iron A Forkful! They’re so useful for Sunday brunches, treating mums on Mother’s Day, for midnight waffle cravings, the list is endless…

  2. Maunika says:

    Fabulous post Sig. Orange & cinnamon; one of my fav combinations. This is exactly what I’d like to have on a liesurely weekend for a late breakfast. As promised I’m looking fwd to have you cook it for me soon;)

  3. Sharon says:

    Wow, I’m drooling at my desk. These look amazing – I haven’t had waffles for so long, but this post has reminded me how much I love them. Have only ever had the regular kind though, so can’t wait to try this recipe. And I’m so pleased to see there is a waffle iron on offer, there’s no excuse for me not to make them now! Great post.

    • Everyone should own a waffle iron Sharon! I’m curious to see if the one from Robert Dyas is any good, the one I have is from Norway but only does one waffle at a time which isn’t ideal when you’re making waffles for lots of people. Will report back. Happy waffling ;-)

  4. Lynne says:

    I don’t have a waffle iron, but would this mix work as a thick pancake without the dents?

    I also have some nice marmalade that didn’t set right, that I am keeping as is to use for cakes, glazes and this sauce…:)

    • Good question Lynne, the consistency of the waffle matter should give you decent pancakes. It shouldn’t be a runny batter and leaving the mixture for 30 minutes before starting to cook with it will allow the starch cells to swell so the batter will thicken upon standing. I reckon this recipe would make for tasty pancakes so go for it!

      And runny marmalade definitely has its uses ;-)

  5. Catherine says:

    These look delicious. I love waffles, pancakes and French toast. Was pleasantly surprised to see that the last time I was in the US, a lot of hotels had waffle irons available to make your own waffles at their breakfast buffets. I was wondering about subbing with buttermilk for the milk, and yogurt for the sour cream in case I didn’t have any s/c.

    • Thanks Catherine, completely with you on the pancakes and French toast (along with waffles) nothing quite says weekends or special occasions like that trinity of dishes!

      Interesting that you saw a lot of hotels in the U.S. providing a waffle iron at the breakfast buffet for guests to make their own waffles, how enlightened. We should be doing the same over here in the UK, but not just in hotels.

      As for subbing with buttermilk, it’s worth a try, though if you’re going to substitute with yoghurt I’d opt for a Greek yoghurt or wholemilk one as the density of the batter will be less if you drop the sour cream for a lower-fat alternative. Sour cream is readily available now and gives a better flavour and consistency I find than yoghurt (have tried doing that and the waffles were OK) so if you can, stick to sour cream in this recipe for an authentic Norwegian waffle.

      Sig x

  6. Mari says:

    å så godt! Blir vafler i dag :)

  7. Corina says:

    I’ve never had waffles like these but I’m quite tempted to go out and get one of those waffle irons. The funny thing is, this is the second post for Norwegian waffles I’ve seen in less than a week and until now I’d never heard of them!

  8. Rose Cottage says:

    Blimey, these look good, Sig! x

  9. Thanks Corina for your comment, yes we Norwegians are waffle mad. You will find a waffle iron in virtually every Norwegian household!

    Rose Cottage thank you m’dear! They were tasty too :-)

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  11. gastrogeek says:

    what a gorgeous recipe – a real must try. I for one cannot wait for your much anticipated new book; if all the recipes are this good I think I’m in for a proper treat :-)

  12. ScottR says:

    Norske vafler! Yes, a gift from heaven! This orange combo is new to me (I’m used to having them with rørte bringebær – uncooked mix of crushed raspberries and sugar. Or a sliver of gjetost!) but it sounds terrific.

    Just a word on sour cream for North American readers: in Norway (and in the rest of Scandinavian, I’m sure) sour cream comes pure with no additives. And the standard variety is very rich with a fat content around 35%. “Light” versions have around 18% fat content. After years of unsuccessfully trying Norwegian recipes with NA sour cream, I finally discovered why: the sour cream typically has additives, like gelatine – to ensure that it sits firmly atop a baked potatoe I guess! And the fat content is typically around 15%. BUT… the additive-free stuff can be found in the right places. Just be sure to read the label. And I found one dairy here in Toronto that carries a very rich variety that clocks in with 30% fat content, and it’s quite reminiscent of Norwegian seterrømme!

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