When you’re visiting a diner, hotel, or amusement park, you can count on one thing—the waffles are going to be better than the ones you make at home. Though homemade is supposed to always be better, waffles made in your home waffle maker rarely live up to the ones you order out, and there’s a reason for that (and no, it isn’t the slathering of butter and syrup). Instead, the amazing breakfasts from your favorite spots can all be attributed to one particular waffle mix.
During my high school and college years, I worked in multiple roles at several types of restaurants. From burning my fingers rolling waffle cones at an ice cream shop to hostessing Sunday brunch at an event hall, I had a first-hand view of what goes down in professional kitchens. And, along the way, I learned a lot of tricks of the trade. While I won’t divulge all of them, I will let you in on one secret—for the absolute best waffles (seriously, even better than what you can make from scratch), you need to be using Golden Malted Waffle & Pancake Flour.
Those who have worked in the restaurant industry (a designation that includes most of us here at Saveur) know that Golden Malted’s waffle and pancake mix stands far above the rest. “It is hands down the most delicious waffle mix in the game,” says Ellen Fort, Saveur’s Deputy Commerce Editor. “I first discovered the wonder of Golden Malted while working brunch at a restaurant in Northern Virginia. We went through insane amounts of it every day. Chefs hate to admit that they use anything that’s not made from scratch, but honestly, I don’t see any problem with using it in a high-volume restaurant, there are so many ways to make it your own with toppings and syrups. It always results in a perfect waffle.”
Developed by Fred Carbon in 1937, Golden Malted is not your average grocery store waffle mix. Inspired by Belgian waffles he had seen at the World’s Fair, Carbon created a flour mix with barley malt and vanilla that resulted in seriously fluffy, golden, and delicious waffles. Now, if you take a peek into your favorite diner or brunch spot’s kitchen, you’ll more than likely find Golden Malted stacked upon the shelves. In a 2020 interview with ABC 57, Mike Mckeel, the brand’s vice president of operations, said the brand’s waffle flour is used by national chains like Denny’s, Perkins, Marriott, and Hilton hotels. According to several sources, it’s even the magic behind the perfectly golden, mouse-shaped waffles that Disney serves at its theme parks and resorts.
Luckily, you can purchase Golden Malted’s tried-and-true waffle flour for use at home. In fact, we used it to test through our guide to the best waffle makers (it was a lot of waffles, trust us). Grab a 32-ounce bag for $17.31 on Amazon, and you can whip up waffles whenever the craving strikes—the only extras you’ll need are water, an egg, and a few tablespoons of melted butter. It may seem a bit pricey for waffle mix, but trust us on this one. Once you try Golden Malted, you’ll never buy another mix again.
Have the mix but missing the maker? Check out one of these best waffle makers to ensure your waffles come out fluffy and evenly golden every time.