Cinnamon Roll Waffles with Pecans and Cream Cheese Icing

We have had a beautiful snowstorm over the last couple of days. Picturesque, powdery snow and icicles have blanketed my little town. This is the perfect time of year for a winter wonderland to settle in. The Christmas lights are twinkling in the trees on the square and our (real) Christmas tree is up and fragrant. 

I took these pictures as the snow just started falling (this is a “during” picture – I can’t even get out to take an “after” picture – and I am very much okay with that). 

This is the courthouse where I was sworn in. I was so nervous after I found out I passed the bar that there would be a re-grading or something and they’d “take away” my bar number (this is how my doomsday-oriented brain works) that I called around to find a judge who was available. I drove all the way to Benton County and went to this courthouse for the first time in my life. I had no connection to the judge, the courthouse, or really any reason to be there. It’s a bit odd to see it daily now. 

Although we find the snow majestic and peaceful, Mops hates the snow. Naturally.

After exploring the snow, we’ve been absolutely freezing. This means that I get to bake nonstop. Well, I did, at least, until I ran out of flour (which is kind of my worst nightmare). 

Before the Great Flour Shortage of 2013, I made these cinnamon roll waffles. I wanted to experiment after we had the cinnastack pancakes from IHOP, which is Husband’s favorite brunch spot. I have undaunted faith that one day he’ll wake up craving haute cuisine and Mops will grow into her features

Waffles really ought to be fluffy on the inside and slightly crunchy on the edges. I like my waffles to be simple and I like to leave the unique flavor to the toppings, but that’s just me. The texture is best complimented by a unique topping. For this recipe, I made two toppings – a strong, buttery cinnamon swirl and a sweet, creamy cream cheese icing with a hint of almond. These waffles are fantastic, rich, and decadent. They’re a great option for Christmas morning, in my opinion. 

I made a pretty large batch of these waffles and we had no hope of finishing them. I served ours as a stack of two waffles and it was still way too much for the pair of us. 

The good news is that they freeze perfectly. We pulled a couple of these waffles out of the freezer and heated them up today. It let me live my fantasy of baking in the snowstorm once again, and gave Husband the satisfaction of waffles. He’s pretty easy to please. 

Cinnamon Roll Waffles with Pecans and Cream Cheese Icing
Makes 6-8 waffles

For the waffles, you will need: 
  • 1 3/4 cup white flour
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. white sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking power
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted
For the cinnamon topping, you will need:
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the cream cheese icing, you will need:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until fully combined. Set aside. 
  • In a large bowl (or Kitchen Aid mixer with whisk attachment), whisk together eggs, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients and mix until just mixed; a few lumps will remain. 
  • Prepare the cinnamon topping by whisking together softened butter with the remaining ingredients. Pour into a plastic bag and set aside. 
  • For the cream cheese topping, beat together the softened butter and cream cheese until thoroughly combined in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Set aside. 
  • Heat your waffle iron to desired cooking level (we like ours crunchy on the edges and still a bit blonde in the middle). Spray nonstick cooking spray. Prepare waffles according to your waffle iron’s instructions.  
  • To serve, cut a small hole in the edge of your plastic bag with cinnamon topping and top waffles with a swirl of cinnamon. 
    • As an alternative, add the cinnamon swirl to the waffle batter right when you pour the batter into the waffle iron. This cooks the cinnamon with the waffle batter and is very, very tasty. Here’s how they looked: 

  • You may need to re-heat your cream cheese topping mixture in the microwave so it stays nice and warm. Drizzle cream cheese topping on the top of your waffle stack. 
  • Sprinkle with toasted pecans and serve.  
To freeze the leftovers: 
  • If you can’t eat all of this goodness at once, wait for the waffles to cool to room temperature. Prepare them for freezing by layering cinnamon topping and cream cheese in the middle of two waffles (like a sandwich). Wrap generously with plastic wrap. 
  • I reheated mine by baking them in the oven at 375 for ~ 15 minutes on a baking sheet. 
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