Waffles are one of the most versatile carbs out there. You can have them for breakfast, brunch, lunch, a snack, dinner, or dessert, and you can top them with almost anything. They are excellent with maple syrup, chicken, maple syrup and chicken, peanut butter and jelly, ice cream, just butter—you name it, a waffle will fit right into any culinary situation. While there are truly no limits or steadfast rules regarding how to top waffles, there are definitely some classics we love. Here is our list of the best toppings for waffles (we hope you like it—we waffled over each choice for quite some time).
- Pearl Milling Company Original Syrup
I mean this is THE waffle topping. It wouldn’t really be a complete list of the best waffle toppings if it didn’t include the one, the only, syrup. Plus, this syrup is, in the words of Sporked senior writer Jordan Myrick, “the syrup.” What do they mean by that? Well, they described this syrup as “buttery and sweet and a little salty. The level of maple is powerful without being overwhelming.” It isn’t the real stuff from the tree, but it tastes like nostalgia—and who doesn’t want a big puddle of nostalgia on their waffles?
- Clover Sonoma Sweetened Whipped Topping
In this household, we respect Leslie Knope. And because we respect Leslie Knope so much, we always put an insane amount of whipped cream on our waffles (if it is a whipped cream kind of day…which it always is). Whipped cream is one of the best waffle toppings out there—light, airy, and sweet, just like, well, waffles. And this Clover whipped cream is as “rich and luxurious” as it is “smooth, creamy, and fluffy.” You truly cannot go wrong. Go get this and put it all over your waffles, asap.
- Good & Gather Crispy Chicken Breast Strips
Bert and Ernie, me and dead houseplants, chicken and waffles—some things just make sense together. So why not top your waffles with some delicious chicken tendies? The chicken tenders from Good & Gather are not only the best frozen chicken tenders on the market, they are also among the best toppings for waffles. Why? Because, according to our taste testers, these tenders “have some nice spice in the breading that offers a welcome burst of flavor,” and the chicken itself “actually tastes like chicken breast, not some ungodly chicken paste.” Plus, these were extremely juicy for chicken tenders that started their journey in the freezer. Point is, you need these on your waffles.
- Trader Jacques’ Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce
Wow, it’s almost like Mr. Stroopwafel (the person who definitely invented Stroopwafels) knew what he was doing. Waffles on their own aren’t actually super sweet. But drizzle on some sweet-and-salty caramel sauce and you get, a.) one of the most well-balanced dessert/breakfasts you have ever had, and, b.) one of the best waffle toppings you have ever had, full stop. Plus, this caramel sauce SLAPS. It is thick and caramelly with little bits of fancy salt mixed in. Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling likened it to “the inside of a caramel truffle.” Don’t you want that on your waffles? I think you do.
- Braswell’s Select Apple Butter
If you have never had apple butter, do yourself a favor and go order this one on Amazon right now. Then spread it on your waffles, because, OH LORDY, is that an S-tier combo. Apple butter is like if you cooked applesauce down so much that it achieved a spreadable, jammy texture, and then you threw in some pumpkin spice. This particular apple butter is so good Jordan called it “perfect in every way.” So keep that in mind, then go get this excellent waffle topping.
I mean, who hasn’t tried this? If you haven’t, my dude, you need to get on it. It’s creamy, chocolatey, sweet, and hazelnutty. Add that to a waffle and you get what I believe heaven tastes like (assuming heaven is a food and not a location). My point is, go try this. Nutella is one of the best waffle toppings, hands down.
Related: What Is Nutella Actually Made of?