Norwegian Heart Waffles (Vafler)

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This Norwegian Waffles recipe, or Vafler, are heart-shaped and decadent, flavored with cardamom. They’re perfect for breakfast on Valentine’s day or Christmas morning, and they freeze well for making them in a large batch. I love serving them with Norwegian gjetost (brunost) cheese and lingonberry or raspberry jam for a delicious Scandinavian breakfast!

A stack of heart-shaped Norwegian waffles on a white plate with brown cheese in the background.

These are a tradition for my family on Christmas morning for as long as I can remember. I usually only make them once a year for a special treat, and this year I was able to snap a few photos so I can finally share this family recipe with you – just in time for Valentine’s day (perfect, since they’re heart-shaped!).

Norwegian Waffles are rich, dense, fragrant, and absolutely delicious. If you’ve never had them, they’re not similar in any way to Belgian waffles. While Belgian waffles are light and fluffy, these waffles are quite dense and rich. They’re flavored with vanilla and cardamom, a floral and aromatic spice common in Scandinavian baking.

This recipe makes a large batch of waffles, and since they freeze beautifully, you’ll likely be able to enjoy them for at least a couple weeks after making them. But they won’t last long, since they are so delicious it’s hard to stop eating them!

In this post I’ll explain how to make Norwegian waffles, where to buy a heart-shaped waffle maker, what to do if you don’t have a waffle maker, and more about the delicious Norwegian brown cheese (Gjetost or Brunost) that goes so well with them!

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Butter – I use salted, but unsalted will work too with a pinch of salt in the batter.
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Sour Cream – Greek yogurt would also work here, preferably full-fat.
  • Milk – preferably whole.
  • Canola oil – or another neutral oil like vegetable oil.
  • Baking Powder
  • Ground Cardamom – try to use as fresh a batch as possible. Cardamom goes stale quickly.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • All Purpose Flour

How to make Norwegian Heart Waffles

  1. First, HEAT the waffle maker.
  2. Then, MIX the batter. First add the melted butter, sugar, and eggs. Then, add the milk, sour cream, water, and oil. Next add the baking powder, cardamom, and vanilla. Finally, mix in the flour until just combined.
  3. POUR scant 1/2 cup of the batter in the waffle maker. Cook for about one minute and remove with tongs or a plastic spatula. Repeat until batter is used up.
  4. SERVE hot or at room temperature with gjetost cheese and lingonberry or raspberry jam.
Process collage showing how to make Norwegian waffles on a heart-shaped waffle maker.

The best heart shaped waffle maker

I have this Euro Cuisine Heart Waffle Maker from Amazon and it works great! It cooks the waffles evenly and quickly and it’s easy to remove the waffles from the nonstick surface. I like that it’s electric.

There are a few different kinds of heart waffle makers, including non-electric ones you use on your stovetop. If you go with another brand of electric waffle maker and you’re in the US, make sure to check that the plug works in US outlets (European brands may only work with European outlets).

Can I use a square or regular waffle maker for these?

Sure! But I wouldn’t use a Belgian waffle maker, as that is meant for fluffier batter and it may not form correctly.

Three heart shaped Norwegian waffles topped with lingonberry jam and brown gjetost cheese.

Can I make pancakes using the batter?

Yes! I’ve done this before and it comes out pretty good. I definitely prefer the waffles but pancakes work well if you don’t have a waffle maker.

Serve with Brown Cheese and Jam

Here’s my FAVORITE part about Norwegian Waffles – it’s an excuse to eat one of the most delicious cheeses on earth! Norwegian brown cheese, aka gjetost, aka brunost, is goat’s milk cheese with a caramel and peanut butter flavor. Sounds weird, I know, but it’s so delicious and unique!

Just slice off a piece and top a waffle with it. No need for syrup or anything else!

You can find Gjetost cheese at Whole Foods or on Amazon or most specialty grocery stores, and some regular grocery stores as well. Look for a bright red package with the brand “Ski Queen.”

A heart waffle with gjetost cheese and a bite taken out.

Jam is also really good on these waffles – lingonberry is good for a traditional Scandinavian treat, but I prefer raspberry jam with Norwegian heart waffles.

How to freeze homemade waffles

The great thing about making a big batch of Norwegian heart waffles is that you can freeze any leftovers.

I recommend flash freezing the waffles first. This will help prevent them from sticking together after freezing. This method works well for any kind of homemade waffle that you want to freeze.

To flash freeze the waffles, lay them out on a baking sheet so they aren’t touching and freeze for about 30 minutes. Then, transfer to an airtight container or zip top bag. To serve, microwave for about 20 seconds to defrost (toasting doesn’t work very well for these waffles because they are kind of floppy).

Overhead photo of a stack of heart shaped Norwegian waffles.

Other heart-shaped recipes

Other Scandinavian Recipes

Other recipes with cardamom

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Norwegian Waffles

Square photo of heart shaped Norwegian waffles on a white plate.

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Norwegian Waffles, or Vafler, are heart-shaped and flavored with cardamom. Serve with brunost/gjetost brown cheese for a Scandinavian treat!

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Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time20 mins

Total Time30 mins

Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: Scandinavian

Servings: 12 servings

Calories: 451kcal

Author: Elizabeth Lindemann

Ingredients

  • 1 cup salted butter melted (2 sticks)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk preferably whole
  • 1/2 cup canola oil or another neutral oil like vegetable
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour more if needed
  • gjetost/brunost cheese, lingonberry jam, raspberry jam for serving, optional

Instructions

  • Heat up a waffle iron, preferably heart-shaped (see notes).

  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the melted butter (1 cup), sugar (1.25 cups), and eggs (5) using a whisk or an electric mixer until well combined.

  • Add the sour cream (8 oz.), water (1/2 cup), milk (1/2 cup), and canola oil (1/2 cup). Mix until well combined.

  • Mix in the baking powder (1 teaspoon), ground cardamom (4 teaspoons), and vanilla extract (1.5 tablespoons) until well combined.

  • Add the flour (2 cups) and stir until just combined.

  • Pour the batter scant 1/2 cup at a time on the hot waffle iron. Cook for one minute, and remove with tongs or a plastic spatula (don’t use metal as it may scratch your waffle maker).

  • Serve hot or at room temperature with gjetost/brunost cheese (Norwegian brown cheese), butter, and lingdonberry or raspberry jam.

Notes

  • I’ve been very happy with this Euro Cuisine Heart-Shaped Electric Waffle Maker. You can also use a regular waffle maker. This batter is fairly dense so I don’t think it would work with a Belgian waffle maker since those a re a lot fluffier. I’ve also used the batter for pancakes, so if you don’t have a waffle maker you can do this in a pinch!
  • To freeze these waffles, I recommend laying them out on a baking sheet and flash freezing them for about 30 minutes. Then, transfer them to a container or zip-top bag and freeze for up to 2 months for best results (flash freezing will ensure they don’t stick together). They defrost quickly in the microwave, but may be too floppy for a standard toaster.
  • You can find gjetost/brunost cheese at Whole Foods and other specialty grocery stores, and sometimes at regular grocery stores. 
  • This recipe yields about 12 rounds of waffles on a heart-shaped waffle maker. Each round has 5 hearts. Yield will vary based on your specific waffle maker.
  • You can use unsalted butter if you prefer- just add 1/4 teaspoon salt to the batter.
  • Greek Yogurt may be used instead of sour cream.

Recommended Equipment

Nutrition

Serving: 5hearts | Calories: 451kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 182mg | Potassium: 136mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 706IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg