Weekend Brunch Round 35: Pumpkin Spice Waffles with Maple Bourbon Date Syrup

Welcome to Calgary, where people dress up like cowboys once a year and the numbers and words on a calendar mean nothing!img_0931-1024x1024Yeah, so after it being a sunny 20C+ on Saturday, Sunday I woke up to this grossness. I think a part of me died inside when I looked out the window.d6c_1623Ok, so maybe I’m being just a tad melodramatic. You’d think that after living in Canada my entire life I’d be used to this by now but nope. It still gets to me every time. Especially when I was literally driving around with the windows down and my sunglasses on the day before! Gah! But enough of my whining, to make the most of my day of hibernating inside (because there was no way in hell I was going out in that), I did what any logical person would do, I threw on my comfiest pair of pj’s and made waffles.d6c_1616I feel like this blog is lacking in some serious waffle action. For some reason I always go the pancake route but waffles are way faster to make, plus all their little grooves make them the perfect mode for syrup eating. The only downside is that they’re perfectly crispy when you take them out of the iron but if you wait too long, they go soggy. Which totally makes me think of this meme. Is there some secret to keeping waffles crispy that I’m just not aware of? So far I’ve resorted to sticking them in the toaster when I can’t make the crispy cut-off.d6c_1620I’m still working my way through a can of pumpkin I opened to make muffins, and even though there’s a layer of snow outside, it is still Fall, so I decided to make another pumpkin recipe. Who’s sick of pumpkin yet? Raise your hand! I’m kind of surprised I haven’t totally turned myself off it yet. I’ve been eating that stuff like it’s going out of style! I’ve figured out that having leftover puree is like a curse, once you have some you start thinking of all the different things you can do with it, but then there’s not enough left to make all these marvelous things, so then you open another can and the never ending spiral continues. At some point I’m going to have to cut myself off…maybe after just one more recipe..:Pd6c_1622For some reason I can’t just act like a normal person and top my waffles/pancakes with maple syrup, nah, I’ve gotta go get all fancypants and make my own toppings. Seriously, every. Single. Recipe. I’ve posted has some kind of homemade topping, and this one sure ain’t going to be any different. Well, besides for the fact that I’ve pretty much found the holy grail of waffles toppings. I took a queue from Wing It Vegan to combine dates and water and created magical syrupy goodness, this stuff is so good I’m surprised rainbows and kittens don’t pop out of it. Just look at it! Are you looking? Swoon.d6c_1605It wouldn’t be right to have pumpkin waffles and not have even the slightest bit of maple involved, these things belong together people, it’s science! I added a bit to the syrup to give it just a hint of flavor along with some bourbon, because….bourbon! Now if you’re a date syrup purist, you can of course just leave out the maple and booze, but trust me when I say that you need to try this stuff! Mine started to thicken after 30 minutes of cooking and got a little thicker after cooling, but there are no hard and fast rules here, you may want to cook it longer or you may want to cook it less, it just depends on how rich/thick you want it.

Just a word of advice, don’t make this stuff after watching things like, oh I don’t know, Evil Dead. The date meat takes on an entirely new gross out factor. Grossness aside, onward to the recipe!



The perfect breakfast for a cold morning. Warm, crispy lightly spiced pumpkin waffles topped in a rich sweet maple date syrup with just a hint of bourbon.

Author: The Vegan Cookbook Aficionado


  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sparkling water
  • 1 cup dates, pitted
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bourbon


  1. To make the syrup, in a medium saucepan, bring the dates and water to a boil then turn down to a simmer and cook for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Using cheesecloth, squeeze all the liquid out of the dates and back into the pot. Cook the liquid for 30 minutes or until the mixture has darkened and has started to thicken. Mix in the maple syrup and bourbon and let cool completely.
  2. Preheat your waffle iron.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the maple syrup, milk, pumpkin, vanilla and melted margarine, whisk until smooth then pour over the dry ingredients. Pour in the sparkling water and mix everything together gently until it all just comes together. Do not overmix, little lumps are ok, over mixing will give you tough rubbery waffles.
  5. When your iron is hot, pour a scoop of batter onto the waffle iron and cook according to your waffle makers instructions. Check underneath before you remove them from the heat, they should be lightly browned. Serve immediately so that they don’t go soggy and top with Maple Bourbon Date Syrup. If you need to reheat, just pop it in the toaster for a few seconds to crisp up.

What’s your favorite way to use up leftover pumpkin?
Are you sick of pumpkin recipes yet?


33 thoughts on “Weekend Brunch Round 35: Pumpkin Spice Waffles with Maple Bourbon Date Syrup

  1. Debbie says:

    Hi Maggie. First of all thanks for compiling the list of vegan/veg-friendly restaurants in Calgary. This is great. Also, can you tell me where to find white whole wheat flour in the city? I didn’t realize it was available here. Thanks very much.

      • Debbie says:

        Thanks very much Maggie. Btw, I used to order from Vitacost but their shipping to Canada recently became so expensive it’s not an option anymore to shop that site so I’ll probably have a look at iherb again. When I saw that you had used the white whole wheat in your recipe I was really hoping it was finally available in Canada. Oh well, hopefully not too much longer. Maybe if we get a Whole Foods market here? Thanks again.

      • Maggie Muggins says:

        I’ve never heard of Vitacost before, I’ll have to look that one up. It’s a shame the shipping went up, us Canadians seem to always get screwed when it comes to shipping costs. I’m hoping Whole Foods will open here but I’m crossing all my fingers and toes that a Trader Joes will open a store in Canada some day.

    • Maggie Muggins says:

      Ha, ha, while I’ll admit that it looks beautiful and quaint, going out into it when I have to go to work isn’t quite as lovely. I love seeing snow in December, but I was hoping it would hold off for most of November. Thanks Katie, I think the second you get some snow, waffles are in order 🙂

  2. luminousvegans says:

    I am the complete opposite! I would be sooo excited to wake up to a blanket of snow outside. But that’s because I grew up in North Carolina where that kind of thing is EXTREMELY rare. It sounds like you made the best of the day though. These waffles make me want to get a waffle maker so badly! The action shot of the date syrup is awesome! I try to get action shots but they usually come out a blurrry mess. Any tips? 🙂

    • Maggie Muggins says:

      Well if you ever want to trade locations, I’m in! I’ll happily give up all my snow for some heat.
      Tips? Ah….steady hand? lol. I just had a high shutter speed (1/125 I think?), so as awkward as it was to hold the camera in one hand while picking up the spoon with the other, blurriness wasn’t an issue. If you can’t turn up the shutter speed due to lighting issues then using a tripod is a must. I was just too lazy to set mine up, ha ha.

      • luminousvegans says:

        Yeah, lighting is usually an issue and hence I can’t use a fast shutter speed. And like you, I have a tripod but most of the time can’t be bothered 🙂 Plus, I move around a lot with the camera and I just don’t feel like I can do that with a tripod. I’ll just have to perfect the steady hand/leaning on something deal, lol!

  3. veganmiam.com says:

    Look at that snow! I wish it snows already in Oregon, well, not even back yet…but will next week. What gorgeous pumpkin spice waffles…. want some of that maple bourbon date syrup 🙂 🙂 MMMMMM!

    • Maggie Muggins says:

      Well I wish it was snowing there instead of here, lol. I’m sure there will be plenty of snow on the ground by the time you guys are back and then you can stay inside and make waffles too. 🙂

  4. flickingthevs says:

    yum! I’ll be honest, I fear bourbon. But I think if I made this with dark rum, I would be in waffle heaven. Booze is always good! I think the snowy view is so pretty! I guess it’s easy to say when you’re not facing a trudge through the slush!

    • Maggie Muggins says:

      Don’t fear the bourbon! It adds a great flavour but isn’t overwhelming but rum would be a great sub. Yeah, I like looking at it until I actually have to go out in it, ugh, so not fun.

  5. Michele says:

    Hi Maggie! I can’t recall who linked me to this recipe, but I want to find them and kiss them. I made these waffles for breakfast this morning, and they were so amazing! Thank you!!

  6. River - Wing It Vegan says:

    You made the date syrup! Isn’t it dreamy? And you made it boozy! Evil genius, you. Mr. Wing-It has been pestering me to make something with pumpkin, and he has been pestering me to make waffles, so this serendipitous recipe shall be what earns me 5000 awesome-wife points! I have to ask – what did you do with the gross looking date meat?

    • Maggie Muggins says:

      It’s the dreamiest of dreamy! You’re like some kind of blogging maven for posting that recipe, so thanks! I was super uncreative with the date meat and have been just stirring it into my morning oatmeal. Wish I could tell you I was doing something interesting with it, but nada.

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