Masa Harina Waffles
(Photo: Graydon Herriott)

Masa Harina Waffles

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Jess Stephens

I had never personally experimented much with sweet pastry items of any sort, but I knew it could be done easily with masa. After all, masa appears in not only savory applications throughout Mesoamerica but also plenty of confections, like the rosquilla cookies of Nicaragua and turuletes of southern Mexico (Chiapas and Tabasco).

I asked our friend Jess Stephens, who herself worked at the Modern Mexican pastry programs at the restaurants Empellón and Onda, to develop a few sweet dishes for Masienda, including these Masa Harina Waffles. If you happen to have extra sourdough starter on hand, you can substitute it for up to half of the buttermilk for waffles with a little pucker.—Jorge Gaviria

Adapted with permission from Masa: Techniques, Recipes, and Reflections on a Timeless Staple by Jorge Gaviria (Chronicle Books). 


4 waffles


  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup mass harina
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt


1. In a bowl, whip the egg whites and sugar until medium-stiff peaks form.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg yolk, and melted butter until evenly combined. In another bowl, combine the flour, masa harina, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. Alternate whisking in ½ cup (120 ml) of water and ½ cup (120 ml) of the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture. Fold in the egg white mixture. Allow the batter to sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes for the corn to soften. The batter will be thick, as the masa harina will absorb much of the liquid.

4. Follow your waffle maker’s instructions for baking, and serve with your favorite toppings.

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