Butting Heads: Pancakes vs. Waffles

Two authors go head to head to determine which is better, pancakes or waffles? Graphic by: Maddie Bataille | Photo Editor

Casey Chan-Smutko:

First thing I’d like to say is my dad sometimes makes waffles and they taste great, but pancakes bring back nostalgia for me and are more delicious. 

For instance, my love for pancakes started when I was a one-year-old. When I grew teeth, my mom made blueberry pancakes, and although I don’t remember that day, there is a picture of me with blueberries all over my face in my highchair with pieces of pancake spread across my little table on the chair.

As I got older, blueberry pancakes turned into blueberry with chocolate chip pancakes making them so sweet you didn’t need maple syrup. I can still taste every Sunday morning pancake breakfast with its perfect pairing of bacon. Every bite was sweet on the inside and soft on the outside with the saltiness and crunch of the bacon.

Not only do they have different flavors, but there are other styles of pancakes. Two examples are potato pancakes, perfect with applesauce and sour cream and zucchini pancakes, paired nicely with greek yogurt and smoked salmon.

Also, pancakes don’t just bring back nostalgia, they are flat circle shaped cakes with no holes while waffles do. Not to say that style is terrible but it might affect someone who has trypophobia or “distaste of holes,” according to my.clevelandclinic.org.

Now that I’m in college, I have the privilege to eat pancakes at Butterfield Dining Hall every Tuesday. While they aren’t as soft as my mother’s, I love their variety of flavors and the skill of making a ton of them, so it does the job.

While waffles might taste great, pancakes are versatile with their different flavor combos and styles. For those reasons, I’m pro-pancake.  

Aidan Cahill:

My parents, being the way they are, almost always let me choose Sunday dinner when I am home for weekends. Generally I will answer with something like steak, or burgers. One Sunday, out of the blue, I answered waffles. 

Why? Don’t ask me, I’m still not entirely sure. My family didn’t even know we had a waffle maker until that night. But that night pushed me to the side of waffles, unquestionably.

They’re convenient when they need to be. When you think of quick cooking breakfast foods, my mind goes right to waffles. There isn’t a more recognizable icon in quick-prep breakfast food than the toaster waffle. Sure, there are other breakfast foods that can be prepared in the microwave or toaster, but none are as iconic. 

To me, waffles have a level of elegance which pancakes do not. Picture it, the Belgian waffle. Everything about a perfectly prepared waffle, with many of the positives of a perfect pancake. Who doesn’t want that? The fluff and structural stability of the waffle feel as if they should not coexist, yet they do, anyways.

They can be cleaner to eat, too. Having the compartments creates natural barricades to stop syrup and butter from flooding the plate, keeping it on the waffle. With a pancake, you end up with far more loose syrup and butter.

I understand that making pancakes is less time-consuming when you’re making them from scratch. However, if you’re putting the effort in to make something fully from scratch, why not take the extra effort to create a better product? That’s really all a waffle is. The same ingredients, prepared slightly differently, to create an upgraded product.