Taste Notes by Anna Jones

Recipe by Anna Jones

Cherry Poppy Seed Waffles


Like bottomless coffee and inch-deep maple syrup and waitresses with name badges, waffles are very American territory to me. I started making them at home last year – I bought a £20 waffle iron and I haven’t looked back, as there is something so good about their crispy chequered exterior.

They are quick and easy to make and more consistent than pancakes, and the waffle iron stays squeaky clean, so no washing up. This is my poppy seed-flecked version. I make these waffles with a mixture of oats or quinoa, whizzed to a floury dust in the food processor, but straight up wholemeal flour works well too.

Cherries are hands down my favourite fruit. When British cherries start filling my basket they are all I eat for breakfast until they are gone again.

They’re high in iron, so they are useful for people cutting back on iron-rich meats. I keep pitted cherries in the freezer to use all year round, and you can buy good frozen ones from most supermarkets too. These are equally good with raspberries mashed with a little rosewater in place of the cherries. Instead of using eggs here you can make these pancakes using the incredibly clever natural binding qualities of chia seeds. What I like best about chia seeds is how they work in baking and sweet things. You can use them in place of eggs in almost all baking, just mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water for each egg and leave to soak for a few minutes until you have a gloopy mix. I like the crunch of the chia seeds in my cake but if you want to you could grind them to a powder in your food processor before mixing with the water. This mixture works in all the baking in this book, just don’t try scrambling them! Put the cherries and honey into a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer, then cook for 10 minutes, until just softened, slightly sticky and deep crimson.

Put your waffle iron on a very low heat to warm up. I cook using a gas hob, which heats the waffle iron quite quickly, but you may need to wait a little longer if you have an electric or induction hob. You could use an electric waffle maker set to medium too. Whiz the oats in a food processor until you have a fine powder, then put into a bowl with the sugar, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds. In a jug, whisk the yoghurt, milk, eggs and lemon zest. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and beat until you have a smooth, thick batter, then pour into a jug to make it easier to fill your waffle iron.

Turn the heat up a little on your waffle iron. Drop a knob of butter or coconut oil on to the base of it and use a brush to persuade it around the iron squares. Flip the iron and do the same for the other side. Spoon one ladleful of mixture into one side of your hot iron and close the lid. Leave for 2 minutes to crisp up, then flip for another 3 minutes. The waffles are ready once they’re an even golden brown and come away from the sides easily.

Serve with the warm cherries, a sprinkling of poppy seeds and a spoonful of yoghurt and a drizzle of honey.


Makes 8 waffles

For the cherries

500g pitted cherries, fresh or frozen

2 tablespoons honey

For the batter

200g oats

4 tablespoons light brown sugar or coconut sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder a pinch of sea salt

2 tablespoons poppy seeds, plus extra to serve

200ml natural yoghurt or coconut milk yoghurt

150ml milk of your choice

3 organic or free-range eggs

Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

Butter or coconut oil, for cooking

To serve


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