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Pumpkin Waffles with Cajeta Caramel and Pepitas

  • Author: Sabrina Russo
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 5 waffles with ~4 tbsp sauce 1x


These are the ULTIMATE fall waffles. Perfectly spiced pumpkin waffles, cajeta sauce, pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds) and whipped cream.



Cajeta Sauce:

  • 1 quart goat milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out (or 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract)
  • ½ heaping tsp kosher salt or ½ tsp of fine salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda, dissolved in ½ tsp water
  • 1 tbsp bourbon


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/tsp ground ginger
  • Dash ground cloves
  • Dash ground allspice
  • 6 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract (or seeds from half of a vanilla bean pod)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted plus additional for greasing waffle iron


  • ¼ cup toasted, salted pepitas
  • Whipped cream (see recipe)


  1. Start cajeta sauce: Combine milk, sugar, cinnamon stick, vanilla beans and pod in a large, heavy-bottom sauce pan or dutch oven. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in dissolved baking soda. Be cautious as baking soda causes the mixture to rise and bubble. When bubbles subside, return to heat.
  2. Simmer: Simmer mixture over medium-low to medium heat, stirring at least every 10-15 minutes to ensure caramel does not burn. You don’t want the mixture to be boiling; however, it should be at a rapid simmer (otherwise this process may take seemingly forever). Continue to cook for about 1-1 ½ hours or until mixture takes on a deep caramel color and is a syrupy consistency. After about 45 minutes, I tasted the sauce and removed the cinnamon stick as it was cinnamon-flavored enough for me at this point. Stir in the bourbon during the last few minutes of cooking. Before serving, also discard the vanilla bean pods. If using vanilla extract, stir in with the bourbon.
  3. Make waffle batter: While cajeta sauce cooks, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and spices in a large bowl. Combine pumpkin, milk, egg, and vanilla in another bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring just to combine. Stir in melted butter. Do not over-mix. Allow batter to rest for 15 minutes or up to an hour at room temperature.
  4. Heat waffle iron: Preheat iron. Grease and ladle in batter. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions. For my iron, I scoop about ½ cup of batter per waffle. Repeat process with remaining batter.
  5. Serve: Reheat cajeta sauce for several seconds in the microwave if prepared ahead of time. Serve waffles with cajeta sauce, pepitas and whipped cream. Enjoy.


  • After some experimentation, I learned my waffle iron produces the most perfectly cooked-through, crispy waffles at the medium heat setting for 2 ½ to 3 minutes. The indicator light that shows your waffles are ready is not always the most accurate measure of doneness. The ideal temperature and cook time will vary largely depending on the thickness and composition of your batter.
  • You may have remaining sauce. In that case, the calories will be lower then reflected per serving.
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Press
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 waffle
  • Calories: 537
  • Sugar: 54g
  • Sodium: 738mg
  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 12g
  • Carbohydrates: 76g
  • Protein: 13g

Keywords: waffle, pumpkin, pepitas, cajeta