For many cooks they firmly believe that waffles and pancakes are both the same. Maybe the only difference lies in the way they are cooked. Any true chef however would beg to differ. There are some very distinct differences between waffles and pancakes.
To really prove this to yourself it means carefully scrutinizing the interior of both of these items when cooked. A pancake that has been cooked properly will have a interior texture similar to a fresh cake. They are also floppy in their texture as well as being soft.
Now if you take a look at the waffle that has been cooked properly it is crisp on the outside, and light and airy on the inside.
The batters for these two items also differs slightly. Waffle batter contains slightly more fat which lends to its crispy texture. Also, in many cases waffle batter will have more sugar which allows it to caramelize.
Basically what makes the major difference is although the ingredients are very close is the amounts of the ingredients used and the way the batter is cooked.
A true waffle is cooked in a griddle with both sides of the waffle being cooked at the same time. Whereas the pancake is traditionally cooked in a hot skillet with one side being cooked at a time.
When it comes to the end result they can both be topped with the same condiments. Where the waffle may differ here is with it being able to hold a dollop of ice cream between two waffles. This can actually be picked up by the hands and eaten as a sandwich. The same cannot be said for the pancake.
Either way most would agree that both the pancake and the waffle need to remain high on the list of favorite foods and for many the pancake is considered to be a comfort food. There is just something about the way the butter melts into it and its capabilities of being able to absorb those sweet toppings like honey or maple syrup.