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As great as making homemade pancake mix sounds, not all of us have the time or the energy to whip up breakfast from scratch. That’s why using just-add-water pancake mix is an excellent alternative!
However, many people find that pancakes out of the box lack texture and flavor. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Stay tuned to learn how to turn your easy pancake mix from bland and boring to fluffy and delicious.
What is in Pre-made Pancake Mix?
Just-add-water pancake mix is a pre-made powder that can be turned into pancake batter by adding water. Not all boxed pancake mixes are created equal, but most brands contain a mixture of flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and preservatives.
How to Make Pancakes with Instant Pancake Mix
Making instant pancakes is quite simple and, as you can guess, quick. There are a few different ways you can cook your pancakes; each method will have its own cooking time and produce different results.
In the Oven
Baking pancakes in the oven is great if you’d rather not stand by the stove to flip your pancakes. First, make your batter according to the box instructions. Then pour the batter into a 9×13 baking dish and let the oven do the work. Once finished cooking, cut the baked pancakes into squares and serve them just as you would griddle pancakes!
On the Stove
The most popular method of cooking pancakes, the stovetop method, gets your pancakes to a nice golden brown. First, make your batter according to the box instructions and heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat.
Then, pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle and allow the pancakes to cook. Flip your pancakes when the bubbles form and the edges are dry and brown on the other side.
In the Microwave
Cooking your pancakes in the microwave is an excellent option if you’re looking to eat your pancakes ASAP. First, make your batter according to the box instructions. Then pour the batter into a microwave-safe bowl, dish, or mug—Cook in the microwave for about 4 minutes.
How to Make Just Add Water Pancake Mix Better
There are many ways to make your pancake box mix taste as good as if it were whipped up from scratch. Follow these valuable tips to get your just-add-water pancake mix to have a taste and texture that is next level.
Sift Your Pancake Mix
Sifting your pancake powder will help aerate it and make for lighter, fluffier pancakes. Hold the sifter at least 18 inches above your bowl for the best results.
Overmixing your pancakes will deflate all the air bubbles in your batter caused by the leavening agent, making for chewy, flat pancakes. Don’t worry if you see small lumps in your batter; you can mix until the wet and dry are just combined.
Use Milk Instead of Water
Although these are just-add-water pancakes, you can easily substitute the water for cow’s milk or a milk alternative like coconut milk, almost milk, oat milk, etc. This will make a big difference in taste and texture. You can even add buttermilk for even more decadent, creamier pancakes!
Add Melted Butter
Melted butter will add more fat to make for richer and more tender pancakes with a moister crumb. It’ll also give it a yummy butter flavor.
Whipping up an egg or two with your milk and melted butter will create a fluffy texture. For extra fluff, whip the egg whites only.
Add Some Fizz
Fizzy liquids like club soda, seltzer water, and even 7Up or Sprite will create air bubbles in the batter and imitate the effect of soft, pillowy pancakes made from scratch. Add about 1 tablespoon per serving, and watch the pancakes rise!
Add Baking Powder
Baking powder will give your pancakes the rising boost it needs to prevent them from coming out flat, especially if your pancake mix is a little old.
Flavor it Up
Add flavorings like almond or vanilla extract to enhance the flavor of your pancakes. You can also add cinnamon, allspice, pumpkin pie spice, or even a little lemon zest for a zingy and refreshing twist.
Pancakes go well with many different ingredients. So why not add some tasty mix-ins for a more complex flavor profile? Some ideas are chocolate chips, fresh fruit like bananas or blueberries, toasted and chopped nuts, shredded coconut, or even veggies like shredded zucchini or carrots for a nutrition boost.
Pancakes are nothing without their toppings. You can stick with classics like strawberries, blueberries, bananas, maple syrup, whip cream, or butter. Or, get a little creative with it and add nuts for a great crunch, chocolate, Nutella, peanut butter, or even sprinkles as something extra special for the kids!
Is it better to add milk or water to pancake mix?
Milk adds a richer flavor to pancakes and creates a wonderfully tender and moist texture that water simply just can’t do!
Why aren’t my pancakes fluffy?
Flat and chewy pancakes are likely the result of overmixing. When you stir your batter, mix until the dry and wet ingredients are just incorporated or when the dry clumps of the mix have disappeared. It’s okay to see a few lumps, as it’ll create the fluffiest pancakes!
Should you cook pancakes in butter or oil?
Butter tends to brown too quickly over high heat on the skillet, so you’re better off using oil with a higher smoke point. Coconut oil, canola oil, shortening, or even ghee or clarified butter are great options.
What happens when you put syrup in pancake mix?
Putting syrup in your pancake mix will help get them to a nice golden brown, but it doesn’t add much sweetness to the flavor. We recommend checking the ingredients list on your boxed mix to view the sugar content, as adding syrup or any other sweetener could make your pancakes too sugary.
There you have it, a few secrets from yours truly to make the perfect pancakes — from a box, no less! So next time you’re in the kitchen craving some delicious flap jacks, try out a few of these great tips and tricks. I assure you, you won’t want to make your pancakes any other way!