It’s no secret that I am a homemade pancake enthusiast, but everyone — including me — loves a good boxed pancake mix for one reason: pancakes in minutes. That is, as long as you don’t end up with flapjacks that are dense and heavy, which happens too often with mixes. That’s why I love using these box pancake mix hacks. A few simple tricks and you get boxed mix pancakes that taste like homemade…still in minutes.
Related: See ‘ya soggy! The secret to crispy waffles is easier than you think.
1. Listen to Miss Crocker! This tip has been under our noses all along. Many moons ago, my college roommate discovered a recipe using some not-so-secret ingredients like sugar, lemon juice, and baking soda on the side of her Bisquick box. The recipe for Ultimate Melt-In-Your-Mouth Pancakes at Betty Crocker is still there, and indeed makes lighter and fluffier pancakes. Definitely try it.
2. Use milk for more tender pancakes. If your box says to use water, replace it with reduced-fat or whole milk (but not skim). The richness of the milk will add flavor and it also makes pancakes more tender.
3. Combine butter and oil for big flavor. For every cup of basic pancake mix, add 1 tablespoon of cooled, melted butter when adding all of the other wet ingredients. That said, don’t get any ideas about substituting butter all together. I tried it and found that the pancakes came out a little too dry. When I use this hack, I also add a ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and a pinch of cinnamon, because if we’re going for more flavor, we might as well go big.
Related: 4 Japanese fluffy pancake recipes worth attempting this weekend.
4. Add cheese for creamy, fluffiness. Say what? Yes, cheese! Adding a little ricotta cheese will make for creamy and fluffy pancakes. If you don’t believe me, check out this ridiculously good recipe for Ricotta Pancakes from Giada De Laurentiis at Food Network.
5. Consider making your pancakes healthier. Sneaking in healthy ingredients to otherwise not-particularly-healthy foods is my jam, and I’m willing to guess that I’m not alone. There are no rules here, so try experimenting with some of these ideas:
- One very ripe banana, mashed: Simply mix it into your finished batter or use it as a substitute for the egg.
- Replace the egg with applesauce: Use ¼ cup applesauce for every egg.
- Add Greek-style yogurt for protein: Start by adding a couple of big spoonfuls of plain yogurt.
- Add ground nuts or ground flax seed for a boost of healthy omega-3s.
Am I missing anything? If you have any great box pancake mix hacks, we’d love to hear from you!
To make pancakes fluffier, you can whisk the egg whites separate from the yolks and fold them in.
I always add a little vanilla extract to pancake mix. It really makes a difference.
Same Renee! Love that.
I’m going to try all substitutes and extras .
One thing I always do is add 1/2 – 1 tsp of vanilla extract, 2/3 cup milk, 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, one egg, and a pinch of cinnamon to 1 Cup of Log cabin pancake mix and they turn out amazing! Also, separating the egg white and yolk and whipping the egg white and then folding it in also makes extra fluffy pancakes!
Fabulous, thank you! I’m a big fan of the vanilla + cinnamon too but your egg trick sounds terrific!
I use liquid coffee creamer to make french vanilla pancakes. I use 1/2 water and half creamer.
Thank you so much goldie for this comment cause Im going to try this
I’ve added orange zest and a bit of orange juice along with cinnamon to the batter and they come out so yummy!
Yum im goanna try that
If your cooking bacon first which is yummy with pancakes. Remove bacon from pan dispose of any excess grease and keep a dollup in the skillet then spoon your pancake batter on the greased pan. The results pancakes are doughy on the inside crisp around the edges, and taste amazing. Pile ‘ en high drizzle with syrup and Enjoy
1tbls of buttermilk and 2tbls of butter shortening!!
When cooking bacon, don’t throw out the bacon grease. After it is cooled, add it to your pancake mix as you would butter or oil. We like lightly smoked bacon, and with the grease added to the mix you will get a lightly smoked, bacon taste pancake. YUM!