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How long can pancake batter keep?

pixellle Feb 10, 2007 03:58 AM

I used to always make a big batch of pancakes on the weekend then freeze the leftovers. They froze very well, with wax or parchment paper in between each one, then I could cook them as needed in the microwave or toaster-oven.

But now my 10-year-old daughter has decided that she doesn't like frozen pancakes anymore. So now I fix the batter and then just cook one or two -- that's all she'll eat at once. So, how long can I keep the batter in the fridge? Two days, I'm sure of. Can I go beyond that? Or, could I freeze the batter? What do you think?

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    LenaNE RE: pixellle Feb 10, 2007 04:13 AM

    No disrespect but, who runs the kitchen...you or your 10 year old...?... make the minimum amount of batter you can with one egg... does she eat pancakes every day?..if so, just keep them in the fridge instead of freezing them, the texture may be better...and maybe offer up some new toppings...I wouldn't keep mixed batter for more than a day ...

    1 Reply
    1. re: LenaNE
      loveiswill RE: LenaNE Jun 18, 2014 09:53 AM

      I think the question was in reference to Pancake batter keeping in the fridge; not parental advice.

    2. p
      pixellle RE: pixellle Feb 10, 2007 04:27 AM

      Well, it doesn't do me much good to make pancakes, freeze the batter, re-heat and serve and then throw them away! And no, I don't endlessly cater to a little dictator -- but if it's not inconvenient, I am willing to take into account my family's preferences. Like most people, she doesn't eat the same breakfast every day, and she prefers her pancakes without any topping at all. I guess scaling back the recipe to one egg's worth is a good idea... Thanks for the suggestion!

      2 Replies
      1. re: pixellle
        LenaNE RE: pixellle Feb 10, 2007 04:35 AM

        Like I said, no disrespect..I'm a no nonsense single mom...I had another idea...I've never used them, but how about eggbeaters?..maybe you could mix up just enough batter for 2 pancakes?...

        1. re: LenaNE
          another_adam RE: LenaNE Feb 10, 2007 10:17 AM

          Yes, I was just going to suggest this too-- its super easy to make up a ready mix of the dry ingredients (including powered buttermilk, even), and use an eggbeater-type ready eggs product to make completely customizable amounts. Not exactly the fresh early morning in the farmhouse experience of the old days, but completely serviceable :)

      2. b
        bronweneas RE: pixellle Feb 10, 2007 10:37 AM

        I used to work breakfasts at a high end hotel and we kept our batter refrigerated for a week or so. I think that it actually improves with age to an extent. They end up moister and with a tiny bit of tang.
        I don't know why egg beaters would be any less perishable than fresh eggs or any easier. I think fridge for next time (thats whats done in restaurant kitchens that use natural eggs) . Folks overestimate the perishability of fresh eggs. They can sit on a shelf unrefrigerated for a month with no ill effects (in fact, the U.S. if one of the only countries that I've been to where eggs are refrigerated before sale).
        I guess i dont see why freezing the batter wouldnt work. I've frozen other stuff with baking powder and soda before (muffin mix) and it works fine. Just would take a while to thaw I would think.

        4 Replies
        1. re: bronweneas
          IHeartMuffins RE: bronweneas Feb 10, 2007 10:48 AM

          I live in Portugal, and never seen eggs refrigerated before sale, we keep them in a regular self lol

          But i guess the question is not the quality of the batter, but it's quantity..so with my recipe, i make 6/7 pancakes using just 1 egg.
          I never tried it, but maybe with egg-replacer you could use "half" of one egg. =P

          1. re: bronweneas
            LenaNE RE: bronweneas Feb 10, 2007 11:57 AM

            the idea of the egg beaters is that the OP can mix up just enough batter for one breakfast..

            1. re: bronweneas
              eatmorefat RE: bronweneas May 23, 2010 10:45 AM


              Thanks for your thoughtful and informative post--hugely helpful! Eggbeaters are evil. Organic whole eggs!!

              1. re: bronweneas
                bakon RE: bronweneas Apr 15, 2014 06:10 PM

                You make a very good point about storing eggs on the shelf. However, egg producers in the US perform certain treatments on eggs with the assumption that they will be refrigerated[1]. US eggs can be stored on the shelf, but given that US producers don't control as many factors that could lead to spoilage of room temperature eggs, it is more prudent to refrigerate them. Countries where eggs are meant to sit on the shelf have completely different regulations on processing of eggs.


              2. atheorist RE: pixellle Feb 10, 2007 11:20 AM

                My favorite pancake recipes use sour milk, buttermilk, or yeast. I have never had a problem using them after a few days in the fridge. If the batter seems flat you can revive it by stirring in a pinch of baking soda if it is sour, or baking powder if it is not. Yeast revives itself so that may be best for what you are trying to do.

                1 Reply
                1. re: atheorist
                  schoenick RE: atheorist Feb 10, 2007 06:04 PM

                  My sister in law in Seattle has used the same batter for years. It's a sour dough pancake thing so maybe that is why?

                2. b
                  berkleygary RE: pixellle Feb 10, 2007 07:21 PM

                  i did a little experiment. i made pancakes this morning and froze some of the leftover batter for about ten hours, took it out and let it thaw and then cooked up another pancake. The cake was fine - not quite as much rise as i get with fresh batter - but anyone would call this cake light and fluffy. The recipe is slightly modified from one in James Beard's American Cookery
                  1 cup flour
                  1 cup buttermilk (and sometimes a little whole milk to thin the batter)
                  1/2 tsp baking soda
                  1/2 tsp salt
                  2 eggs
                  2 TBS melted butter

                  Beard's recipe calls for 3 eggs for 2 cups of flour and he separates the eggs and folds in beaten whites

                  1. 280 Ninth RE: pixellle Feb 11, 2007 08:48 AM

                    I am the parent of two girls who are particular about their pancakes, which are eaten about five days out of seven. I make a big batch of fresh pancake mix (no store-bought stuff) on Monday, and it lasts ok until Thursday, when the last of the batter is scraped from the container. No complaints. You'll notice a little discoloration w/ time, but the batter is ok. I stir in a little extra milk if the mix gets a little thick after a few days.

                    Re, the child-rearing comments above: To each their own.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: 280 Ninth
                      gina617 RE: 280 Ninth May 29, 2014 10:42 AM

                      LOL!! Love it!! She needed help with batter, not raising her kid!! To each their own!!

                    2. chef chicklet RE: pixellle Feb 11, 2007 10:46 AM

                      Well I hope that I don't get thrown out for my suggestion but, here it is. I am not the biggest fan of pancakes. I don't like heavy, doughy pancakes. But the family does, so I will recommend a product that I think is superior to any batter that I've made from scratch.
                      Aunt Jemima Buttermilk complete pancake mix, just add water. I made them as directed, the only think I did different, I put the batter into the fridge like you would for crepes for about 1 hour, and then I cooked them on my cast iron griddle. They were terrific and that will eliminate your egg problem. You can make it in a plastic bottle with a spout.
                      I purchased one at the Dollar store. in the morning pour what you need to use, if you got a quart size that would probably last the week without issue.
                      From my experience, once the egg is opened it is highly vulnerable to deterioration, and there is evidence of that when I make a pastry dough that calls for an egg. Within 24 hours the pastry darkens, and all recipes say to toss it after that time frame.
                      Even if you made the batter up while the kids were getting ready, it wouldn' take too much time mixing the batter each day. ok, now let me have it!

                      Hope my suggestion is helpful!

                      1. g
                        greenstate RE: pixellle Feb 11, 2007 11:31 AM

                        How long can pancake batter keep? I'll let you know. I made some at 7:00 this morning and it's been sitting out on the counter since then. It is now 3:30 and my son is eye balling it for an afternoon snack. I'll get back to you after he whips up a few pancakes and eats them!

                        1. chowser RE: pixellle Feb 11, 2007 01:18 PM

                          The Washington Post had an article about how you can keep a premade muffin batter for up to two months in the back of the refrigerator. They said as long as you kept it cold and cooked it fully, it was safe. I'd put this along the same lines. But, I'd rather mix up a big batch of pancake mix and then make enough batter for a day or two in the refrigerator. I'd probably show her how to do it and ler her decide whether it's worth dealing with mixing, cooking, and cleaning a pan/spoon/spatula every morning or making up a batch and freezing.

                          1. p
                            pixellle RE: pixellle Feb 12, 2007 03:56 AM

                            Wow -- what great responses! Thank you all for your input! I love knowing that a hotel restuarant keeps its batter for a week. I noticed the discoloration after two days, and wondered whether it was still good... but between the hotel info, the article in the Post and the other mom's experience of keeping the batter for a week, I think it's fine. Thanks for all the other suggestions, too!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: pixellle
                              cmmfox RE: pixellle Aug 24, 2009 08:27 AM

                              I would like to thank all of you for your posts, I did a search to find out what to do with all these pancakes I made. I tried a new buttermilk recipe and had so much left over batter. I will definitely try keeping the batter in the fridge next time after your suggestions. Thanks Again.

                              1. re: cmmfox
                                donrene RE: cmmfox Feb 3, 2012 09:19 AM

                                Thanks for asking the question and thanks all for your replies. I made a waffle bannana batter for waffles and made too much as usual (LOL) so I ran to my pc to look if I can put the batter in the frig for another day. Thanks all

                              2. re: pixellle
                                dport91 RE: pixellle Mar 18, 2012 08:58 PM

                                Thanks pixellle, for asking this question. I, too, make from-scratch pancake batter for the kids and have been trying to use it up on the second morning. Tomorrow will be day #3, and I found this thread in trying to decide whether I can use it still. I stir a tiny bit of seltzer in it on the 2nd day and they puff up beautifully. Thanks again!

                              3. a
                                alksdacs RE: pixellle Apr 15, 2014 08:26 AM

                                Add cinnamon, it will make them last longer as it slows the growth of bacteria and fungus/molds.

                                1. s
                                  StanleyW RE: pixellle May 9, 2014 05:36 AM

                                  I've been using Chowhound for cooking questions forever. It's great to finally add my input although I think the answers previously offered echo my reply. It's been 5 days since I've gone back to my homemade batter in the fridge. I use both baking soda and powder, along with flour, veg. oil, milk, and vanilla. Although the mixture looked hideous due to separation, after a quick stir it was fine and no bad smell. They came out perfectly...and I still have enough batter for one more batch. I'll be back for the 7 day result in 2-3 days!

                                  1. Ruthie789 RE: pixellle Jun 18, 2014 06:49 PM

                                    I find that even just an overnight stay in the fridge changes the texture of the batter. The pancakes made from them tend to fall apart as they are more tender. I have tried a couple of times always with frustrating results.

                                    Why not find a recipe for a dry mix and make only the amount that you want?

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