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Upping the ante on boxed pancake mix

randyjl Jun 2, 2012 08:53 AM

How do you "kick up" commercial pancake mix? I add some sour cream and a tad of sugar. For variety:
Brown sugar instead
Chocolate chips
Fresh corn kernels (omit sugar)

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  1. h
    HillJ RE: randyjl Jun 2, 2012 09:16 AM

    Boxed pancake mix only saves me the dry ingredients.
    Greek yogurt, where you enjoy sour cream
    I always add vanilla sugar or vanilla bean paste
    Sometimes I add almond extract instead of vanilla
    I always add a dash of cinnamon
    I grind 1/4 cup of nuts (usually almond) toast slightly and add those
    fresh sliced fruit (blueberries, strawbs, bananas)
    sometimes I add citrus zest or a few tablespoons of orange juice

    but a box of pancake mix is just asking to be doctored up!

    1. Antilope RE: randyjl Jun 2, 2012 09:23 AM

      Some things to add (not all together).
      Vanilla extract. Yeast (mainly for flavor). Butter. Buttermilk. Fresh (or from frozen) berries. Cocoa powder. Flavored Yogurt. Cinnamon. Nutmeg. (make donut flavored pancakes).

      You could also resort to making them in Mickey Mouse shapes. ;-)

      2 Replies
      1. re: Antilope
        DougWeller RE: Antilope Jun 15, 2012 10:22 AM

        How do you make donut flavored pancakes?

        1. re: DougWeller
          Antilope RE: DougWeller Jun 21, 2012 08:24 AM

          Add nutmeg, mace and cinnamon.

      2. jadec RE: randyjl Jun 2, 2012 12:14 PM

        Other addins: matcha, cardamom, coconut milk, espresso powder.

        1. Jpan99 RE: randyjl Jun 2, 2012 12:27 PM

          Trader Joe's Buttermilk Pancake & Baking Mix. The best mix that doesn't taste like a mix. Recipe is to add eggs and water but I like it better without the eggs so I just add milk and stir. Blueberries from my garden and real maple syrup. I bet nobody would know it's a mix, honest.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jpan99
            randyjl RE: Jpan99 Jun 2, 2012 12:29 PM

            How does a bit of buttermilk powder sound? We are getting our first TJ's in the DFW area soon. I am sooo excited!

          2. viperlush RE: randyjl Jun 2, 2012 12:36 PM

            Ground pecans
            Ground flax seeds
            Wheat germ
            melted butter not oil

            1. ipsedixit RE: randyjl Jun 2, 2012 12:47 PM

              I think boxed pancake mix is fine.

              If I wanted to "kick up" pancake made from a box, I would do so with the toppings. E.g., fresh fruit, homemade curd and garnished with a handful of granola.

              1. JerryMe RE: randyjl Jun 2, 2012 01:01 PM


                These have gotten rave reviews but it's entirely too hot to turn the oven on, now.

                2 Replies
                1. re: JerryMe
                  randyjl RE: JerryMe Jun 2, 2012 01:10 PM

                  Hmmmmm....I thought this was a pancake thread....

                  1. re: randyjl
                    ipsedixit RE: randyjl Jun 2, 2012 01:25 PM

                    Maybe JerryMe is suggesting that "Chicken and Pancakes" is just as good, or even better, than your typical "Chicken and Waffles"?

                2. greygarious RE: randyjl Jun 2, 2012 04:11 PM

                  Applesauce in place of from half to all of the milk. I did this for a friend who was recovering from severe gastric problems and had to avoid dairy and fat. They came out more tender than ordinary pancakes. Though they were sweeter, I don't think they tasted distinctly of apple - more like caramel though not as sweet.

                  1. Emme RE: randyjl Jun 2, 2012 09:01 PM

                    i will say i haven't made mix since i was seven and had the joy of "adding water and shaking" to the Bisquik bottle. but these are combos i add to my basic pancake recipe:

                    ricotta cheese and lemon zest (or almond extract)

                    swirl of hazelnut spread and bing cherries

                    vanilla bean, a dash of cinnamon, and cardamom

                    chopped dates and brown sugar and/or molasses

                    a spoonful of tomato paste and minced fresh basil

                    carob chips or carob powder

                    1. l
                      LauraGrace RE: randyjl Jun 2, 2012 09:12 PM

                      I haven't bought it in ages, but I always used to use whole wheat or multigrain or buckwheat pancake mix, to which I would add, as the mood would strike:
                      Applesauce, or shredded apples
                      Vanilla, or fresh nutmeg, or citrus zest, or all of those
                      Quick oats, or a spoonful of buckwheat or rye flour (depending on the mix)
                      Fresh berries
                      Chopped toasted nuts
                      A spoonful of canned pumpkin
                      Coconut butter
                      Almond butter

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: LauraGrace
                        DougWeller RE: LauraGrace Jun 15, 2012 02:07 AM

                        Krusteaz is a good 'add water' mix to which you can add almost any liquid you fancy - fruit juice, yoghurt, sour cream, soft drinks (7-Up is good with it), etc. Or add a bit of maple syrup, any flavoring.

                        1. re: DougWeller
                          larsobe1 RE: DougWeller Jul 8, 2012 11:05 AM

                          Krusteaz is the best - haven't made anything else for years. Cinnamon, blueberries, apples, etc. are all easy to add and work great. A friend of mine worked for a big industrial food company and they tried for years to create a mix that people liked better than Krsteaz but never succeeeded.

                      2. n
                        noradailey RE: randyjl Jun 15, 2012 12:35 AM

                        I have made my own pancakes, virtuously, for years. Used fresh, quality ingredients. On a whim recently tried Costco's Krustees, both whole Wheat, & plain. Hey Mom, homemade is not necessarily better. In this case, not even as good. I will try some of the suggested additions. I have used vanilla, blueberries, and chocolate chips. But you have opened a whole new range of possibilities.

                        1. s
                          starvinmarvinpb RE: randyjl Jun 15, 2012 05:21 AM

                          Made homemade for years - but always had a box of Aunt Jemima on hand, and now I use that more...just faster. Use the original, not 'add water' mix.

                          Go to doctor-up: Use 1/2 of called-for milk and 7-Up for the other half of the liquid. Also use about a tsp of vanilla for each batch. The kids go nuts and their friends say thing like "can you please teach my mom how to make pancakes?".

                          Also, cook em on a NS griddle and use light veg spray for 1st batch only - that way the batches are consistent.

                          1. Novelli RE: randyjl Jun 15, 2012 12:00 PM

                            Wow, all these replies and not 1 recommendation for BACON!?!?!

                            Pour the batter onto your cooking surface, crumble bacon over it, and flip it when ready. Bacon inside...mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Novelli
                              viperlush RE: Novelli Jun 24, 2012 06:26 PM

                              As a kid the first dish that I "invented" was bacon cakes. Dip bacon in batter, cook and serve with syrup to dip in.

                              1. re: viperlush
                                Emme RE: viperlush Jun 24, 2012 07:18 PM

                                wow... flashback to being 8 or 9 years old. i was at a friend's house, and she wanted "waffle-nuts" for breakfast... she couldn't believe i had never had waffle-nuts. the recipe? take eggo waffles out of freezer. make up a batch of "shake in the jar" Bisquick. dip eggo's in bisquick; fry. serve with maple butter and maple syrup. just a wow moment. i did not go home and request these, as i'm pretty sure my mother would have smacked me upside the head.

                                1. re: Emme
                                  viperlush RE: Emme Jun 24, 2012 07:34 PM

                                  Wrap it in a crepe and it's like the turducken of breakfast.

                                  1. re: viperlush
                                    Emme RE: viperlush Jun 25, 2012 08:39 PM


                            2. mamachef RE: randyjl Jun 15, 2012 12:20 PM

                              I use TJ's pancake mix and have never looked back since I found it. I've also added more milk, whether it was sweet milk or buttermilk, to obtain a crepe-y result. Add blueberries, or any other berry; add sliced bananas, crumbled bacon, toasted nuts of any type. A delicious addition is pureed bananas - you need to cut the required liquid by the amount of banana you use and cut the milk required accordingly. Vanilla extract with a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove is lovely. You can use virtually any liquid instead of milk or water; fruit juice works. But I prefer a delicious light pancake-tasting pancake, and this is about as I go.Oh, and it's not pancake mix per se, but a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix makes a GREAT pancake base, w/ added corn kernels, shredded cheddar cheese and mild green diced chiles....wonderful for breakast, teriffic served as bread, and a delicious side to roast pork, ham or chicken especially.

                              11 Replies
                              1. re: mamachef
                                smilingal RE: mamachef Jun 15, 2012 08:16 PM

                                mama - what do you think about the jiffy corn muffin mix with corn kernels, cheddar and some crumbled bacon made in a waffle maker? would it work? would you serve it for a breakfast with maple syrup? what ya think?

                                1. re: smilingal
                                  mamachef RE: smilingal Jun 16, 2012 01:56 PM

                                  It will work beautifully, and they'll be super-crispy on the outside and steamy-delicious corny on the inside. Don't use much oil at all on the wafflemaker, and oh yes oh the 100% real maple syrup, and softened butter, mmmhmmmm. Would I serve this for breakfast? Hell yeah I would.

                                  1. re: mamachef
                                    pine time RE: mamachef Jun 20, 2012 01:36 PM

                                    I've done this with the Jiffy corn mix (waffles), and topped it with a chipotle compound butter. Had all sorts of people ask for the "recipe" which I found really funny!

                                    1. re: pine time
                                      mamachef RE: pine time Jun 20, 2012 01:46 PM

                                      That sounds delicious. So did you serve as a savory, or a breakfast dish?

                                      1. re: mamachef
                                        pine time RE: mamachef Jun 26, 2012 10:10 AM

                                        Used it as a savory side with chili.

                                2. re: mamachef
                                  Jpan99 RE: mamachef Jun 18, 2012 08:16 AM

                                  Happy to find someone else who love's TJ's pancake mix. So delicious. I make it with milk only, no eggs. Add some blueberries, dollop with butter and pour over some real maple syrup. Yum!

                                  1. re: Jpan99
                                    mamachef RE: Jpan99 Jun 18, 2012 11:17 AM

                                    And that, my dear, is exactly what's for brunch today, since I have frozen blueberries. Yum.Oh, wait - I do use eggs, and a little vanilla too. And bacon must be somewhere in the picture, since I'm breaking out the Maple.

                                    1. re: mamachef
                                      Jpan99 RE: mamachef Jun 21, 2012 07:38 AM

                                      Don't be jealous...I have blueberry bushes in my backyard and they are just starting to ripen! This is what I do in the summer, run outside, pick some berries, run very fast inside, make pancakes, EAT THEM!

                                  2. re: mamachef
                                    noradailey RE: mamachef Jun 19, 2012 07:42 AM

                                    What are TJ's? I am probably going to feel really stupid when you answer.

                                    1. re: noradailey
                                      jujuthomas RE: noradailey Jun 19, 2012 08:06 AM

                                      Trader Joe's store. :)

                                      1. re: noradailey
                                        mamachef RE: noradailey Jun 19, 2012 09:19 AM

                                        What are these boards for if not for answering each other's questions? Don't feel stupid. And thanks, suzigirl!! :)

                                    2. j
                                      jujuthomas RE: randyjl Jun 18, 2012 09:05 AM

                                      we use Fiber One pancake mix to which I regularly add a smashed banana or two, and berries - either blueberries or strawberries. once in a while we'll do chocolate chips instead of the berries, especially if my nephew is visiting.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: jujuthomas
                                        jujuthomas RE: jujuthomas Jun 18, 2012 01:20 PM

                                        oh, and over the winter I added pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and a little brown sugar to the mix. I loved 'em but DH wasn't wild about pumpkin pancakes. (more for me, right?)

                                      2. l
                                        lolabrw RE: randyjl Jun 18, 2012 11:36 AM

                                        Just tried this little tweak recently they came out great! Per serving:

                                        a dash of freshly ground nutmeg
                                        1-2 tablespoons of Creme Brulee liquid coffee creamer
                                        fresh blueberries
                                        cooked the cakes with a smidge of REAL butter in the pan (you don't even need a lot, and it really does up the ante!)

                                        I'm thinking next experiment will involve a tablespoon or so of peanut butter chips, banana slices, served with maple syrup...

                                        1. ladooShoppe RE: randyjl Jun 18, 2012 12:44 PM

                                          My husband always adds mashed bananas to pacake mix. It's a good way to stretch the batter too.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: ladooShoppe
                                            Nanzi RE: ladooShoppe Sep 17, 2013 08:33 AM

                                            And when I do it I must have honey, not syrup. Yummo.

                                          2. mamachef RE: randyjl Jun 19, 2012 10:59 AM

                                            What I didn't mention, is that the very best way to add some spark to commercially prepared pancake mix, outside of mix-ins, is what you put on it. Real Maple or some other best-quality fruit syrup or preserves will go a long ways towards that end.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: mamachef
                                              randyjl RE: mamachef Jun 19, 2012 06:40 PM

                                              I am sure the so-called "real" chowhounds will poo-poo me, but true maple syrup is way too sweet for my tastes.

                                              1. re: randyjl
                                                mamachef RE: randyjl Jun 19, 2012 06:55 PM

                                                Just as I'm sure that "real" hounds will knock me for using boxed mix. What you like is what you like.

                                                1. re: randyjl
                                                  HillJ RE: randyjl Jun 20, 2012 03:34 PM

                                                  Some folks find real maple syrup too thin also and enjoy the "fake" stuff because it's so thick when poured over warm pancakes. Gotta go with what you love.

                                                  1. re: HillJ
                                                    wyogal RE: HillJ Jun 20, 2012 04:04 PM

                                                    and not only the "fake" stuff, but the kroger (store brand), cheap fake stuff!

                                              2. h
                                                HillJ RE: randyjl Jun 20, 2012 03:35 PM

                                                If you can find peanut butter powder in your area, try adding it to the dry pancake ingredients. Really adds a nice flavor without the fat and oil.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                  randyjl RE: HillJ Jun 24, 2012 07:23 PM

                                                  I tried pancake mix with 7UP today. Saw no difference in using milk.

                                                  1. re: randyjl
                                                    HillJ RE: randyjl Jun 24, 2012 07:52 PM

                                                    I've made crepe batter using seltzer and loved the airy, fluffy results.

                                                  2. re: HillJ
                                                    randyjl RE: HillJ Jun 24, 2012 07:24 PM

                                                    Anyone seen peanut butter powder in DFW area?

                                                    1. re: randyjl
                                                      HillJ RE: randyjl Jun 24, 2012 07:52 PM

                                                      If not, you can buy it online.

                                                  3. s
                                                    shiny RE: randyjl Jun 24, 2012 08:00 PM

                                                    Pineapple chunks.

                                                    1. j
                                                      jjaylad RE: randyjl Jan 13, 2013 09:20 AM

                                                      I can't believe no one has mentioned crystallized ginger!!! Buy it from whole foods(making its yields gross results), crush it with palm and mix a few pieces into batter(evenly). Yields CRISP and beautifully textured pancakes(I think fluffiness is overrated).

                                                      As others have mentioned, buy a tub of butter/marg. and make sure to drop batter into 1/2 tsp butter, then to surround edges of each pancake on BOTH sides w/ a scant amount of butter(rotate it around second sides--->huge improvement).

                                                      Crepe Suzette sauce(syrup, orange liquer, lemon, cognac??) doesn't hurt either.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: jjaylad
                                                        jjaylad RE: jjaylad Sep 7, 2013 03:53 PM

                                                        I've been making pancakes often lately (krusteaz) and thought I'd share my lessons: box pancake mix lacks enough buttermilk to make the light/crisp pancakes everyone loves.

                                                        KEY: Substitute 1-2 TB of water with buttermilk(not cream or milk or soda). This makes a Huge difference. (also drop the batter into melted butter as soon as it melts, then make sure butter is around each side of pancakes as they cook).

                                                        As mentioned, using the "real" maple syrup that comes in glass bottles helps(it somehow soaks into the pancakes better... w/o overpowering or smothering them like cheap syrup).

                                                      2. nomnomnoms RE: randyjl Jan 14, 2013 07:27 PM

                                                        I like to use carrot juice in place of water, then add shredded carrots and apples.

                                                        Makes me feel like I'm having a healthier breakfast instead of just carb loading...

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: nomnomnoms
                                                          Emme RE: nomnomnoms Sep 7, 2013 08:55 PM

                                                          and when you feel like being a little more decadent, try adding some crushed pineapple instead of the apples, a little cinnamon, and unsweetened finely grated coconut; then drizzle the cooked flapjacks with a little cream cheese glaze (cream cheese thinned with some pineapple juice, vanilla and powdered sugar).

                                                          1. re: Emme
                                                            alkapal RE: Emme Sep 17, 2013 04:17 AM

                                                            lawsy lawsy, carrot cake pancakes!!!!!!! YUM!

                                                        2. j
                                                          JudiAU RE: randyjl Sep 7, 2013 07:23 PM

                                                          I don't use boxed mix because I do think buttermilk makes the biggest difference.

                                                          1. c
                                                            CDouglas RE: randyjl Sep 17, 2013 07:24 AM

                                                            Krusteaz dry mix
                                                            Add ins:
                                                            Malt powder

                                                            1. d
                                                              Deborah R. RE: randyjl Sep 17, 2013 08:06 AM

                                                              In October and November, Trader Joe's sells a pumpkin pancake mix that is to die for.

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