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Upping the ante on boxed pancake mix

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. 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. 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

        How do you make donut flavored pancakes?

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

        1. 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

            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. Ground pecans
            Ground flax seeds
            Wheat germ
            melted butter not oil

            1. 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. http://www.plainchicken.com/2010/04/7...

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

                2 Replies
                1. re: JerryMe

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

                  1. re: randyjl

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

                2. 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. 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. 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

                        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

                          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. 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. 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. 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

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Novelli

                              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

                                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

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

                                2. re: viperlush

                                  So did you cook the bacon first because that really sounds funtastic.

                              2. 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

                                  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

                                    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

                                      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

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

                                        1. re: mamachef

                                          Used it as a savory side with chili.

                                  2. re: mamachef

                                    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

                                      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

                                        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

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

                                        1. re: noradailey

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

                                      1. 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

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

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: ladooShoppe

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

                                            2. 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

                                                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

                                                  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

                                                    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

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

                                                2. 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

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

                                                    1. re: randyjl

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

                                                    2. re: HillJ

                                                      Anyone seen peanut butter powder in DFW area?

                                                      1. re: randyjl

                                                        If not, you can buy it online.

                                                      1. 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

                                                          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. 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

                                                            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

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

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

                                                            1. Krusteaz dry mix
                                                              Add ins:
                                                              Malt powder

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

                                                                1. Small roller mills in Utah has been making delicious pancake mixes, for original you can't beat these pancakes . . . really so good! http://lehirollermills.com/product/le...

                                                                  1. I made the "Touch of Grace Biscuits" recipe by Shirley Corriher, but I used Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake mix instead of self rising flour. These are like drop biscuits, but you drop them into dry flour, dust them off and bake them in a cake pan.

                                                                    Yes, as a substitute for self-rising flour I used some Krusteaz buttermilk pancake mix to make the Touch of Grace biscuits. I adapted the original recipe by cutting the added sugar and salt in half.

                                                                    The biscuits came out great (no they didn't taste like pancakes). Krusteaz already had a recipe on their website to make regular cut-out biscuits from their mix. The mix is made from a low protein flour, so these are really light, fluffy and cake-like. One advantage of using the mix, absolutely no baking powder taste at all.

                                                                    So here are the substitute ingredients I used with the New York Times "Touch of Grace biscuits" recipe link below:

                                                                    Touch of Grace biscuits using Krusteaz buttermilk pancake mix


                                                                    2 cups Krusteaz buttermilk pancake mix, dry
                                                                    2 Tbsp sugar
                                                                    1/4 teaspoon salt
                                                                    4 tablespoons vegetable shortening or lard
                                                                    1 1/3 cups buttermilk, or as needed

                                                                    The dry flour to roll the scooped wet biscuit dough in:

                                                                    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
                                                                    1 tsp sugar
                                                                    1/4 tsp salt


                                                                    1. Heat oven to 400 degrees, and arrange a shelf slightly below center of oven. Spray a 9-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the Krusteaz Pancake Mix, sugar and salt. Work shortening in with your fingers until there are no large lumps. Gently stir in the buttermilk so that dough resembles wet cottage cheese.

                                                                    2. Spread 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (with 1 tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp salt mixed in) across a plate or pie pan. Using a medium (about 2 inches, No. 30) ice cream scoop or spoon, place three scoops of dough well apart in flour. Sprinkle flour over each. Flour your hands. Turn the dough in flour to coat, shaping a ball and shaking off excess flour as you work. Place each ball in prepared pan; biscuits should be touching one another. Continue shaping until all dough is used.

                                                                    3. Bake until lightly browned (and center of a biscuit reaches 190-F), 24 to 28 minutes. Brushed with melted butter. Invert onto a plate, then back onto another. With a knife or spatula, cut quickly between biscuits to make them easy to remove. Serve immediately.

                                                                    Yield: about 12 biscuits.

                                                                    Links to original recipe and Shirley Corriher video of her making the biscuits.


                                                                    Touch of Grace original biscuit recipe in New York Times article in the link below:


                                                                    Here is a link to a YouTube video showing Shirley Corriher (the food science lady on Alton Brown's Good Eats show) preparing her "Touch of Grace Biscuits". It's an interesting technique and it really works to produce a light, fluffy, tender biscuit.


                                                                    1. My mom often adds chopped apple and a little cinnamon to the boxed mix. Dice 'em small and they'll soften just enough in the time it takes to cook the pancake through. Yum!

                                                                      1. Bananas and a little vanilla extract
                                                                        Pureed Carrot and ginger
                                                                        White Chocolate chips and vanilla
                                                                        Bacon and Chocolate Chips
                                                                        Mashed Potato with sour cream and scallions
                                                                        Strawberry and Nuetella
                                                                        Blueberry with freshed whipped cream

                                                                        1. I like to replace the liquid with banana bread ale and a little cinnamon: