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Nov 13, 2012 07:37 AM

I can't make pancakes better than a mix

I keep trying recipes for pancakes but I can't match the taste I get from Trader Joe's buttermilk pancake mix. I don't even make the mix according to the package directions, I nix the eggs and just mix with milk. They have so much flavor, either plain or with added blueberries or raspberries. When I make the mix with eggs I don't like the flavor as much.

I was out of mix this past weekend so I made some from scratch and it couldn't even compare. Am I doing something wrong? The recipe I used was very basic, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, egg, sour milk (milk with lemon juice) and melted butter. It looked fine, cooked fine but the taste was so bland. Trader Joe's mix has so much flavor.

Anyone have a basic pancake recipe that they love? I do like a thick yet fluffy pancake, not the thin kind.

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  1. Why mess with success? Just stick with the mix if it works for you.

    Remember "New Coke"? Don't fix what's not broken.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. However, I'm a "from scratch" baker and I find it slightly annoying that my homemade pancakes don't taste as good as box mix!

      1. re: Jpan99

        Some things are not worth the effort, despite one's "principles" about baking from scratch. I have embraced the box mix without shame! (I still lie about using boxed cake mixes though)

    2. I've never tried TJ's mix, but when I make pancakes at home, I use a mix of flours, including white, whole wheat, oat, etc. This gives a better flavor and texture. I don't like pancakes made with plain white flour, though, so this may not be what you're looking for.

      I agree with the others, though. If you like something, why change it?

      1. Unlike the OP, I don't like the thick American style pancakes. For my wafer thin ones, the batter is so easy (makes about 10):

        110g plain flour
        2 eggs
        200ml milk combined with 75ml water

        Add the eggs to the flour and gradually add the liquid. Simple. It's never occured to me to use a mix (I'm not sure I knew it existed)

        4 Replies
        1. re: Harters

          I call that a crepe batter. You would get something closer to the American pancake if you used self-rising flour.

          1. re: paulj

            We call that a pancake batter - I do have access to a recipe for the thick American style pancakes, but they are not to my taste (

            1. re: Harters

              I looked up pancakes using the search box in your link, Harters....and got photos and recipes for crepes! I like those very much, also...along with all sorts of "American" pancakes, including whole grain, multi-grain, etc.

              They're all very good IMO.

              1. re: sandylc

                The French call them crepes; Britons call them pancakes.

        2. There aren't many flavor components in a basic pancake recipe. It could be that the mix is higher in salt than your recipe. It doesn't have to be high, but most baked goods taste flat without salt, especially if there isn't much sugar (1/2t salt per 2c flour is about right for me). Does the mix list malt in some form, such as malted barley? That's a mild sweetener, with a more complex flavor than plain sugar.

          I usually make my pancake batter from scratch, not because I have anything against a mix like TJs, but because I like to play with variations. For example my latest batch included a small sweet potato (diced and cooked in the microwave before adding to the batter), white whole wheat, and oat bran.

          1 Reply
          1. re: paulj

            Paulj, I think you are right about the salt. I also use the TJ's pancake mix and it does seem salty, which I do not object to...

          2. Have you tried scratch pancakes using buttermilk instead of regular or "soured" milk? It's a game-changer in my book.
            That cook be the taste you are looking for, since your TJ mix is the buttermilk kind.

            1 Reply
            1. re: iluvcookies


              You can get powdered dried buttermilk, which is really good. (Saco is the brand I use.)