13 Methods for Making Pancake Mix Taste Better

Breakfast just got a little sweeter. Learn how to make pancake mix better with these easy upgrades.

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Use Buttermilk

Like making cake mix taste better, the secret to the best pancakes is buttermilk. If your pancake mix calls for water or milk, substitute in an equal amount of buttermilk. Because of its acidity, buttermilk activates baking soda and helps baked goods rise, giving them a light, fluffy texture.

No buttermilk in the fridge? Here’s how to make buttermilk.

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Add Extract

Change your plain pancake mix into a flavorful breakfast by adding a few drops of extract to the batter. Go with vanilla extract for a naturally sweet enhancement or lemon for a tangy breakfast treat. For those mornings where you’re feeling extra festive, try using peppermint extract for a seasonal flavor.

(Psst! This trick also works for making brownie mix taste better.)

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Use Fruit

Give your pancakes a refreshing boost by mixing in or topping with fruit. Blueberries, apples and cranberries are a great addition to the batter, making every bite filled with a tart flavor note. Or stick with the classics and top your pancakes with strawberries, bananas or raspberries!

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Incorporate Breakfast Meats

That pancake mix can do more than make just hotcakes. Cover a slice of cooked bacon in the pancake batter and then cook it on the stove like you would a regular pancake. This’ll make pancake dippers with a savory filling—a fun breakfast that the kids will love. Or, try adding crumbled sausage into your pancake batter for an all-in-one flapjack, like in this apple sausage pancake recipe.

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Let the Batter Rest

Make restaurant-worthy pancakes with this one little step. After preparing your pancake mix batter, let it rest for about 30 minutes. This’ll let the flour absorb the liquid and the leavening to form air bubbles, resulting in light, fluffy pancakes.

Skipping this step is a common mistake people make when whipping up pancakes.

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Spice It Up

If you’re looking for how to make pancake mix better, the easiest option is to sprinkle in your favorite baking spices. Once you’ve mixed the batter, add in cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or pumpkin pie spice mix. Before serving, top your pancakes with a bit of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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Sift the Mix

A quick and simple way to add extra fluff to your pancakes is to sift the mix as you pour it into the mixing bowl. Sifting the dry mix removes any tiny clumps that weigh down your pancakes. Sifting is also a great technique when making your own homemade pancake mix.

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Add an Egg

Even if your pancake mix doesn’t call for an egg, mix one into the batter. The egg will add richness to the recipe and make the end result taste like homemade pancakes. If your pancake mix already calls for an egg, try adding an extra one.

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Stir in Melted Butter

Melted butter is never a bad idea! When it comes to how to make pancake mix better, adding melted butter is a simple trick with noticeable results. You can substitute it for the oil in the mix recipe or just drizzle a little into the batter. It will give your pancake mix a thicker, creamy taste.

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Fold in Ricotta

Some of the best pancake recipes have a surprising secret ingredient. Once you’ve mixed your pancake batter, fold in half a cup of ricotta cheese for the most luscious texture ever.

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Don’t Forget the Mix-Ins

Add some texture to your pancake mix with your favorite mix-ins. Make it sweet by mixing in chocolate chips and marshmallows for a s’mores version. Or, for a savory crunch, toss in some slivered almonds and pecans. You can even try these banana nut pancakes that start with a mix.

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Pour on Homemade Syrup

Get that made-from-scratch taste with homemade syrup. Cook your pancakes according to the package directions, then pour on a homemade topper like blueberry sauce or apple spice syrup.

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Get Creative with Toppings

Weekend mornings are special, so celebrate with an array of toppings for your pancake breakfast (you can even try arranging them on a pretty pancake charcuterie board!). Set out a variety of toppings like whipped cream, mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, strawberry sauce or even breakfast cereal.

Carrie Madormo, RN
Carrie is a health writer and nurse who specializes in healthy eating and wellness through food. With a master’s degree in public health from the Medical College of Wisconsin, she strives to translate the latest health and nutrition research into interesting, actionable articles. During her six years at Taste of Home, Carrie has answered hundreds of reader questions about health and nutrition, such as if pomegranate seeds are safe to eat, why pregnant women crave pickles and how much caffeine is in a shot of espresso. Carrie is also a former health coach and food blogger.