The Very Best Pancake Mix, According to Our Pro Pancake Flippers

Searching for the best pancake mix for your Saturday morning breakfast? Our Test Kitchen tried 10 popular brands in a blind taste test.

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Taste of Home

Searching for the Best Pancake Mix

Taking a Sunday morning shortcut? That means reaching for a box of pancake mix to make your breakfast spread. But do you know which is the best pancake mix?

Unless you gathered every box you could find at the grocery store and put them head to head in a test, you probably aren’t quite sure which brand is best. So that’s exactly what our Test Kitchen team did! Our squad of professional cooks flipped pancake after pancake from 10 different brands to find the best.

How We Chose Our Favorite Pancake Mixes

For this taste test, our culinary crew snagged 10 boxes of pancake mix from the store and prepped each according to the packages’ instructions. Each pancake was sampled blindly to avoid any biases and judged in each of these categories:

  • Appearance: A good pancake should be golden brown and look light and fluffy.
  • Texture: Our team searched for pancakes that were fluffy with the slightest chew. Pancakes that were flat, limp or gummy simply won’t make the grade.
  • Flavor: As always, flavor is the most important category. Pancakes should be ever so slightly sweet and the perfect base for layering on fruit, syrup and butter.

Check out which options our pros flipped for and can be officially called Test Kitchen-Preferred.

King Arthur Pancake Mix
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Best Classic Pancake Mix

King Arthur Baking Company Diner-Style Pancake & Waffle Mix

Next to sleeping in late and enjoying a cup of coffee while curled up in your jammies, snagging a short stack at your favorite diner is the best way to spend a Sunday morning. To get that same flavor without having to shuffle out of your slippers, whip up a batch of pancakes with King Arthur Baking Company Diner-Style Pancake & Waffle Mix.

Tester after tester remarked on the nostalgic flavor of these flapjacks, and our Test Kitchen’s Sarah Tramonte even picked up on King Arthur’s inspiration: “These taste a lot like pancakes that you’d get at a diner,” she says.

So what does that mean exactly? Well, let’s start with the appearance: These King Arthur pancakes don’t have as much rise as other brands but still look airy and appetizing. With a golden brown and mottled exterior, you can envision a line cook flipping stack after stack of these pancakes.

As for the taste, “it has a subtle maple flavor and also a nice butteriness,” says Sarah. That’s all without any extras layered on top. From the jump, these King Arthur pancakes are already proving to be a flavorful bite—one that will only be improved by a pat of butter and syrup.

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Krusteaz Pancake Mix
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Best Fluffy Pancake Mix

Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix

To get extra-fluffy, pillowy pancakes all you have to do is add water to this Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix. Pancakes made with this box mix towered higher than any other brand our Test Kitchen tried.

On the surface, these pancakes griddle up to a light golden brown with lots of air bubbles—a tempting invitation to stack one more onto your short stack.

The texture is what really makes these Krusteaz pancakes such a treat. A fork drops through a stack of these pancakes with ease allowing you to sweep up all the butter and toppings on your plate. Take a bite and you’ll find that these flapjacks have just the right amount of chewiness.

“These are really light and fluffy,” says Shannon Norris in the Test Kitchen. “Even a bit delicate!”

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Pearl Milling Company Pancake Mix
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Best Basic Pancake Mix

Pearl Milling Company Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle Mix

Looking for the Goldilocks of pancake mixes? We’re talking a great-tasting mix that isn’t too thin or too thick, one that’s not too sweet or too bland, not too dry or too moist—that’s Pearl Milling Company Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle Mix.

This just-add-water mix strikes the right balance. These pancakes are super tender and have that slightly springy consistency that makes them ideal for soaking up your favorite maple syrup, according to our Test Kitchen’s Sarah Farmer. The flavor here isn’t overly sweet (that’s what the syrup is for!); instead, these flapjacks are slightly buttery and just plain pleasant.

Another bonus of a great basic pancake mix like this: It’s the ideal canvas for customization. Here are some easy ways to make pancake mix taste homemade.

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Mrs Butterworths Pancake Mix
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Best Sweet Pancake Mix

Mrs. Butterworth’s Buttermilk Complete Pancake Mix

While pancakes are often covered in plenty of maple syrup, some folks still like a flapjack that is sweet from the start. If that’s you’re style, you’ll want Mrs. Butterworth’s Buttermilk Complete Pancake Mix.

Add water to this mix and you’ll find that these pancakes get a good lift and that picture-perfect bubbly surface. The outside has that slightly mottled golden color that you want from a good pancake either from the box or homemade.

As for the flavor, “This has a sweetness to it that makes it stand out from all the others,” says Sarah Fischer in the Test Kitchen. Other testers felt the same way picking up notes of vanilla, malt and even birthday cake.

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Check Out More Test Kitchen-Preferred Products

Our Test Kitchen is constantly testing kitchen gadgets, cleaning gear and food looking for brands that deserve the right to be called Test-Kitchen Preferred.

If you’re looking to fill your pantry and fridge with the best products, check out these tests:

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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is a former Taste of Home editor and passionate baker. During her tenure, she poured her love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa also dedicated her career here to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.