Sep 122015
Store-Bought Pancake Mix

If you’re buying it yourself, then don’t bother with store-bought pancake mix. It’s cheaper to make pancakes yourself, from scratch. However, pancake mix is one of those things that churches, Food Pantries and Food Banks often give away. You might as well know what to do with it, if you have it in the kitchen.

If you will be buying your own pancake mix, against my advice, then be sure to look for the word “Complete” on the label. This is important. It means that shortening, powdered milk and powdered eggs are already added to the mix. All you should have to add is water. Read the directions to be absolutely certain this is what you’re buying. If the directions call for anything other than water, then put that box down and try another one.

I can find 2-pound boxes of Complete Pancake Mix well under $2 at Walmart. At this price it’s almost affordable and makes an acceptable addition to an emergency pantry. If you live a feast and famine lifestyle, or do a lot of camping, it may be worth buying.

While Complete Pancake Mix makes nice fluffy pancakes, they can quickly become boring if served the same way over and over again. Another thing to consider is that they aren’t particularly nourishing or interesting to eat on an ongoing basis. This may or may not matter to you significantly. Some people prefer breakfast to be routinely predictable and if this is your opinion, then by all means, stick to plain pancakes. If you do like a little variety however, and you aren’t willing to give up the convenience of the commercially packaged stuff, then you can doctor up the mix to make it more interesting. The following ratios work pretty well, and produce some good tasting as well as nutritious variations.

Doctoring Up Complete Pancake Mix for Variety

To 1-1/2 cups EACH Complete Pancake Mix & Water, add one of the following additions. The first 3-options are the most affordable:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 1/2 cup dry rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup soy flour
  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1/2 cup wheat bran
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ

In addition you may add one of the following:

  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup prunes snipped into bits (better than you think)
  • 1/3 cup dry cranberries
  • 1 small apple, shredded or finely chopped
  • 1 banana, sliced or mashed
  • 1/2 cup well-drained crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped canned fruit
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Mix well and fry as for normal pancakes.

Here’s a couple of other recipes you can make with pancake mix. Ham & Cheese Fritters and Hush Puppies.

Ham & Cheese Fritters

Ham or SPAM-type canned luncheon meat both work well in this recipe. Another option is to use 1/3-cup cooked, crumbled bacon.


  • 1-1/4 cups complete pancake mix
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 2 to 4 ounces ham or canned luncheon meat, cut into small bits
  • 2 teaspoons dried onion
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Fat for frying


Measure the pancake mix into a medium-sized bowl. Add the cheese, ham and onion. Gently toss the ingredients about so the cheese and ham are evenly coated with the mix. Stir in the water. Mix well. The batter will be thick.

Heat enough oil in a large skillet or pot to measure at least 1/2-inch deep. Drop the batter by level tablespoons or slightly rounded teaspoons into the hot oil. Turn the fritters as they cook so they will brown easily. Be careful not to overcrowd the pot as the fritters cook. As they become golden brown remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon or tongs and place them on paper towels or newspaper to drain. Continue until all of the fritters are cooked. Makes about 20, or 4 servings—5 fritters each. These are good for breakfast or a light lunch. Serve with honey mustard if desired.

Pancake Mix Hush Puppies

  • 3/4 cup complete pancake mix
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon dry onions
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2/3 cup water
  • fat for frying

In a medium bowl combine the pancake mix, cornmeal, and onion. Mix well. Stir in the water, forming a thick batter. Heat enough fat in a large skillet to measure about 1/2-inch deep. Heat the fat over a medium-high flame until it’s very hot, almost smoking. Drop the batter by rounded spoonfuls into the hot fat. Fry until golden brown, turning as necessary. Place the cooked hush puppies on a plate lined with paper towels or newspaper to drain off the fat. Serve as a hot bread with baked beans, salmon patties or pretty much any entrée.


  2 Responses to “Using Store-Bought Pancake Mix”

  1. Miss Maggie, I just wanted to thank you for all the work on this site. It’s been IMMENSE help, not only with day to day best buy items, but with pantry building, encouragement and with dealing with the “feast and famine” life that my family and I live. I visit here regularly, but have never commented, but with the diet help, the encouragement and help with getting through those tough times, you don’t have any idea how much you’ve helped me, to help my family. I thank you deeply for all the work you do. Hugs, Karoline

  2. Oh, I’m so glad Karoline. I have tried to create the resource I needed way back when I was starting out and didn’t what to buy or what to eat. Hearing that it helps others makes it all worthwhile. The feast and famine lifestyle is a HUGE challenge to navigate. It took me years to figure out how to keep my family well fed on an ongoing basis. Even now that we are paid the same amount every month, I find myself still stocking up on staples so that we will always have them in the cupboard. Our income used to vary by 30% from paycheck to paycheck and sometimes even more. When times were tight I was always thankful for the staples I had squirreled away in the pantry. It was better than money in the bank.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. It’s things like this that encourage me to keep going. 🙂

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