How to Make Boxed Pancake Mix Better in 9 Easy Ways

Pancakes are a breakfast staple, and when time or money is tight, boxed pancake mix can be a lifesaver. However, sometimes these mixes fall short of our expectations. Boxed pancakes often come out bland, a little too dense, and not fluffy like the ones you order at iHop.

stack of banana pancakes with sliced bananas on top
pancakes with honey and nuts on the plate

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But don’t worry – if you don’t have time to make yummy flapjacks from scratch, you can turn bland old boxed pancake mix into thick and fluffy restaurant-style pancakes! 

This article will walk you through easy ways to spice up your dull old boxed pancake mixes and take them to the next level.

How to Make Boxed Pancake Mix Better

When it comes to improving pancake mix, there are a few secrets that will enhance box mix. 

Add Extra Ingredients

Adding your favorite ingredients is one of the easiest ways to improve boxed pancakes. Add mix-ins like chocolate chips, fresh fruit, nuts, or sprinkles. If you like savory pancakes, you could mix in some sausage or bacon! Some of our favorite mix-ins include:

  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries 
  • Your favorite berries
  • Chocolate chips

One of my favorite ways to make a batch of a variety of pancakes is to make sheet pan pancakes. Making pancakes on a sheet pan allows you to add in all different types of toppings in each corner, resulting in a large variety that cooks all at the same time. Sheet pan pancakes are also a great way to meal prep pancakes ahead of time for a quick breakfast!

Sift Boxed Pancake Mix

Sifting pancake mix is one step that makes a huge difference. Sifting the dry mix will add air to the mix and remove any lumps. This small step will make the pancakes cook better and be fluffier overall. 

Substitute Milk for Buttermilk

Try swapping out milk for buttermilk for a tangier and more flavorful pancake. Buttermilk can be added to recipes instead of milk at a 1:1 ratio. 

Use Melted Butter Instead of Oil

Swap out the oil in the recipe and use melted butter. Oil is usually used in recipes to prevent sticking, but melted butter will give the pancakes a richer flavor. Plus, the higher fat content will make the pancake edges perfectly crispy! Swap out oil for melted butter in a 1:1 ratio.

Applesauce has become a popular substitute for oil to make lower-calorie pancakes, but it won’t result in perfect pancakes. 

Add Extracts

A little vanilla extract can go a long way in terms of flavor. Add your favorite extract like vanilla, almond, or even lemon to boost your pancakes’ flavor. All you need is one teaspoon to transform pancakes. 

Add Cinnamon and Spices

Another way to liven up boxed pancakes is by adding cinnamon or your favorite spices. Some of my favorites to add are cinnamon, nutmeg, or even pumpkin pie spice. These spices give the pancakes a warm and cozy flavor.

Whisk Eggs Before Adding

For extra fluffiness, try whisking eggs before adding them to the mix. Crack eggs into a bowl and mix either with a hand or electric mixer for a few seconds until the eggs are slightly foamy. Then, slowly mix them into your pancake batter. 

Let the Batter Rest

After you’ve mixed your batter, allow it to rest for a few minutes. You’ll notice that the batter will become thicker as the ingredients thoroughly combine. The result is thick and fluffy pancakes!

Get Creative with Toppings

Have fun with pancakes, and get creative with your toppings. Try serving with fresh fruit on top, agave syrup, chocolate chips, or even whipped cream. My family loves making banana pancakes and adding extra bananas and a drizzle of maple syrup.

If you love maple syrup, try adding a flavored syrup, like a fruit-flavored one. Or, if you’re making savory pancakes, you could continue the theme by adding savory toppings like bacon or cheese. The possibilities are endless! 

Things to Avoid When Using Boxed Pancake Mix

Now that we’ve covered how to make boxed pancakes better, let’s review a few tips on what to avoid when making pancakes with a boxed mix.


Overmixing pancake mix can result in tough and dense pancakes. The trick to making pancakes is mixing the batter to just the right consistency. You’ll know it’s ready when the batter thickens and is slightly lumpy.

No Rest Time

It’s essential to let the pancake mix rest for a few minutes before cooking. Resting the pancake mix will allow the ingredients to mix together, and you’ll even notice the batter gets a little thicker after a few minutes! You don’t need to wait too long; just a few minutes will do.

Using Old or Expired Mix

Double-check expiration dates to make sure the mix hasn’t expired or air has gotten into the open mix. Using old or expired pancake mix can result in flat and bland pancakes.

Not Preheating the Pan

Preheating the pan is crucial to making the perfect pancake. We recommend preheating the pan a few minutes before cooking to ensure the entire pan is evenly hot. The best pan for cooking pancakes is either a griddle or a nonstick pan that’s big enough to flip pancakes. 

A boxed pancake mix doesn’t have to be boring. With some easy tweaks and techniques, you can make your pancakes taste homemade and delicious. Remember to try different flavorings, adjust the consistency, swap out milk for buttermilk, and experiment with the mix-ins and toppings. 

You’ll be surprised how much you can elevate your standard pancake mix and create the perfect pancake at home!

How to Make the Perfect Pancake with Boxed Mix

Now that we’ve covered how to make box pancake mix better, it’s time to cook the pancakes! You can make the perfect pancakes at home with a little technique and practice. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Preheat your pan or griddle to medium heat before pouring the batter.
  2. Use a ladle or measuring cup with a pour spout to pour the batter onto the pan.
  3. Cook until bubbles form on the surface of the pancake, then flip and cook for an additional minute on the other side.
  4. Use a spatula to gently lift and flip the pancake, being careful not to deflate it.
  5. Keep cooked pancakes warm in a preheated oven while you finish cooking the rest of the batter. Cover with foil to prevent them from drying out.

Another way to make pancakes it to make them on a sheet pan. Sheet pan pancakes are a great way to prep a large batch of pancakes in a short amount of time.

This article originally appeared on Pink When.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best type of boxed pancake mix to buy?

It is always best to stick with trusted and reputable brands when buying pancake mix. Some popular options include Aunt Jemima, Bisquick, Krusteaz, and Kodiak Cakes.

Is it better to cook pancakes with oil or butter?

When it comes to cooking pancakes, both oil and butter are great options. Butter adds a rich flavor to the pancakes, while oil helps with browning and prevents sticking. It ultimately depends on personal preference, so feel free to experiment and find what works best for you!

Should I add an egg to the pancake mix?

Adding an egg to the pancake mix can create a more fluffy and tender texture. It also adds some protein and nutrients to the pancakes. You can add one to the batter if your pancake mix doesn’t already call for eggs. You’ll need to keep an eye on the liquid so it doesn’t become too watery. Alternatively, you can also use a boxed pancake mix specifically designed for protein pancakes that already contain egg powder.

Why are my box pancakes dry?

There could be several reasons why your box pancakes turn out dry. One common mistake is overmixing the batter, leading to a tough and dense texture. Another reason could be using too much mix in proportion to liquid or cooking the pancakes on too high of heat. To prevent dry pancakes, follow mixing instructions carefully and cook them on medium heat.


  • Ali Van Straten

    Ali Van Straten is the founder and journalist of Champagne and Coffee Stains. She is a Peloton expert, certified running coach and certified nutrition coach. Champagne and Coffee Stains provides information and resources on Peloton Interactive, running and recipes.

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