14 Uses For Pancake Mix Beyond Breakfast

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Whether you whip up your pancake mix from scratch or have a favorite premade brand, this powerful ingredient combo — flour, sugar, baking powder, and fat for shortening – can do so much more than the perfect breakfast stack. Popular premade pancake mix brands, like Aunt Jemima or Kodiak, often contain dry pancake ingredients along with dehydrated fat to help make the end product taste light and creamy. Kodiak uses dried buttermilk in its just-add-water pancake batter, while Hungry Jack's fluffy pancake mix includes dehydrated eggs.


You'll also find some pancake mixes that only contain dry ingredients. With dry mixes, you can add eggs, oil, or milk. You can even use leftover champagne to make the fluffiest pancakes for a special occasion or a sophisticated brunch.

A premade pancake mix is quick and easy and can give you tasty pancakes in record time. However, some of the best uses for pancake mix are the unconventional ones that most home cooks have never explored. From mouthwatering desserts to surprising savory dishes, these are some of the most underrated ways to use pancake mix.

1. Corn dogs

Corn dogs are classic carnival snacks and are quick and easy to make at home. Fry up a batch for Superbowl Sunday or just enjoy them as a treat when meal monotony is setting in. Corn dogs become even easier to cook at home when you swap out the cornmeal batter for a premade pancake mix. Depending on how effortless you want to make this recipe you can use a dry-ingredient-only or a just-add-water mix.


To make corn dogs, you'll need wooden skewers, cooked sausages or franks, and your pancake batter. If you want to make your corn dogs taste more authentic, add some cornmeal to your pancake mix, along with any milk or oil you're using. Be sure to stir thoroughly so your mixture is nice and smooth.

Skewer your cooked sausages and then dunk and rotate them in the batter until they are fully coated. Next, fry them in boiling oil for 2-3 minutes. During cooking, your corn dogs should turn a light golden color, giving you a crunchy outer coating and a soft, meaty center.

2. Pancake mix donuts

If you love making donuts at home, you should experiment with pancake mix. Donuts made with pancake batter have a dense, moist texture similar to cake donuts and are easy to bake at home. Mix your dry pancake batter in a bowl with milk — you can also add eggs — then stir in some vanilla extract. You may also want to add extra sugar to get that famous sugary donut taste.


To cook your donuts, carefully drop them into a pan of hot oil to deep fry them. This will give your donuts a crisp outer layer. Alternatively, you can bake them in a ring donut tray and top them with sticky icing, sprinkles, or cinnamon sugar for a fun, party snack. If you're wondering how to store donuts so they stay fresh overnight, pop them in an airtight container and leave them out at room temperature.

3. Pancake cobbler

Pancakes and fruit are already a classic combination. Think breakfast pancakes with fresh berries and Greek yogurt or sugar-dusted crêpes with a zingy squirt of lemon. So, what could be more indulgent than a tart fruit cobbler draped with a moist and gooey pancake sheet topping?


Pancake mix contains essential dry ingredients, like flour, sugar, and baking powder, used to make cobbler topping. You can add your own butter, milk, and extra sugar to the dry mix or select a just-add-water pancake brand that already contains dehydrated buttermilk. Remember not to add too much liquid as you need your batter to hold together in soft clumps that will bake on top of the fruit rather than fully mixing in with it.

If you like crunchy cobbler, sprinkle on some sugar or toasted oats. Soft fruits, like berries and peaches, can be added straight to the baking tin, but if you're using apples, you'll want to caramelize them in a pan with some salt, sugar, and other dry seasonings for 3-5 minutes. If you're prepping your fruit in advance, remember you should be salting apples before baking to stop them from turning brown. 


4. Pancake tacos

Adding one simple step to your breakfast pancakes could revolutionize your mornings. You can enjoy deliciously soft breakfast tacos by gently baking your cooked pancakes in the oven. To make pancake tacos, you'll want to add slightly more milk than usual to your dry pancake mix. You can also add vegetable oil and an egg to create your wet mixture.


Once you've made your pancakes, you'll want to bake them in the oven on a very low heat for just a few minutes. This lets your pancakes fully firm up, making them more stable as taco shells and allowing you to finish off your fillings. Crispy bacon and scrambled eggs are an ideal taco filling, as the salty bacon and fluffy eggs will perfectly complement the slightly sweet pancake batter. Drizzle with a lavish helping of maple syrup, or add extra butter and cheese to elevate your scrambled eggs.

5. Pancake ice cream sandwich

Ice cream sandwiches are a tempting summer treat. Why not try putting a dollop of ice cream between two drop scones to make a pancake ice cream sandwich? Chilled, cakey, and delightfully chewy, they're a bit of a twist on the popular warm-weather desserts. This recipe is fun, easy to make with kids, and a great summer vacation activity.


To make pancake ice cream sandwiches, reach for your favorite pancake mix or stir the standard pancake ingredients in a bowl. Heat a pan with a small amount of butter and pour out drop scone-style cakes. Let these cook on both sides and then set them on a plate or baking tray to cool. While you're doing this, you can let your ice cream soften. 

Once your pancakes are cool enough to handle, stencil them into cute shapes or just lay the ice cream between two whole crêpes. Chilling your pancakes in the fridge for 3-5 minutes before use can give your sandwiches a firm bite and stop the ice cream from melting too fast. You can also freeze your ice cream sandwiches once you've constructed them, giving you quick and easy access to snacks later in the day.


6. Funnel cake

Pancake mix and funnel cake are a match made in heaven — it's almost as if funnel cake is what pancake batter was designed for (aside from pancakes, of course.) Funnel cake, like pancakes, is made from fried batter piped or drizzled through a funnel into boiling oil. The overlapping layers form twisty, pretzel-esque cakes that are tanned and crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy within. You'll often find funnel cakes served at fairgrounds and street food stalls, but they're also fun to make at home.


Just-add-water pancake batter is fine for making funnel cake. You won't need to add wet ingredients, like milk or eggs, although you may want to add a tablespoon of sugar to make the recipe sweeter. Stir in your water according to the instructions and heat a few inches of oil in a shallow pan.

Pipe or funnel your batter into the pan in a circular motion. This naturally creates a crisscrossing pattern and forms the traditional funnel cake web. You'll need to turn your funnel cake when it's cooked on one side, so watch out for oil splashes and use a deep, slotted spoon. Dust with powdered sugar or top with a scoop of ice cream.

7. Blinis

Blinis, or Russian pancakes, are mini drop scone-style disks usually served with smoked salmon or caviar at fancy buffets. Don't be fooled by their sophisticated appearance; these bite-sized treats are surprisingly easy to make and great to serve at dinner parties. Like other pancake-based dishes, you can use a boxed pancake mix to start your dish — add a little extra water to create a thin, light batter. You should also opt for a pancake mix lower in sugar, as blinis are meant to have a sweetish but mainly neutral flavor.


Melt a tablespoon of butter in a frying pan and then ladle in roughly a tablespoon of pancake batter to fry. Once you've made a batch you're happy with, you can top your blinis with smoked fish and a dollop of crème fraîche or a teaspoon of caviar. Sprinkle some chopped dill or chives on top to add freshness.

8. Pancake mix cookies

Pancake mix is a quick and easy way to create moreish homemade cookies for family and friends. It's a great substitute if you've run out of flour or baking powder or want to simplify the whole process slightly more. Boxed pancake mixes provide the dry ingredients for cookies, but you'll need to add something to moisten the dough like eggs and butter. But, if you're cooking for vegans there are also multiple options like like mashed banana or applesauce.


Pancakes are usually less sugary than cookies and gain their sweetness from toppings. Add a cup of extra sugar or bind with honey or maple syrup to sweeten your cookie flavor. Baked pancake mix cookies are usually slightly flatter than regular cookies because pancake mix only contains a small amount of baking powder. The texture is moist and chewy though, making it hard to get enough of these home-baked treats.

9. Pancake cannelloni

Cannelloni is usually made with pasta tubes, stuffed with fillings like spinach and ricotta or meatballs, and baked in a tomato-based sauce. If you're fed up with pasta, rolled-up pancakes can enhance this classic Italian dish. 


Like enchiladas, pancake cannelloni involves layering sauce and filled wraps to create a hearty meal with a starchy base. Make sure you choose a savory pancake mix or one you've tried before and know isn't too sweet. While a little doughy sweetness works well in this dish, too much could make the overall flavor a bit strange.

To prepare this recipe, make your tomato sauce and leave it to simmer while you cook your pancakes. You can also prepare any meat or vegetable fillings. Once the pancakes are ready, fill them with your stuffing and roll them up tight, laying them horizontally in a baking dish. Pour over as much sauce as you like and finish in the oven for around 30 minutes.

10. Pancake mix muffins

Muffins are a tasty breakfast snack or a sweet energy boost when you start to flag at work. Like pancake mix cookies, you can easily use a boxed pancake recipe to replicate the dry stage of your muffin mixture. Pancake mix muffins have a light, spongy texture and are exceptionally easy to make. Start with your pancake mix in a bowl and then stir in some extra sugar or maple syrup, along with two eggs, milk, and butter or oil as shortening.


At this stage, you can also stir in chocolate chips, vanilla extract, berries, lemon juice, or cinnamon and applesauce to create your muffin flavor. Place muffin cases in a baking tray and spoon your mix carefully into these. Remember not to overfill them, as leavening agents in the pancake mix will cause them to rise while they cook.

Pancake mix muffins take 15-20 minutes to bake. To check that your muffins are cooked right through, gently poke a toothpick through the muffin lid and see if it comes out clean.

11. Pancake mix coffee cake

Nothing beats a moist slice of coffee cake with the caffeinated brew of your choice. Pancake mix can act as the base for all sorts of cakes, removing several steps along the way. Many recipes recommend sifting your pancake mix before you stir in the wet ingredients — this removes any clumps that could affect your sponge texture. Like most simple sponge recipes, pancake-based coffee cake contains flour, sugar, baking powder, and milk and eggs.


You should also add some sour cream and vanilla extract. A tablespoon of dissolved instant coffee will give your cake a coffee flavor. You'll also probably want to increase the sugar content by about ⅓ of a cup. 

Powdered cinnamon gives this recipe a delicious Christmassy hint. You can ice your cake with coffee-flavored or buttercream frosting and decorate with walnuts. If you want to store some slices for later, one of the best ways to freeze coffee cake is to double-wrap it in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before placing it in your freezer in an airtight tub.

12. Monte Cristo pancakes

A fun twist on the classic cheese and ham sandwich, a pancake Monte Cristo is one of the best uses for premade pancake mix. After all, the Monte Cristo is already more or less the sandwich version of a pancake stack. Traditionally filled with ham and cheese, with a layer of fruit jelly or mustard and mayo, Monte Cristo sandwiches are coated in egg and fried, then piled high for an indulgent brunch-time snack. Making your Monte Cristo with pancakes instead of white bread switches up the scaffolding and makes this dish even more fun.


To make your Monte Cristo stack, you can start with any boxed pancake mix. Fry your pancakes and cut them in half, then sandwich slices of cheese and ham between them. Slather on your preferred condiment, dip the individual sandwiches in your whisked eggwash, and refry like French toast. Once you've tried it, you'll forever think of pancakes as one of the best breads for a grilled cheese.

13. Churros

Churros are a mouth-watering Mexican dessert and are similar to donuts or beignets. Like funnel cake, churros are made by piping batter through a pastry bag into hot oil and rapidly frying. Pancake mix batter works brilliantly for churros and makes the process easy. Select your pancake mix, add your water, and season the batter with cinnamon, all-spice, or extra sugar, and you're good to go.


Remember to get your oil bubbling hot before adding your churros, and keep the batter lumps short to create bite-sized pieces. Perfectly cooked churros should have a crisp, golden outer coating and be light and pillowy inside. Roll your churros in white or cinnamon sugar and serve with traditional dips, like chocolate sauce or dulce de leche. To make your own dulce de leche or caramel sauce at home, melt white sugar on the stove and thicken it with condensed milk, whole milk, or cream.

14. Pancake mix jalapeno poppers

Jalapeno poppers are little bites of fun, with the juicy spice from the pepper and the mild, creamy cheese to balance it. While jalapeno poppers are traditionally breaded, pancake mix batters are a quick and easy option for making these at home and make for a great party snack. The pancake batter casing also gives these jalapeno poppers a beautifully light, melt-in-the-mouth texture that keeps you returning for more. The hint of sweetness from the premade batter also pairs well with the pickle heat.


To make pancake mix jalapeno peppers at home, add milk or water to your boxed batter until it has a smooth, thin consistency. Deseed jalapeno peppers and boil them for around 3 minutes. To save time, you can also use jarred and pickled jalapenos. Stuff your peppers with cream cheese, dip them into your batter, and deep fry in oil until they turn golden brown.