Why Not To Buy Pancake Mix

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Please stop buying pancake mix! The only benefit to it is if you own a pancake mix company, but for the rest of us, it’s a ridiculous waste of money. It doesn’t even save you time!

Stop buying pancake mix. Save time and even money by making your own (and it will taste better, too)

Years ago, I worked in a university kitchen and the assistant cook scolded me for using pancake mix.

“Pancakes are EASY. Put a bit of flour in a bowl, sprinkle in baking powder and salt, maybe a bit of sugar. Add an egg or two, and cook.”

Now Patrick knew a thing or two about cooking, and about life, and I listened. If you’re interested in learning more about the man who formed a lot of my philosophy on cooking and life, you can read the memorial post I wrote about him.

Okay, so maybe the recipe is a bit harder than that, but not much, if you’re making basic pancakes.

Last week our 8 year old woke us with “Mama, I made pancakes the way you said, and they’re ready for you to cook.” Other than him misunderstanding what “a pinch of salt” was, he did quite well.

Here’s a note for any budding cooks that are reading this – a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of salt aren’t the same thing at all.

If an 8 year old boy with Aspergers can mix up this after being told the ingredients verbally, you really do not need a package of pancake mix. The simple fact is that it is not saving you any time and it is certainly not saving you any money!

The only thing that pancake mix does is make money for the pancake mix companies!

Pancake mix ranks up there with pre-made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. You don’t need it. I promise you don’t. And if you really need that mix ready to go in the mornings, I’m going to show you how to do that, too.

Simple Pancakes

It should take you a couple of minutes (literally – it should take less than two minutes) to scoop 2 cups flour into a bowl, add 1 tablespoon baking powder, three tablespoons sugar and a bit of salt>. Put 1 or 2 eggs in the middle, pour in about 1 1/2 cups milk, and stir.

If it’s too thick, add a little more.

Canned milk works just as well as fresh. If you usually use an alternative milk (like a nut milk or grain milk), go ahead and use it. As long as you like the flavour, it will work.

Don’t fret about this. I don’t even measure. When I make pancakes, it’s by the “Eh, looks close enough” method!

1/4 cup is the typical amount of batter used to make a pancake.

Drop it on a hot, greased frying pan and cook until the bubbles stop popping. I always expect the first pancake to go to the dog, but sometimes I get the temperature right the first time!

Flip and cook the other side for about a minute. Keep watching the heat and adjusting when needed. If it’s too low, they won’t cook. But if it’s too high, they’ll burn before the inside batter cooks.

You can add stuff, too, if you’re that sort of person. Cinnamon is good.  Fresh blueberries are better. A sprinkle of chocolate chips makes little people smile.

If you like this, you’re going to love my cookbook A Cabin Full of Food. Containing nearly a thousand recipes and tips, interwoven with personal stories, nothing requires a freezer, fridge (although a cool or cold place, depending on the season, is useful!), microwave or food processor. Simple, classic, no frills – food that your grandmother would have recognized.

Stop buying pancake mix! Save money and even time by making your own

Would you like to make it ahead?


Mix up the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a container – a quart jar is plenty big.

If you use powdered milk, add 1/3 cup AND 3 tablespoons powdered milk.

Stick a piece of tape on it that says “One batch of pancakes: Add 2 or 3 eggs, and milk to make a batter.” (Or, water if you added powdered milk).

Seal the jar tight – baking powder does not like being exposed to the air.

Would you like to use something sour?

If you want to make these with buttermilk, kefir, yogurt or anything that is sour, it is really easy.

Just add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.

And you can add that directly to your ready-mix jar, too.

I told you it was easy.

Now go make some pancakes.

Just Plain Living

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