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While it’s pretty easy to make your own pancakes from scratch with a few basic pantry ingredients, it’s also nice to have a trusted pancake mix on hand to save on time and dishes. Most pancake mixes only require the addition of water, so you can have pancake batter ready for a hot griddle in no time. It’s also easier to scale a batch of pancakes for a single person or for a crowd when using a pancake mix. If you follow a particular diet, you’ll be happy to know there are plenty of pancake mixes available that can accommodate a variety of eating styles, including low-carb, grain-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
Tuck this list of the best pancake mixes away and consult it the next time a craving for a pancake brunch or breakfast for dinner hits.
Best Overall: King Arthur Flour Cloud 9 Pancake Mix
King Arthur Flour is known for its line of baking flours and trusted baking recipes, so it’s little surprise this pancake mix takes the cake. This mix promises easy, light, and fluffy pancakes. It contains a blend of King Arthur’s tried and true unbleached flour, along with whole wheat flour and oat flour. The addition of these whole grain flours provides extra fiber and protein. You’ll get 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein per serving. It’s also got a touch of sweetness from brown sugar, contains no dairy, and is non-GMO verified.
This mix produces consistently fluffy, mildly sweet pancakes that are a blank canvas for fresh fruit, chocolate chips, whipped cream, or whatever other toppings make you happy.
Best Splurge: Stonewall Kitchen Farmhouse Pancake & Waffle Mix
Stonewall Kitchen considers this mix one of its best sellers. It’s available in 5.3 ounces, 16 ounces, or 33 ounces. This mix is one of the more expensive, and the brand is usually found in high-end and specialty grocers, but it's also available online. Stonewall Kitchen is known for its collection of curated jams, jellies, syrups, and sauces—many of which would complement a piping hot stack of pancakes.
This mix requires the addition of egg, milk or buttermilk, and melted butter. The additional ingredients add to the overall cost, but deliver on fresh, homemade flavor. Reviewers claim this mix makes the best pancakes they’ve ever had, with a crisp, golden exterior and fluffy interior with a hint of butter and vanilla.
This mix is lower in sugar than other competitors, containing just 1 gram of sugar per serving. The higher cost may make these more of a special weekend treat or holiday brunch than an everyday breakfast staple.
Best Buttermilk: Stonewall Kitchen Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix
This mix is more expensive than some competitors, but it’s made with minimal ingredients and offers consistent results. This mix requires the addition of egg, milk or buttermilk, and melted butter. Is the taste superior to other, more budget-friendly pancake mixes? That comes down to individual preference. Some reviewers think they taste better, while others say they’re comparable. The best choice for you will likely come down to the cost and ingredient list.
We prefer ingredient lists that contain only items we recognize and have in our own kitchens, so this pancake mix is a winner for us. It contains no additives, natural flavoring, or preservatives. And while we’re talking nutrition, it’s worth mentioning this mix is sweeter than Stonewall Kitchen’s Farmhouse Pancake Mix. Sugar is the second ingredient, and one serving of pancakes contains 5 grams of sugar versus 1 gram of sugar per serving in the Farmhouse mix.
Best Budget: Aunt Jemima Buttermilk Complete Pancake & Waffle Mix
Aunt Jemima is known for pancake syrup, so it makes sense that the brand also offers a full line of pancake mixes. Unlike its original pancake mix, which requires you to have fresh milk, oil, and eggs on hand, the complete mix only requires the addition of water, making pancakes less time consuming to whip up on busy mornings, while traveling, or when you're running low on groceries.
Reviewers like the light and fluffy texture and ease of preparation of this pancake mix. If you’re looking for the most nutritious pancake mix, you’ll want to consider some of the other options on this list since the second ingredient by weight is sugar, and the mix contains a longer list of food additives and preservatives than other brands.
But buyer beware, some reviewers were disappointed to discover this mix is packaged directly into the cardboard box without a plastic bag or liner. This can attract pests and, in our experience, can lend a cardboard quality to the taste.
Best Family-Size: Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix
Krusteaz offers an extensive line of affordable done-for-you mixes for whipping up everything from pancakes to quick breads, cookies, and muffins. The brand has a pancake mix for every occasion, including a wide variety of flavors like blueberry, chocolate chip, honey wheat, and pumpkin spice.
When it comes to getting traditional buttermilk pancakes prepped for a crowd, you can’t beat this family-sized package. A 5-pound bag will produce 39 servings (about 130 pancakes) without breaking the grocery budget, and you don’t need any other ingredients on hand since this pancake mix simply needs to be mixed with water.
As for nutrition, these are higher in sugar with 11 grams of sugar per serving because sugar and dextrose, a type of sugar, are the second and third ingredients listed by weight. But this mix is a good source of iron and calcium, providing 10 percent and 8 percent of the recommended daily values per serving, respectively.
Best Keto: Birch Benders Keto Pancake and Waffle Mix
If you follow a particular diet, you’ll be happy to know there are plenty of pancake mixes available that can accommodate a variety of eating styles, including low-carb, grain-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
Grain-free consumers turn to Birch Benders for their pancake needs. The brand offers both “keto” and “paleo” pancake mixes. The keto mix is made from a blend of grain-free flours, including almond, tiger nut, coconut, and cassava. Tiger nut and cassava, if you’re wondering, are made from root vegetables similar to tubers. This special blend of flours results in just 5 grams of net carbohydrates per serving, making them a suitable choice for anyone following a low-carbohydrate or ketogenic diet.
Like most specialty diet products, this pancake mix is on the pricey end, and you don’t get a ton for the cost. A 10-ounce package only makes 16 pancakes. If you’re new to grain-free mixes and baking, you should know this mix won’t produce the same light and fluffy texture as traditional wheat flour mixes. Several reviewers have been disappointed with the texture of these pancakes, noting that they have a tendency to stick to the pan, fall apart, and/or have a gritty texture. Others praise them for being the closest thing to “real” pancakes they can enjoy while following a low-carb diet and swear that adding an egg improves the texture and consistency.
Best High-Protein: Kodiak Cakes Protein Packed Buttermilk Flapjack & Waffle Mix
Kodiak Cakes produces an entire line of protein-enriched whole-grain mixes, including cornbread, brownies, and muffins. Some of the brand's mouthwatering flapjack mix flavors include chocolate chip, almond poppy seed, strawberry chocolate chip, and pumpkin flax. Of course, if you like to customize your pancake flavors, you can’t go wrong with classic buttermilk, and yes, Kodiak Cakes makes a flapjack mix for that as well.
The buttermilk mix is made with whole-grain wheat flour and whole grain oat flour. Whole grain flours contain more protein and fiber than refined flours. Plus you get 5 grams of fiber thanks to the whole-grain flours, significantly more than standard buttermilk pancake mixes that offer 1 gram or less fiber per serving.
Kodiak Cakes also adds a powdered protein to its products, made from a blend of wheat, whey, and milk protein sources. We love that Kodiak Cakes offers different prep methods for different amounts of protein. You’ll get 14 grams of protein making these with just water, 17 grams if you replace the water with milk, and 20 grams of protein if you use milk plus an egg.
Best Gluten-Free: Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Pancake Mix
For anyone with a gluten sensitivity or who chooses not to consume gluten for other reasons, this pancake mix is a favorite. It uses a gluten-free flour blend consisting of sweet and brown rice flours, sorghum flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour. Bob’s Red Mill assures its gluten-free products are produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility and undergo laboratory testing to ensure there’s no cross-contamination with gluten-containing products.
This mix does require adding egg, milk, and melted butter, but the results seem to be worth the added effort—customers love the light and fluffy texture and liken it to regular wheat flour pancakes. The mix itself is dairy-free, and if you’d like to create dairy-free pancakes, you can opt to use your favorite butter and milk substitutes.
Best Whole Grain: Bob's Red Mill Buckwheat Pancake Mix
There are a lot of whole grain and multigrain pancake mixes to choose from. If you prefer healthy whole grain goodness, we suggest keeping it simple and going with a classic buckwheat pancake mix. This mix is made with organic whole grain buckwheat flour and organic whole wheat flour. Buckwheat creates a thick and hearty flapjack that stands up well to heavier fruit toppings. Reviewers rave about the old-timey nutty, whole-grain flavor.
This mix will produce pancakes that have a whopping 7 grams of fiber per serving, which is 25 percent of the recommended daily value for fiber. All that fiber will help keep you full from breakfast to lunch. There are only 2 grams of sugar per serving. This mix is prepared with oil, egg, and water, and it’s also dairy-free.
Best Blueberry: Birch Benders Pancake & Waffle Mix, Blueberry
Yes, you can turn any pancake mix on this list into blueberry pancakes by tossing a handful of fresh blueberries into the batter. But fresh blueberries can be expensive, and blueberry season is a short one, so we thought it best to include a done-for-you blueberry pancake mix to enjoy year-round.
There’s a big difference in terms of ingredients when it comes to blueberry-flavored versus actual blueberries. Our top pick for this category is Birch Benders Blueberry Pancake Mix since it contains dried blueberries as the second-most ingredient by weight. In other words, these pancakes will be bursting with real, whole blueberries. Using real blueberries eliminates artificial coloring and flavors that other blueberry pancake mixes contain. Making things even better, this mix only needs water to prepare.
What to Look for in a Pancake Mix
Remember to read ingredient labels for pre-packaged baking mixes. Some products may contain trans fats in the form of partially hydrogenated oils, unnecessary food additives, coloring, or preservatives, and/or several sources of refined sugar.
Paying attention to grams of sugar per serving is especially important since sugars can pack on lots of calories but not much in the way of nutrients. The American Heart Association recommends that men limit daily sugar to no more than 36 grams and women 25 grams. Ingredients are always listed by weight, from most to least, so you can quickly gauge how much sugar a mix contains by where it falls on the ingredient list.
Additional Ingredients Needed
Pancake mixes that are made with just water are definitely convenient but may lack taste and texture compared to mixes prepared with milk, eggs, and butter. The fat content of these additional ingredients lends tenderness and flavor to the finished flapjacks.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Sharon Lehman, author of this pancake mix roundup, is no stranger to studying ingredient lists and nutrition labels looking for products that offer the best combination of flavor, ease of preparation, and nutrition. Although a big fan of scratch-made baked goods, flapjacks made from Kodiak Cakes mixes are a weekend staple in her home. She also keeps her personal pantry stocked with several products from other brands on this list, including Bob’s Red Mill, King Arthur Flour, and Stonewall Kitchen.