When people discuss kitchen staples like rice, oats, beans, and pasta, there is one all-star player that never gets mentioned—pancake mix. What is pancake mix? Essentially, it is a pre-measured bag of all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and other powders that create the perfect pancake. But this magic mix makes more than a foolproof plate of flapjacks; did you know it's a versatile ingredient that works in many other dishes as well? As someone who owns a 10-pound bag of KRUSTEAZ Buttermilk Complete Pancake Mix (not sponsored), I had a lot leftover to experiment with. Here are the best recipes and uses for this pantry essential. 

Baked Goods

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It makes sense that pancake mix works for baking, as it essentially contains the dry mixture needed for most baked goods. In particular, muffins, cakes, and cookies taste amazing and are so easy when made with pancake mix. The baking powder and baking soda present in the mix give these foods a super soft and fluffy texture that can then be boosted with added toppings and flavor combinations. Banana muffins, cinnamon cake, and blueberry cookies are just a couple of ideas! Add different fruits or spices for a personalized pastry.


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A common theme in all the foods in this article is that they involve flour and leavening—key ingredients in pancake mix—for the perfect product. Some examples of these perfect products include pizza dough, pie crust, and biscuits. The pizza dough and pie crust will have a more tender and cakey texture than usual, adding an interesting yet pleasant mouthfeel. Making biscuits from pancake mix is a common practice, so the recipes are almost foolproof, resulting in a soft and flaky treat that tastes amazing with a spoonful of honey or a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Save on measuring, resting, and rising time by using mix instead of the standard recipe for these doughs.

#SpoonTip: Don't overmix the doughs, as this can lead to a tougher and drier end product.


The "Others" category consists of full meals you can make with pancake mix, including a versatile quiche, savory pancakes, a customizable casserole, and hearty chicken and dumplings. This quick quiche recipe uses the pancake mix in place of a pastry crust and serves as a vehicle for any toppings. Savory pancakes are exactly what they sound like—take your preferred pancake batter and switch it up with add-ins like kimchi and seafood or bacon and cheddar for a tasty twist. For another straightforward breakfast, a pancake casserole is an option. Essentially a thick pizza with many toppings, this could be just the dish to spice up your usual morning spread. This easy chicken and dumplings recipe is also a super quick and delicious meal that'll keep you warm in the colder months. 

#SpoonTip: The sugar in the pancake mix might make savory foods a little sweet. If necessary, add a little lemon juice or vinegar to counteract the sugar.

To everyone who is notoriously bad at measuring ingredients or needs a quick meal: it's time to rejoice because pancake mix is here to save the day. Try substituting this versatile ingredient in any meal involving a crust or bread component for a new twist on the classics.