Can You Use Pancake Mix as Flour? Here’s Why You Can

We’ve all been there – you find the perfect recipe, start gathering your ingredients, preheat the oven… just to realize you are out of flour! Surely there’s a partial bag in your pantry somewhere. Alas, you find a box of that pancake mix in the cabinet. Will it work in your recipe, though? 

Yes, you can absolutely substitute pancake mix for flour in most baking recipes. The base of pancake mix is flour along with a few additional ingredients, namely: sugar, salt, and a leavening agent. It’s almost like pancake mix serves as a shortcut in your baking recipes!

Can I Use Pancake Mix Instead of Flour?

Yes, you can use pancake mix instead of flour in most recipes. You may need to make a slight adjustment with the other ingredients, but it should work just fine. Understanding the ingredients of your pancake mix is important. 

Pancake mix helps the home cook whip up a stack of flapjacks quickly and easily and let’s face it – we don’t really want to spend our Saturday mornings measuring out all those ingredients. 

Adding just liquid ingredients to a premixed pancake mix is such a life saver. But using pancake mix instead of flour in other recipes  can be a life saver also!

Chances are you probably have some pancake mix in your pantry. Using pancake mix instead of flour is a great shortcut in recipes and can save you a trip to the grocery store! 

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What is the Difference Between Flour and Pancake Mix?

So if you can use pancake mix instead of flour, you may be asking yourself – what’s the difference between the two? Flour is just simply flour, nothing else. Pancake mix starts with a base of flour but then has other ingredients added to it. 

Most pancake mixes contain: sugar, salt, and a leavening agent like baking powder. Sometimes, you can also find pancake mixes with oil, powdered milk, and other flavorings mixed in. Be sure and read the ingredient list to your pancake mix. 

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Of course, there are different types of flour besides the typical all-purpose flour. Your recipe may call for one of  these common flours:

  • Self-Rising Flour – this type of flour also has ingredients mixed to regular all-purpose flour. Baking soda and sometimes salt are mixed with all-purpose flour to create a self-rising flour that can be used in a myriad of recipes. 
  • Cake Flour – this flour is very fine in texture and has lower proteins than a regular all-purpose flour. It helps to create a light crumb in delicate cakes and other recipes. 
  • Bread Flour – this type of flour is generally used in bread baking because it is more sturdy and has more proteins than other flours. Bread flour helps form stronger glutens which is ideal when baking bread. 

What Recipes Can You Use Pancake Mix With as a Substitute for Flour?

Understanding that pancake mix can be used to replace flour can save you a lot of hassle and time. But, since pancake mix contains more ingredients than just flour, you may be wondering how to use it and when to use it. 

First it’s important to know how to use it. If your recipe calls for self-rising flour, you can replace the flour with pancake mix in an easy 1:1 ratio. 

If your recipe calls for an all-purpose flour, you can still make the 1:1 swap with pancake mix, but you will also need to omit the salt and leavening agent called for in your recipe. The amount of sugar in pancake mix is fairly minimal so you probably won’t have to make any adjustments. 

Fried Chicken

If you realize you don’t have enough flour to fry chicken, no worries. Using pancake mix instead of flour to fry chicken is absolutely fine. You can use it as either a dry dredge to coat chicken (and other proteins) or you can even make a batter out of it by adding a little milk and eggs.

If you are worried that the pancake mix might be too sweet for your savory fried chicken, try adding dried herbs and even spices, such as: cayenne, paprika, or chili powder to help offset any of the sweetness from the pancake mix. 

Cookies

Replacing flour in your favorite cookie recipe with pancake mix is a great substitution! Not only will the cookies have the same great taste and texture you know, but using pancake mix will also be saving you time by not having to measure out all of your dry ingredients. 

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Simply use the same amount of pancake mix as flour in the recipe. Be sure to omit the salt and leavening agent from your recipe as they are already in the pancake mix. 

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Gravy

Gravy cooks up quickly – you have your drippings warmed and ready for the flour and then you realize you have none in the pantry! Grabbing the pancake mix and using it as a substitute for flour will work just fine. The added ingredients in the pancake mix won’t have a big effect on your gravy so you can use the same amount as you would regular flour and it can serve as a great substitute.

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Quick Breads

Using pancake mix instead of flour in your favorite quick bread recipe (such as muffins or coffee cake) makes putting together the ingredients even easier. Use an even swap of pancake mix to flour and you will be well on your way to making delicious treats!

Pizza Crust

Friday night is pizza night and you just realized you don’t have any flour! Go ahead and grab that pancake mix and use it to whip up a fast pizza dough. Because there is already a leavening agent in the pancake mix, you won’t even need to add yeast to it. The pizza crust will be a little more tender then a traditional pizza dough, but using pancake mix instead of flour will do in a pinch. 

Pie Dough

Homemade pie dough can be a daunting task for some. Replacing the flour with pancake mix may make it a little easier since you won’t have to measure out separate dry ingredients. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to a tender flaky pie crust. 

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  • Measure 2 cups of pancake mix and place in a bowl.
  • Cut (or mix) in 1/4 of a cup of cold shortening or cold butter. 
  • Stir 2 tablespoons of cold water and stir with a fork until a ball forms.
  • Roll out your pie crust!

Tips for Using Pancake Mix as a Flour Substitute

If you are needing to use pancake mix instead of flour, you should be just fine. Knowing the specific ingredients in your pancake mix will ultimately guide you in your recipe. For example, if you are following a recipe for cookies, you can replace the flour with pancake mix but you will not need to add any additional salt or leavening agent. 

If your pancake mix is especially sweet, you may even want to reduce the amount of sugar. Because of the makeup of pancake mixes, your consistency may be a little thicker than normal. Adding 1-2 tablespoons of milk can help thin it down if needed. 

Flour Substitutes That You Can Use Aside From Pancake Mix

Don’t throw the towel in if you don’t have any flour OR pancake mix in your pantry. There are other things you can use to replace flour in various recipes. Most commonly, you may have: Bisquick, bread flour, self-rising flour, cake flour, or even whole wheat flour in your pantry. All of these would be fine substitutes in a pinch. 

Bisquick and self-rising flour both have added ingredients. By adjusting some of the other ingredients in your recipe, you should be able to use these substitutes equally in replace of flour.

Bread flour and whole wheat flour can be used 1:1 to replace flour in recipes. However, you should note that bread flour can make cakes and other delicate recipes a little tough. Whole wheat flour can create a bit of a chew to the finished product, but will still be fine. 

If using cake flour to replace all-purpose flour you will want to add 2 tablespoons to every cup of flour used. So, for example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, you would use 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cake flour. This is because cake flour has essentially been sifted and is not as dense as regular flour. 

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Related Questions

Pancake mix is a great ingredient that helps to make breakfast fast and easy, but also serves other uses. Let’s find out more about this useful flour mix!

What type of flour is in the pancake mix?

Typically pancake mixes are made with an all-purpose flour. Some, though, are made with wheat flour or a combination of the two. 

Is pancake mix the same as Bisquick?

Pancake mix and Bisquick are similar, but not the same. Pancake mix usually just contains flour, sugar, salt and a leavening agent, while Bisquick has those similar ingredients with the addition of shortening.

Conclusion

Pancake mix serves more of a purpose than you may realize. Not only does it help get breakfast on the table in a snap, but it also can be a great stand in for flour. The next time you find yourself without flour, go ahead and try substituting it with pancake mix. You won’t be disappointed!