Can You Substitute Pancake Mix for Flour?

Flour is a cooking ingredient that’s used in countless recipes. From baking cookies to frying chicken – flour is needed. 

In breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you’ll find flour. However, sometimes flour is just not an option. 

Whether it’s an allergy or some kind of intolerance, or just plain gluten-free preferences, there-in lies a question. 

Can you substitute anything for flour? Pancake mix, for example – is something most people would find in their cabinets.

Well, yes actually!

Pancake mix works very well as a substitution for flour in most cases. The only time you can’t is when the recipe needs yeast.

However, worthy of note: opt-out of the pancake mixes with add-ins, such as strawberries.

Is Pancake Mix Healthy?

For the sake of transparency, pancake mix does have loads of carbohydrates and sugar. 

It should be paired with healthier options, like fruits and vegetables – and used minimally for frying.

In moderation, pancake mix as a stand-in for flour isn’t bad for you at all. Just be mindful of your carbs and sugars, and those sneaky calories for you dieters.

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Pancake Mix vs. Flour – What’s the Difference?

While pancake mix and flour are similar enough to substitute one for the other, there are a few notable differences you should keep in mind.

Flour

The biggest difference between the two options is that flour is a base ingredient. You can choose what else to add to it.

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There are many different types of flour, seen as a staple in cuisine around the world.

  • All-purpose flour: has many applications across a wide variety of meals and sneaks – from cookies to noodles and muffins.
  • Bread flour: is much higher in proteins, and keeps its shape much better than the other types of flour. Ideal for making bread, hence the name, but also for making things like English muffins and pizza crust.
  • Pastry flour: for a lighter, more dainty type of pastry. For example, cakes and pies. Has a softer protein, and falls apart the easiest of the flour types.

Pancake Mix

Where flour is a base ingredient, pancake mix already has several ingredients added to it – which is why it’s called a “mix”.

The ingredients typically include: sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and flour. From there, you can add more ingredients for a change of taste or texture to your pancakes. 

An important difference between flour and pancake mix is the flavor. Pancake mix has things like sugar added to it, nothing like the bland flavor of plain flour. 

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How Can You Keep it Fresh?

There are many ways to keep your pancake mix fresh, whenever you need it.

Keep an eye on the expiry date of your store-bought mixes.

Put what you don’t use in an air-tight container immediately.

Keep your mix stored in a cool, dry place like the pantry or the fridge.

If you foresee a long break between meals you’ll be using the pancake mix for, be sure to freeze it.

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If you do freeze your mix, be sure to label it with the date – to prevent holding onto it for longer than 24 months.

How Can You Use Pancake Mix?

There are many fun ways you can use pancake mix in place of flour. From tossing in some chocolate chips to your morning pancakes to whipping together a delicious breading for cheese sticks, there are more ways to use this versatile mixture than you can count.

Frying

You absolutely can use pancake mix instead of flour for baking. 

The texture will slightly change, however functionally it will be much the same experience.

You mix up the pancake mix with all your other ingredients and fry your chosen food as normal. Due to how the pancake mix works, you won’t need to add any eggs to thicken. Just add water to the mix and dip.

If your food is savory, add some salt, pepper, and other spices to liven up the mix and overpower a little bit of that sweetness.

Gravy

In a pinch, pancake mix is perfectly acceptable as an ingredient in gravies and creams. 

As flour is a thickening agent, something like stew or chowder could greatly benefit from it – given they’d be too thin to fully enjoy otherwise.

Along with use in gravy, pancake mix can replace flour in syrup mixtures and roux as well.

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Baking

For baking, pancake mix and flour are virtually identical.

Measuring it out, you only need a 1:1 ratio. For every cup of flour called for, substitute an equal cup of pancake mix.

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Because there’s already flour in the pancake mix, it won’t change much at all.

Thought, the texture may change a bit. For example, in cookies, you may find the exterior more crispy and crunchy, while the interior is more soft and airy.

For some, that’s an ideal cookie – but others would disagree. It all depends on your preferences in texture for your sweets.

In Conclusion

Pancake mix is a perfectly suitable substitute for flour in almost every recipe.

So long as the pancake mix is plain, without fruit or nut add-ins, there might not even be a difference in your final product after the replacement.

From frying batter, to cakes and cookies, pancake mix is almost as versatile as plain flour when it comes to cooking utilities.