Perfect “Just Add Water” Pancake Mix

26 Jan

Print the recipe card!  perfect pancake mix

It’s tough to find a boxed pancake mix that doesn’t turn out pancakes that are heavy and dense and bordering on flavorless.  This recipe is one you can mix yourself from shelf stable ingredients, has a “made from scratch” taste and makes a lighter pancake.  The flavor boosting “secret” ingredient is malted milk, not something you’d think to add into your pancake mix, but believe me you’ll like it!


Yield:  Each 2 1/4 cup mix makes 9 pancakes 

Recipe makes enough for 4 mixes


Perfect Pancake Mix (2)

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups cake flour

1 cup instant powdered milk

3/4 cup malted milk powder

1/3 cup sugar

2 TBS baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 TBS salt

1/2 cup butter powder (*see note)

1/4 cup + 3 TBS whole egg powder

3/4 cup powdered buttermilk



Measure and sift the ingredients (as needed) and mix well.  When ready to cook, whisk 2 1/4 cups mix with 1 cup minus 1 TBS water.  Prepare your griddle (over medium low heat) by placing a good sized drop of water on it and heating.  Once the water drop boils the griddle is hot enough to cook.  Spray with nonstick cooking spray and wipe any excess oil from the pan.  Cook by 1/4 cup portions about 2 minutes per side.  Serve.


Perfect Pancake Mix (3)

Mix 2 1/4 cups of mix with 1 cup minus one TBS water.

Perfect Pancake Mix (4)

Pour by 1/4 cup portions on to your hot griddle.  Once you see bubbles bursting in the cooking batter you know it’s ready to flip!

Perfect Pancake Mix (5)

Now you can get those hungry mouths fed quickly and still get a compliment or two on the pancakes!

Perfect Pancake Mix (6)

Store the remaining mix either in vacuum sealed jars or quart sized storage bags.

Perfect Pancake Mix (1)



  • In formulating this recipe I questioned whether the mix would keep in the pantry with the powdered buttermilk added since the container says it should be refrigerated after opening.  I called Saco Foods, who make the powdered buttermilk I use, and asked them.  I was told the refrigeration is encouraged due to the moisture content, allowing the product to remain good longer after being opened.  Mixing it into a dry mix takes care of this concern so there’s no reason to refrigerate.  I was also told it would stay good mixed into a dry mix for at least a year.
  • I know for some of you I’m repeating myself, but I don’t want someone to accidentally ruin their mix by using a poor butter powder product, since there are some bad ones out there.  If you’re not familiar with butter powder I can tell you the one I feel most comfortable recommending is Thrive’s brand.  I’ve tried a few others and haven’t been pleased with their products but have been very pleased using Thrive’s butter powder in my baking.  The way I generally use it is for flavoring.  I’ve never tried using it stand alone as butter (as you would for spreading on toast) as is suggested on the container.

25 Responses to “Perfect “Just Add Water” Pancake Mix”

  1. julene January 26, 2013 at 6:05 am #

    I was wondering how the pancakes would turn out if I used regular flour. I don’t have any cake flour on hand right now. I can’t wait to try this mix because I agree, the mixes I have tried yield a very heavy pancake.

    • myfoodstoragecookbook January 26, 2013 at 6:08 am #

      You’ll like this one a lot. My family actually prefers this one now even over a “from scratch” recipe I used to use all the time.

    • Janet October 18, 2015 at 10:16 am #

      cake flour can be made from 7/8 c. flour + 2 T. cornstarch… easily measure: 3/4 c. flour + 2 T. flour + 2 T. cornstarch

  2. Jona January 26, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    Your recipe calls for powdered milk but does not specify if it is instant or regular non-instant powdered milk. Could you please let me know what type of powdered milk I should use? Thank you.

    • myfoodstoragecookbook January 26, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

      Thanks for the question, Jona. Instant powdered milk is what you want so that it mixes quickly together with the water. I’ll go back and clarify it in the ingredients list. Thanks for the comment, I’m glad your reading so carefully!

  3. Jocelyn January 27, 2013 at 6:00 am #

    I am very eager to try these pancakes. Thank you for posting the recipe.

    Just out of curiosity, what do you use to cook your pancakes on, a frying pan or a griddle? I have never been happy with how my pancakes turn out when I make them in a frying pan; it may have something to do with my gas stove. I would appreciate any advice you have.

    • myfoodstoragecookbook January 27, 2013 at 6:10 am #

      Honestly, either/or. To me it seems like the biggest thing is getting the temperature right and I do that with the drop of water trick I talked about.

      Gas stove cooking is a lot more direct, and remembering back to when I had a gas stove, the pan heats faster and hotter. Maybe you can try cooking next time w/lower heat than you normally would and when your test water drop boils go from there.

      • Jocelyn January 27, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

        I agree that pans heat faster with gas stoves. I have learned (the hard way!) to use a lower heat. However, I haven’t tried your water drop test, and will give that a go.

        Thanks so much.

  4. Tiffany Daumueller June 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    I love and appreciate all of the work you have put into your blog. You are AWESOME! I laughed when I saw your Hot Chocolate post because I’ll be doing one soon too. I just had a baby and had Hot Chocolate in the hospital and it reminded me that I don’t have my recipe posted yet so I need to get that done. Ours are super similar except mine has pudding mix too. I am definitely giving your Heavy Cream suggestion a try though. Back on target… I was wondering if you’ve tried different brands of buttermilk powder or if you’ve just used the one you have pictured. I haven’t been able to experiment with different companies so I probably should soon. Thanks for your help.

    • myfoodstoragecookbook June 26, 2013 at 1:38 am #

      Oh, how funny! Yeah, it seemed a little weird but my kids had no problem taste testing hot chocolate for me even w/summer! And pudding mix in hot chocolate, sounds good!! I’ll be over to see it. 🙂

      As far as the buttermilk powder, no I haven’t tried another brand on that. I’m of the type “if it isn’t broken don’t fix it” so once I find something I like I stay pretty loyal. I’d like to say they’d all be okay but for how varied other things are (like dried milk) who knows. Let me know if you find another brand that’s acceptable and I’ll put it here in the notes for others to see.

  5. Jamie December 12, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Can you substitute coconut oil for the butter powder?

    • Megan December 12, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

      You could try it. I’m sure it wouldn’t be bad, but it would change things a lot. The flavor would be different and the simplicity of it being a “just add water” mix would be changed. If you end up liking it I’d love to hear how it turned out!

      • Jamie December 12, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

        I thought about cutting in the coconut oil with the dry ingredients. Do you think that would alter the shelf life of the buttermilk powder?

      • Megan December 12, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

        It might. The powdered dairy/egg ingredients it would combine with might present a problem. The recipes you see for things like dry biscuit mix, etc. (where the fat is cut into the mix ahead of time) never include dairy or egg in powder form, they’re always things you add later. I’d stay on the safe side and add it in as you’re making the pancakes if I were you. I think I’d be concerned of the possibility of the powdered eggs getting you really sick if their shelf life were compromised in the mix.

  6. Mother of Five May 5, 2014 at 2:00 am #

    Reblogged this on Makings of Marrow and commented:
    Making shelf stable breakfast

  7. Stacie September 23, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

    For your recipes that call for All Purpose Flour, such as this one, is it ok to substitute home ground white wheat?

    • Megan September 23, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

      Sure, you could try it. My guess is it would make the pancakes heavier, but that it would still taste good. Usually when I use wheat flour for things like this it’s at no more than 1/2 the ratio to white flour (just to pull it over on my kids). Here you have the cake flour added in as well though, so I think it would balance it out. Give it a try and write me back to tell us what you thought!

    • Janet October 19, 2015 at 8:46 pm #

      when using whole wheat flour, more baking powder is needed to lift it/make it light……I don’t remember the formula, perhaps you can google it??

  8. Harrison Smith February 9, 2015 at 10:28 pm #

    Hey Megan, I live in canada, and some of these powdered products are harder to come by. So I was wondering if I could substitute the Malted Milk Powder/Buttermilk Powder for just plain old instant powdered milk? Also I do quite a bit of camping and was wondering what’s something you think I could you to mix it up a little bit eg. dried blueberries. Thanks.

    • Megan February 10, 2015 at 10:22 am #

      Good questions. I don’t think you’ll get the same result with just powdered milk, since both the buttermilk powder and malted milk have distinct flavors of their own. If I were you (and you really wanted to use this recipe) I’d shop online rather than subsititute the powdered milk if you can’t find it locally. You can also buy a supply of pancake mix. I know the LDS church has a dry pancake mix they sell at their storehouses (open to anyone). It has a 2 year storage life and in my area it costs $5.25/ 4 lb. bag. You can just search LDS Home Storage Center + your area or go to to find it where you live. Here’s a youtube video recommendation on it. I hope this helps!

      As far as add in’s blueberries would be great (you’d need to rehydrate them first beforehand), rehydrated (dried) apples would be another. A can of cherry pie filling to have over top would be good (according to my 15 year old “eat-anything-with-cherry-pie-filling kid”), even applesauce with cinnamon over top. Just a few ideas there. Thanks for your questions.

  9. chrisnglennistine Krueger February 22, 2015 at 12:11 am #

    Can this mix be used for waffles? My son is headed to college in the fall, and I’m looking for a just add water mix that he could use in his dorm room to make his beloved Belgian waffles.

    • Megan February 22, 2015 at 9:23 am #

      I’m sure it could, I don’t see why not. Waffle batter is often just a little bit thicker, but other than that I’ve never been able to tell a difference. Nice idea sending something like this off with your son!


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