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Whether you consider yourself a novice at cooking or have been working in the kitchen for many years, not having the right ingredients can be challenging. Substitutions for most ingredients exist, and those substitutes often work just as well as the original ingredient in the recipe. For instance, if you’re making a batter for frying or baking, you might be thinking, “Can I use pancake mix instead of flour?”
You can! In fact, most baking recipes that call for all-purpose flour also use the added ingredients in pancake mix. That makes your life easier.
There are, however, some things to keep in mind.
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What is the Difference Between Flour and Pancake Mix?
While using pancake mix as a substitute for flour is possible, because of the similarities, there are a couple differences. Pancake mix and flour are both flour-based. That said, pancake mix also contains additional ingredients. For that reason, you only have to add a few ingredients when making fluffy breakfast pancakes. Flour, on the other hand, is a base ingredient.
The main difference between flour and pancake mix is this: You can control what you add to flour. Store-bought pancake mix cannot be controlled, as the ingredients are already there.
Flour is common and used for all kinds of recipes throughout the world. You see flour as a staple in many cultures. There are several varieties of flour, as well:
- All-purpose flour: This kind of flour is used in many applications—cookies, cakes, bread, biscuits, muffins, noodles, and more.
- Bread flour: Ideal for making bread, dough, English muffins, pizza crust, and more. This flour is higher in proteins and won’t come apart as easily.
- Pastry flour: Made from softer proteins, this flour is meant for more delicate crusts, such as cookies, cakes, and pie (for example 3 ingredient pie crust)
Unlike flour, most pancake mixes contain the same ingredients. You get dry flour blended with sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Usually, you will have to mix in other wet ingredients and flavorings to get pancake mix to taste exactly as you want.
Additionally, if you are going for taste, dry flour alone is bland. Dry pancake mix will be a bit salty, in comparison.
Homemade Pancake Mix
Thinking about making your own pancake mix for the occasion? Here is a healthy dry pancake mix you can easily put together:
- Combine 4 cups of flour (can be a mix of whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, buckwheat flour, or any other flour substitute) and ½ cup of either corn meal, wheat bran, wheat germ, or powdered milk. Optionally, you can use a blend of each mix-in.
- Next combine the above ingredients with ¼ cup of either coconut flour, oat flour, or potato flour.
- You can either store this mixture in an air-tight container in the freezer or continue on if making pancake batter.
- Take the dry ingredients and add baking powder, melted butter (or a neutral oil), milk, and salt. You can also add sugar if making something sweeter. Blend. If the mixture still looks dry and crumbly, add a bit more milk.
And there is your batter, ready for use.
Can I Use Pancake Mix as Flour?
You already know that you can substitute pancake mix for flour. Now, let’s discuss how to use it the right way. Any recipe that calls for flour, baking soda, and baking powder can use pancake mix. If the ingredient list has yeast in it, you won’t be able to use pancake mix as a flour substitute.
So, for instance, if you wanted to use pancake mix in an Italian bread, bubble bread, or flatbread recipe, it wouldn’t work. Cakes, cookies, frying batters, and pastries are more ideal when using pancake mix instead of flour.
Next, you want to measure out the ingredients. For every cup of flour required in the recipe, you must reduce that by 2.5 tbsp. This accounts for the leavening agents and sugar included in the pancake mix. Eggs, milk, water, or other ingredients should also be proportionately reduced.
Don’t add any further baking soda or baking powder. Avoid adding extra sugar, especially if the pancake mix already includes it. Follow the recipe exactly from there.
Can You Substitute Pancake Mix For Flour in Gravy?
Flour is often added to gravies and stews because it contains starch, a thickener. Gravies that do not have any cream or milk can benefit from thickening, since they would be too thin otherwise. Stews are made heartier when flour is added to the pot.
Pancake mix can be used in a pinch, but flour without added ingredients is always the better choice. Try to use a pancake mix with as little additives as possible, since that won’t compromise the flavor of the gravy. If all you have is buttermilk pancake mix, that’s okay. However, the buttermilk might add an unexpected tang. Whole wheat pancake mix is heavier and could change the flavor or texture of the gravy, though it could make stews more rich.
If you have to use pancake mix instead of flour in gravy, it’s best to make a slurry. Use a tablespoon of pancake mix and blend in enough water to make it a batter. Stir the slurry into the gravy slowly. Check the thickness then add more slurry as needed, though more than 2 tablespoons isn’t advisable.
Other Ways to Use Pancake Mix Instead of Flour
Having learned that yes, you can use pancake mix as flour, you’re probably itching to utilize it more often. You’re in luck. Here are several inspired ways to substitute pancake for flour:
Take any pancake mix and, instead of milk or water, use beer for the liquid. You don’t want to make the consistency too thin. Just enough to make it stick! Use the beer batter for chicken strips, fish fry batter, deep-fried fish tacos, onion rings, tempura shrimp or vegetables, and more. The options are almost endless.
Ever thought of frying dough made from pancake mix, eggs, and water? You can. And it comes out delicious.
Missing the carnival treats? Funnel cake is easy to make at home. Grab some pancake mix, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, water, and vegetable oil, and get frying.
Want a healthier version of this breakfast favorite? You can mix ripe bananas, coconut oil, and pancake mix together then bake it up as bread. It’s a treat.
Softened butter, pancake mix, and milk come together for easy scones that bake up in 25 minutes. You can add chocolate or other ingredients, like maple bacon.
Ever think about complementing onions with a slightly sweeter breading? If you prepare the pancake mix according to the directions then dip in the slices of onion, the end result is heavenly.
Egg, onion, zucchini, shredded cheese and pancake mix come together for a quick, easy, and divine quiche. Check out the recipe.
As long as you have some fish fillets, pancake mix, club soda, seasoned salt, and onion powder on hand, you can whip up some fish and chips for dinner. The club soda thickens the pancake flour and helps it stick to the fish. When fried, you get a crispy crust.
Can I use pancake mix instead of flour? That’s a question many home bakers and chefs ask themselves whenever they run out of all-purpose flour. Depending on what you’re making, the answer is usually yes. Since pancake mix contains many ingredients required for baking or cooking, it is an adequate substitute for flour.
Is pancake mix the same as flour
Pancake mix isn’t the same as flour, though it contains flour. Pancake mix is a blend of flour, leavening agents, and additional flavors or sugar.
What can you use as a substitute for flour?
There are many things you can use as a substitute for flour, including cornstarch, almond flour, coconut flour, whole wheat flour, pancake mix, and more. The substitutes you can use depend on what you’re making.