Although waffles and pancakes are fundamentally similar, they are prepared and cooked differently. When you run out of ingredients for fresh pancakes, there might be an easier alternative that you can use to get more or less the same fluffy, chewy and delicious pancakes!
Using waffle mix to make pancakes is possible. Waffle mix contains all of the basic ingredients necessary to make airy and delicious pancakes. All you need to do is adjust some ingredients and cook it in a pan rather than a waffle iron. Here’s what you need to know about the differences between pancakes and waffle batter, and how to cook them both!
The Differences Between Pancake And Waffle Batter
There are many similarities between waffles and pancakes. This is because both of these foods are considered quick breads. The term “quick bread” refers to any baking product that is leavened without yeast by adding baking powder or baking soda. Bakers can quickly make flour-based goods without waiting for the mixture to proof with chemical leavening.
Waffle Batter Basics
We need to clear up a few technical aspects of waffles before we can talk about how to make pancakes with waffle batter.
Most people make waffles using two main methods:
The batter method
Method of dough
The batter method is a classic and straightforward way to make delicious waffles – it’s also similar to pancakes.
A pancake batter is made with flour, salt, sugar, buttermilk, melted butter, eggs, baking soda, baking powder, milk, and vanilla extract.
Waffles, however, require a bit more fat and sugar than pancakes, which is a fundamental difference between waffles and pancakes.
Extra fat and sugar add fluffiness and crispiness to waffles while caramelizing the exterior and adding that distinct crisp that waffles are known for.
Meanwhile, the dough method calls for yeast dough that must be proofed like bread dough, which differs from regular pancake recipes.
Waffles made using this method are usually considered classic and authentic Belgian waffles (more on this below).
However, with commercial waffle mixes, you’re more likely to use the batter method than the dough method (unless the box specifies otherwise) – so you may even be able to use it to make pancakes as well!
How Is Each Batter Different?
Using pancake mix to make waffles would be similar to using waffle mix to make pancakes.
In order to help you understand, we’ve listed the best available mixes for each category along with their main ingredients.
Contains enriched bleached flour, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, salt, dextrose, soybean oil, isolated soy protein, and natural flavor.
It contains enriched bleached flour, sugar, dextrose, leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate), modified food starch, salt, soybean oil, egg whites, and buttermilk.
Except for the highlighted ingredients at the bottom, both recipes share the exact same ingredients.
The different ingredients alter the texture of each product to give it a slightly different feel.
Waffles will require extra fat from egg yolks and more oil than a typical serving of pancakes due to the addition of egg whites and starch.
There are times when pancake batter might not be suitable for making waffles, especially when the resulting mixture is runnier.
To counter this, you can add more dry ingredients, but this might affect the final product’s flavor and texture.
However, in an emergency, you may be able to use pancake mix to make waffles and vice versa if you decide to use either mix.
How to Make Pancakes Using Waffle Mix
You can make pancakes with any waffle mix! We recommend using this waffle mix.
Mix the dry waffle mix and all the other ingredients according to the package directions. When making pancakes, you might want to cut back on the oil and eggs.
For great pancakes, start with half the eggs and oil indicated on the waffle mix packaging.
For added convenience, most mixes call for water instead of milk, however you can use milk or a milk substitute instead. Adding milk will result in fluffier pancakes, as well as adding a slightly richer texture.
A medium-hot griddle should be heated and the batter poured on once it has been mixed. Whisk the batter until homogeneous, then spray it lightly with cooking spray.
On each side, you should cook for 11 minutes.
Once you see bubbles at the top of the pancake, the bottom has cooked. Gently lift a side with a spatula to check.
Cook the pancake for 15-30 more seconds if you need it to have a golden crust, otherwise flip it over and cook it on the other side.
In the event that both sides have been cooked, repeat the above steps for the remaining batter and enjoy with a generous drizzle of maple syrup and a piece of butter.
Notable Differences In Final Product
If you use waffle mix to make pancakes, you might notice the following differences:
It might be a bit chewier than usual for the pancakes.
You may not be able to soak up the condiments you add to the pancakes since they are not as porous.
It may be a bit crispier on the sides and center of the pancakes.
Most people may not notice these differences, but if you look closely, you will find slight differences in texture – but the flavor will be the same in both cases.
How To Make Waffles Using Pancake Mix
After discussing how to make pancakes from waffle mix, it’s time to discuss the opposite.
Understanding how to use each product in certain conditions will help you understand the subtle differences between them.
Using this pancake mix, we will make crispy waffles. Pre-heat your waffle iron at your preferred setting. We recommend going with light brown toast on each side.
For waffles, use 3 cups of pancake mix instead of 2 cups for pancakes. For example, if the recipe calls for 2 cups of pancake mix to make a serving of pancakes, use 3 cups for waffles.
Prepare all ingredients according to the package instructions.
It is recommended that you use double the additional ingredients as needed per serving. For example, if the recipe requires 1 egg and 1.5 tbsp of oil, you should use 2 eggs and 3 tbsp oil.
Make the waffle iron ready by spraying some oil over the cooking surface. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until you get a smooth batter.
Fill the waffle iron with batter and tightly close it up. Most waffle irons have a flip indicator, but if yours does not, then just wait until it lights up.
Then, carefully remove the prepared waffle and repeat the steps above for the remaining batter. You can also serve the waffles with sliced fruit, maple syrup, butter, etc.
Pancake mix should work fine for waffles, but there are a few key differences to be aware of:
There may be a noticeable difference in the chewiness of the waffles.
There will be more maple syrup or any condiment on the waffles than usual.
Waffle pockets may be crispier than the rest of the waffle.
Although a blind taste test might not notice the differences, most people might be able to detect slight differences, but will they pass as waffles? Yes.
Using Homemade Batter Interchangeably
We have talked a lot about pre-made and commercial mixes, but what about homemade waffle and pancake batter? Can the same fluidity be applied?
There are a few considerations you will have to take into account, but the short answer is yes!
The first thing to keep in mind is that you can’t make pancakes the same way you make Belgian waffles.
If you want to make pancakes from scratch, you should make a new batch from scratch rather than cooking a dough.
A typical batter can usually be used to make pancakes or waffles when used as directed.
However, you will only need to add more eggs and oil to make waffles fluffy and crispy if you use pancake batter.
Since waffle batter already contains extra eggs and oil, making pancakes with that batter will be challenging.
If you prepare waffle batter and decide to make pancakes, you can easily adjust the recipe by increasing the serving size by matching the added eggs and oil.
As a result, more pancakes will be made, but at least the final result won’t differ in texture.
You can also adjust the ingredients according to your preferences when making homemade batter.
By using homemade batter, you will also gain a better understanding of the differences between the different products and the processes involved!
More Tips And Tricks
The batter for waffles and pancakes is similar, but both require a little extra attention. Here are some tips to maximize your experience:
You can add buttermilk to pancakes and waffles to make them even more delicious and crispier. But make sure the mix already has buttermilk in it.
You might want to turn your waffle iron down when making waffles with pancake mix. The pancake mix may contain additional egg whites that will quickly caramelize the exterior.
Whenever you are using different types of mixes, always make a test batch using the first iteration of the batter. You can then adjust it according to the characteristics you need.
To make pancakes and waffles richer and crispier, replace oil with unsalted butter at room temperature.
In spite of the fact that it’s not necessary, it’s a good idea to sift the commercial mixes in order to minimize the chances of lumps forming in the dough. These lumps can cause texture inconsistencies in the finished product, especially if you overmix them.
In an emergency, you can use waffle mix to make pancakes, but you must always adjust the ingredients to make each product retain its unique characteristics.
Following your knowledge of waffle-mix pancakes, here are some related questions:
Do pancakes’ shelf lives or storage indications change if they are made with waffle mix?
It doesn’t matter which mix you use. Just put the leftovers into an airtight bag and store them in the refrigerator or freezer.
Ideally, consume within 1 to 2 days (frozen) or 3 to 4 weeks (fridge). Reheat using a griddle or waffle iron to maintain the best flavor and texture.
Should I use cold or warm milk for the pancake mix?
Most pancake mixes call for cold water to help relax the gluten in the batter and make fluffy, delicious pancakes.
We recommend mixing room temperature milk into cold milk instead of water, but you can also use cold milk instead of water.
Should I add baking soda to the waffle mix?
You won’t need baking soda when making waffles because it may cause them to puff up more than necessary – but you might find it useful when making pancakes.
To make pancakes puffier, add just a light pinch of baking soda to waffle mix when making pancakes.
Besides aerating the finished product, this will also result in deliciously chewy pancakes.