{make it with me} Cook’s Country Better-Than-The-Box Pancake Mix

April 26, 2010

I’ve been wanting to make these Cook’s Country Better-Than-The-Box Pancake Mix for ages, I just never had all of the ingredients on hand. Honestly, the ingredients list is a little high maintenance. (Do you keep milk powder and malted milk powder on hand? Or even cake flour, for that matter?) But I figured that once I finally had everything in the pantry, I could make a big batch to keep in the freezer. And last weekend, with everything finally on hand, I got to it.

I’m not sure what to say about these. They were definitely delicious. And they come out remarkably fluffy. But the best pancakes I’ve ever had? Can’t say so. And considering the recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen, I find that kind of disappointing.

It could be that I’m being hard on these pancakes because I waited so long to get all of the ingredients and finally make them. You know, like when you get super psyched for a movie way in advance. Your expectations get higher and higher and then… wah wah wah. But, seriously, don’t you think that you should be wowed by a pancake recipes that requires you to get malted milk powder? I mean what else can you make with that stuff (no, seriously—what else? I have a lot left and all I can think of is ice cream)?

Have you made these? What do you think? Who’s willing to try these out and report back? I hope I haven’t discouraged you completely. For the record, the Hungry Family really enjoyed these. A lot. More evidence that my disappointment had more to do with overly high expectations than with the recipe itself.

If you have the ingredients on hand, it’s definitely worth a shot. If you don’t, but you’re in search of the great American pancake, I still think this is worth a shot. You’ll learn from the process. And if you decide against making these, is it because you already have a pancake recipe you love? If so, do share.

Cook’s Country Better-Than-The-Box Pancake Mix
Makes about 6 cups of mix, enough for 3 batches of 8 pancakes

2 c all-purpose flour
2 c cake flour
1 c non-fat milk powder
3/4 c malted milk powder
1/3 c sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp salt
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces

1. Process all ingredients in food processor until no lumps remain and mixture is texture of wet sand, about 2 minutes. Freeze in airtight container for up to 2 months.

Cook’s Country Better-Than-The-Box Panckes
makes 8 pancakes
(can be served to kids 8+ mos)*

2 c Better-Than-The-Box Pancake mix
2 large eggs, lightly beated
1/2 c buttermilk**
oil (I used canola) for greasing pan or griddle

1. Whisk together pancake mix, eggs and buttermilk in large bowl until smooth. Pour ¼-cup portions of pancake batter onto lightly oiled large nonstick skillet or griddle and cook over medium-low heat until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining batter as desired. Serve.

*Note: These pancakes are not melt-in-your-mouth food. They are fluffy and cakey and need to be chewed, so only serve to kids who can manage such finger foods. And always be sure to cut into age-appropriate bite size pieces.

**Note: If you don’t have buttermilk, make clabbered milk by whisking ½ tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice into ½ cup whole or low-fat milk and letting the mixture thicken for 10 minutes.

16 Responses

  1. eensies mama says:

    try bittman’s Basic Pancake recipe- perfection! They’re fluffy, but also get that crispiness around the outside that makes biting in heavenly. OMG, now i want pancakes and it’s 8:45PM AND i just ate dinner- damn you hungry mama!

  2. barb says:

    These look fantastic thank you for the recipe! I added 1 tsp of cinnamon to my mix & orange zest. When I make them up I’m going to add 1/2 tsp vanilla to the batter as I have to have a hint of vanilla in my pancakes. I have a giveaway on my blog if you want to check it out. $40 CSN Stores Egift.

  3. DailyChef says:

    Delicious! A good pancake mix is worth its weight in gold 🙂

  4. kate says:

    Thanks! I find so many food blogs seem to love everything they post and I love the handful I’ve found who are also willing to post the “I’m not sure I’d bother” recipes too. I hate to say it, but I think the trader joes multigrain mix is a great one to have on hand. and I do like bittman’s if I want something from scratch!

  5. Rosie says:

    No way am I buying all that just for pancakes and like the first poster, find Bittman’s recipe to be perfect. But…but…I do have to recommend the oatmeal pancakes I came across on Orangette a couple of months ago. They are DELICIOUS! You soak 2 cups of oats in 2 cups of buttermilk overnight, add a stick of melted butter in the morning, a couple of eggs and a small amount of flour (I also add a dash of cinnamon and then slices of banana while they are on the griddle. They are soooo good and we’ve been making those ever since. One weekend, we made them on both Saturday AND Sunday-they are that good.

  6. One Hungry Mama says:

    Go Bittman! I got other recommendations for his recipe on Twitter, too. And that Orangette recipe sounds AMAZING. Coming soon, friends… coming soon!

  7. Yummmmm. I love how fluffy and big they are.

  8. Matt Guilanians says:

    I’ve made these twice now. The first time they were too fluffy. The second time I changed the ratio to 2.5 c AP and 1.5 c Cake Flour but still too fluffy. Trying to figure out if I need to up the moisture or further up the AP-to-Cake Flour ratio for more protein. They taste great but are so cakey and fluffy that they are almost like powder.

  9. One Hungry Mama says:

    yea, right?! there is something off about these to me. (and it sounds like to you, too, right?) I agree that the taste is good, but… i don’t know. i haven’t been as ambitious as you to keep trying them (partly b/c i made a huge batch and still have just a little bit of mix left in the freezer). please post more if you do any more tinkering and hit on something. would love to hear. thanks, matt!

  10. Talisha Jura says:

    It’s easy to make your own healthy and downy homemade Denny’s flapjacks with this easy-to-follow Denny’s flannel cake recipe with healthy ingredients, such as Whole Wheat Flour and Canola Oil, served with a dollop of cream cheese and perfect maple syrup or beloved , or create your own healthy griddlecake toppings.

  11. Spencer says:

    So… I have always wanted to make home made pancakes, and I even got a dispenser to use:

    Chicago Metallic 4-Cup Capacity Batter Dispenser

    I followed the directions to a “T” and the batter ended up too thick, so I thined it out with a bit more butter milk, some regular milk, and watter (I was tring to keep the flavor while trying to have it work with my Dispenser).

    I had a bunch of friends over, and they love these… Thanks a bunch!

  12. Okay, I have been planning on making these for quite awhile since I saw the recipe segment on Cook’s Country. I love to cook and try out new recipes. I seriously thought these were terrible. I am a huge Cook’s Illustrated/ATK fan, and was really disappointed. I came here to check the ingredients thinking that perhaps I had written them down wrong, but alas that was not the problem.

    The batter was way too thick. A ratio of two cups of mix to only 1/2 cup of liquid (plus eggs)?? I doubled the amount of milk and I still thought they tasted dry. Before adding the additional milk, they weren’t even pourable, they were so thick. I feel like I must have done something wrong, but I can’t think what it could have been. When I usually make homemade pancakes, the ratio is closer to 1:1 flour vs. milk, and the recipes usually use melted butter. I’m trying to figure out in my head where I went wrong but am perplexed. Ah well. Back to my standby. My favorite pancake recipe (we make pancakes almost every weekend) is the recipe at Umami Girl’s blog. I make them with half AP flour and half white whole wheat flour.

  13. Sarah says:

    Skip the mix recipes. Find a pancake recipe you like and make your own mix, separating wet vs dry for storage. I do use cake flour in mine but not the malted milk powder, using 2 tsp malt syrup in the final batter. (I keep malt syrup for bread baking) I also don’t use all butter but a butter/oil combo

  14. uncabob says:

    watch the AP flour … King Arthur has too much protein for this recipe. great for bread, though.

  15. gibroni says:

    I’ve experimented with pancake recipes since I fell in love with a girl that lives Denny’s pancakes. I took my go to recipe and subbed in cake flour instead of AP and powdered sugar for granulated. This does make them spongier like the chain diners but I prefer the taste of mine. Alton Brown’s recipe is good also. This weekend I’m going to try the recipe above and I’m going to search for Bitman’s a couple of you mentioned.

  16. gibroni says:

    I just found Mark Bitman’s everyday pancake recipe and it’s almost identical to the roadside diner pancake recipe I’ve been using. He uses 2 tsp. baking powder and I use 1 and 1 tsp. baking powder and an extra tbsp. sugar. I also add cinnamon and vanilla.

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