Yes, you can use boxed pancake mix to make waffles. With most store-bought pancake mixes, no extra ingredients are needed to turn the pancake batter into a waffle batter; the only difference is whether you are using a skillet or a waffle iron.
However, with a few extra ingredients, you can make your waffles more crispy, fluffy, and delectable so that everyone will think you made them from scratch.
How To Turn Pancake Mix Into Waffle Mix?
Compared to pancakes, waffles are sweeter, crispier, and thicker. This is because waffle batter usually has more ingredients than is required in a basic pancake recipe.
If you are using a boxed supermarket pancake mix to make waffles, then the first thing you can do is to just make the batter thicker than you normally would.
However, adding some of these ingredients below to your pancake mix will really improve the taste and texture of the waffles.
How to make better waffles using pancake mix:
1. Add More Sugar
Firstly, most waffle recipes tend to have more sugar than pancake mixes. So, when using a pancake mix, adding some sugar not only gives you a bit more sweetness but also helps the waffles attain their signature golden brown color.
When the waffle batter is baking, the sugar in the mix caramelizes and gives you a golden color.
Caster sugar, brown sugar, or regular white table sugar will all work. Just be careful not to add too much, as the pancake mix usually has a bit of sugar in it already.
2. Add More Oil Or Butter
Not only are waffles higher in sugar, but they also have a higher fat content. This is so that they can attain their rich, crispy texture.
Without the inadequate fat, waffles will not be as crispy and crumbly and will turn out soft and moldable like pancakes.
The fat also prevents the waffles from sticking to the waffle maker while cooking.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to adding fat to the mix.
There are people that say vegetable oil is the easiest to use and would give the waffles the best texture. And there are others that say that if you really want to get that rich flavor and irresistible smell, then butter is the way to go.
I personally like to use butter, especially clarified butter, in my waffle recipes. Yes, you do have to melt the butter first to add it to the mix, but the extra step is worth the Belgian waffle kind of buttery taste. But that said, oil or even lard works great as well.
Most pancake mix instructions already require adding some oil or butter to make the batter, so when making waffles, I recommend just doubling the required fat amount on in the instructions.
For example, I there is no oil required, add one tablespoon; if there is one tablespoon of oil required, add two instead, and so on.
3. Add More Pancake Mix
If you’ve ever made pancakes and waffles from scratch, you have probably noticed that the batters differ in consistency. Waffle mix should be thicker and less runny than pancake mix.
Waffle batter is kept thick because it has to be poured into a waffle iron, and the iron “holds” on to thicker batter better than thinner ones, which are more likely to ooze out of the iron.
So, when using pancake mix to make waffles, just add less liquid or more dry mix to achieve a slightly thicker batter.
Once you have baked your first waffle, you will know if the batter is too thin or too thick, so you can adjust accordingly.
4. Use Milk Instead Of Water
While most pancake mix instructions ask for water, using an equal part of the milk in your waffle recipe can result in richer flavor, slightly crispier edges, and more crumb texture.
When making waffles, I have found that warm, foamy milk gives the waffle that extra lightness that I really like. The milk adds a bit of richness and depth of flavor to the otherwise bland batter.
Indeed, something for you to try out, but I really think that using warmed, foamy milk is a great way to improve the flavor and texture of your waffles.
5. Add An Extra Egg
With most boxed pancake mixes, you will usually need to add one egg. However, when making waffles, I would double that or use a large egg instead.
An extra egg helps to provide the additional structure required to hold the bubbles in the batter and allow the waffle to rise. Also, the fat in the yolk gives you more flavor and richness.
But don’t add more than two eggs; that will most likely make the waffles too dense.
6. Add Vanilla Extract
One way to enhance the flavor of the boxed pancake mix is to add about half a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the batter. This classic method can help improve the taste of the waffles, making them more enjoyable to eat.
The vanilla extract can also add a pleasant aroma to the waffles and fill up your kitchen with a delicious and inviting smell.
7. Add Buttermilk
Buttermilk is an excellent ingredient to use if you want to turn your boxed pancake mix into fluffy waffles. The acidity in buttermilk helps to tenderize the proteins in the mix, resulting in a lighter, fluffier waffle.
Additionally, the fat in buttermilk adds richness and flavor that goes perfectly with maple syrup. So, if you’re looking to take your waffles up a notch, try adding some buttermilk to your mix!
To change up your standard waffle recipe is to substitute the liquid required in the instruction for an equal amount of buttermilk; if the batter is too thick, keep adding more while mixing till you have reached the desired consistency.
8. Use More Leavening
When working with a boxed pancake mix, add some extra baking powder or baking soda if using buttermilk. This will help to create more fluffy and light waffles.
Baking powder and soda will create small bubbles in the batter, which helps the waffles to rise and become lighter in texture.
1-2 teaspoons will usually be enough; if you add too much, it will make the batter bitter tasting.
9. Add A Pinch Of Salt
This might seem like a strange suggestion unless you are making savor faffles, but adding a small pinch of salt does help make your sugary waffles taste even better.
Salt is known to balance out flavors, which is why it is often used in baking, resulting in a more well-rounded flavor. A small pinch of salt will also enhance the sweetness; thus, salt plays an essential role in dessert recipes and should not be overlooked.
More Tips For Make Crispy Waffles With Pancake Mix
Pancake mix will yield crispy waffles if you add these simple ingredients above. However, besides adding ingredients, there are a few more tips and tricks that can help you turn the boxed pancake mix into rich and crispy waffles.
Make Sure The Waffle Iron Is Hot
If you don’t preheat the waffle maker, the batter won’t cook evenly, and you’ll end up with a soggy, undercooked waffle. Preheating the waffle maker ensures that the batter cooks evenly, resulting in a crispy, golden-brown waffle.
You should hear the batter sizzle on contact. The crispy crust will immediately begin to form.
So, be sure to preheat your waffle maker for at least 5-10 minutes before adding the batter.
Don’t Overmix The Batter
One of the most common mistakes when preparing waffles, as well as pancake batter, is overmixing. Overmixing results in a tough, rubbery texture due to the development of too much gluten.
To avoid this, mix the batter just until the ingredients are combined – do not continue mixing once all the lumps have disappeared, or even better, don’t worry if the batter still has some small lumps left.
Add Some Yeast
If you want to transform your boxed pancake mix into something like Belgian waffles, add a quarter of a teaspoon of dry instant yeast into your batter the night before you plan on cooking them. Cover the bowl and let it slowly rise on the kitchen counter, or pop it into the fridge overnight.
This will allow the yeast time to activate and produce carbon dioxide gas, which will help to leaven the batter and double in size, giving the waffles a light and airy Belgian-style texture.
When you’re ready to cook the waffles, simply preheat your waffle iron and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Shift The Pancake Mix
To make your waffles more fluffy, you will want to sift the dry pancake mix before adding other ingredients. This will help to aerate the flour and make the pancakes lighter and more airy.
Let The Batter Rest
When making waffles, it is a good idea to let the batter rest for 10-30 minutes before cooking.
Allowing the batter to rest will help it to thicken perfectly, as well as the gluten to relax, so you will get a very fluffy interior and crispy exterior.
If you have some leftover batter, you can refrigerate it for up to 3 days and just whisk before using.
Do Not Overfill The Waffle Iron
When making waffles, it is important not to overfill the waffle iron. This can cause the waffles to be overcooked on the outside and undercooked on the inside.
Additionally, overfilling the waffle iron can cause the batter to spill over, making a mess and potentially causing some smoke. Therefore, it is best to find the perfect size scoop or ladle to ensure that each waffle is the same size.
Don’t Peek While Cooking
This will require some trial and error to establish the perfect cooking time for the batter.
However, once you have established the cooking time (anywhere between 3-5 minutes), try not to open the waffle iron while cooking. If you do, the steam will escape, the waffles will not cook properly, and you could lose that perfect texture and crispiness.
If your waffle iron doesn’t have a timer, watch the steam coming out as you bake. Once the steam stops, the waffle should be done.
Use Clarified Butter For Baking
Most modern waffle irons are nonstick, so you don’t really need to grease them with any oil or butter. But to prevent sticking and give the waffles a nice buttery flavor without smoking, I recommend brushing the waffle maker with some clarified butter or ghee.
Clarified butter is made by heating butter until the water and milk solids evaporate, leaving only the pure butterfat. This makes it ideal for cooking, as it has a higher smoke point than regular butter.
Check out my latest video on how to make clarified butter.
Separate The Egg Whites From The Yolks
You’ll want to separate your eggs if you’re looking for a light and fluffy waffle interior. The beaten whites and yolks will give the waffles a lift, resulting in a tender texture.
When incorporating the beaten egg whites into the batter, do so gently in order to avoid deflating it. Use a spatula to fold them in until just combined.
Finish Them In The Oven
When making waffles, it is important to keep the already-made waffles warm while you finish cooking the rest. Keeping them in the hot oven keeps them warm and helps reinforce their crispiness.
Reheat the oven to 200°F ( 90°C) and place the waffles on the baking tray in a single layer, and then place them in the middle rack in the oven rack. Keep an eye on them, so they won’t get too crispy or dry out.
Add Some Toppings
Using toppings is a sure-fire way to make your waffles taste better.
There are a few different options when it comes to the best toppings for waffles.
You could go with a classic like butter, maple syrup, or honey, or you could get creative and try something new. Some other popular toppings include whipped cream, fruit, melted chocolate, nut butters, and even savory toppings like bacon or sausage.
No matter what you choose, there are bound to be some delicious results.
What Is The Best Pancake Mix For Waffles?
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There are a lot of pancake mixes on the market; some are better for pancakes, while others are better for waffles. Krusteaz, Betty Crocker Buttermilk, Pancake Mix, Pearl Milling Company Complete Pancake Mix (Aunt Jemima), and Bisquick are all excellent choices for making waffles.
However, by implementing the tips and ingredients above, you can successfully turn any ready-made boxed pancake mix into deliciously moist, fluffy, and crispy waffles.
How To Make Waffles With Pancake Mix
By adding a few simple ingredients to your pancake and waffle mix, you can create delicious waffles that will be the hit of your next breakfast or brunch. So don’t be afraid to experiment and enjoy your newly-improved waffles!