Pancakes are a quintessential breakfast item that are easy to make and most kids love, but even the typical pancake can get boring. Baking pancake muffins requires less work, allows for more variety in one batch, you can eat them your hands and they are a good to-go breakfast item. Though pancake-making might be considered an art, making pancakes in a muffin tin are almost goof-proof.
1. Pancake Mix
Most food stores carry pancake mix and you can use any prepackaged pancake mix to bake muffins. Recipes vary, but the main ingredients in pancake mix are eggs, flour, milk, baking powder, salt, sugar and oil. The benefit to making your own pancake mix is that you can adjust it to suit any dietary needs you or your family have. Make the dry mix ahead of time and you only need to add the wet ingredients when you are ready to bake. If you prefer to purchase a ready mix at the store, find a brand that requires adding oil, milk and egg to the pancake mix for tasty, fluffy pancakes.
You don’t need to use typical all-purpose flour to for a pancake mix. You can use gluten-free flours, such as garbanzo bean, amaranth, oat, buckwheat or gluten-free all-purpose, instead. Try mixing two different kinds of flour to achieve different flavors. Make the pancake mix dairy or lactose-free by using almond, soy or coconut milk in place of cow's milk. Use coconut cream for recipes that call for butter. Substitute sugar with pure maple syrup for a 'no added sugar' version. For every tablespoon of sugar, use 2 and 1/4 teaspoons of maple syrup and add it when the recipe calls for the wet ingredients. Go eggless by using 1/3 cup of applesauce, 1/2 pureed banana or 1/4 cup of yogurt.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the pancake mix in a bowl and add the wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly but do not over mix, because you want the pancake batter to be fluffy. Add other ingredients, such as nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, peanut butter, pieces of fruit or bits of meat, and gently stir together. If you want to make muffins with different additions, either separate the batter or add the ingredients as toppings once you have poured the batter into the muffin tin. Grease the muffin tin or use muffin cup liners.
4. Baking and Storing
Spoon the pancake batter into each muffin cup until each cup is 3/4 full. Add your toppings, if applicable. Bake the pancake muffins for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the tin for 10 to 15 minutes before taking them out. You can eat pancake muffins warm, drizzled with maple syrup or honey, at room temperature or cold. Store any leftover muffins in an airtight container on the counter for one to two days, in the refrigerator for one week or in the freezer for up to two months, as recommended by Community Food Share.
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