How To: All Out of Pancake Mix? Try Cake Mix Instead

All Out of Pancake Mix? Try Cake Mix Instead

If you're a frequent baker like myself, you've probably realized that one box of cake mix makes quite a bit of cake. If your goal is to make a simple Bundt or an easy dozen cupcakes, all you really need is half the box mix—which leaves the other half for another baking occasion.

On one such occasion, I decided to bake a bunch of cupcakes. Sometimes less is more, but this was a "more is more" kind of day... so I blended together all the wet ingredients for a full box's worth of cake. Then I realized that all I had in my pantry was half a box! (Cue dramatic music.)

In utter defiance of the situation, I added the dry mix anyway. As I stirred the mixture, I noticed that it was far too liquid-y to create a successful cake... but was the perfect consistency for pancakes. And that, my friends, is how I discovered that sweet, delicious pancakes can be made with cake mix—handy knowledge indeed, especially when your pancake mix is nowhere to be found.

How to Make Pancakes from Cake Mix


  • ½ box cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil


  1. Be sure to let all the ingredients reach room temperature for best results. If you begin making your pancakes while the ingredients are still cold, the batter could wind up being too thick to cook evenly. Also, if you prefer thinner pancakes versus thicker ones, you can always add milk to thin out the mixture.
  2. Mix the ingredients together.
  3. Bring a skillet to medium heat.
  4. Pour approximately ¼ cup worth of batter onto the skillet (or less if you want more petite pancakes). Ideally, you want the pancakes to be about ¼ of an inch thick so that they cook all the way through without getting burned on the outside.
  5. When slightly browned on both sides, it's time to serve.

Choosing the Flavor of Your Cake Mix

There are more cake mix flavors in the baking aisle of a grocery store than there are colors in the rainbow. Having tried out a few varieties, these have been the most crowd-pleasing when in their pancake form.

Spice Cake Pancakes

If it's cold outside, and you want the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee, try the spice cake flavor with some vanilla frosting. (A trick for frosting—if you buy a pre-made can, microwave it for 30 seconds to give it a syrup-like consistency.)

Lemon Pancakes

The delicate flavor of lemon cake translates well into pancake form, making it an excellent option for a garden-set brunch. These beg to be served on a warm, sunny day. I suggest stirring poppy seeds into the mixture for an extra layer of flavor and texture complexity.

Funfetti Pancakes

If you don't like sprinkles, I don't want anything to do with you, and neither do these pancakes. But you're in the mood for something fun and playful, break out the whipped cream to top off these bad boys!

Red Velvet Pancakes

There is something so decadent about the clean lines of cream cheese frosting across the rich crimson of a red velvet pancake. For an indulgent (and dare I say... seductive) breakfast, look no further.

Image via Shutterstock

Deciding When to Dine Upon Your Cake-Based Pancakes

Much in the same way a platypus appears to be a bird (although scientifically classified as a mammal), so too is the case with these cake-based pancakes... although they are technically breakfast, they can easily become dessert. I see them as treasured members of both the breakfast kingdom as well as the dessert realm. When it comes to this dish, don't get caught up in labels. Just enjoy the sugar-laced ride!

We at Food Hacks are quite the pancake fans. We love to brighten our breakfasts with rainbow-colored pancakes, dream up creative pancake designs, and—of course—come up with hacks to make a less sticky, more enjoyable pancake. It's a delicious obsession!

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Photos by Taylor Friedlander/Food Hacks (unless otherwise stated)

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