Can You Use Pancake Mix or Bisquick for Waffles?

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There’s nothing like waking up in the morning to the smell of fresh waffles toasting away, or pancakes, or both! Alright, so it is a lot of work, and you might be looking to cut your prep time in half. Are you wondering whether you can use pancake mix or Bisquick for waffles?

The answer will actually surprise you. Today we are examining both Bisquick and pancake mix. We’ll explain the differences, what you need to do to make waffles, and even give you a couple of quick recipes. Irons on let us go!

waffles pancakes

Waffles Vs. Pancakes | Similarities, and Differences

Cooking Method

It should come as no surprise to you that pancakes and waffles are cooked in different ways. Traditionally, pancakes are cooked on a hot plate or skillet. In contrast, waffles are cooked in a waffle iron or waffle maker.

But.

There are some other differences too! Generally, waffles are cooked at a higher temperature than pancakes. You’ll see why this is important shortly.

Taste

While similar, pancakes and waffles actually taste a little bit different. Pancakes are fairly neutral in taste. This is what makes them great to pair with both savory and sweet toppings. Waffles, on the other hand, are a lot sweeter

Appearance

Appearance is one of the biggest differences between waffles and pancakes. Pancakes are circular in shape and can be made small (called blinis) or large. They can also be fat or made really thin (in Europe, this shape is called crepes).

Waffles tend to only come in one size, and that is dictated entirely by your waffle iron. Furthermore, the standout difference is that waffles come with a criss-crossed lattice pattern imparted by the grooves in a waffle iron.

Texture

Pancakes tend to have a semi-soft texture. They also tend to be pretty floppy. Generally, the texture of a pancake remains the same all the way through.

Waffles have a tougher exterior, and if you have cooked them right, they tend to be more rigid than floppy. They also have a crispy outer layer that gives way to a soft, pancake-like center beneath. 

Toppings

The good news is that whether you make pancakes or waffles, you can top them with similar sorts of things. Here’s a quick list of tasty toppings for pancakes and waffles: –

  • Bacon and maple syrup
  • Bananas and whipped cream
  • Peanut butter and Nutella
  • Butter
  • Lemon juice and sugar
  • Fruit spread
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Vanilla ice cream

See Also: Best Pie Iron

Is There a Difference Between Pancake Mix and Waffle Mix?

Both pancake mix and waffle mix have a few similar elements. But there is a difference, and it is an important one. First, let us take a look at the common ingredients in both pancake batter and waffle mix. They are: –

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Salt 
  • Baking powder (optional)

So far, so good? Ok, here is the main difference that you’ll find in waffle batter. It has two additional ingredients compared to pancakes. Waffle batter also contains: –

  • Sugar (a fairly large amount)
  • Oil

Ever noticed how waffles tend to be crispy on the outside, but pancakes are a lot softer? This is the reason. The sugar, combined with the high heat of the waffle iron (and it should be really hot), caramelizes, creating a sort of golden brown sugar crust. The oil helps the waffles stay fluffy and also lubricates the waffle iron, preventing them from sticking.

If you’ve been making waffles using pancake mix, it isn’t the end of the world, and it will work, just. But by adding a few extra ingredients, you can elevate those waffles to the next level. 

What Makes Waffles Fluffy?

A good waffle should be fluffy on the inside and nice and crispy on the outside, and there are a few ways to achieve this taste and texture.

If you are a fan of social media, you’ll have seen the latest trend for ‘Japanese’ pancakes. These are thicker and fluffier than your usual pancake. And herein lies the secret.

We are talking egg whites. By beating egg whites until stiff and foamy, you can introduce lots of air into any recipe, including waffles. This was the traditional way they were made. In recent years this technique has fallen out of favor (because it does take considerable effort to get egg whites to the right point). Instead, you’ll tend to find that waffle mix is now made with baking powder, which fizzes and causes them to rise as they are cooked.

If you’ve used traditional pancake mix, you might find that your waffles aren’t quite as ‘puffy’. This is because normal pancakes don’t tend to use any raising agent (hardly surprising considering they are flat).

What is in Bisquick?

Remember when we talked about waffle ingredients above? Wondering if you can use Bisquick to make waffles? Well, here’s the answer.

Yes, you can!

Here’s what’s in the Bisquick mix. See if you spot anything that looks somewhat familiar: –

  • Flour
  • Fat
  • Raising Agent
  • Salt

Do you feel like you’ve seen something like this somewhere before? That’s because it is frighteningly similar to both pancake mix and waffle mix. There might be an ingredient missing, however, if you’re trying to make waffles.

Were you paying attention before? What do you think that ingredient is?

That’s right, sugar. This should give you some clues as to how to make waffles using Bisquick.

Is Bisquick Mix the Same as Pancake and Waffle Mix?

Actually, they are all surprisingly similar. As you’ll have seen above, the only real difference between Bisquick mix and pancake mix is the liquid element, but that is easily solved.

With Bisquick mix and waffle mix, you are still going to have to make a few additions. Namely sugar. But aside from that, the good news is that you can use Bisquick to make both waffles and pancakes.

Unless you enjoy particularly sweet pancakes, we’d suggest making two batches and only adding sugar to one. 

What Happens if you Put Pancake Mix in a Waffle Maker?

Nothing much. 

You might just manage to make something that is vaguely waffle-shaped. With that criss-cross pattern but that is where the similarity will end.

Here’s how it will differ if you use pancake mix in a waffle maker: –

Your waffle won’t taste as sweet. Because pancake mix doesn’t normally use sugar and waffle mix does, your waffles will taste like they are missing a certain something.

Your waffles won’t be crispy on the outside. Tell us, when was the last time that you had a crispy pancake? In order to get that slightly crunchy exterior, you’d have to cook your pancake/waffle mix for longer. This means there is a good chance that it will dry out. The sugar and oil in the waffle mix are what cause the outer layer to turn golden brown.

Your waffles might be flatter. Some pancake mix has a raising agent, some doesn’t. Depending on which type you use, you might find that your waffles are severely lacking in the thickness department. 

Making Waffles with Pancake Mix

So, you’ve assembled your pancake mix, and someone has had a change of heart and decided they want waffles instead. 

But hang on! Hold that pitcher. You can make waffles with pancake mix, but you will have to add a few ingredients while you are heating up that waffle iron.

If you’ve been reading carefully, you probably already know what they are.

To transform pancake mix into waffle mix, you will need to add: –

  • An extra egg. This will help your waffles rise a little more and get them really fluffy.
  • More oil. This will stop your waffles from sticking to your waffle maker (which can happen when cooking at a high temperature). It also acts as a sort of binding agent, allowing those puffy air bubbles to really grow big
  • Extra sugar. This will change the taste of your waffle mix slightly. It will also ensure that you get a nice golden exterior to your waffles.

Here’s a really quick recipe taking into account all of the above: –

Pancake Mix Waffle Ingredients

  • 2 cups white flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 pinch of baking powder
  • ¼ cup white sugar

Method

  1. Take a large bowl and a whisk. Break the eggs into the bowl and add the flour. Whisk until you have a really smooth (and quite stiff) paste.
  2. Beat in the oil and the milk. Add the baking powder and continue to beat until you have a smooth batter.
  3. Add the sugar and continue to beat until the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Heat your waffle iron or waffle maker and pour the batter onto the iron. Cook until the batter has turned golden brown on both sides
  5. Remove using tongs, start your next waffle cooking as you prep the first one with your choice of toppings. 

Bisquick Waffle Recipe

Bisquick waffles are actually a lot easier than pancake mix waffles.

Why? Because half of the ingredients are all combined in one box. It also contains a raising agent and salt, meaning that there are fewer steps to perform to make perfect waffles.

But remember…

Bisquick doesn’t contain sugar, so to make waffles, you will have to add your own. We also like to give our Bisquick waffle recipe a little helping hand by adding a little more oil. This practically guarantees that you’ll have a perfect crispy waffle. 

It looks something like this.

Bisquick Waffle Ingredients

  • 2 cups Bisquick
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbsp sugar.

Method

  1. Again, heat your waffle iron or waffle maker
  2. Mix the Bisquick with the milk in a large bowl, and then add your vegetable oil and egg. Once fully combined, stir in the sugar.
  3. Add a large ladleful of Bisquick waffle mix to the waffle iron and cook until both sides are deliciously brown
  4. Remove with tongs, and then serve drizzled with a topping of your choice. 

See Also: What to serve with pancakes

Which is Better for You? Waffles or Pancakes?

If you are on a health kick, then we’d probably advise against eating either. They are both fully loaded with carbs and quite a lot of fat. However, if you simply can’t do without a fried breakfast fix, then pancakes might be a better choice (but only slightly). Here’s why: –

Pancakes and waffles may look similar in size, but there is a little twist. For each pancake and waffle of a given diameter, waffles will have more calories. The reason for this is all those little ridges and crosses. They actually add a significant amount of surface area to the waffle, meaning that there is more batter in each one.

On top of this, and as we already discussed. The main difference between pancake mix and waffle mix is the inclusion of extra oil and sugar in the latter’s recipe. Oil and sugar don’t do anything to help your waistline.

Finally, you’ll find it is much easier to overdo it on the toppings when it comes to waffles. All of those little squares make for great pools of flavor. Still, they are surprisingly good at holding a vast quantity of high calorie ingredients like maple syrup.

Enjoy our Bisquick pancake recipe

Conclusion

We aren’t sure how you are feeling, but we are more than ready for breakfast. What is it to be, waffles or pancakes?

If you wanted to know can you use pancake mix or Bisquick for waffles, the answer is yes to both! Just be sure to add a little extra sugar and some more oil to make sure that you get the perfect result. Both pancake mix and Bisquick share many common elements with waffles, making them the ideal choice if you are after speeding breakfast along and making life easy.

Which do you prefer? Waffles or pancakes? Let us know in the comments below, along with your favorite toppings for each!

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