Grocery Store Pancake Mixes, Ranked Worst To Best

Since 1899, Americans have been gobbling up pancakes from pre-made mixes, according to The Nibble. It's not that pancakes — which are usually just a combination of flour, salt, baking powder, butter, eggs, and milk — are at all difficult to make. But the convenience of having a warm, fluffy pancake that takes minutes to put together is hard to resist. Top it with some syrup and your choice of fruit, and you have all the makings of a hearty breakfast. 

The staple brands have dominated the pre-made breakfast pancake mix industry, but with the rise in popularity of products for those with food intolerances or specific preferences, the market has been inundated with options for all dietary lifestyles. Whether you're gluten-free, keto, or just want your good ol' fashioned traditional pancakes, there's a mix for that. So grab a glass of orange juice and continue reading for a list of grocery store pancake mixes, ranked worst to best.

Betty Crocker Pancake Mix

Coming in as the worst pancake mix on the list is Betty Crocker's Complete Buttermilk Pancake mix. It wasn't easy to pick the lowest-performing pancake mix, because if we're being honest, it's hard to have a bad pancake that's cooked correctly. Something about fluffy dough with syrup will always be somewhat appealing. But these barely made the cut because there's not much to them. There's little flavor and a lack of texture. So while they don't offend our tastebuds, they don't delight us either. 

The good thing about this Betty Crocker mix is that all you need to do is add water. So if you're on vacation and need an easy mix that doesn't require a lot of extra ingredients, maybe you'll grab this pack simply for convenience. But that lack of additional ingredients is perhaps why these are so bland. One Amazon reviewer wrote, "It has absolutely NO buttermilk flavor," while another described these as having "absolutely no taste."

Eat at your own risk, or at least be prepared to doctor this mix up to make it even the slightest bit exciting.

Bisquick Original

Bisquick (which is sold by General Mills under the Betty Crocker brand) was the most popular brand of baking mix products in the United States in 2020, according to Statista. This is why we were quite shocked to place Bisquick Pancake & Baking Mix so low on our list. While Bisquick pancake mix may still be a pantry staple for many, other unsatisfied consumers are convinced that the company has made updates to the recipe that weren't totally successful. 

One reviewer on the Betty Crocker website said, "I have been using Bisquick every week for over 20 years to make pancakes, and something definitely changed on their recipe recently. The consistency is way off, they are not fluffy anymore and they don't taste anything like they used to." Others expressed concern about the mix possibly containing milk and egg products, which are allergens for many people. In response to these complaints, the brand assured reviewers that the recipe has not changed and that "retail Bisquick is still made without those allergens present." 

Regardless, the Bisquick mix just isn't as tasty as some of the other options on this list.

Great Value Complete Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix

It seems as though store labels have been giving brand-name products a run for their money. According to Money Crashers, some customers choose which supermarket to shop at based on the quality of their store brand! Walmart's Great Value brand is a stellar example of a competitive store brand. 

Its pancake mix is of the "just add water" sort, so we can already guess that it may need some extra sprucing up. But one reviewer on Walmart.com describes this Great Value Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix as "just a box of flour". 

At just $1.68 for a 32-ounce box (as of this writing), this is a great option for those looking to cut costs or seeking out a lower-priced pancake mix option. So maybe it's right for you. But if you do decide to take the plunge, make sure you have the salt shaker handy, because you might find that this mix needs that and a whole lot more!

Cracker Barrel Buttermilk Baking & Pancake Mix

If this were any other brand's mix, we may have ranked this Cracker Barrel Buttermilk Pancake Mix higher. But because it's supposed to taste at least somewhat similar to what you can find in a Cracker Barrel restaurant, we had to rank it a tad lower.

Cracker Barrel is a restaurant brand beloved nationwide for its rocking chairs and rich, hearty cooking. Its pre-packaged items range from jars of its flavorful spiced apple butter to boxed corn muffin mix. But the disappointment these buttermilk pancakes provide is enough to make anyone reconsider a visit to the restaurant. Perhaps because it's an all-purpose mix that is supposed to also be suitable for biscuits and other baked goods, this mix is too salty. One reviewer on Walmart.com said, "I made pancakes, tasted very salty...even with syrup. wont use or buy again."

Maybe it was a bad batch ... and maybe you'll have better luck. But chances are, you'd be better off choosing another brand while at home and letting Cracker Barrel do the cooking.

Aldi Baker's Corner All Purpose Baking Mix

We really have to give Aldi stores their props. As an international brand, Aldi has made a surprisingly big name for itself in the United States. Its store shelves are filled with tons of its own exciting items, but the focus of the day is of course on its all-purpose baking mix. When we see the words "all-purpose," we already know it's going to be a bit of a challenge to make the best pancakes because different baked goods need different levels of salt and sweetness. 

One dedicated Aldi reviewer is a big fan of this pancake mix but reminds us that using it isn't quite the same as combining your own ingredients. "In terms of ingredients, there are some. This isn't a made-from-scratch mix. It's also not a processed food from a grocer's freezer either," he says. Think of this as a middle ground between cooking from scratch and eating something totally processed.

Target Market Pantry Pancake & Waffle Mix

Since 2001, Target's in-house Market Pantry brand has been providing households with staple ingredients like cereals, snacks, and baked goods. This mix prides itself on making it "easy to whip up tasty pancakes and waffles quickly." As this is a mix that only requires water, it's guaranteed to be simple to use but perhaps lacking in flavor. 

It seems, however, that the Market Pantry team was trying to balance out the lack of flavor by adding sugar. And this is exactly what has turned some customers off. "Easy to make but not my favorite. The mix is overly sweet, so putting syrup on it makes it too much for us," said one Target reviewer. It also has a not-quite-perfect texture, which is why it lands toward the bottom of our list. If it's your only option, it's not the worst, but it's certainly not the best either.

Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free Pancake & Waffle Mix

First things first, this Arrowhead Mills Organic Pancake and Waffle Mix is gluten-free. It's also organic, so it packs a double health whammy. There are other good things about this mix but not enough to detract from the pretty major negative points we found. This is a competitive lineup, and if there are any unfavorable aspects worth sharing, then we must do the job! 

There has been zero sugar added to this mix, which could be a good thing if you prefer to add your own or have to cut back on sugar for health reasons. Because of that, it gives more savory notes until syrup is added. The texture is pretty good as well, but because rice flour is the main starch used in this mix, the pancakes pick up a bit of rice flavor, and one Kroger reviewer deemed the taste "strange." It's also not so reasonably priced at $6.29 for 26 ounces at the time of this writing, so it's an unattainable weekly pancake option for many people.

Simple Truth Keto Pancake & Waffle Mix

1883 was the year the first Kroger market opened its doors, and it's been filling customers' hearts and bellies ever since. The supermarket chain even developed its own product line called Simple Truth. According to Kroger, it consists of "affordable and delicious foods that can be enjoyed the way nature intended."

This Simple Truth Keto Pancake & Waffle Mix is a great example of what Kroger wants to accomplish with this line. It's affordable, tasty, and made with ingredients that are easy to recognize and pronounce. This particular blend is made with almond flour, eggs, and the keto-preferred sweetener Erythritol, amongst other things. 

While these keto pancakes are a wonderful choice for someone following the keto diet, if we're being 100% honest, this probably wouldn't be our pancake mix of preference, otherwise. However, this mix secured a middle spot on our list because people of all dietary lifestyles need some options, and this is a great one!

Trader Joe's Buttermilk Pancake and All Purpose Mix

When it comes to Trader Joe's products, we're convinced the grocery store company can do no wrong. Thanks to their vast assortment and delicious flavors, some items offered by the chain have developed a cult following. Many of these products are just so unique, like the Everything But the Bagel Seasoning. So with a company that is already doing so many products so well, we wondered how their pancake mix would fare. Would it stand out or just get lost in the shuffle of Trader Joe's other amazing products? Unfortunately, this mix has landed in the latter category. It is neither excellent nor horrible, but instead somewhere right in the middle. 

Become Betty agreed. The review site's verdict of Trader Joe's Buttermilk Pancake Mix was that "Nothing really stands out." It's good enough for both pancakes and waffles, and you can even tinker with the proportions of liquid to get them thicker or crispier based on your preference, but that's where the excitement ends. You won't regret picking up this pancake mix on your next TJ's run, but if your card is already full, leave it behind.

Simple Mills Almond Flour Pancake & Waffle Mix

If you told us it was possible to make yummy and soft pancakes from almond and coconut flour, we'd say it was impossible! We're not gluten-free haters, but, trust us, we have seen firsthand just how tricky it can be to get the texture and flavor right on gluten-free baked goods. So imagine our surprise at the results produced by this Simple Mills Almond Flour Original Pancake and Waffle Mix.

One Thrive Market reviewer even reported that her children preferred these over regular pancakes. Now, we should stress that you might not agree with this assessment, and you might, in fact, wish you were eating flour-based pancakes, but this mix is a stellar option for those who have intolerances. For an extra health kick, this mix is made with coconut sugar, a big plus for those who are keeping a watchful eye on their glycemic impact.

Krusteaz Light & Fluffy Buttermilk Pancake Mix

Krusteaz Light & Fluffy Buttermilk pancake mix seems to be well-rated on many shopping and review sites. As of this writing, it's also a super affordable option at around $3.61 for a 32-ounce bag. But here's what we noticed: some consumers don't get the results they desire from the mix, even after experimenting with it. And if the mix isn't prepared properly, these normally delicious pancakes quickly go from super yummy to questionable. 

One reviewer on Target said, "We found the pancakes too heavy so I adjusted the mix to water ratio. ... Customer's shouldn't have to second guess directions after paying a premium for a mix." Another complained about the texture being off, an issue that using buttermilk instead of water failed to fix.

Maybe you'll have better luck when preparing these and end up with the fluffy, light pancakes you deserve. But if you run into some trouble, don't say we didn't warn you.

Stonewall Kitchen Farmhouse Pancake & Waffle Mix

We were really terrified that this Stonewall Kitchen Farmhouse Pancake & Waffle Mix might fall flat (pun totally intended). Instead, what we found were gushing reviews, including one from a Macy's reviewer that read, "This is the only pancake mix I use now. Perfect pancakes every time." Another fan wrote that "Everyone loved the flavor" when they were served during a family breakfast. 

The special ingredient in this mix is a malted flour, which Stonewall Kitchen claims makes light and fluffy pancakes, with a luscious vanilla aroma to boot. There's also a little buttermilk in there, so you already know these will likely be delicious.

While it's still up for debate if these pancakes are good enough to justify spending over $9 for a can that makes around 19 pancakes, you can at least rest assured knowing that Stonewall Kitchen has stood behind their award-winning brand since 1991.

Annie's Homegrown Organic Pancake & Waffle Mix

Can Annie's Homegrown do any wrong? The brand is practically the innovator of organic food done well and has been giving Americans high-quality and tasty organic food since it was founded in 1989. After Annie's was bought out by food conglomerate General Mills in 2014, many fans of the brand wondered: Would it be able to keep up its level of quality as well as its high organic standards?

If this pancake and waffle mix is any indication, the answer is a resounding yes! We like what Annie's has done here, which is create a product with unbleached flour and no hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, synthetic colors, or preservatives. And the most important factor of all is that Annie's Homegrown Organic Pancake & Waffle Mix makes some great pancakes. They're big and fluffy and easy to make. 

One downside, however, according to an Influenster reviewer, is that these pancakes could use a little more flavor, so keep your (organic) vanilla extract handy!

Pearl Milling Company Buttermilk Pancake Mix

Pearl Milling Company underwent a highly publicized name change in early 2021, but the brand has made it known loud and clear that the exact same ingredients are in the box. And because it's literally the founder of prepared pancake mix, we wouldn't dare expect anything less. So how do the label's pancakes stack up against other brands on the list? Well, they're downright delicious. And you know how we've gone on and on about how the "just add water" mixes are often lacking in flavor and sometimes even texture? Those issues are totally nonexistent with Pearl Milling Company's Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix.

This is a great pancake mix that would probably work as an all-purpose mix for other baked goods too. And if you feel as though you want to step it up a notch, add your own sugar and oil to make these extra sweet and crispy as one Amazon reviewer does!

Birch Benders Plant Protein Pancake & Waffle Mix

Let's get one thing straight: you can't eat pancakes made from this Birch Benders Plant Protein Pancake Mix and expect them to taste the same as any other box buttermilk pancake mix. If you do, you'll be in for a letdown. But, for a vegan and protein-loaded pancake, these are most likely your best bet. The added protein in the mix comes from peas, which aids in gut and heart health, among other things, according to Healthline.

The mix has an average 4.8 out of 5 stars on Target.com, where it's been rated by 90 customers, so that should give you some indication as to just how good these pancakes are. They're delicious on their own, but some Target reviewers have paired them with sliced bananas and peanut butter because ... protein. Birch Benders actually has a few other pancake mix options, so take your pick based on your dietary preferences because they're all tasty!

Pioneer Brand Buttermilk Baking Mix

Sometimes less is more, especially when it comes to pancake mixes. Pioneer brand pancake mix doesn't pretend to be anything it's not. Maybe it's not whole grain, keto, vegan, or low in sugar, but with a product this good, it really doesn't need to be. Instead, it delivers really flavorful and fluffy pancakes. But this mix also does double duty as a baking mix, so if you want to throw together some biscuits or scones, you also have these breakfast possibilities. One Amazon reviewer raved, "Light and fluffy pancakes. I've purchased many boxed pancake mixes in my lifetime. This is the best so far. Can't wait to try the biscuits."

While this may be a more straightforward pancake mix that doesn't necessarily cater to health food aficionados, one reviewer wasn't thrilled about the 2 grams of trans fat per serving, which is the daily recommended limit for those who consume 2,000 calories a day.

Hungry Jack Complete Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix

We don't know who Hungry Jack is, or why he's so hungry, but if we were in his shoes and could eat these pancakes every day, we'd never go hungry! These Hungry Jack buttermilk pancakes are mega fluffy, and they really show why this pancake mix has been popular for decades. On Influenster, it has 4.7 out of 5 stars! It doesn't get fluffier than this, and that's really one of the most important factors when rating pancakes. 

But here's why we rated it so high on our list: out of all the other complete pancake mixes that suggest you add only water, this one is the most flavorful. One Influenster reviewer still suggested adding milk, but for many others, it's perfect as is. Another reviewer wrote, "People rave about my pancakes, don't tell them it's just Hungry Jack and water."

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake Mix

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free pancake mix has an average customer rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Walmart.com because it's one of the best gluten-free pancake mixes out there. It's tasty indeed, but it's also one of the pricier options on our list coming in at $8 for a one-pound bag at the time of this writing. "Expensive, but versatile," as described by one Walmart reviewer. So what else can you do with a one-pound bag of pancake mix? Why, you could try making other baked goods as well. This mix will work as a base for biscuits and any other gluten-free baked goods. 

But it ranks so high on our list because it makes a darn good pancake, gluten-free or otherwise. Instead of that grainy and flat texture that can sometimes come from gluten-free baked goods, these pancakes are simply delicious and fluffy. 

Maple Grove Farms of Vermont Buttermilk & Honey Pancake & Waffle Mix

Maple Grove Farms Buttermilk and Honey Pancake and Waffle Mix is simply delicious. The brand has not tinkered too much with a good thing and has instead opted to let the quality ingredients shine. We especially love that while it is a standard wheat flour-based mix, it contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, so it feels a little better than some of the other mass-produced mixes. 

It can be tiring to hear about the benefits of healthy food, but studies have shown that some additives — artificial preservatives, for example — can lead to certain forms of cancer, according to Global News Canada. The lack of such additives here is precisely what one Amazon reviewer loved about this mix. "A tiny extra step compared to mass marketed brands 'complete' pancake mixes, but the sweet spot to this wonderful batter mix, outside of the taste, is that it has no additives or preservatives to dope up the mix (and your insides) with," they wrote. So you can really enjoy your pancakes, especially knowing they're a little bit safer than other brands.