When you’re cooking and baking at home, it’s always important to have a good sense of what ingredients you’re handling, what you need to be doing with them, and how they will function in relation to each other. If you’re using ready-made mixes, it can get complicated, because there are a lot of different kinds out there, and their differences aren’t always immediately obvious.
Is Bisquick the same as pancake mix? Bisquick and pancake mix have a lot of similarities and they can be used almost interchangeably, but they are not completely identical. Bisquick usually contains less sugar, so it can be used for savory dishes, while pancake mix may have sugar incorporated and will not work well for savory recipes.
What’s the Difference Between Bisquick and Pancake Mix?
Bisquick and pancake mix are very similar products, but the key difference lies in the sweetener. Many pancake mixes contain a sweetening product because pancakes tend to be eaten with sweet toppings, and therefore it makes sense to sweeten the mix. Bisquick does not contain sugar.
Bisquick can be used for making pancakes, but it can also be used for many other savory options, and so there is no sugar in it. Its ingredients are usually just flour, vegetable oil, salt, and baking powder – so nothing to make it sweeter.
That means Bisquick is more versatile but lacks sweetness. If you use Bisquick to make pancakes, you may wish to add more sweet toppings, or sprinkle a little sugar into your batter to make up for the lack of sweetness. If you don’t, you might find that your pancakes taste a little funny.
Can You Use Pancake Mix Instead of Bisquick?
This depends on what you are cooking. Pancake mix will work well for all sweet recipes that call for Bisquick, because of the sugar content. You can use it to make scones, muffins, sweet breads, and waffles, but it won’t work well for breading or savory muffins.
It’s a good idea to compare your pancake mix packet with a Bisquick packet if you can, as this will give you a better idea of how these two products overlap and what the differences between them are. You’ll then know whether you need to adapt your recipe, and how likely it is to work.
If you don’t have any Bisquick to compare with, check whether your pancake mix contains sugar. If it does, determine whether your recipe is likely to stand this, or if it will make it taste strange.
What Happens If You Use Pancake Mix Instead of Bisquick in a Savory Recipe?
Sometimes, you can get away with this, as it depends on what other flavors are at play and how much sweetener is in the pancake mix. A small amount of sugar will often be unnoticeable in the final product, especially if it involves other strong flavors.
Many people have successfully used pancake mix instead of Bisquick for things like breading. In recipes where the mix will only make up a small part of the dish, it should work reasonably well. However, if you are making muffins or something where the mix will play a large role, the sweetness is likely to be noticeable.
The best way to check whether this will work is to trial a small batch. Test what the finished food tastes like, and you will know for the future whether this substitution is okay.
How Do You Make Bisquick?
If pancake mix won’t work, you can make your own Bisquick very simply, and then you won’t have to deal with additional sugar. All you need is a cup of flour, a tablespoon of vegetable oil, half a teaspoon of salt, and one and a half teaspoons of baking powder.
Combine the ingredients in a bowl, mix them well, and you’ve got Bisquick! Make sure you are ready to use it, as the baking powder will activate once wet, and its rising power will start to get used up.
How Do You Use Pancake Mix Instead of Bisquick?
If your recipe will tolerate using pancake mix because it already calls for sugar, substituting it is a simple job. You just need to reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe according to what is already in the pancake mix. Let’s look at an example for making biscuits.
Step One: Measure two cups of pancake mix into a bowl and add half a cup of milk and any seasoning that you plan to include.
Step Two: Stir gently, but do not over-mix the batter. If you are adding sugar at this stage, either leave it out or reduce the quantity to compensate for the sweetness already in the batter.
Step Three: Cover the dough with a towel and leave it for five minutes to allow the baking powder to activate. This will make the dough tender and easier to roll out.
Step Four: Roll out your dough on a floured counter, until it’s around an inch thick.
Step Five: Use a cookie cutter to cut the dough up, and then grease a cookie tray and place the shapes on the sheet, with around an inch between each one.
Step Six: Bake for up to 12 minutes at 350 degrees F. The biscuits should turn a rich gold. Remove from the oven, cool slightly, and then serve.
If you find that the biscuits are sweeter than expected, make a note to further reduce the sugar next time. This should be sufficient to turn pancake mix into a suitable replacement for Bisquick, and you can use a similar approach for other recipes where you need Bisquick.
Where sugar is involved, reduce the quantity. If the recipe doesn’t call for sugar, do a trial run to check that the pancake mix tastes okay before making big batches.
Bisquick and pancake mix are not identical products, although they are similar. Pancake mix has additional sweeteners in it, which may make it hard to substitute it for Bisquick in certain recipes.
However, you can use them almost interchangeably in dessert recipes, and you may be able to make some savory recipes with pancake mix too.