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How To Make Cake With Pancake Mix

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Ever wondered if you can bake a cake using pancake mix? Then you are at the right place!

Pancake mix can potentially make one of the most delicious atypical cakes but there are a few things that you should be careful of when doing this experiment. 

How to make a cake with pancake mix? You can use pancake mix to make all kinds of different cakes, but since the recipe of pancakes is slightly different than what you will usually find in cake batter, you may need to adjust the overall ingredients to make the cake look and taste better!

Read below to learn more about using pancake mix to make a cake, how to use it properly, what to look out for, and the differences in the end product! 

Pancake Mix Vs Cake Batter

While not common, pancake mix can be used to make a quick cake batter or to intentionally make a novelty cake!

Pancake mix contains more or less the same ingredients that go into a standard white cake. However, there are a few key differences. 

Cake batter contains less baking powder and salt but has virtually the same amount of flour. Also, pancake batter has less sugar than cake batter

So, if you are looking to make a cake out of any pancake mix then you may want to check the back of the packaging for the detailed ingredients list and sugar content. 

In the context of pancake mix, baking powder is used in larger quantities to give each pancake a fluffier texture and a slight “lift”.

In cake batter, since everything goes into the cake pan or tin together, you don’t need to add more baking powder. 

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the ingredients required to make both:

Pancake MixCake Batter
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt, or more to taste2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon white sugar1 cup white sugar
1 ¼ cups milk½ cup milk
1 large egg2 large eggs
3 tablespoons butter, melted½ cup unsalted butter

As you can see, both batters require almost the same ingredients but in different quantities. 

So, it would make sense to use pancake mix to bake a cake, just like it is possible to make pancakes using cake mixes too!

When To Use Pancake Mix

Just because you can use pancake mix doesn’t mean that you should always use it to bake cakes. 

Pancake mix can be used to make sponge cakes or even a version of three-milk cakes (using a mixture of condensed milk and whole fat milk). 

Using pancake mix can come in handy when you are in an emergency or when you want to make a quick cake without making a grocery run.

There is a list of cakes and baking products that you can make using pancake mix. Here are a few of them: 

  • Carnival-favorite funnel cake
  • Cupcakes
  • Donuts
  • Lava cakes, and much more!

Again, since cake batters and pancake mix batters are more or less the same, you can easily substitute pancake mix in almost every recipe. Of course, you may need to make a few adjustments to do this! 

First of all, since pancake mix has more baking powder and less sugar, it will be rather bland in the context of a standard cake.

Therefore, you should always add more sugar, at least 1 cup more to the batter, to make up for the difference. 

As mentioned, commercial and homemade pancake mixes can vary greatly, so if you ever have doubt, you should always check the back of the box for precise ingredient and nutrition information. 

Also, keep in mind that a pancake-mix cake will end up having different characteristics too! 

Characteristics Of A Pancake Mix Cake

For one, since the pancake mix has more baking powder in it, it will cause the cake to rapidly rise and then also deflate. This will usually be apparent when the cake is done cooking and has cooled down. 

Also, the pancake-mix cake will have varying textures and crumbliness depending on what type of pancake mix you use

Every manufacturer has a different secret recipe when it comes to pancake mix batter. If anything, you can go through different brands to see which one better fits your palette.

A great place to start would be this pancake mix which makes great cakes for any occasion! 

Perhaps the best example of getting away with using pancake mix to make cake is to bake a Kahlua Cake at home.

Here’s what you will need:


  • 2 cups pancake mix
  • 6 room temperature eggs
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1-2 tsp of butter, melted
  • 400g of condensed milk
  • Kahlua, as desired


  1. In a mixing bowl, add the pancake mix and crack in 6 eggs. Then add 1 cup of oil and 1 cup of sugar and give everything a good mix until well incorporated. Don’t whisk too much or the cake will end up being too dense due to the build-up of gluten. Just mix for a few seconds at medium speed and let it sit for 2-5 minutes. 
  2. Add butter to the bottom of the cake pan and then pour the “cake” batter into the pan and let it sit for about 10 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Once heated, place the cake tin inside the oven and bake the cake for about 40 minutes. 
  4. While the cake bakes, pour out 400g of condensed milk in a bowl or large cup and add in a splash of Kahlua. You can add more as needed but we recommend that you use smaller quantities of the beverage to keep the flavor balanced. 
  5. Once the cake has finished baking, poke it with a clean toothpick to check for doneness. If the toothpick comes out clean and without any wet batter then remove the cake from the oven and place it on the counter. Now add the condensed milk and Kahlua mixture on top of the cake while it is in the cake pan.
  6. Allow the cake to absorb the mixture (this should take 5-10 minutes). Once absorbed, gently lift and take out the cake from the pan and place it on a cake stand, leaving the excess liquid in the pan.
  7. Serve immediately and enjoy it while it is fresh! 

This cake is by far the best way to use pancake mix and we guarantee that it won’t last more than a day, especially if you and your family love cake! 

Also, you can make this cake without Kahlua too! Just add a bit of whole milk instead of Kahlua to the condensed milk and pour it over the cake as indicated above. 

Tips And Tricks

  • Pancake mix can also be used to make small muffins and even donuts. Although both baking products will have a different texture, they will still taste delicious and can be used with maple syrup too!
  • The best way to experiment with pancake mix is to start with small portions. Keep in mind that pancake mix contains more or less the same quantity of flour used in making regular cakes. This is why you should ideally measure out the same quantity of pancake mix as the required flour in a recipe.
  • Always check the back of the pancake mix to understand the sugar content of the product. Typically, regular cakes require more sugar than what is included in a pancake mix. It would also be a great idea to adjust the salt content of the cake as needed too. 
  • Remember, pancake mix is only to be used in emergencies or when you are short of the ingredients to make the cake batter. But if you have found a great go-to recipe to make cakes and other baking goods using pancake mix, then you should go for it!

Related Questions 

Pancake mix is an excellent substitute for a range of cakes and baking products. Now that you know how to use it and how it is different from cake batter, here are a few interesting related questions!

Can you make brownies using pancake mix?

Yes! Pancake mix can also be used to make several types of brownies. All you need to do is replace the flour with pancake mix and adjust the other ingredients accordingly

The additional ingredients required to make brownies would usually just be butter, sugar, chocolate, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract. No extra salt or baking powder is required! 

Can you combine pancake mix and cake mix?

Yes, but you should only do this when you are short of either ingredient.

For example, if you require a total of 3 cups of cake mix to bake a cake then you should be able to get away with using 2 cups of cake mix and 1 cup of pancake mix, with very minor differences in the end product! 

Can you only use pancake mix to make all types of cakes?

Pancake mix can make a range of different cake-related baking goods but it is always best to precisely follow the recipe and the specific ingredients as it provides the best measurements for a particular cake.

As versatile and useful as pancake mix is, it is not meant to bake professional-level or even typical cakes.

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