Can You Refrigerate Pancake Batter? | What You Should Know

Pancakes are one of those traditional breakfast foods enjoyed by many people and can be eaten at any time, day or night. But suppose you make more pancake batter than you need. Do you have to throw it away, or can you refrigerate it for use at another time?

You can refrigerate pancake batter and use it for at least four days. However, how long it lasts depends on the ingredients used, how it is made, and how it is stored for those four days. 

Keep reading to find out how to make pancake batter either ahead of time or to store unused portions when you make too much. The secret to how long it keeps depends on the type of leavening agent used.

Pancake batter and 2% milk in a fridge

Can You Refrigerate Pancake Batter Made With Baking Powder?

Pancake batter made the old-fashioned way from scratch using self-rising flour or all-purpose flour with baking powder, eggs, and milk can be used after being stored in the refrigerator for four days. 

I made pancakes four days ago and refrigerated the leftover batter. This morning, I made a pancake that tasted just like the pancakes I had made before and rose as high as those first pancakes.

A homemade pancake with a pat of butter on a blue plate

The picture shown above is a picture of the pancake I made this morning. It turned out light, fluffy and rose at least ½ inch in height.

The beauty of using baking powder as the leavening agent in pancakes is that it is a “double-action” leavening agent that can react a second time. 

  • When the batter is combined is the first time the leavening agent works. 
  • When the batter is subjected to heat as it is poured into a skillet to cook, the baking powder reacts again, making the batter rise a second time.

So, how does baking powder work? 

  • Baking powder combines two ingredients, sodium bicarbonate, and a powdered acid. 
  • When baking powder is mixed with wet ingredients, a chemical action occurs. 
  • That chemical action creates carbon dioxide gas that works to inflate the ingredients.

By the way, I always make my pancakes with self-rising flour. To see my simple 3-ingredient recipe, follow this link

Can You Refrigerate Pancake Batter Made With Baking Soda?

You can also refrigerate pancake batter made with baking soda. But, unfortunately, baking soda is not a double-action leavening agent. Baking soda will only rise one time.

Because baking soda rises only once when the ingredients are combined and the batter made, pancakes that are made immediately will rise high, light, and fluffy.

Unfortunately, the batter made with baking soda stored to use later will not rise a second time, but it will still taste good. Pancakes made with leftover batter leavened with baking soda will be flat.

Can You Refrigerate Pancake Batter Made With Yeast?

Pancake batter made with yeast can be refrigerated for use at a later time. Although yeast pancakes are rare in my part of the country, making pancakes with yeast as the leavening agent is a great idea.

Yeast is not single action like baking soda, nor is it double action like baking powder. Yeast will not stop being active.

One difference in using yeast to make pancake batter is that once refrigerated; it must be taken out of the refrigerator at least 2 to 3 hours before it will be used. This will give the yeast time to rise so that the pancakes will be light and fluffy. Refrigeration slows down the rising action of yeast but doesn’t stop it.

Can You Refrigerate Pancake Batter Made With Pancake Mix?

Pancake-Batter-in-a-Measuring-Cup

My experience with trying to save leftover pancake batter made with a packaged pancake mix has yet to be very successful. The few times I have refrigerated this type of excess batter, the batter turned gray by the next day and looked highly unappetizing.

Some types of boxed or packaged pancake mix can be refrigerated and saved to use another day, but not the ones I have tried.

Can You Refrigerate Crepe Batter?

If you prefer crepes or thin pancakes, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that this type of batter can be refrigerated for use at a later time. It will taste even better after being refrigerated.

Since batter for crepes and thin pancakes isn’t made with a leavening agent, it is easy to store and use for several days without any significant changes in how the crepes and pancakes look and taste.

Best Way To Store Pancake Batter

To maintain the best taste and texture when storing pancake batter to use later and to protect against food-borne illness, pancake batter must be refrigerated as soon after making it as possible. According to the FDA, “never allow… any foods that require refrigeration to sit at room temperature for more than two hours–one hour if the temperature is above 90℉.”

Pancake batter that contains eggs and milk should be put into an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator within two hours after it is first made.

Can Pancakes Be Frozen?

The extra pancake batter can be refrigerated to use at another time, and the extra batter can also be cooked and the pancakes frozen.

Frozen pancakes can be stored in freezer-safe plastic bags or containers for up to 3 months.

To use the frozen pancakes, remove them from the freezer and heat them in a toaster to have a delicious breakfast that is fast and easy to make.

For more information, take a look at my video on making your own toaster pancakes and French toast.

Final Thoughts

Nothing is better than having “breakfast” for supper, especially on a cold winter evening. And a big plus is that pancakes are quick and easy to make. 

But, if you plan to make a large batch of pancake batter to refrigerate leftovers for later, be sure to use a recipe that calls for a leavening agent that will rise after being refrigerated. 

Or, try making crepes or flat pancakes so that whether the batter rises a second time will not be an issue.

Thanks for stoppin’ by!

Jelly Grandma

For more, check out Can You Store Leftover Pancake Batter? (What to Do With It).

Anne James

Hi, I'm Anne but my grandchildren call me Jelly Grandma. I have over 50 years of experience as a Southern cook and am a retired librarian. I love sharing what I have learned. You can find me on YouTube as well! Just click the link at the bottom of your page.

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