Making Your Own Convenience Food Mixes

Pancakes for convenience mixes

As a stay-at-home mama to a highly active 2 year-old daughter, and our “coming into his own” and very mobile 9 month-old son, Jonathan, I know how tempting it can be to reach for the convenience foods while grocery shopping. However, I’ve found that with a little planning I can make many convenience foods from scratch at home. We’ve found this to be a great way to streamline our time in the kitchen.

One of our favorite quick fix breakfast recipes is this Oatmeal Cinnamon Pancake Mix. The flavor of these pancakes is delicious, but I think my favorite part is that one large batch of the mix lasts our family about a month. Once the mix is complete it takes very little time to make pancakes for breakfast from scratch.

A jar of this pancake mix also makes a great housewarming, new baby, or holiday gift.

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Oatmeal Cinnamon Pancake Mix Recipe

Course: Breakfast
Author: Ann Timm


  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar or other dry sweetener
  • 1 cup instant dry nonfat milk
  • 3 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Oatmeal Cinnamon Pancakes

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 2 cups of Oatmeal Cinnamon Pancake Mix recipe above
  • 1 cup water
  • Optional: one mashed banana or fruit of your choice


To make pancake mix

  • Mix pancake mix ingredients together in a large bowl. I use my hands to make sure the brown sugar is mixed in well. Store the mix at room temperature in an airtight container or gallon-sized freezer bag.

To make pancakes

  • Beat eggs in a large bowl. Gradually beat in applesauce. Alternately add mix and water to mixture. Blend well. Preheat and oil griddle. Pour 1/3 cup batter per pancake. Cook until bubbles form around edges, flip and cook until done.


Mix yields 10 cups. Pancake recipe yields about 10 pancakes

If you would prefer, I believe that you could probably leave out the powdered milk in making the mix, and instead substitute 1 cup of milk for the cup of water when mixing it up in the morning. Another option might be to use 1 cup of buttermilk, kefir or watered down yogurt instead, but add it the night before in order to soak the flour. I haven’t tried this myself, but I don’t think it would be difficult to play around and find a way to make it work!

Here are a few other ideas for streamlining your time in the kitchen.

– Freeze cooked portions of meat for adding to tacos, pizza, pasta sauce, and soups.
– Chop and freeze raw onions and peppers for tacos and fajitas.
– Freeze cooked portions of brown rice for tacos, stir-fry, and soups.
– Cook and freeze beans for tacos, beans and rice, brownies and more.
– Freeze fresh fruit like strawberries and banana slices for baking and smoothies.
– Make your own cake mixes.

How do you save time in the kitchen while still cooking from scratch?

Allyson is the happy wife of Tim  and stay-at-home mama to Emahry (2 years) and Jonathan (9 months). She and her husband strive to bring glory to God as they live, love, and learn together. Allyson regularly blogs about family, faith, frugality, and her journey as a wife and mom at A Heart for Home.

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  1. Let me see if I understand correctly. I leave out the powered milk and when I make up a batch- I’ll add one cup almond milk [I am lactose intolerant] and that would be the right “texture”? Or would I have to add a tablespoon of flour or something to substitue for the texture of the instant dry milk?

  2. Thanks so much for posting this. I had no idea I could save my batter or mixes. This will save me so much time in the kitchen.

  3. I just wanted to let you know, I tried this recipe this morning. I left out the powdered milk and used milk instead of water. I also used olive oil instead of applesauce. I used 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour instead of some white and some wheat. I cooked the pancakes in coconut oil. I served them with a little butter and honey. They were awesome! I will store the dry mix in the freezer as flour goes rancid very quickly. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Mab, I think that because any sort of milk (even a nut milk) is a bit thicker in texture than water, it will even things out and make up for the lack of powdered milk in the recipe. Looks like Nancy (a couple comments below yours) tried substituting it that way and she had success with it!

    Nancy, thanks for letting us know how it worked for you! I’m glad to hear that the milk substitution worked as I thought it might. 🙂

  5. Thanks so much for sharing! I’m going to make some batches for me and some to give as homecoming gifts for new mothers in our MOMS Club.

    A book suggestion that I picked up this week at our library is “More Make Your Own Groceries” by Daphne Metaxas Hartwig. This is a whole book dedicated to making & filling your pantry with “convenience mixes” you’d normally find in the grocery store.

    A site you may enjoy is http://homejoys.blogspot.com under “Readers Share”. She’s posted many from scratch spice mixes that have worked out well for me.

    Thanks again 🙂

  6. I saw your pancake mix recipe and thought I’d let you know about our website http://www.mixameal.com where we show people how to save time and money by making mixes out of basic dehydrated foods. We have a few free recipes to try. They work out great for emergencies, RVs, camping, or gift giving.

  7. I made these up this morning, and I have to say I was impressed. These are far better than any store bought mix I’ve ever tried. I didn’t use any fruit or chocolate chips because I wanted to first see how they stood up on their own, and they’re great. My husband has a strict “must have chocolate chips” policy so I’ll be trying that next time :).

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