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Is Bisquick the Same As Pancake Mix? (What’s the Difference?)

Bisquick mix is a long-time staple for so many American households. For years, people have been making quick and delicious recipes with this pre-mixed batter, and it has inspired many competitors worldwide. One of those competitors is pancake mix. 

If you have one, or both, somewhere in your pantry, you may be a little confused as to what exactly makes Bisquick mix and pancake mix similar, or different, and what you can make with them.

Naturally, ‘pancake mix’ is a giveaway, but if you don’t happen to have any, you may be wondering if Bisquick is a suitable substitute? If you’re eager to find out, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Read on to find out everything you need to know about Bisquick mix and pancake mix, from its history to ingredients, to the key differences, and homemade substitutions.

What Is Bisquick?

Bisquick is a brand of pre-mixed, boxed batter. It comes under the Betty Crocker brand and is manufactured by General Mills. It is used to make anything from biscuits, to pancakes, to pot pies, and more!

The History Of Bisquick

Bisquick first came to be in America, 1930. A salesman for General Mills, Carl Smith, was on a late evening train to San Fransisco. The dining car was closed for the night, but a cook for the train quickly whipped up some biscuits for Smith.

They were delicious and piping hot, causing Smith to enquire after the cook and find out just how the biscuits had been made. 

The chef explained that he had previously stored in an ice chest a combination of blended baking powder, salt, and lard. He made the biscuits from this batter to order. 

Smith saw the potential of a pre-mixed baking product and decided to take the idea to a General Mills smart food expert. No cake mix or anything akin to pre-mixed batter had been invented yet, so this was a fresh and revolutionary idea. 

The making of Bisquick faced many challenges, and it took a long time before a breakthrough was finally made, and Bisquick was introduced in 1931.

Finally, General Mills had created a pre-mixed baking batter that could prove a significant rival to homemade recipes – which is exactly how it was advertised in its early days! 

While originally intended for biscuits, the households of America soon found creative ways to use their Bisquick and made anything from biscuits to bread, to cakes, cookies, and even churros! This resulted in Bisquick cookbooks being launched in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. 

However, issues are surrounding the origin story of Bisquick. Unfortunately, not much is known about the chef who created the mixture that would inspire Bisquick.

All that is known about him, as noted in the 1954 book; Business Without Boundary: The Story of General Mills is that he was black. To this day, he goes uncredited and his name is not known.

What Is In Bisquick?

The ingredients list of Bisquick has changed a lot from its early days. Bisquick contains the following ingredients: 

  • Enriched bleached flour
  • Corn starch 
  • Dextrose 
  • Palm oil 
  • Leavening agents (consisting of baking soda, aluminum phosphate, and monocalcium phosphate)
  • Canola oil 
  • Salt 
  • Sugar 
  • Distilled Monoglycerides

Please note that the ingredients may vary, and you should always check the back of your Bisquick box. 

What Is Pancake Mix?

Pancake mix is very similar to Bisquick. It contains pre-mixed ingredients used to make pancakes. Most pancake mixes will contain flour, hydrogenated oil, salt, and a leavening agent. 

Pancake mix is the quick, easy, and convenient way to make tasty pancakes. Pair with sweet fruit like blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries, or even combine sweet and salty with maple syrup and bacon, and you have one of the nation’s favorite breakfasts!

What’s The Difference Between Pancake Mix And Bisquick?

When it comes to pancake mix and Bisquick, there isn’t too much of a difference! Pancake mix will sometimes contain more sugar than Bisquick, meaning the final result may be sweeter.

Can You Substitute Pancake Mix For Bisquick? 

Yes. It is entirely possible to use pancake mix instead of Bisquick, and vice versa!

If you want to use pancake mix, then the substitution will work best for sweeter pastries, like scones, muffins, etc. 

If you have no pancake mix and want to use Bisquick instead, that’s no problem! Depending on the brand of pancake mix (always check the ingredients), you may need to add a small amount of baking powder to achieve the best results. 

How To Make Your Own Mix Similar To Bisquick

If you have no Bisquick mix in your pantry, there’s no need to worry! If you have the right ingredients, then you can make your own all-purpose mix. Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • All-purpose flour (5 and a half cups)
  • Corn starch (three-quarters of a cup)
  • Baking powder (3 tablespoons)
  • Granulated sugar (2 tablespoons)
  • Salt (1 tablespoon)
  • Unlsated butter or vegetable shortening (chilled, 1 cup)

You can find the full recipe by clicking the link here!

How To Make Pancakes Without Pancake Mix 

Before there was pancake mix or Bisquick, there were homemade pancake recipes! Of course, pancakes are still made today without the use of pancake mix, and they’re simple to make! 

All you need to make pancakes without pancake mix is: 

  • Plain flour (1 cup)
  • Milk (1.2 cups)
  • Eggs (2, large)
  • Butter (2 tablespoons)
  • White sugar (1 tablespoon)
  • Salt (a pinch)
  • Some butter to fry the batter

You can find the full recipe by clicking this link here!

Final Thoughts 

So, there you have it! 

Bisquick is a quick and convenient way to make your favorite recipes like pancakes, muffins, or even pot pies! It has inspired many competitors, such as pancake mix. Bisquick and pancake mix really aren’t too different from each other. 

In general, it is better to use pancake mix for Bisquick when making sweeter recipes. Additionally, you may find yourself with a slightly different tasting result depending on the recipe, but if done right, substituting one for the other will result in food that is just as delicious!

Jess Smith
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