Pancakes are a tasty, filling treat that’s delightful to eat not just in the morning during breakfast but also for brunch, lunch, dinner, or dessert! It’s a comforting and delicious treat that you can make from scratch or by using a pancake mix.
But sometimes, you may want pancakes for a meal, but you don’t feel like mixing up a batter, taking the griddle from storage, and making them. Fortunately, they are easy to make ahead. Next time you’re in the mood, you can cook large amounts of pancakes, then freeze them so you can reheat them whenever you want. If you make too much in one batch, you can toss the leftovers in the freezer and reheat them for another day. They even taste great reheated.
If you don’t have the time to whip up breakfast every morning, you can make a big batch of the batter and bulk-cook pancakes to freeze them all at once. This is quicker and better than mixing batter and cooking pancakes every time you want.
Learn how to freeze and reheat pancakes properly here.
How to Freeze Pancakes
For the most part, you can freeze and reheat any kind of pancake. But mostly, you can only freeze the pancakes while it’s plain before any butter, syrup, or other toppings have been added. You can also freeze buttermilk, chocolate chip, buckwheat, blueberry, and other kinds of fruity pancakes – they should all freeze and reheat to be just as delicious as pancakes fresh off from the griddle.
Freezing pancakes is a fairly easy process, but there are a few things you want to consider. Here’s how you can freeze pancakes successfully, so you won’t have a big clump of pancakes you can’t use.
1. Prepare the things you need
Before cooking, get everything you need ready. Besides the batter ingredients and the tools (mixing bowl, whisk, griddle, plate, etc.), you also want to prepare waxed or grease-proof parchment paper and freezer bags. It would be best if you had these things for freezing the pancakes.
2. Cook the pancakes
Prepare your batter according to the recipe you’d like to follow, and cook your pancakes.
3. Let them cool
Make sure the pancakes are fully cooked and cooled before you freeze them. If you’re eating a bunch of them, set aside the pancakes, you plan to freeze, and don’t put any toppings on them. Set them on the table to cool.
4. Place them on waxed or parchment paper
You need a wax paper or parchment paper in between pancakes to prevent them from sticking together. Cut up some squares from your wax or parchment paper on a size that’s a little bigger than your pancakes. You will need one for each pancake you have, plus an extra for the top and bottom of the stack. Layer the pancakes with wax or parchment paper in between.
Alternatively, you can freeze it in a single layer on a baking sheet. Put your cooled pancakes in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper.
5. Bag up and label
Put your stack of pancakes in a freezer bag. Label it with the date you cooked the pancakes, and ensure that you squeeze out any air and seal up the bag airtight.
Pop the pancakes up in the freezer. Make sure that you lay the pancakes flat while they freeze so you can easily grab however many pancakes you want to reheat when you want to eat them.
Tip for Freezing Pancakes
Now you know how to freeze them, try out these tips to get the best results.
1. Always use grease-proof paper
Wax or parchment paper is recommended because they will prevent your pancakes from sticking to one another. Without them, you will struggle to grab one or two at a time or end up with broken pancakes.
2. Use quality freezer bags
You need to keep air out of the pancakes to prevent them from drying out. You want your pancake to be fluffy, soft, with a bit of moisture – not dry and hard. If you use cheap bags, air may get in without you knowing it.
3. Do not thaw
You don’t need to thaw out frozen pancakes before reheating them. Instead, pop them into a hot pan and cook right away.
4. Keep it for only up to three months
Pancakes can be frozen for up to three months. They may not be good to go after that. This is why it’s important to label them with the date when you made them.
5. Do not refreeze
It’s not recommended to refreeze any food that has already been thawed, and that’s the same with pancakes. They won’t taste good, and it changes the structure of the pancake. If you refreeze and reheat it twice, it will have a rubbery texture, and you won’t be able to enjoy your pancake.
How to Reheat Frozen Pancakes
Once you’ve got a stash of frozen pancakes, you can pull out as many as you want at a time and reheat them when you want to eat them. You don’t need to defrost the pancakes in the fridge overnight – you can put them straight to your preferred heating option once you remove them from the freezer. These are a few reheating methods to choose from.
Put 1-5 frozen pancakes (depending on how much you want to eat in one sitting) on a microwave-safe plate. Place them in a single layer. Reheat for 20 seconds for one pancake and about 60 seconds for four or more pancakes. This method can give you soft and fluffy pancakes.
This method is preferable for larger numbers of pancakes to reheat – it allows you to reheat a large batch of pancakes quickly. Preheating your oven to 350 degrees, then place the frozen pancakes on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes until the pancakes are warm, then serve them on plates with your preferred toppings.
This method works well in a pinch, but if you have a microwave oven, it’s better to use that instead of a toaster for reheating pancakes. You can put one to two pancakes (depending on how much will fit on the toaster sheet pan), then heat it for two to three minutes. Keep a close eye on your pancakes while they’re in the toaster to keep them from getting too crispy.
How to Freeze Pancake Batter
If you want freshly cooked pancakes every time you want them but don’t like to mix and prepare batter before cooking, you can always produce batches of batter and freeze those for future use. Then all you need to do is to defrost your batter and cook up a fresh batch of pancakes.
1. Prepare batter
Prepare your pancake batter according to your favorite recipe. Let it sit for a while.
2. Label freezer bags
Prepare your freezer bags or containers suitable for freezing.
3. Portion out
Ladle enough batter into each freezer bag or container and portion it correctly. Each bag must hold as much as you would for a batch of pancakes to cook.
Seal the freezer bag, making sure to squeeze out excess air. The bag must be flat, so it would help if you lay them flat on the kitchen counter. Do this for each portion.
Put the freezer bags unto a baking sheet to keep them flat. This way, you can stack them neatly in case you have prepared many bags of pancake batter. Place the whole stack into the freezer, along with the baking sheet.
6. Remove the baking sheet
Once the pancake batter is already frozen, you can take the baking sheet out of the freezer and leave the frozen batter behind.
How to Choose Frozen Pancakes
It would be more convenient if you prefer to buy ready-made, store-bought frozen pancakes. When choosing frozen pancakes at the store, consider the types of ingredients in them and how they are made.
If you prefer buttermilk over sweet milk varieties, look for packaged pancakes made with these ingredients. These pancakes typically have a bit of tanginess to them. You may also be able to find some varieties made of whole wheat or buckwheat flour, which are denser and have a robust flavor.
You can also find frozen pancakes made with additional ingredients like fruits or other types of sweeteners. For example, blueberry and chocolate chip pancakes are popular and can be found in frozen form.
When choosing, find an ingredient you like and choose from there. Also, if you have preferences, allergies, and diet restrictions, always check the label to avoid buying a product that isn’t suitable for you.
Refer to the packaging on how to store and reheat frozen pancakes properly. Usually, you will be doing the same thing with pancakes made from scratch.