What Do I Do With My Leftover Pancake Batter?

I’m not very good at guessing how much pancake batter I’m going to need for the crew on any given morning. If I guess and made too much, it’s not a big deal—if I’m using a mix. With most mixes, all I do is add water and stir; it’s easier to toss out.

But if you’re using a recipe, it is a bigger deal. If you have a recipe or mix that takes 20 minutes prep time or more interesting ingredients (like our favorite Raspberry Sour Cream pancake mix), you’ll have a harder time throwing out because it’s just so good and not worth the waste. Fancier pancake batters are worth keeping the leftovers, and this article will tell you how to do just that.

You can also find one of our favorite pancake recipes and extra pancake tips at the bottom.

What To Do With Extra Pancake Batter

So what if you make extra pancake batter? If it’s a cheapy mix, it might not be a big deal and you can throw it away. But if it has fresh blueberries or raspberry baking chips or maybe pecans in a sweet potato base, you don’t want to throw it away.

If you cover it and put it in the refrigerator, you can us it the next morning. Most of the leavening will be gone, and instead of being light and fluffy, your pancakes will be flat. You can fix that. Simply stir in a little baking powder. Depending on how much batter you’re saving, start with a 1/2 teaspoon if it’s just several servings.

Another Option: Save Extra Pancakes Instead

My daughter, Debbie has two girls still in school. She deliberately makes more batter than what she needs for breakfast. She cooks the rest of the batter and stores the extra pancakes in a pancake and tortilla keeper in the refrigerator until the kids get home from school. The kids dig them out, heat them with the syrup in the microwave, and that’s their after-school snack.

Their favorite? Mayan Chocolate Pancakes with chocolate chips and coconut syrup. (Yes, it’s easier than making a batch of cookies.)

If this is the method you use to handle your extra pancake batter, plan to use up the leftover pancakes in no more than two to three days.

Why Add Baking Powder to the Extra Pancake Batter?

Baking powder acts as a leavening agent in your pancake batter. Much like the yeast in your favorite bread recipe, it helps the pancakes to be fluffier. When the baking powder reaches the acidity in the rest of the batter, it starts to form bubbles. Keeping your batter overnight or even just longer than a few hours, these bubbles will dissipate, taking away the first half of the chemical reaction from the baking powder that causes the pancakes to rise and become fluffy.

The second chemical reaction that causes the pancakes to rise is when the baking powder reaches the heat. This will still happen even if you’re using leftover pancake batter, but it won’t make the pancakes nearly as fluffy. That’s why it’s important to add in the extra baking powder before frying up your extra pancake batter.

Adding extra baking powder into your leftover pancake batter will restart that chemical reaction and form bubbles at the top of the batter, giving it that extra gas it needs to rise and get light and fluffy as you fry up your pancakes.

What’s the Difference in Baking Powder and Baking Soda in Pancake Batter?

Many will tell you that if your pancake recipe calls for baking soda, the extra pancake batter cannot be stored because the pancakes will end up being sad and flat the next day. While this is true in the way that the baking soda reacts immediately once it reaches moisture and uses up all of its leavening power very quickly, storing your extra batter still could be worth the try.

The thing to remember about both of these leavening agents is that they are sodium based. When your pancake batter uses baking powder, it only loses potency overnight, and still has a bit left of its leavening power when you heat it up on the pan.

When you have baking soda in your leftover pancake mix, all that will be left in the morning will be the sodium part of the baking soda with no extra leavening power. Taking this with a grain of salt (no pun intended), you could possibly add a little bit of baking powder to the batter the next morning to make the pancakes fluffier.

However, since both baking powder and baking soda are sodium based, doubling up on the leavening agents might might leave your pancakes tasting a little salty.

Raspberry Sour Cream Pancake Recipe


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon raspberry flavor
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon flavor
  • 2/3 cupRaspberry Tidbits Baking Chips


  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt together.
  2. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, sour cream, milk, and flavors together.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Add the raspberry tidbits. Stir only until combined. Some lumps will remain.
  4. Cook as for pancakes, a couple minutes on each side on a hot griddle. Serve hot.

Learn More About Pancakes: