Making Pancake Batter Ahead: Can You Put Pancake Batter in the Fridge Overnight?

Pancakes are one of the tastiest treats. They are so versatile and can be enjoyed for breakfast, dessert, and even as a cheeky snack! 

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If you have ever made your own pancakes then you will know that they are surprisingly easy to make and do not require the use of many ingredients. 

Considering how great they taste, and easy they are to make… it does make us wonder why we do not eat them more often!

Can You Refrigerate Pancake Batter Overnight?

Imagine waking up and cooking a fresh batch of mouth-wateringly good pancakes, without having to worry about making the batter.

With the batter being the most time-consuming part of making pancakes, you may have wondered whether or not the batter can be placed in the refrigerator overnight.

Can you save pancake batter?

Thankfully, the answer is yes. While there are some exceptions to this, the majority of pancake batter can be refrigerated overnight! 

In this article, we will be talking you through all of the different types of pancake batters and which ones will refrigerate the best.

In addition to this, we will be discussing the history of pancakes and the best way to store them in the refrigerator.

We hope you will think this article is pantastic!

The History Of Pancakes

Before we get into how to refrigerate pancake batter, let’s take a look at the history of pancakes and when they were first created.

While they are something we Americans eat regularly, not many people know their origins.

The first record of pancakes being created is actually dated back to Ancient Rome! They were referred to in the 1st Century as Alita Dolcia, which is Latin for ‘another sweet’.

It is quite surprising to discover that pancakes have been eaten for such a long time. 

While the idea of what a pancake is and how it is eaten has changed slightly over the centuries, the basics remain the same.

In Ancient Greece and Rome, pancakes were made out of ingredients such as curdled milk, honey, and wheat flour. 

Through the centuries, pancakes have been called many names by different countries and cultures, such as hoecakes, griddle cakes, and Indian cakes.

It was in the 15th century that the term pancake was first used. It became common to call pancakes by this name in 19th Century America.

There are many different types of pancakes, from crepes to thin pancakes, to American pancakes. While they all have slightly different ingredients and ways of cooking the majority require eggs, flour, and milk.

Can You Refrigerate Pancake Batter Overnight?

As we have discussed above, it is completely possible to refrigerate pancake batter overnight. However, different types of leftover pancake batter will refrigerate slightly differently. 

While we would usually make American-style pancakes here in the US, if you prefer crepes or thin pancakes, we will be discussing the best way to refrigerate them too.

Pancakes That Use Baking Powder

Many pancake recipes use baking powder. This is because the baking powder will provide a good rise for your pancakes. Without it, your pancakes can turn out to be fairly flat. 

What is great about the baking powder is that it will keep for a long time, this is because it has a long shelf life and can be stored without spoiling for a good amount of time. 

The majority of baking powders that are available at the grocery store are double-acting. When you are choosing a brand of baking powder to make pancakes with, we would recommend choosing a baking powder with this property.

It will make a difference if you are preparing your pancake batter in advance.

The double-acting action means that the baking powder will react with the ingredients as soon as it is added. While you may be thinking that this is a problem, this will not prevent your pancakes from rising when you use them the next day.

This is because when the pancake batter is heated up, the baking powder will react for a second time. When the pancakes start to cook, they should rise because of this. 

While this is great news if you are planning to refrigerate your pancake batter overnight, it is worth noting that the pancakes may not rise quite as much as they would have when you first created the mix. 

If this does happen when you are cooking the pancakes, feel free to add a small amount of extra baking powder to the rest of your pancake batter. This should help it to rise without affecting the taste of the pancake batter. 

The ideal amount of additional baking powder you should add is around 25% of the original amount the recipe suggested. If you add any more than this, you could potentially ruin the taste and texture of the pancakes once cooked.

Pancakes That Use Baking Soda

Pancakes that use baking soda create light and fluffy pancakes that have risen slightly. If you want to create these pancakes in advance, you may run into some potential problems.

Unlike baking powder that will react twice, baking soda is instant.

Unfortunately, baking soda begins to react with the pancake mix as soon as it is added. You will notice that it will begin to fizz and work.

Given this, pancakes that contain soda ideally need to be cooked as soon as the baking soda has been added. 

If you place this pancake batter in the refrigerator overnight, the pancakes are unlikely to rise. While they will still be edible, the batter will not create the pancakes you had in mind.

While this may be disappointing to hear, all is not lost. You can still make the pancake batter the night before you are planning to use it, just do not add the baking soda to the mix yet.

When you are about to make the pancakes, then you should add the baking soda. As the baking powder will have only just been added, your batter will rise a lot better than if you added it the night before. 

While it may not taste as fresh as if you made the batter the same day, it does cut down your preparation time significantly. 

Pancakes That Use Egg Whites

Some pancake recipes use egg whites to help the batter become light and fluffy. As you can imagine, egg whites need to be used relatively quickly after they have been whipped.

If the egg whites are left in the pancake batter overnight they will lose all of their rise. 

Given this, it is better to mix all of the ingredients apart from the egg whites the night before you want to make your pancakes. When you are ready to make the pancakes, then you should add the egg whites.

The only downside to this method is that it is more time-consuming. But, if these are your favorite kind of pancakes, it is worth the prep time, instead of having a flat pancake!

Pancakes That Use Buttermilk

If your recipe calls for the use of buttermilk, making your batter in advance could be a problem. While it is possible, it is unlikely that your pancakes will taste as good after sitting in the refrigerator overnight as they would when cooked from fresh.

Pancakes that use buttermilk are really tasty, but more effort does need to be put into creating the mix and preserving it.

Buttermilk tends to fall flat and deflate if it is left to settle for a long period. Given this, once it is added to the rest of your pancake batter, you should cook the pancakes fairly quickly.

If you leave buttermilk pancake batter in the refrigerator overnight, the pancakes that you create the next day are likely to have little to no rise. While they will still taste delicious, they are unlikely to have the texture you desire. 

If you are preparing your buttermilk pancake batter in advance because you are short on time, you could try adding a small amount of yeast to the batter. The yeast will help your pancakes to rise better once you are ready to cook them. 

However, if you have time to spare you can prepare this type of pancake batter in advance. The night before you are going to cook the pancakes, mix your dry ingredients, and put them to the side.

Just before you make the pancakes, add all of the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk them together.

While this technique is more time consuming it will help to ensure that you will get a good rise out of your pancakes. 

Crepe And Thin Pancake Batter

If you prefer the taste of thin pancakes or crepes, you will be overjoyed to learn that leaving this type of pancake batter in the refrigerator overnight will improve their overall taste!

Unlike pancake batter that contains buttermilk or rising agents, crepes and thin pancakes use very basic ingredients.

These types of pancakes are not intended to have any rise. Given this, it does not matter if the batter is left to settle in the refrigerator overnight. 

When you are making these pancakes and crepes, ideally you will want the least amount of bubbles in the batter as possible.

The bubbles and aeration cause the pancakes to rise. As these pancakes are not intended to rise, the longer the batter is left to sit in the refrigerator, the fewer bubbles it will contain.

If you are looking for the easiest pancake batter to refrigerate, this type is by far the best. When you are ready to cook the pancakes, the batter requires no prepping.

Simply heat your pan, take the batter out of the refrigerator and you are good to go!

Pancakes That Use Yeast

Some pancake recipes do include the use of yeast. While this is not an overly popular ingredient, the yeast helps your pancakes to rise.

While you would not necessarily think to use yeast, as mentioned above, it is a great ingredient to use if you want to refrigerate the batter overnight. 

Unlike baking powder or soda, yeast does not stop being active. This is great because it means that you do not have to worry about using the pancake batter instantly. 

For the best results, you should take this type of pancake batter out of the refrigerator an hour or two before you plan to use it. This will allow the yeast to work on raising the batter.

The only downside to this is if you are in a rush and do not have the time to take the batter out of the refrigerator before using it. 

Covering Your Pancake Batter

Regardless of the type of pancake mix and ingredients that you use, you should always cover the pancake batter while it is in the refrigerator.

This will help it to stay as fresh as possible. You can cover the bowl or container containing your pancake batter with Saran wrap. 

The best way to store the pancake better would be either in a bowl or in an airtight container. When storing it in the refrigerator, always ensure that it is completely covered with a lid or Saran wrap to keep it as fresh as possible. 

Alternatively, if you are low on space, you can use a freezer bag. You will want to ensure that it is completely sealed before storing. In addition to this, if you have an old glass or plastic condiment bottle, you could store the batter in this too. 


As you can see, it is completely possible to leave many types of pancake batter in the refrigerator overnight. This is great if you want to do all of the prep beforehand to save time the next day.

While there are some types of pancake recipes that are better when left in the refrigerator overnight in comparison to others, they are all safe to consume the next day. 

The best pancake mix to leave in the refrigerator overnight is the crepe or thin style pancake. It actually benefits the batter and the overall texture of the homemade pancake when it is left in the refrigerator overnight. 

While some of the other pancake mixes or pancake recipe will require you to add extra baking powder or soda just before you begin cooking them, they can still be refrigerated. They also require minimal effort the next day too! You can have a fluffy pancake any time.

We hope that this article has helped you to learn more about the history of pancakes and the best types of pancake batter to refrigerate.

You may have been surprised by how many different rising agents can be used to get the light and fluffy texture of  American style pancakes!

Happy pancake flipping!

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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