Most pancake recipes make it challenging to make pancakes for only 1 or 2 people. When there are too many, it’s time to think about what to do with leftovers. Yes, pancakes can go into the fridge, but they can’t stay for long there, and you’ll have to prep them well for storage.
Pancakes last about 2 or 3 days in the fridge when stored correctly. They may still be edible for a few days after that, but their quality will probably not be nearly as good. Store pancakes in an airtight container or a ziplock bag in order to maximize how long they stay at peak freshness.
The rest of the article will guide you through how to store pancakes correctly, whether they are cooked or still in batter form. I’ll also cover how to reheat them perfectly and how to tell if they’ve gone bad.
How to Store Cooked Pancakes to Keep Them Fresh
If stored incorrectly, foods that are high in fat (gluten-free or the ones that have butter) will start picking up all the funk from your fridge if left too long.
To keep cooked pancakes fresh, store them in an airtight container of any kind. – Either plastic Tupperware or a ziplock bag will do the trick. Just make sure that the container is completely dry and sealed before you use it and that the pancakes are cooled so they won’t create condensation.
The containers I recommend have lids that snap down and are easy to lock. To see the exact type I use, check out the listing on Amazon.
If You Plan to Eat More of Them Today
If you’re storing them to eat a few hours later, a low oven is the best solution for keeping them both fresh and warm. Check if yours has the “keep warm” setting. If not, turn it as low as it can go, ideally around or just below 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Take a baking sheet and line it with a kitchen towel (cotton or linen, of course).
- Spread the pancakes in a single layer over the sheet and cover with another towel. If you need to add layers, make sure to have a towel in between each one and that a towel goes over the last layer.
You can do something similar for storing them in the fridge, but It may be more practical to replace kitchen towels with baking paper.
Again, stack them in single layers, with a sheet of paper in between each. You can omit the bottom and top layers.
Pro Tip: Don’t store pancakes with toppings like blueberries since they will often make them go soggy.
How to Store Pancake Batter to Keep It Fresh
If you’ve made pancake batter and you’re not ready to cook just yet, wrap the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or transfer the contents into an airtight container. Try to clear some space in the bottom of the fridge where it’s the coldest. And it’s better to keep the mixture from anything smelly, so it doesn’t pick up those aromas.
Just keep in mind that raw pancake batter will not keep for more than 24 hours. And no matter what you do, as those hours tick away, your pancakes will become less and less fluffy. Baking powder slowly deactivates as it sits in the wet batter, so there will be nothing to expand those bubbles.
Can You Freeze Pancakes?
Pancakes can be frozen. It’s the best way to deal with a mountain of leftover pancakes if you want to save them for more than 2 or 3 days. Frozen pancakes will keep up to 2 or 3 months. Just make sure the pancakes are cool before putting them in a ziplock bag.
Their biggest enemies, however, are ice crystals. If you have a newer freezer with an “instant freeze” option, you’ll be fine. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay extra attention to how you pack them.
What’s the Best Way to Freeze Pancakes?
Just like when we were prepping them for storage in the fridge, you’ll have to whip out the trusted baking parchment for layering the pancakes. But this time, the top and the bottom layer are mandatory.
Instead of an airtight box container, you should only use a good-quality ziplock bag. Before everything, check for holes and tears, and check the seal. You need to prevent freezer burn by any means possible.
Pack either as many pancakes that constitute a portion because you don’t want to break the seal if you’re not using everything. Trying to return them to the freezer will lead to ice crystal formation. And if your portion is a mountain of pancakes, try not to pack more than 2 or 3 layers per bag.
Pro Tip: Consider investing in a vacuum sealer and vacuum sealing bags at some point as well. Using those means that you don’t have to take any extra steps and precautions since all you have to do is put the pancakes in a bag and press a button. They are also heaven-sent for storing other food items as well.
How Do You Know When Pancakes Go Bad?
If pancakes smell sour or kinda floral without you adding citrus zest or anything else into the batter, they are not suitable to eat. Also, watch for mold. This can especially be an issue if the moisture from the fridge got to them.
Pancakes don’t have as high sugar content as other cakes, so there is not much that can stop or slow down the production of microbes.
Just as any other “cake,” pancakes are dry when they go stale. This is not too bad since you can use them to make french toast, “bread” pudding, or cheese strata.
Can You Get Food Poisoning From Pancake MIX?
Even though it seems like most prepackaged food will outlast the zombie apocalypse, it’s still food, and it can go bad. It will not hurt you if you open the box a few days after the use-by date, but you’re in trouble if the box has been opened for a while now.
Even if you transfer the mix into a better (airtight) container for storage, treat it still like it’s a ticking timebomb. It can quickly develop mold and grow other beasties that could give you food poisoning.
Which Pancake Recipe Will Last the Longest?
The pancake recipe that will last the longest is one with cornflour/cornmeal, followed by the traditional simple egg-milk/buttermilk-flour version. The ones made with cornflour could even go into the breadbox (and skip the fridge altogether) if you plan to eat them the next day.
How to Reheat Leftover Pancake
The best way to reheat leftover pancakes is with a toaster. There is a good reason why freezer waffles are a thing. The toaster will brown them, but that’s just extra flavor.
Resist the urge to throw leftover pancakes into the microwave. But, if you have no other option, set it on medium and cook only until they are warmed through. This usually only takes about 20 seconds per pancake. You can also use either a low oven or the residual heat after baking to do the same thing.
Personally, I always make pancakes fresh and try to vary the ingredients to match how many people will be eating. Even so, sometimes there are extras. I often warm them up for an evening snack and melt some butter before spreading some strawberry jam over the top. Yum.
Thanks for stoppin’ by!
For more, check out the 12 Best Substitutes for Milk in Pancakes.
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