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How to Make Ridiculously Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies Using Pancake Mix

A chef says pancake mix creates cookies that are crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.

A rack of chocolate chip cookies
In a pinch, this kitchen staple can substitute for all-purpose flour and make crispy, delicious cookies.
Wanwisa Hernandez/EyeEm/Getty Images

At the height of the COVID quarantine, many of us took up baking. That, coupled with supply chain issues and shortages, meant all-purpose flour was in short supply at many supermarkets. 

That was no problem for Bay Area chef Nathan Price. He discovered the perfect substitute for flour -- one you probably already have in the cupboard: pancake mix.

"Going to the grocery store and finding zero flour is obviously a problem, and you need convenience when you're trying to make cookies," he says. "Instinctively I was like, there are other things that have flour at the grocery store."

Birch Benders organic pancake and waffle mix

You can keep a 1:1 ratio. For every cup of flour called for, use a cup of pancake mix.

Birch Benders

That thought process led him to the pancake mix shelf, which was rife with a huge assortment of brands.

Pandemic shortages have obviously abated -- at least when it comes to flour. But if you're looking to make cookies and don't have flour in the house, it's still a great kitchen hack.

Read more: Supermarket Shortages: 9 Items You Might Not Find on the Shelf

There are plenty of kinds of premade pancake mix -- from keto versions to ones with egg substitutes -- but Nathan recommends buying a basic variety made with just flour and a leavening agent that would lend itself to simple baking projects. (He used Birch Benders' organic whole-grain pancake and waffle mix.)

Once you've got your pancake mix and a chocolate chip cookie recipe (Nathan used this one from AllRecipes), you can pretty much keep to a 1:1 ratio -- for every cup of flour called for, substitute a cup of pancake mix. 

Fair warning: The cookies do come out a little differently than if you'd simply used flour.

"The one thing I noticed was [the cookies are] more airy and fluffy," Nathan said. "You know if you make a pancake and the first side produces all those bubbles? That basically happens in the oven, but cooks around the whole thing."

You might notice a crispier exterior with a softer inside -- which is not a bad thing.

Nathan theorizes that pancake mix would probably work just as well in a brownie or pound cake recipe.