Kitchen Hacks

Does Pancake Batter Belong in Your Ice Cube Tray?

A TikTok trend that is actually useful.

January 31, 2023
Photo by Bobbi Lin

My childhood smelled of maple syrup. After discovering the TikTok-induced reemergence of freezing pancake batter in ice cube trays, my days may once again become maple-scented.

Back in a time when there was a clear distinction between good (eating pancakes) and evil (learning math), the classrooms, school buses, and friends I knew almost always smelled like an iHop. Also, everything—and everyone—was always sticky. For whatever reason, as I got older, the pancakes, maple syrup, and stickiness in my life vanished. I’m hoping this TikTok pancake hack will change that.

The process is straightforward: make a standard pancake batter, pour it into ice cube trays, add toppings (like blueberries, chocolate chips, or bananas), and keep it frozen until you are ready for homemade pancakes sans measuring, whisking, or excess cleaning. When you’re craving pancakes, pop out a few cubes of batter onto an oiled pan over low heat. Flip once and serve.

While meal prepping doesn’t typically excite me, I do appreciate how this technique gives you an opportunity to preserve fruit that may be on its last legs. If you’ve got a couple of berries hanging around (or perhaps a single, nearly-all-brown banana) throw them into the batter cube instead of the trash can.

Also—as noted in the comments of the video above—the batter can last in the freezer for up to three months, but is best eaten within a month of its initial freezing. So, if you do love how these hold up over time, it’s entirely possible that the fifteen minutes it takes to mix the batter and pour it into cubes might be all the breakfast prep you’d need for the next month.

More than anything, I love how preparing these frozen pancakes is a passive exercise. Since they go slowly over low heat (about 3 minutes per side), you’re able to work on other morning tasks (make coffee, think about drinking a glass of water, make more coffee) while the pancakes cook.

Let us know if you’ll be trying this breakfast hack in the comments below!
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Paul Hagopian

Written by: Paul Hagopian

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