The Ingredient Swap That Will Instantly Elevate Boxed Pancake Mix

When you're picturing your perfect Saturday morning the odds are high it includes fluffy, warm, and delicious pancakes stacked tall on a plate, topped with a pat of butter, and drizzled with golden, sweet maple syrup. However, those weekend pancakes often don't quite meet the indulgent breakfast expectations you set.

Having the proper technique when you make pancakes is essential. According to the Food Network, the heat under the skillet or griddle should be medium, so you don't end up with a burnt outside and a still raw interior. And don't forget to space them out properly to prevent your pancakes from blending together, leaving you with one giant deformed flapjack instead of a picture-perfect stack. You'll also want to be patient and wait to flip your pancakes until the bubbles that have formed on their surface begin to burst (via Real Simple). To make sure you get a good flip (let's face it, the flip is a bit of an art form), be sure to lift the pancake about an inch before quickly turning it over. 

But of course, your pancake batter plays just as important a role in helping you achieve the breakfast of your dreams as your cooking skills do. And if you're using a boxed pancake mix, you'll definitely want to try this simple ingredient swap.

Fluffier, lighter pancakes

The trick to making your boxed mix pancakes a million times better is so easy that you will wish you had known about it sooner. Taste of Home explains all you need to do is exchange buttermilk for the liquid (often milk or water) that your mix calls for. There's no hard math involved either; Simply, substitute an equal amount of buttermilk for the ingredient you are replacing for light, ultra-fluffy pancakes.

The reason this easy swap works comes down to science. Taste of Home explains that the acidity in the buttermilk is key to activating the baking soda found in the mix. Baking soda is often called for in baked good recipes because it is a chemical leavener, per Everyday Health. When vinegar or another acid comes into contact with the powder, it creates carbon dioxide, which in turn creates bubbles. Those bubbles make whatever batter it was added to (such as cake, cookies, or even pancakes) rise.

So next time you are craving a stack of delicious, fluffy pancakes, but too tired (or just not willing) to whip them up from scratch, don't forget the buttermilk in your pancake box mix!