How Giada De Laurentiis Levels Up Boxed Pancake Mix

Pancakes and Sunday morning go together like peanut butter and jelly. But let's face it — when you're standing groggy in your kitchen, anticipating cooking for your whole family, it's easier to whip out a box of pancake mix than make it from scratch. There's no shame in cutting a few corners and if you're looking for a delicious option, Bisquick, Krusteaz, and Kodiak Cakes are available at most grocery stores.

And yet, most boxed pancake mixes could use a little something-something. They're essentially just the dry ingredients that go into pancakes — namely, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder, although additives may be there too for preservation, emulsification, and texture.

If you want to jazz yours up, we've got a few ideas. You can try this ingredient swap that will instantly elevate boxed pancake mix, or this simple step that will make your boxed pancake mix taste better. But when in doubt, turn to the pros — specifically, celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis. 

In an almond pancakes she shared with Food Network, De Laurentiis incorporates a few delicious ingredients that we can bet you've never used in flapjacks before.

Giada De Laurentiis adds a few fun ingredients

To jazz up your boxed pancake mix, grab these three ingredients, all of which are found in Giada De Laurentiis' recipe for almond pancakes on the Food Network: mascarpone cheese, pure almond extract, and almond paste. Does the thought of adding cheese to your flapjacks sound a little out of pocket? You probably don't want to dump gouda or Havarti into your breakfast, but mascarpone is sweet and creamy and used as a whipped cream or frosting substitute. It also has double the fat of cream cheese – so you just know it will make your pancakes thick and yummy.

Almond paste is typically made with almonds, egg whites, and powdered sugar. It's often compared to marzipan, although it's a little less sweet. It typically brings chewiness, adds a subtly sweet almond flavor, and is often used as a filling in baked goods. Pair it with almond and vanilla extracts, which De Laurentiis does in her recipe, and you'll get a pancake stack with layers of flavor.

De Laurentiis makes her pancakes from scratch, but you can incorporate her ingredients into your boxed mix too. We'd recommend adding them to everything else in a food processor, like she does, to allow the almond paste and mascarpone to mix in thoroughly. Then pour your batter on the griddle and enjoy!