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Pancakes are arguably one of the most all-American breakfasts, but it’s very easy to go overboard and end up with batter for 14 people when you’re only trying to feed 4.
Can you store leftover pancake batter in the fridge?
Or can you make pancake batter the night before on purpose if you have a lot to do the next morning?
In this guide, we’ll go over the answer to these questions and much more, including what types of pancake batter can go in the fridge overnight and how to store batter in the fridge to keep it as fresh as possible.
We’ll also talk about what kinds of ingredients you shouldn’t let sit overnight in the fridge, and how to get a fluffy pancake rather than a flat one even after your batter has been losing its rising power while the time ticks on.
If you want to cut straight to the point because you’re about to throw it in the fridge: yes, you can store pancake batter in the fridge overnight, but you may have flat pancakes in the morning rather than fluffy ones.
Read on as we get more detailed!
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Can Pancake Batter Sit Overnight?
Wondering if pancake batter can sit overnight?
The answer is yes, it can!
That doesn’t always mean that you should if you want the best quality pancakes, but will it be safe to eat the pancakes the next day?
Some people actually prefer letting their batter sit overnight to develop the flavors and believe that it helps make their pancakes even better.
But there are some caveats to remember!
Should You Premake Pancake Batter?
In cooking, just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
While pancake batter can stay overnight in the fridge, the best and freshest pancakes are usually the ones made on the same day.
This is because of the leavening agents used in pancake batter.
Things like baking powder and baking soda will lose their effectiveness overnight, and you will find that your pancakes made with overnight batter may be much flatter than you expected.
There are a few ways around this, though, so keep reading about the different types of pancake batter and whether they should be stored overnight.
Premaking Pancake Batter with Baking Powder
Most pancake batter has baking powder in it, which is usually a “double reacting” agent these days (sounds kind of like a spy movie).
This means that the chemical interactions that happen for it to help your pancakes puff up happen twice: first, when it’s mixed into the batter and hits liquid, and the second, when it gets heated up.
This means that if you leave your pancake batter with baking powder in the fridge overnight, you’ll only get about half the rise in the morning because the first reaction will have already taken place and lost its effectiveness.
Some people recommend leaving the baking powder out altogether, and then only adding into the mixture the next morning.
You can also store the dry and wet ingredients separately, so you mix up the wet ingredients overnight and let that batter sit, and then add the dry ingredients in the morning.
It’s still less to do without ruining your pancake puffiness.
That being said, unlike our next option, the baking powder will still have about half of its reaction left for your pancakes the next day so you can just go ahead as normal after leaving them overnight if you don’t mind them being a little bit more flat, but still puffy.
Premaking Pancake Batter with Baking Soda
If you make your pancake batter with baking soda and leave it in the fridge overnight, you’ll find that it loses all of its rise effectiveness by the morning.
This is because baking soda doesn’t double react like many baking powders: it reacts once, when added to the batter, and by the time you’ve gotten around to it 24 hours later, it will not help you create any puff in your pancakes.
You can still use the batter, it just will create a flat pancake more like a crepe rather than a puffy or fluffy one.
If you still want that puff, consider waiting until the morning to add the baking soda, or just mixing the wet ingredients together and adding all of the dry ingredients the next day.
Premaking Pancake Batter with Egg Whites
There are some pancakes that you can make without baking powder, and that includes pancake batter with egg whites!
Can you store pancake batter with egg whites in the fridge overnight?
It’s best if you don’t, really, unless you leave out the whipped egg whites until the morning.
If you fold in the whipped egg whites and then store the batter overnight, they’ll just fall flat overnight and your puffiness will be gone and pointless doing the egg whites in the first place.
Do the rest of the batter, store it in the fridge, and then add the whipped egg whites right before you make the pancakes the next day.
Can You Refrigerate Pancake Batter?
Yes, you can refrigerate pancake batter and you always should if you’re leaving it overnight.
The best way to store it in the fridge is going to be putting it in an airtight container with a lid.
We prefer using glass containers for pancake batter, though some people also use glass bottles or other jugs.
Having a lid is going to help it stay fresh and to prevent as much oxidation as possible (if you leave pancake batter overnight without a lid, you’ll notice a lot of the top of it will get darker in color and a dark brown color).
If you don’t have a storage container with a lid, then go ahead and at least put saran wrap on top of the container to try and keep the air out.
PS – if you want to know about another storage option (though we don’t recommend it in all cases), check out our guide to freezing pancake batter.
How Long Can You Leave Pancake Batter in the Fridge?
You can leave pancake batter in the fridge for about 24 hours, or overnight.
After this point, the pancake batter is going to lose its quality, definitely its rise, and is going to become so oxidized and clumpy that it’s not worth it.
You also start risking food safety by leaving the pancake batter more than just 1 night in the fridge, even with a lid.
Ditch it and start again if you weren’t able to use your pancake batter the next day.