Can You Make Pancakes without Milk? Easy No-Milk Pancakes

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You’ve gone to make pancakes, but you realized you’re all out of milk.

Or maybe you know you’re out of milk, and are trying to figure out if you can make pancakes without milk or if you should move on to other breakfast options.

Luckily, milk is definitely an ingredient in pancake batter than can be substituted, and there are plenty of helpful tips in this article about making pancakes without milk so you don’t end up with a breakfast disaster.

We’ll talk about what milk does in pancake batter, what to replace it with, and whether you can just leave it out altogether.

If you just want the quick answer without the other options, yes, you can make pancakes without milk, but you should replace it with an equal amount of water.

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You really should keep reading though for more in-depth knowledge, because pancakes with water definitely don’t taste as good as pancakes with milk!

If you’re missing other ingredients, don’t forget our guides on making pancakes without eggs and pancakes without baking powder. If you’re missing a stove (okay, or you’re lazy), check out our guide on making microwave pancakes as well as what to do if your pancakes stick to the pan.

Or if you don’t have pancake mix, check out how to make pancakes with waffle mix in this guide!

Our Favorite Quirky Kitchen Gadgets

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Want to make pancake batter ahead of time? Check out our guides on freezing pancake batter and whether you can make pancake batter the night before.

What Does Milk Do in Pancakes?

The addition of milk in pancakes helps make it moist, tender, and delicious.

Milk adds a flavor and fat content to the pancake, as well as helping provide a liquid to soak up the flour and other dry ingredients.

Milk (or buttermilk) is typically the preferred liquid in pancake batter, but it is very simple to replace if you find yourself without it.

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Can You Make Pancakes without Milk?

You can make pancakes without milk, but you can’t simply leave it out without replacing it with anything.

We’ll talk about substitutions below.

Just know that the fact that you’re out of milk doesn’t mean you can’t have great tasting pancakes.

You can use your existing pancake recipe, or check out the one below.

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Easy No-Milk Pancake Recipe


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (milk or milk substitute of your choice – see your options below)
  • butter (for cooking)

How to Make Them

Combine the flour, baking powder, and sugar together in one big bowl.

Add the milk substitute and crack the eggs in and whisk until smooth.

On a skillet at low heat (the secret to great pancakes is low heat), pour a ladle of the mixture into the pan and wait until it bubbles.

Once it bubbles on one side, flip it over and cook for about another minute.

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Can You Make Bisquick Pancakes without Milk?

Like homemade pancake batter, you can make Bisquick pancake batter without milk, as long as you substitute it with water or another option like almond milk, oat milk, soya milk, half cream/half milk, or even a thin yogurt.

Substitutes for Milk in Pancakes

Typically, making a pancake batter is more similar to baking than cooking in that it needs certain ratios in order to work.

In cooking, we can sometimes make substitutions or leave things out with no real thought, but when putting together pancake batter, we need to make sure we’re substituting most ingredients that we leave out.

Milk is added to pancake mixtures for its contribution to the pancake’s moistness and its liquid nature, which helps the batter come together and combine with the dry ingredients without becoming too chalky.

If you don’t have milk, here are some substitutions to try in your pancakes:

1. Water

Water is the easiest substitute for milk in pancakes, as you can easily get it out of the faucet and probably don’t need to worry if you have it available.

However, water may give your pancakes a less tender texture and less flavorful taste, so you may want to add in something else to help with that.

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Some suggestions would be vanilla extract or almond extract (1 teaspoon), an extra tablespoon of butter, or even some sort of fruit or chocolate flavoring to give your pancakes a nicer taste.

They’ll be fine with just water if that’s really all you have.

Just be prepared to douse them in syrup and know they won’t be quit as rich as with milk.

2. Oat Milk/Almond Milk/Soya Milk

If you don’t have “regular milk,” you can substitute any other kind of milk like oat milk, almond milk, soya milk or even rice milk or cashew milk.

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They’ll all give the pancakes a slightly different flavor, but will do the job just fine.

3. Buttermilk

If you want a more zingy taste, try substituting the milk for buttermilk in your pancake recipe!

Buttermilk pancakes are absolutely delicious, and you could end up making a recipe that’s actually better than what you were previously making!

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4. Half Cream/Half Water

If you have some cream (not whipped cream, but a thinner cream like half and half), you can combine it with water to replace the milk in your pancake recipe.

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Simply take the amount of milk you were supposed to add and divide it in two.

Add that much each of the cream and the water, and you’ll end up with a very milk-like consistency and flavor and no one will know the difference.

5. Yogurt

Yes, yogurt!

Don’t go for something super chunky like greek yogurt, but a regular, relatively thin yogurt will be perfectly fine as a replacement for milk in your pancakes.

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You’ll get a pretty tender pancake with yogurt and the batter may not spread quite as much as with milk, but it’s a great substitution.

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