Commercial baking mixes are pretty mainstream these days. What was once a novelty for our grandmothers is common place today. Some folks can’t dream of making pancakes or muffins without a box. I myself once thought that was baking "from scratch."
Unfortunately, despite their convenience, these boxed mixes contain dubious ingredients and often lack substance or flavor. For those with nut allergies, using a boxed mix can be counterproductive when the mixes are manufactured in the same facility as nut products. Boxed mixes might be cheap with sales and coupons but they taste factory-made. There is a better way, a much better way.
You can have your cake and bake it yourself, too, by preparing your own baking mixes. This is so simple, you’ll wonder why you weren’t doing it already.
5 Steps to Creating a Baking Mix
- Locate your favorite recipes for quick breads, coffee cakes, scones, cornbread, brownies, muffins, pancakes, and/or waffles. Just choose two or three to start. Pretty soon you’ll have an arsenal of baking goodness at your ready. (I even do this for instant oatmeal packets.)
- Gather the ingredients for the recipes in question along with measuring cups and spoons.
- Label your storage vessels (zip-top freezer bags or large canning jars) with the name of the recipe, the baking directions, and any wet ingredients that will need to be added later.
- In assembly-line fashion, fill the storage vessels with the dry ingredients needed for each recipe. I typically make three to five batches of each mix at a time. It doesn’t take much longer than doing one, and I have all the ingredients ready to go anyway. If I am using canning jars, a canning funnel is helpful to reduce mess and make sure all the ingredients make it to my storage vessel.
- Store these items in the freezer for longest storage. Freezing prolongs the shelf life of flours which can go rancid over time, as well as protects your baking mixes from pests that might invade your pantry.
4 Favorite Make-Ahead Baking Mixes
Some of my favorite “make a mix” recipes include:
(Image credits: Jessica Fisher)