When you prepare them according to the instructions, instant pancakes can clearly reveal their origins. They can taste bland rather than offering the rich, delicious flavours of the completely homemade version. With a few modifications to the basic instructions, however, you can take instant pancakes from boring to tasty, and even adjust their texture to suit your personal preferences. Best of all, you can modify the flavours to make perfect pancakes that you and your family or guests will enjoy.
Put the pancake mix into a large bowl and form it into a crater shape. You will be pouring other ingredients into the mix soon, and this shape will help it hold them more easily. If you wish to add dry spices, such as cinnamon or nutmeg, sprinkle them into the pancake mix, stir to blend, then form the mix into the crater shape. Adding these spices is not necessary, but it can give your pancakes more flavour.
Put the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla (optional) and melted butter into another bowl and whisk them together thoroughly until they are well-blended. Pour this liquid mixture into the indentation in the dry pancake mix. Using eggs and buttermilk will make the pancakes taste significantly richer than using water, as many boxed pancake recipes direct.
Stir the wet mixture and the pancake mix together with a whisk until it is mostly combined, but still slightly lumpy. Mix in any other ingredients you wish to add, such as dried berries or apple chunks, at this time.
Make one small pancake as the box directs. Observe it closely as it cooks, then taste it. If it is too thin and the batter is more runny, stir in a little more pancake mix. If the batter is too stiff, add a little more buttermilk. Adjust the amounts of the other items in the batter if necessary; add some sugar if the pancake is not sweet enough, mix in more spices if you cannot taste them, or add another small handful of dried fruit if there was not enough in the pancake.
Make one more test pancake. If it is perfect, make the rest of the pancakes as instructed by your box. If not, continue modifying the ingredients and proportions until you are satisfied.
You do not need to use buttermilk if you do not like its flavour; you can use regular milk instead if you prefer.