Pancake Mix Would Be A Great Survival Food

This is a guest post by Kim B

[This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win a number of prizes including an 84 serving storage bucket of Wise Food Storage, 500 rounds of 9mm ammo, a NukAlert a copy of my book The Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat and a copy of my CD It’s The End Of The World As We Know It – And I Feel Fine . For complete rules and list of prizes see this post.]

While growing up, my mother would make pancakes for breakfast several times a week. I remember when she would put small slices or bite-sized chunks of regular old chicken, pork and beef hot dogs in them. Boy, did they taste good with homemade Mapleine syrup.

When I was older, I found out that she never used anything but Krusteaz brand pancake mix and the reason she gave was because she did not have to add any extra ingredients such as eggs and oil as some mixes require. I sometimes believe that I am a child at heart because I still enjoy having a pancake made into the shape of a cute little man once or twice a year. It was about ten years ago when my mother told me that she likes to have a bag of the stuff on hand because “it will keep a long time” and keep it does.

It is amazing how long some of the bags she has had sitting in storage have been around, loosely encased in one of Wal Mart’s plastic grocery bags.

A pancake not only fills my stomach and makes me feel like I did when I was a child but the uses for the mix are ideal for survival. Pancakes can be eaten as is or made with additional ingredients added in such as chocolate chips, Raspberries, Blackberries, Marion berries, Peaches, Pears, dried or fresh Cherries, Apples, Blueberries, hot dogs, Cheddar, American, Pepper Jack or Mozzarella cheeses (one or a combination of), a dab of Jalapenos and shredded cheese, integrated with softened finely chopped or diced fried onions, fine or medium corn meal, bacon, bacon bits, ham, shredded potatoes with or without onions mixed in (the cake topped with a dollop of sour cream), buttermilk, beer, chives, pepperoni, sausage, and flavorings of Maple, Rum, Orange, Almond, Chocolate, etcetera can be utilized because extracts such as these are great to give the cakes an added or new twist should the taste buds crave some excitement or the mind be in need of a little distraction away from survival boredom or stress.

No reason to stop there because the same additions can be used after a plain cake has been made by preparing the ingredients while it is cooking and then layering on and rolling them up inside to make a pancake burrito.

The most memorable of pancakes was when, on a very rare occasion, I would get a buttered pancake that was still warm which had been lightly sprinkled with sugar. It was always a surprise because before it was set before me my mother would ensure that the sugar was melted so that I would not see what was about to hit my taste buds. Because I no longer prefer a sugar-coated pancake I now like to place an over easy egg on top of a cake because the flavor of the yolk makes it taste good.

I enjoy stews and also dumplings in a beef, chicken, or other clear broth soup, especially on a cold Fall or Winter’s day. Sometimes I like to put some left over stew into a baking dish and bake it with a crust on top which always satisfies my appetite after a long, cold day outside.

I like to make up dough balls and drop them in just before everything in the pot has finished cooking so that I can closely keep watch to ensure they do not overcook and to be able to retrieve and set them in a separate dish while they are still tender. I also like to bake a few biscuits and cover them with a gravy made from the mix and they are a real enhancement to a nice hot bowl of thick bean soup when warm and buttered.

There were a few times when my mother had run out of cooking oil so she put the dry mix into a frying pan and, while stirring continually until it would brown, she would then add canned or powdered milk and water until it reached the thickness that she wanted. Personally, when making gravy, I like to brown diced onions and place them in a dish until after I make a batch of gravy so that the dry powder will not stick to them, clump and create a lumpy gravy.

Because the Krusteaz mix goes a long way and requires only water or liquid to use it, it would be a very good trading or bartering item. Placed into zip loc baggies, it would be easy to conceal them under a jacket to prevent being mugged for what may be the only food that anyone’s seen for miles or months and not so large that they could not be carried in a bug out bag.

I can imagine that an event happening in my area and how good it would feel after eating a pancake dough ball that I roasted over an open candle flame before trying to get some shut eye. With a little oil I could put dry ingredients on the outside and with a little liquid seasoning I could add my own flavor or touch up the outside during cooking which would make it seem more like I am having a meal than merely some plain bread. Things such as barbecue or steak sauce, powdered cheese, garlic salt, bouillon, sage, thyme, rosemary or even a simple sprinkling of salt and freshly cracked pepper from a hand-sized grinder would give dinner a small but welcome kick when I am waiting it out, bored from sitting too long on a clogged freeway, or stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Being from a poor background, I was around a lot of people who improvised and used a little creativity, so early on I learned how to do the same. Their ways taught me that when in a pinch I should try this and try that. Stuck or waiting someplace, I would eventually run out of drinking water but with a few packages or a bottle of apple or other juices, I would have the liquid needed to use the dry mix.

If the Krusteaz company ever goes out of business or stops serving our nation with their product then I will settle for a different brand as I sometimes have to do so long as it does not require more than water or liquid to prepare it. And if I ever run out of store-bought seasonings or cannot trade or barter for them if my supplies have been depleted or devastated then I will find and use things such as pine needles, rose hips, pine nuts, sprouts and other natural goods that our planet so graciously provides.

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. Tomthetinker says:

    I wonder if Krusteaz can be found in #10 cans? I wonder what the shelf life is if bagged and sealed like any other ‘dry’ item?

    • If it contains eggs, it will be shorter than just grains, perhaps 10 years. If it contains oils, then much shorter then that, perhaps 3 years. As always storage conditions play a large roll in longevity.

    • Matt in Oklahoma says:
    • gary in bama says:

      Krusteaz is one of the main things i keeep as a survival food. i buy mine at sams in a 10 lb bag it has a 2 year shelf life as is from factory i have use a bag that was 3and a half years old with no taste differance.My sams store has it for 6.87 a bag and in this house i have 5 bags { i do funnel cakes a couple time a year at festivals}. Based on what ive stored i feel if unopened and sealed in mylar id eat it and like it in 5 to 7 years .

      • JO (Georgia) says:

        Ok I’m sold you said the magic word “funnel cake” do you just make the batter like normal and drop it in fry oil? or do you have to do something special?

  2. Great ideas here!! We’ve got several of the large Krusteaz pancake bag mixes from Sam’s in our food storage. We also found plastic jugs at Walmart – Great Value Brand. Just add water, shake & you have pancakes. They have great expiration dates on them too – about 2 years out (which means you can get 4 or 5!). They are good too – probably made by Krusteaz.

    A pancake is a great substitute for bread if it ever becomes unavailable. No kneading or rising required. Much easier & faster to make.

  3. Spook45 says:

    During WWII, the OSS develoded a secret formula for pancake mix that made a very effective explosive but was still edible. Not sure I like the idea of eating packcakes that could blow up!!?

    • No but it would come in handy for defensive measures if the SHTF.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Spook, if a guy farted he could blow himself up. Um, I think I’d better avoid that type of pancake.

    • gary in bama says:

      most people dont realize how explosive flour is. years ago saw a expert take a paper towel tube a candle and a few spoons of flour he sifted the flour in the tube with a lit candle in it covered it with a plate and ran amazed me the tube blew to bits. he said in most kitchens he could find what he needed to blow a house up in 5 minates. wonder what he put his parents through as a kid :}

  4. I usually buy giant boxes of Bisquik and repackage. Many times we have pancakes for dinner with bacon, sausage or ham. Snacks when I run out of cookies. Makes great waffles, too, that can be frozen. Much cheaper than buying pre-made.

    Nice blog.

    • Jennifer (Prepping Wife) says:

      What do you do to store your home made waffles? My daughter loves waffles – she eats two each morning for breakfast with (yes) hot sauce on them. Crazy girl. I’d like to try your idea but I dont want to use tons of vacumn seal bags.

      • gary in bama says:

        cook them once a week. a little less than normal till light brown put in zip lock bags and freeze . same thing EGGOs does then put in toaster.when my kids were little i refilled an EGGos box made them feel special lol

      • Jennifer, I usually make about 30-40 waffles at a time, wrap them in foil and just freeze them. Then use them as needed. No long term storage for these. It’s is much cheaper than buying pre-made. You can do this with pancakes as well. I’m just too cranky in the morning to stand at a stove and cook these. I’m usually just sucking up my coffee trying to wake up and be civilized. 😉

        • Jennifer (Prepping Wife) says:

          Thanks so much guys! I am going to have to do this. Will be fun!

      • HeyMickey59 says:

        I will take my french toast leftovers and put 2 in a ziploc baggie and freeze them. Then, it’s a quick pop in the toaster for a bit to heat them up, add syrup and you have a good breakfast in no time, and no mess!

  5. Oh yah, pancakes and eggs smothered in bacon fat and maple syrple 😛 MMMMM-mmmm, good. My kids loved when I made pancakes in animal and other shapes.
    I still use them as bread and often vary the consistency of the dough to get either a fat, chewy cake, or a thin tortila slice for stuffing with sloppy joe or other burger mix.
    Shy III

  6. Krusteaz is a good item to have. There are a lot of things if we just hunt them down we could probably use that is super handy and uses less of what we don’t have.
    I like Krusteaz cause you don’t have to get it completely mixed up, if you don’t feel good you can still whip up a batch for others and go back to bed.
    I will have to put that on my list for next pay (if the present administration let’s SS checks through) but now I have a problem THERE IS ANOTHER PREPPER IN MY TOWN. They either have more money than I do or they just plan better. And they are on the same diet plan I am. And I bet they read the Survival blog so Krusteaz will be gone when I go to get some. I am definately going to have to be on my toe’s. And to make things worse they shop the Dollar Tree. Yikes my life is getting complicated.
    Paratus Familia has on her site about prepping fatigue.
    I find prepping is much like your heart beating. Although your lips and mind are saying that you don’t want to do this, you don’t want to worry about the future, your body has gone into automatic mode.
    Even thought you may get discouraged one minute you find yourself up and doing some kind of prep the next.
    Ain’t that great??????

    • mountain lady says:

      I am not going to worry about the SS check. I think he is just playing a game that he is going to lose. Last time I went to town I bought the very large bag of Krusteaz that is resealable. Plan to get another one next trip. It sure does come in handy. As for being burned out on prepping, I have been for a few months, mostly due to lack of storage space. That said, whenever I do get to town, I end up buying as much as the budget will allow. Hoping to get another 24 cans of tuna next trip along with the family size Krusteaz.

      • axelsteve says:

        Obama will pay the sosoal security. Ya gotta remember all of his voters who are gameing the ss program.He isn`t that stupid actual some hope he is. Steve

  7. Pancakes were always a staple food growing up in our house, and something we still have on occasion. As you point out, they can be more than just a great breakfast. We used to have what my mother called Corn Fritters for an evening meal. You simply use a can of whole kernel corn in the recipe including the liquid, adding additional liquid to fill out the recipe. Eaten with just a little butter, these were a tasty and filling meal. If you preferred a little sweeter fair they were topped with either apple sauce or apple butter. Come to think of it, this could easily end up being tonight’s dinner.
    Krusteaz has a simple mix that requires that you add oil, and the complete mix which requires only water. The only problem with the complete mix is that it already contains oil which anecdotal evidence aside, greatly shortens its shelf life. A non-fat version like the Krusteaz original will probably last a lot longer.
    My personal preference is one made from inexpensive and long lasting ingredients like the one here:
    Looking at the ingredients, Flour you can grind, baking powdered which you will need to store, although sourdough starter would work here with a little more planning, salt, sugar, milk (from powdered milk or from your goat or cow), end eggs from your chickens, and some butter or other oils. The Krusteaz sounds like a great convenient mix, and having some on hand for the short term is probably a good thing, but long term if forced to eat from scratch or from storage, knowing how to make your own will be critical.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Thanks OP.,
      Your favorite is printed and filed in our survival book. We can’t have chickens (yet) so will have to get a #10 of powdered eggs. It has been on our list for too long.

      • Hunker-Down,
        That’s not necessarily my favorite, just an example of the kind of recipe I prefer, made from scratch with simple ingredients. You should probably just Google pancake recipes and play around with what you find. Adding sourdough starter or using a little buckwheat or potatoes or some fruit like strawberries or blueberries can also add some tasty variety.

    • All this pancake talk forced me to make a batch tonight from scratch. I used the Old Fashioned recipe from the link, substituting the liquid from the can of whole corn (Aldis) for some of the milk, and adding the entire can of corn. It made 14 nice sized fritters which will be enjoyed for a day or two. When I get sometime later I need to make a double batch, then vacuum pack and freeze some of them. Instant comfort food via toaster.

  8. Nor Cal Ray says:

    Kim B,
    Be careful and watch the expiration dates on the Pancake Mix. I remember seeing something on the net a year or so ago about there being something in Pancake and Cake mixes that becomes extremely toxic after a short time and that is why these type mixes have a fairly short expiration date.

  9. Tammie Faulk says:

    Would there be any problem with meal worms or other bugs that could lay dormant in the mix? Would the leavening agent go bad after a few years?

    • Tammie Faulk,
      Any grain based item can get worms, so either store your mix in the freezer if you have the space, or place the unopened container in the freezer for 48 hours before moving it to storage to kill off all of the bugs, eggs, and larvae.
      The leavening agent is typically baking powder which if kept dry will most likely keep as long as the shelf life of the prepared mix.

  10. Now you done it, I’m hungry again and I just finished sausage, eggs, and taters. I use the recipe for baking mix from the ‘joy of cooking’ cause I can make it from stores, and maybe add a little mesquite flour for a nutty taste. Agave necter, or Prickly Pear syrup are my favorite toppings.
    Will have to get some of that mix you like for BOB and GHB thanks.

  11. I just internetted shelf life of Krusteaz it is 24 months. That is the complete mix. So imagine if you kept it in mylar etc you could extend that to at least 3 or 4 in a cool place.
    I do believe we have to watch our foods. This is a must and very needful. But I am beginning to think we are getting paranoid over how long stuff will last.
    First trick is common sense.
    Second is safe handling.
    3rd is the storage.

    • Ellen

      The key is to rotate to having fresh foods in storage is to use and replace with new and repeat.

      • M.D.
        I realize that.
        If you come to visit me you may get an ify peanut butter sandwich (no not Jiffy, ify), the peanut butter may be a little off.

    • Ellen,
      Mylar may not help here, primarily because the complete mix contains oils. Oils are often the limiting factor in storage longevity issues.

  12. Only the second time I have visited and behold, another tip that may apply to ladies! Perhaps those should have a special label so we can find them..?

  13. STL Grandma says:

    Oh, how timely! DH loves to make homemade pancakes from scratch but I’ve stored pancake mix anyway. I’ll admit it, he’s watched one too many Alton Brown episodes and now we bicker over who gets to cook. He loves pancakes and is adjusting his recipe, fine tuning it every week and thrilling the grandkids in the process. All he’s doing for me is adding pounds to the hips! LOL

    Great Post!

    • GAdixiedarlin says:

      STL Grandma….I learned a LONG TIME ago to NEVER complain or argue with/about a man who is willing to cook for me. I have eaten some really nasty stuff and said it was absolutely wonderful!! I will never complain about a man who is willing to cook….and if he cleans up the kitchen afterward….I will kiss his feet!!!!!!!!………………LOL

  14. GoneWithTheWind says:

    Many years ago when I hiked I would carry pancake mix and peanut butter and jelly. Pancakes are easy to make so I would make a double batch for breakfast and save half for lunch. Then make PB&J sandwiches with them. I’m talking the greatest energy producing trailfood I ever ate! To this day with freeze dried and other options I can still taste the PB&J pancakes; filling, satisfying and kept the energy going for hours.

  15. JO (Georgia) says:

    I wonder if part of the shelf life has to do with the baking powder, Here is a link to a great article on how to make your own baking powder (sorry no substitute for baking soda in it still have to stock that) but it also discusses the shelf life and how to store it. Baking soda looses its potency over time once opened so it would be better to have a bunch of smaller unopened boxes than one big one. Creme of tartar keeps indefinitely when kept away from moisture. Same with cornstarch. These three things are all you need to make baking powder 🙂

  16. Becomes the Bear says:

    My 92 year old Mother still makes her pancakes in the shape of a cowboy for the boys and cowgirls for the girls in the family. She is now making them for the Great Great Grandkids. Always in demand everytime that they show up for breakfast. Love the looks on their faces when they see them. The “guns” always get eaten first.

    • GAdixiedarlin says:

      Hope I can have someone say the same thing about me in a few years…….Hope I live to be 92 and I can still be making pancakes for my grand, greats and anyone else who may want to eat them…………..LOL

  17. I have something similar I pre make and bake . More like a dense very firm flat biscuit . Just add lot of molasses and a bit of water . Consists of , whole wheat flour , rye flour , corn meal , oat meal , Vanilla extract , soy protein powder , cut up dehydrated apricots , with a lot of molasses as the binder and a dab of water if its too stiff to manipulate . Then baked until as hard as it will get . great for backpacking . High energy and substantial , it sits in your stomach for awhile .

  18. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    Is there a difference between the complete Krusteaz and regular Bisquick?

    Using pancakes as bread is a great idea and one I had never contemplated before this guest post. Thanks Kim, et al.

    • Sandyra says:

      I was thinking the same thing – the difference between Bisquick (which I normally use) and Krusteaz (which I’ve never used)… anyone know?

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        Sandyra, my curiosity got the better or me, so I looked it up. According to Amazon, the Krusteaz brand doesn’t require anything be added except water. With Bisquick, you need to add eggs and milk (or water). So I can see that the Krusteaz would be better to store in our preps.

        Might get a couple of small bags of this mix now that I know it’s so easy to make.

        • Lint,
          According to the Krusteaz website, they have regular which requires eggs and oil to be added; and Complete which contains eggs and oil, and requires only water. The complete will have a shorter shelf life because it already contains oil. The Complete mix for short term use (1-3 years) and Regular or Bisquick for long term might make a good mix.

          • Sandyra says:

            Thanks for the feedback. I think I’m going to get both, as I see the advantages of both.

  19. Krusteaz pancake mix has been a staple of mine for many, many years. I always carried it on fly out hunting trips in Alaska where weight was a critical factor. You could make syrup by adding sugar to available blueberries, raspberries, etc. and boiling down over your campfire at night. Add pancakes in the morning and YUM! Cook extra pancakes in the morning, put them in a zip lock, and you had sweet bread for lunch. From your squeeze tubes you could put peanut butter and jelly, peanut butter and Karo syrup, or peanut butter and honey on those cakes. Really livens up a lunch and adds lots of calories when you were burning over 4000 per day. The extra cakes were also wrapped around leftover broiled fish, fresh game, etc. for the main portion of lunch. Good article on an amazing prep staple.

  20. Nuttbush54 says:

    Oh, now you did it! I will have to have pancakes tomorrow. I haven’t tried the Krusteaz simply because my family likes the Original Aunt Jemima pancake mix. You have to add oil, eggs and buttermilk (or milk) and then cook. I buy the boxes when they are on sale and seal the whole box in a bag with the Foodsaver, write the purchase date on it and stick it in the freezer until I am ready to open a new box. I usually keep 4 or 5 boxes if I can and the last box I opened had a best buy date of 2010 and it was fine.

    • Nuttbush54,
      Since it doesn’t contain eggs or oil, you’ve vacuum packed it, and keep it in the freezer, it should keep indefinitely. We store pancake mix, flour, and opened containers of oatmeal in the freezer and have never lost any to spoilage; although they’re generally consumed within 2-3 years.

  21. Also Pam says:

    Another good article. I have thought that even people who don’t like sweet pancakes would like them plain used as bread with just about any filling, if bread was not easily come by. They would be more familiar than tortillas for some and you wouldnt need special (masa) flour. I make my own mix that is like a homemade Bisquick. I usually make a double batch. You could add dry milk and dried egg powder if you wanted to make just pancake mix. But being able to make biscuits or dumplings or cookies out of it means it gets used up pretty quickly. It is just the 2 of us and the family dropping in once in a while. I also use it for pie crust etc.

  22. Very cool, like M.D. said the trick is to rotate your stock using the oldest first, thanks now I’m gonna go an eat some pancakes…:)

  23. Dean in az says:

    I’ve kept both around ,sure beats the thought of grinding wheat! Bisquick for dumplings,biscuits,bread..krusteaz for pancakes. A 5 gallon bucket of each will be easier to move,less work than raw wheat,and if you don’t have dehydrated egg’s,oil,yeast and sugar and all the other goodies,wheat is as good as wallpaper paste!

    • Dean in az said :
      ” if you don’t have dehydrated egg’s,oil,yeast and sugar and all the other goodies,wheat is as good as wallpaper paste! ”

      That pretty much describes GRITS ! but unlike wheat , even all the goodies dont help lol .
      MRE = Meals Refused by Ethiopians , thats not true but I’m pretty sure they would choose starvation over Grits .

      • Nothing like a bowl of freeze dried , ground maggots ( grits ) Mmmmmmmmmmm Mmmmmmmmmm !

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