Fresh, hot pancakes make a wonderful weekend breakfast, but their allure sometimes pales in comparison to the sleep you'll forego to mix up the batter. If you want to enjoy both, one obvious solution is to make up a large batch of batter ahead of time -- homemade or from a mix -- and freeze it in breakfast-sized portions to thaw as needed.
The Judgment Call
Pancakes made from frozen batter won't cook up quite as light and high as freshly mixed, because part of your baking powder's leavening power is activated as soon as the batter is made. The remainder only springs to life in the heat of the pan, so you'll still get an adequate degree of rise. If your recipe calls for soda rather than baking powder, you're out of luck. The soda will be completely expended when you thaw the batter, and your effort will be wasted. Popular brands of boxed mixes vary in "freeze-ability." For example Aunt Jemima advises against it, while Hungry Jack is in favor.
Freeze your batter in shallow containers, so it will thaw quickly in your fridge overnight. Alternatively, save dishwashing by freezing batter in heavy-duty bags. Once it's thawed, you can simply cut off a corner and squeeze batter onto your griddle. Freezing cooked pancakes, rather than batter, is also an option. They deflate slightly as they cool, so they're not as delightful as fresh-made, but can be reheated quickly in your toaster, toaster oven or even your microwave.
Fred Decker is a trained chef and prolific freelance writer. In previous careers, he sold insurance and mutual funds, and was a longtime retailer. He was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. His articles have appeared on numerous home and garden sites including GoneOutdoors, TheNest and eHow.