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Homemade Mixes

Make your own mixes at home to save time & money...and your health!

Searcy, Ark. – 

You can buy these at the store: muffin mix, cake in a cup, pancake mix, biscuit mix, seasoning mixes, and more.  But you may be paying a lot more for that convenience, and you may be getting a lot more sodium and fat than you need.  I checked my grocery app, and there are a lot of baking mixes that are out of stock right now!  Many people are probably trying to get their pancake mix, but you don’t have to purchase a mix to do that.   

Preparing homemade convenience foods allows you to control the final product, the nutritional value, and quality and quantity of the ingredients.  You can limit fat, sodium, sugar, and additives in your convenience foods, and also save valuable time.  I compared the nutrition information for a popular baking mix and the all-purpose mix below.  The homemade mix pancakes have less fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and probably cost less also. 

Suggestions for making “convenience mixes” more nutritious: 

  1. Substitute whole wheat flour for all or part of the bleached white flour. 

  1. Use vegetable oil instead of solid shortening (depending on recipe). 

  1. Use fat-free milk instead of whole milk. 

  1. Add more nonfat dry milk than the recipe calls for. 

  1. Reduce fat but don’t cut it out completely.  Fat adds moisture, flavor, and texture to cookies, cakes, quick breads, and muffins.   

Here is a convenience mix that you can make to keep on hand.  These mixes are healthier and less expensive than the packaged convenience mixes you buy in the store.  And, you probably already have most of the ingredients!  

All Purpose Convenience Mix – small batch 

  • 4 ½ cups flour 

  • 1 cup nonfat dry milk 

  • 2 tablespoons baking powder 

  • ½ tablespoon salt 

  • ½ cup canola oil 

Combine flour, dry milk, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Stir together. Mix in oil until the mixture is smooth.  Store in an airtight container.  Refrigerate and use within a month or put into containers suitable for freezing and store in the freezer. 

What can you make with this mix? Biscuits (several variations), cheese bread, dumplings, muffins (some variations), bran muffins, pancakes, waffles, banana bread, orange nut bread, pumpkin bread, yeast rolls, hamburger-onion buns, Italian bread sticks, coffee cake, fruit surprise, apple rolls, brownies, molasses cookies, oatmeal cookies, peanut butter cookies, potato skillet cakes, tuna biscuit squares, and tuna-broccoli casserole.  

For the larger batch recipe and all of the recipes, plus 14 other homemade convenience mixes, go to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Bulletin #4029 .  We can offer a limited number of the printed booklet.   

To make pancakes using the mix: 

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose convenience mix 

  • 2 tablespoons sugar 

  • ¾ cup water 

  • 1 egg, well beaten 

Blend mix and sugar.  Stir water and egg into mix until blended.  Drop batter onto hot griddle which has been lightly greased.  Cook on first side until bubbles form.  Turn and cook on the other side.  Serve immediately.  Makes 12 medium pancakes.   

The University of Arkansas System, Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.  For more information you can call us at 501-268-5394 or email   You can also follow Katie on Facebook uaex white county fcs . 


By Katie Cullum
County Extension Agent - FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Katie Cullum
County Extension Agent - FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
2400 Old Searcy Landing Road Searcy AR 72143
(501) 268-5394


The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.