Pancakes are my favourite breakfast, but sometimes I don’t have the time or energy to make them fresh every morning. This is why I sometimes make two or three batches of pancakes in one go and then freeze them for later.
Freezing pancakes is a great way to save time and have a quick breakfast option on hand. You only need to warm up your pancakes and add your favourite pancake toppings and your breakfast is ready!
However, there are some basic rules to keep in mind when freezing and reheating pancakes to make sure they keep their lovely texture, flavour and taste exactly like when they are freshly made.
With these simple tips, you can enjoy delicious, homemade pancakes even on the busiest mornings. Just freeze them ahead of time and thaw and reheat them when you’re ready to eat. It’s a great way to save time and reduce food waste, while still enjoying a delicious and nutritious breakfast.
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Can you freeze pancakes? The quick answer
In short, yes, you can freeze pancakes. Most types of pancakes freeze well, including pancakes with fruit, whole grains, or nuts inside them. To freeze pancakes, allow them to cool down completely, then place them in a single layer on a baking sheet or plate. Put the baking sheet or plate in the freezer and freeze for about 2 hours or until the pancakes are completely frozen. Once frozen, transfer the pancakes to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. Label the container or bag with the date and contents, and place them in the freezer for up to 2 months. To reheat frozen pancakes, you can use a microwave or a skillet.
Why Freeze Pancakes?
Pancakes are a delicious breakfast treat, but making pancakes from scratch can be time-consuming, and not everyone has the luxury of making them fresh every day. This is where freezing pancakes can come in handy.
Freezing pancakes is a great way to save time and have a quick and easy breakfast option on hand. It also helps to reduce food waste, as you can freeze any leftover pancakes instead of throwing them away.
Freezing pancakes is also a great option for meal prepping. You can make a large batch of pancakes on the weekend and freeze them for later in the week. This is especially helpful for busy mornings when you don’t have time to cook breakfast from scratch.
Is it better to freeze or refrigerate pancakes?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question, it very much depends on what’s best for you and your family. If I know that I’m going to finish the rest of the pancakes within 1-2 days, I usually just use the fridge to keep them. I always make sure that the pancakes are wrapped properly as they can pick up unwanted flavours from the fridge and it also prevents them from drying out and going stale.
But, if I know I’m not going to eat the pancakes in 1-2 days, I always freeze them. Freezing pancakes preserves their freshness and texture for a longer period of time. When stored properly in a freezer-safe container or bag, pancakes can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
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How to prepare your pancakes for freezing
To make sure that your pancakes freeze well and last long time in the freezer, you need to prepare them first for freezing:
The first step in freezing pancakes is to make sure they are completely cooled. If they are still warm, they can create condensation inside the container, which can lead to freezer burn and affect the texture and flavor of the pancakes.
Placing hot pancakes in the freezer can cause them to become soggy and lose their texture. Once the pancakes have cooled, place them on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer for about 30 minutes. This will help prevent them from sticking together when stored.
Using parchment paper between each pancake layer will prevent them from sticking together, making it easier to remove individual pancakes from the container when you’re ready to reheat them.
What packaging and containers can you use for freezing pancakes?
There are several types of packaging and containers that you can use for freezing pancakes, including:
- Freezer-safe zip-top bags: These are convenient and space-saving, and come in various sizes. Make sure to choose bags that are labeled as freezer-safe.
- Airtight containers: These can be made of plastic, glass, or metal, and come in various sizes. Look for containers with a tight-fitting lid to prevent freezer burn.
- Aluminum foil: You can wrap the pancakes individually in aluminum foil before placing them in a freezer-safe container or bag.
- Parchment paper or wax paper: You can place a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper between each pancake to prevent them from sticking together before placing them in a freezer-safe container or bag.
- Silicone bags or containers: These are reusable and come in various sizes. They are a good eco-friendly option.
Remember to label the container or bag with the date and contents, and store them in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
Pancake Freezing Methods
- Flash Freeze: Place the pancakes in a single layer on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour. Once they are frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag. You can also layer them in between a greaseproof paper (optional). This method ensures that the pancakes don’t stick together.
- Stack and Freeze: Place a piece of parchment paper or greaseproof paper between each pancake and stack them up. Then wrap the stack in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer-safe container or bag. This method is great for saving space in the freezer. I usually find that the pancakes are not as flat as I’d like them to be using this method, but it’s still perfectly good (and quick) way to freeze them.
- Individually Wrap: Wrap each pancake individually in plastic wrap and then place them in a freezer-safe container or bag. This method is great if you only need to thaw one or two pancakes at a time. If you have a lot of pancakes, this method is a bit time consuming (and also not very environmentally friendly as you’d need to use quite a lot of plastic wrap or a cling film to wrap your pancakes).
How to freeze your pancakes without sticking
To freeze pancakes without sticking, you can follow these steps:
- Allow the pancakes to cool down completely.
- Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet or plate.
- Put the baking sheet or plate in the freezer and freeze for about 2 hours or until the pancakes are completely frozen.
- Once frozen, transfer the pancakes to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper between each pancake to prevent them from sticking together.
- Label the container or bag with the date and contents.
- Place the container or bag in the freezer for up to 2 months.
If you don’t have parchment paper or wax paper, you can also wrap each pancake individually in plastic wrap before placing them in the freezer-safe container or bag. This will also prevent them from sticking together.
Labelling your pancakes
I never used to bother with labelling frozen pancakes, but now that I make quite a few batches a week, I do need to know in what order to eat them and to make sure I don’t end up with a batch that’s like a year old at the bottom of my freezer!
Labelling the container with the date and type of pancakes will help you keep track of what’s in your freezer and when you froze your pancakes. This will also help you avoid keeping pancakes in the freezer for too long, which can affect their quality and taste.
How long can you freeze pancakes for?
You can freeze pancakes for up to 2-3 months. Pancakes that have been frozen for longer than 2 months may still be safe to eat, but their texture and quality may be affected. I’ve had few pancake batches that I’ve kept for 3-4 months and whilst they were fine to eat, they tasted a bit rubbery.
To make sure that your pancakes do last a good 2-3 months, you should store the pancakes properly in an airtight container or zip-top bag to prevent freezer burn and maintain their quality.
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Thawing frozen pancakes
Now that you have frozen your pancakes, it’s time to thaw them. There are several ways to do this, depending on your preference and available appliances.
Thawing: The best way to thaw frozen pancakes is to remove them from the freezer and place them in the refrigerator overnight. This will allow them to thaw slowly and evenly, without becoming soggy or losing their texture. Alternatively, you can thaw them in the microwave by placing them on a microwave-safe plate and heating them on low power for 30-second intervals, flipping them over after each interval, until they are thawed.
When you are ready to reheating your frozen pancakes, there are a few methods you can use. From microwaving frozen pancakes for 20 seconds per pancake to reheating frozen pancakes in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes. Another option is to place your pancakes in a toaster or toaster oven until heated through.
Whichever re-heating method you choose, be sure to separate the pancakes and avoid overcrowding them to ensure they heat evenly.
Reheating thawed Pancakes
Once your pancakes are thawed, you can reheat them in several ways. I’ve written a comprehensive guide for reheating pancakes, but here is a quick re-cap:
- Toaster: Place the thawed pancakes in a toaster and toast them until they are heated through and crispy.
- Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F and place the thawed pancakes on a baking sheet. Bake them for 5-10 minutes, or until they are heated through.
- Microwave: Place the thawed pancakes on a microwave-safe plate and heat them on high power for 30-60 seconds, or until they are heated through.
When reheating pancakes, be careful not to overcook them, as this can make them dry and tough. It’s better to undercook them slightly and let them rest for a minute or two, as they will continue to cook and become more tender.
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My favourite tips and tricks for freezing pancakes
- Freeze pancakes in a single layer first: To prevent pancakes from sticking together, freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once they are frozen, you can transfer them to a container or bag.
- Defrost pancakes fully before reheating: Defrost pancakes in the fridge overnight before reheating. This will ensure that they are evenly heated and don’t become soggy.
Can you freeze previously frozen pancakes?
It is not recommended to refreeze previously frozen pancakes. Freezing and thawing pancakes multiple times can affect their texture and quality, and may also increase the risk of foodborne illness.
It is best to freeze pancakes only once, immediately after they have been cooked and cooled down. If you have leftover pancakes that have already been frozen and thawed, it is better to store them in the refrigerator and consume them within a day or two.
Can you freeze shop bought pancakes?
Yes, you can freeze shop-bought pancakes, providing that they have not been frozen previously. You do need to check the packaging or ask at the store to make sure that you know.
Also keep in mind that shop-bought pancakes may have preservatives or additives that can affect their texture and quality after freezing and reheating, so they might not taste exactly the same as when you bought them fresh.
Which types of pancakes shouldn’t be frozen?
Most types of pancakes freeze well, but there are some types of pancakes that may not freeze well or may lose their texture and quality after being frozen.
For example, pancakes with a lot of fresh fruit or whipped cream on top may not freeze well, as the moisture from the fruit or cream can make the pancakes soggy or mushy. Similarly, pancakes with a lot of syrup or sauce on top may not freeze well, as the syrup or sauce can become watery or separate after freezing and reheating.
I would also not recommend to freeze Japanese Fluffy Pancakes as they start to deflate the minute you serve them and would just turn into a mush if you try to freeze them and then defrost them.
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How to freeze pancakes without wax paper?
If you don’t have wax paper, there are other ways to freeze pancakes without them sticking together. Here are a few alternatives:
- Use parchment paper: Cut out squares of parchment paper (about the size of your pancakes) and place them between each pancake before freezing.
- Use plastic wrap: Wrap each pancake individually in plastic wrap before freezing. This will prevent them from sticking together and make it easier to defrost only the amount you need.
- Use a silicone mat: If you have a silicone baking mat, you can place the pancakes on the mat and freeze them. Once frozen, you can remove them from the mat and transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag.
- Use a non-stick spray: Spray a non-stick cooking spray on a baking sheet and place the pancakes on the sheet. Once frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag.
Remember to label the container or bag with the date and contents, and store them in the freezer for up to 2 months.
By following these tips and tricks, you can enjoy delicious pancakes even on your busiest mornings. Happy freezing!
This blog post was originally written on 21 June 2023 and last updated on 21 June 2023