Time for another one of my Quest for the Best series! This time around I tested 8 different protein pancake mixes for you. It’s been rough, really…eating all those pancakes…I know you feel really bad for me. I found some that were really delicious, and some that were not so much; some that were fluffy and cakey, and some that were flat as…well, pancakes. Lucky for you, I broke it all down here and gave you my final rank order of preference for taste/texture, along with a price comparison, how their macros stack up and what’s good and bad about the ingredients list.
A couple notes to get started:
- Bold categories mean that brand won out in that specific category.
- I made all of these pancakes with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, which may have influenced the flavor slightly, but they were all influenced the same way. The mixes all call for either water or some kind of milk to make the magic happen.
- I’m a big fan of Amazon shopping, so that’s where I focused the majority of my search for the ultimate protein pancake. You can see a list at the bottom of other pancake brands I may have missed (as of April 2017).
- Taste: 8 – These have a nice faint flavor to them with a slight sweetness. Nothing to write home about, but good.
- Texture: 7 – These are more “flapjack” style pancakes..not cakey and fluffy but more on the flat side, which may be partly due to their recipe calling for too much liquid.
- Flavor Variety: Birchbenders has lots of flavors/varieties of pancakes (including paleo) but I’ve only seen this one, an “all natural” version of this one, and Peanut Butter flavored protein varieties.
- Ingredients: Ingredients list is primarily natural ingredients, all non-GMO, only thing of concern is the “natural flavor” that’s added. Who knows what it actually is.
- Macro ratio: 180 cal per 1/2 cup mix / 16 g protein / 1.5 g fat / 26 g carbs
- Value: $7.99 for 16 oz = $0.50 per oz (9 servings per bag)
- Notes: If you like big fluffy pancakes, this might not be the mix for you – but you can probably adjust the amount of liquid and fix that to some extent. I’m not in love with the macro ratio, but I like the price, the ingredients list and the slight sweetness to the pancakes even before adding syrup.
- Taste: 9 – I can actually taste the faint buttermilk flavor in these pancakes. They’ve got a nice, light sweetness to them too.
- Texture: 8 – Fluffy, moist pancakes.
- Flavor Variety: As far as I can tell, buttermilk is the only flavor they offer.
- Ingredients: The mysterious “natural and artificial flavor” as well as soy lecithin make their way onto this ingredients list. It’s also not encouraging that the second ingredient listed is sugar.
- Macro ratio: 200 cal per 2 scoops of mix (3 pancakes) / 12 g protein / 2.5 g fat / 30 g carbs
- Value: $12.43 for 32 oz = $0.39 per oz (16 servings per container)
- Notes: The macro ratio of these pancakes isn’t great and I’m not a big fan of the ingredients list, but based on flavor and texture alone (they actually achieved a buttermilk flavor), this mix deserves a spot near the top for those who are okay with it.
- Taste: 7 – There’s the faintest of buttermilk flavor to these pancakes but next to zero sweetness by themselves. Sure, you can drench them in maple syrup and they’ll be deliciously sweet…but I don’t think you should have to.
- Texture: 8 – Nice and fluffy but a little dry unless there is syrup involved.
- Flavor Variety: Buttermilk, Banana Hazelnut, Carrot Spice, Cinnamon Apple
- Ingredients: Overall a pretty natural ingredients list. Only thing that might be an issue is soy lecithin.
- Macro ratio: 200 cal per 1/2 cup of mix / 20 g protein / 3.5 g fat / 23 g carbs
- Value: $8.99 for 12 oz = $0.75 per oz (6 servings per bag)
- Notes: I like the ingredients list, the price and the macro ratio here. They actually have the best macro ratio of all the pancakes that I would definitely eat them again.
- Taste: 6 – Not a lot of sweetness or flavor to these pancakes except whatever you add on top.
- Texture: 9 – Nice and fluffy while still moist (which surprised me considering how thin the batter looked).
- Flavor Variety: Buttermilk Buckwheat, Chocolate Coconut, Strawberries ‘n Cream, White Chocolate
- Ingredients: Similar to FlapJacked, the only ingredient that might be of concern to some is soy lecithin.
- Macro ratio: 170 cal per 1/3 cup mix / 14 g protein / 4 g fat / 21 g carbs
- Value: $15.44 for 16 oz = $0.97 per oz (10 servings per container)
- Notes: This mix made a great fluffy pancake. An interesting note – I poured syrup on them and they just sucked it all up. I could barely get any to hit the plate or look like I put any syrup on them at all! Strange, but not a deal breaker for me.
- Taste: 6 – Not really much taste or sweetness to these pancakes at all.
- Texture: 5 – Similar to the texture of Birch Benders, these pancakes are mostly flat but Kodiak Cakes are a little gummy. I also thought the batter was a little too runny according to their liquid to mix ratio.
- Flavor Variety: Buttermilk, Crunchy Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate
- Ingredients: Nothing scary here – all non-GMO ingredients and no preservatives.
- Macro ratio: 190 cal per 1/2 cup mix / 14 g protein / 2 g fat / 30 g carbs
- Value: $6.49 for 20 oz = $0.32 per oz (I bought this mix at Target)
- Notes: I was a little disappointed with this mix after all the hype it gets…but they might be right for people who like really flat pancakes and add lots of toppings.
- Taste: 4 – These pancakes have no sweetness to them at all and actually border on the edge of savory.
- Texture: 8 – Fluffy, light pancakes.
- Flavor Variety: Buttermilk, Cinnamon Oat
- Ingredients: Nothing crazy despite the very bro-ey name. Xanthan gum is the only iffy ingredient if you have a sensitive stomach.
- Macro ratio: 290 cal per 1/2 cup mix / 23 g protein / 11 g fat / 28 g carbs
- Value: $21.39 for 24.7 oz = $0.87 per oz (10 servings per bag)
- Notes: Pretty expensive for what you get…you could certainly add some of your own sweetener and I’m sure they’d be great. I just don’t want to have to do that and still end up with 11 grams of fat per serving – though these do have one of the best protein to carb ratios here.
- Taste: 3 – The banana flavor feels pretty artificial.
- Texture: 4 – These ones are almost spongy…plus they have a weird green hue that I couldn’t get over AND you have to add your own egg to the batter.
- Flavor Variety: Banana, Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry, Wheatgrass, Chocolate Chip, Bee Pollen
- Ingredients: For something claiming to be a paleo mix, this has a pretty long list of ingredients including a few questionable ones – acacia gum, xylitol, xanthan gum, <2% of both silicon dioxide and ethyl alcohol.
- Macro ratio: 211 cal per 1/2 cup mix / 14 g protein / 5 g fat / 31 g carbs
- Value: $15.99 for 24 oz = $0.67 per oz (6 servings per 12 oz bag, 12 servings per 2 bags)
- Notes: I wouldn’t waste my money on this mix again. And I had to add my own egg to the batter.
- Taste: 2 – I’ll call it a nutty cardboard flavor. Not much else to say.
- Texture: 2 – These pancakes are nothing like your typical American pancake…they’re dry, crumbly and really thick, with chunks of what I assume is flax seed.
- Flavor Variety: Original, Chocolate, Pumpkin Spice, Snickerdoodle
- Ingredients: All natural ingredients, plus it’s gluten free.
- Macro ratio: 160 cal per 1/2 cup mix / 20 g protein / 6 g fat / 19 g carbs
- Value: $12.95 for 11.5 oz = $1.13 per oz (6 servings per bag)
- Notes: I wouldn’t even take more than 1 bite of these “pancakes.” Don’t let the pretty packaging fool you…don’t buy.
The reality is that I could have tested out any number of protein pancake mixes…it seems like there are new brands on the market every week. Here are a few other brands that I considered but ended up not buying for one reason or another:
American Dreams ABS Protein Pancake Mix – This was a product featured on Shark Tank and I actually really wanted to try this pancake mix but could not bring myself to pay the $39.95 for a 1 pound bag of mix. Seriously?! That’s $1 per pancake. No thanks.
Progenex Haute Cakes – I also really wanted to try this mix, but it seems like they’re hardly ever in stock. They also come in about a 3 lb bag which, if you couldn’t tell, is a little excessive considering the number of protein pancake mixes I already have in my pantry (8 to be exact). So I skipped this one too.
Scitec Nutrition Protein Pancakes – This mix also came in a damn near 3 lb container. Plus no free Amazon Prime shipping? I had to pass.
SDC Nutrition About Time Protein Pancake Mix – No reason not to try these other than the fact that I didn’t see them during my protein pancake mix purchasing spree. They get decent reviews on Amazon, might be worth checking out.
Pumped Up Pancakes – No free shipping on the buttermilk flavor…womp womp.
Oh, and here’s a sneak peak of something pancakey that I put together for a Sunday morning post! Check back tomorrow for that one 🙂