Refrigerating Pancake Batter Overnight: A Comprehensive Guide

Can you refrigerate pancake batter overnight?

Pancakes are a popular breakfast staple, but making them can be time-consuming, especially on busy mornings. Many people wonder if it’s possible to make pancake batter ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight. In this article, we will explore the topic of refrigerating pancake batter and provide insight into the best practices for storing it overnight.

Refrigerating Pancake Batter: An Overview

The answer is yes, you can refrigerate pancake batter overnight. Storing pancake batter in the refrigerator can save you time and make for a quick and convenient breakfast in the morning. However, there are certain factors to consider to ensure the best results.

Storing pancake batter: Best Practices

To properly store pancake batter overnight, it is important to use appropriate containers and follow specific guidelines. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

1. Choose an airtight container

When refrigerating pancake batter, it is important to use an airtight container to prevent air exposure and maintain freshness. A Tupperware container with a secure seal or a liquid-proof Ziploc bag are excellent options for storing pancake batter overnight.

2. Cover the surface with plastic wrap

Before sealing the container, it is recommended to cover the surface of the pancake batter with plastic wrap. This additional layer provides maximum protection from air exposure and preserves the quality of the batter.

3. Consider a Batter Dispenser

For added convenience, you can store pancake batter in a batter dispenser. These special containers make it easy to squeeze the desired amount of batter directly onto the pan or griddle, ensuring consistent portion sizes and minimizing mess.

4. Follow recipe guidelines

Different pancake recipes may have different ingredients that can affect the texture and rise of the batter. It is important to refer to the specific recipe instructions to determine the suitability of refrigerating the batter overnight. Some key ingredients to consider are baking soda, baking powder, yeast, and buttermilk.

Refrigerating thin pancake or crepe batter

When making thin pancakes or crepes, it is beneficial to prepare the batter ahead of time. When pancake batter is mixed, it aerates and creates bubbles. For thin pancakes or crepes, it is desirable for the bubbles to collapse, resulting in a flatter texture. Refrigerating the batter overnight can help achieve this desired result.

Refrigerator Batter with Baking Soda

Baking soda is a leavening agent that helps pancakes rise and gives them a fluffy, light texture. However, baking soda begins to activate as soon as it is mixed into the batter and can lose its effectiveness if not cooked relatively quickly. If your pancake recipe relies solely on baking soda to rise, it is not ideal to refrigerate the batter overnight.

Refrigerate batter with baking soda

Unlike baking soda, baking powder can generally be refrigerated without significant problems. Most baking powders are “double acting,” meaning they are activated by contact with wet ingredients and reactivated by heat. Although refrigerated dough may result in a slightly lower rise, adding a small amount of baking soda in the morning can refresh the dough and improve its rise.

Refrigerate dough with yeast

Using yeast in pancake batter is a great option for making ahead. The yeast remains active even when refrigerated, ensuring that the pancakes will rise properly when cooked the next morning. Some people find that allowing the yeast to rest and rise overnight adds to the flavor of the pancakes. It is best to remove the batter from the refrigerator about an hour before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.

Refrigerating Buttermilk Pancake Batter

If you prefer buttermilk pancakes, storing the batter overnight can be a bit more challenging. Buttermilk has a tendency to deflate when left out for long periods of time. To overcome this problem, you can mix all the dry ingredients together ahead of time and fold in the wet ingredients just before cooking. The dry ingredients do not necessarily need to be refrigerated, while the wet ingredients can be combined in a single bowl and stored overnight in an airtight container. It is best to whisk the wet ingredients just before adding them to the dry ingredients in the morning.

Long term storage and freezing

If you enjoy pancakes regularly and want to save time, you can make a large batch of pancake batter and store it for later use. The use of yeast-raised pancake mix is recommended for long-term storage, as the flavor and rise will improve over time. However, it is important to consume refrigerated pancake batter with milk within a week to avoid souring.
In addition, pancake batter can be frozen for even longer storage. To freeze pancake batter, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare the pancake batter according to your favorite recipe.
  2. Allow batter to cool to room temperature.
  3. Transfer the dough to a freezer-safe container or individual portions to freezer bags.
  4. Label the container or bags with the date and contents.
  5. Place the container or bags in the freezer.

Frozen pancake mix will keep for up to three months. When you’re ready to use it, simply thaw the batter overnight in the refrigerator. Once thawed, stir gently before cooking.


In summary, refrigerating pancake batter overnight is a convenient way to save time and enjoy freshly made pancakes in the morning. By following guidelines such as using an airtight container, considering the ingredients in your recipe, and understanding the desired texture, you can successfully refrigerate pancake batter without compromising its quality. Whether you prefer thin pancakes, fluffy American-style pancakes, or have specific ingredients like baking soda, baking powder, yeast, or buttermilk, there are ways to adjust the storage process for the best results. In addition, freezing pancake batter is a viable option for long-term storage. Experiment with different recipes and techniques to find the approach that works best for you and enjoy delicious pancakes whenever you want.


Can I refrigerate pancake batter made with baking soda?

It is not recommended to refrigerate baking soda-based pancake mix, as it may lose its effectiveness and result in flat pancakes. It is best to prepare baking soda batter just before cooking.

How long can I keep pancake batter in the refrigerator?

Pancake batter can be refrigerated for up to four days. It is important to store the batter in an airtight container to maintain its freshness.

Can I refrigerate thin pancake or crepe batter?

Yes, refrigerating thin pancake or crepe batter is actually ideal. Allowing the bubbles in the batter to collapse overnight will help create a flatter texture, perfect for making thin pancakes or crepes.

What happens if I refrigerate pancake batter with yeast?

Refrigerating pancake batter with yeast is fine and can enhance the flavor of the pancakes. The yeast remains active in the refrigerator and will rise properly when the batter is cooked the next morning.

Can I freeze pancake mix for long-term storage?

Yes, pancake batter can be frozen for extended storage. Place the batter in a freezer-safe container or individual portions in freezer bags and it can be stored for up to three months. Thaw the batter overnight in the refrigerator before using.

How do I keep buttermilk pancake batter from settling when refrigerated?

To prevent buttermilk pancake batter from settling, mix all the dry ingredients together ahead of time and fold in the wet ingredients just before cooking. This way, the batter does not sit for a long time, minimizing buttermilk deflation.