How Long Can Pancakes Sit Out? [Reheating Leftovers]

Breakfast for dinner is a family favorite, especially when there are leftovers, so you can have pancakes for breakfast with no fuss.

If you love pancakes for breakfast, but you never seem to have time in the morning to make them, you can cook a large batch of pancakes and save them for later. 

Because pancakes have basically the same ingredients as cake and biscuits, they are safe to keep in an airtight container at room temperature for about 1 day. This is true for homemade pancakes or leftovers from restaurants. However, pancakes are likely to dry out quickly.

Therefore, for the best results,  you should store leftover pancakes in the refrigerator in an airtight container or zip-top bag for 3 days. Alternatively, you can freeze pancakes in portion sizes for up to 3 months. Whenever you store leftover food, be sure to check it for signs of spoilage like mold or bad smells before eating it.

Continue reading for the best practices for storing and reheating leftover pancakes, keeping pancake batter in the refrigerator and freezer, and some clever gadgets for pancake lovers.

Storing Leftover Pancakes

Storing Pancakes At Room Temperature

Pancakes have the same ingredients as cake, muffins, and biscuits. So, like these other baked goods, pancakes can sit out at room temperature safely.

However, pancakes dry out quickly, so if you are storing pancakes at room temperature, keep them in an airtight container or zip-top bag, and they will stay moist for about a day.

You should only keep pancakes that are not drenched in syrup. The syrup will cause the pancakes to become soggy and disintegrate. 

Buttermilk pancakes, Bisquick pancakes, and homemade pancakes will all do well for about a day in an airtight container at room temperature.

However, if you make gluten-free pancakes, you will have a better experience by refrigerating them instead of leaving them at room temperature. 

Leftover pancakes from restaurants will also keep just as well as homemade pancakes, assuming that they are not covered in syrup already.

You can place leftover pancakes from McDonald’s, IHOP, Denny’s, or other restaurants for about a day at room temperature. 

Pancakes

Storing Pancakes In The Refrigerator

You can stretch out the shelf life of your pancakes by storing them in the refrigerator. Place the pancakes in an airtight container or zip-top bag and keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days.

The airtight container will help keep the pancakes soft and moist instead of dry and crumbly.

From gluten-free to Bisquick mix pancakes to leftovers from a restaurant, any variety of pancakes will be good to eat for a couple of days in the fridge.

Remember to keep them in an airtight container so that they retain their moisture.

Storing Pancakes In The Freezer

Alternatively, you can freeze pancakes for up to 3 months. Wrap 2 pancakes at a time in plastic wrap and then stack all the packages in a rigid freezer container or heavy-duty freezer bag.

Packaging the pancakes in portion sizes makes it easy to reheat just a couple of them without creating any waste. 

This method for storing pancakes is suitable for any variety: gluten-free, buttermilk, homemade, and pancake mix. 

Reheating Leftover Pancakes

Use The Microwave

You can reheat pancakes in the microwave. Be careful not to heat them for too long because they can become rubbery. Heat room temperature or refrigerated pancakes for 20-30 seconds.

Cover them with a damp paper towel to retain the moisture while they reheat. Heat frozen pancakes for 45 seconds to 1 minute in the microwave. 

Reheat Pancakes In The Oven

Use your oven to reheat many pancakes at once. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Layout pancakes on a baking sheet in one layer. Bake refrigerated pancakes for 5-7 minutes until they are warm.

Naturally, frozen pancakes will take longer to heat up than refrigerated pancakes, so bake them for 10-12 minutes. There is no need to defrost them before reheating.

Toast Your Pancakes

Believe it or not, if your pancakes are small enough, you can pop them in your toaster to reheat them.

The toaster will heat them quickly and return outside to delightful crispiness.

Heat refrigerated pancakes in the toaster for 1-2 minutes and frozen pancakes for 3 minutes. 

Serving Reheated Pancakes 

Reheated pancakes are likely to lose some moisture and become dry instead of retaining the moisture they originally had.

Top your warm pancakes with butter, syrup, or whipped cream to help add in some moisture and return tenderness to this treat.

Storing Pancake Batter

Refrigerate Pancake Batter

Since pancakes only take a moment to make fresh, you might consider making up a large batch of pancake batter and storing it in the refrigerator.

Pancake batter will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

However, some types of batter store better than others, and the quality of your pancakes may change the longer the batter is refrigerated.

Then when you are ready to cook, you can snip off one corner of the bag and use it as a piping bag to measure out the pancake batter onto a griddle or a skillet.

Another convenient way to store pancake batter is in an old squeeze bottle like a ketchup bottle.

Then in the morning, you can shake the bottle a bit to mix the batter and squeeze the batter directly into the pan without getting anything else dirty. 

Types Of Pancake Batter That Store Best In The Refrigerator

Pancakes are usually fluffy and full of tiny air bubbles. After the batter has been in the refrigerator overnight, the batter may make flatter pancakes with fewer bubbles. 

Crepe Batter

Crepes are thin flat pancakes that are topped or filled with sweet toppings like fruit and creme or savory toppings like egg and tomato.

Crepes are thinner and more flexible than pancakes.

The batter for crepes is also runnier, and it keeps very well in the refrigerator overnight in an airtight container. You can also freeze crepe batter for up to 3 months.

Baking Powder Pancake Batter

If you make your batter from scratch and want it to keep longer in the fridge, make it with baking powder instead of baking soda.

Pancake batter made with baking soda tends to rise quickly and then fall soon as well. Baking powder is much more stable.

The resulting pancakes may not be as tall and fluffy, but they will be equally soft whether you cook the pancakes immediately or wait a day or two.

Bisquick Pancake Batter

According to the Bisquick FAQs, you can make pancake batter ahead of time and refrigerate it. However, they recommend that you only refrigerate it for an hour.

While it is safe to use after being refrigerated longer, the pancakes will not be as soft and fluffy as freshly mixed batter.

Buttermilk Pancake Batter

Buttermilk pancake batter does not store well in the refrigerator. The batter tends to deflate, making flat pancakes.

If you want to use buttermilk and make the batter ahead of time, use a recipe that includes yeast. The yeast will help keep the pancakes fluffy and soft.

Egg White Pancake Batter

Egg white pancakes also do not keep well in the refrigerator. If you prefer egg white pancakes instead of baking soda or baking powder pancakes, mix up the batter, leave the eggs out and store it in the refrigerator.

Then, when you are ready to make the pancakes, whip your egg whites and fold them into the batter.

That way, the egg white will still act as leavening, but you won’t have to make the whole recipe first thing in the morning.

Freezing Pancake Batter

You can freeze pancake batter for up to three months. The best way is to keep it in a freezer-safe zip-top bag. Fill the bag and seal it. Then lay it flat on a baking sheet and place it in the freezer.

Once it is frozen, you can remove it from the baking sheet and stack it with other frozen items. 

Thaw your frozen batter by leaving the bag in the refrigerator or on the counter while it returns to room temperature.

If you need it more quickly, place it in a bowl of cool water to speed up the defrosting process.

If you froze it in a bag, you can then snip off a corner of the bag and pipe your pancakes directly onto the griddle or a pan to cook them.

Pancake Accessories

If you are a pancake lover, you might enjoy some kitchen gadgets make especially for pancake making.

Try this shaker bottle to mix up pancake batter in, store it, and draw shapes with pancakes instead of just having circles. It is easy to rinse out and is top-rack dishwasher safe.

For a bit of pancake fun, try this silver dollar pancake pan that makes smiley faces on your pancakes.

And, if you need a large spatula for flipping pancakes when they reach that perfect golden brown, try this flexible one that is big enough to support your pancake.

Final Thoughts

You can keep leftover pancakes out at room temperature for about 1 day, although they may become dry.

You will have a much better result if your store leftover pancakes in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in an airtight container. Pancakes also freeze well for 3 months in airtight packaging. 

You can quickly reheat pancakes in the microwave for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, although they may become rubbery in the microwave.

The toaster or the toaster oven are other quick ways to heat a couple of pancakes.

If you need to reheat several pancakes at once, lay one layer of pancakes on a baking sheet and heat them at 350 for up to 12 minutes.

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