For A Nutty Twist On Boxed Pancakes, Add Almond Extract

When you want an easy, quick breakfast that still feels like an exciting reason to get out of bed, boxed pancakes are there for you. For a taste of nostalgia, you can stick with a simple stack in their pure form, but if you're looking to try something new and a little more grown-up, all you need is almond extract.

Almond extract can be found in the spice aisle of many supermarkets near other extracts, like vanilla and mint. If you want a rich, earthy, authentic flavor, make sure to get one that is made with only water, alcohol, and the oil extracted from almonds; if you're seeking something sweeter and similar to marzipan, you may prefer imitation almond extract, which is made with synthetic flavors.

Either way, incorporating this powerfully flavorful ingredient into your pancakes is as simple as pouring a splash into the batter along with the wet ingredients (like milk or water) just before mixing everything together. For two servings, you'll want to use about a half teaspoon to make sure your pancakes have a pleasantly nutty aroma and taste that is noticeable but not overpowering.

Tips for elevating your almond-infused boxed pancakes

Suppose you're ever curious enough about what's really in your store-bought pancake mix to read the ingredient list printed on the packaging. In that case, you'll see that there's a reason we drench our pancakes with melted butter and maple syrup — the contents are pretty bland. But that combination of flour, sugar, salt, and some kind of leavening agent is the ideal foundation for a breakfast that's full of flavor. Once you have experimented with mixing in almond extract, there are so many more ways to explore how to season your pancake batter.

One of the fastest, most impactful options is to brighten your pancake mix with lemon zest, which adds layers of complexity and blends beautifully with the nuttiness of the almonds. You can also try this trick with other citrus. While lemons have a lifting quality that feels like summer in the Mediterranean, you can add the zest of oranges with some spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg, along with honey for a cozy, wintry feel.

If you want to lean into everything almond, use other products made with this ingredient to add contrasting textures by spreading creamy almond butter over the pancakes and sprinkling toasted slivered almonds on top.