Product: Cup 4 Cup All Natural Gluten Free Pancake & Waffle Mix – $5.99+
YES!! FINALLY!! At long last, I am trying out one of the Cup 4 Cup baking mixes. I have been dying to do this since these products emerged on the scene back in 2012. I had eyed the Cup 4 Cup Original Flour Blend back when it was exclusive only to Williams-Sonoma and online purchases. The problem was, I couldn’t fathom paying the $20+ dollars to try a flour blend that was being touted as the best on the market. I wish I could have made room in the budget for it, but I live paycheck to paycheck with very little wiggle room most weeks. Especially having to eat gluten-free.
So, when I was in Columbus, Ohio at The Raisin Rack, and my roomie told me to fill up a basket with products I wanted to try…I knew, immediately, that I wanted one of the Cup 4 Cup baking mixes. The problem was choosing which one. The other one on the shelves at the time was the Pizza Crust Mix…and I have so many pizza crusts here just waiting to be made, the pancake mix seemed like the most obvious choice. And so…it has the honor of being the first product by Cup 4 Cup that I have tried.
So, if you aren’t familiar with Cup 4 Cup or why I’m so enthusiastic about this product, you must take into consideration that I am a food and chef junkie.
This brand of gluten-free flour and baking mixes was created by Chef Lena Kwak, while serving as Research and Development Chef in the famed French Laundry in Yountville, California. Her mentor, Chef and Owner Thomas Keller, knew they had stumbled upon something amazing when a guest at the restaurant tasted Lena’s gluten-free brioche and cried because she hadn’t tasted bread in years. It was then that they knew they needed to share this product with the rest of the world. Cup 4 Cup is not just great-tasting gluten-free flour, but it’s great-tasting flour for everyone. The name comes from this brand’s ability to substitute all-purpose flour in traditional recipes, cup for cup, making it easy to translate some past favorites into a gluten-free version. And no one will be the wiser. Basically, Cup 4 Cup allows you to not only create, but also enjoy all the foods that you always loved…but now makes them gluten-free so that you can love them again.
It is a pretty high standard and tall order to hold yourself up to. But you have to trust products when Thomas Keller is involved. Really!
On Friday, last week, I had made the decision to finally break into the Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Pancake & Waffle Mix and make some pancakes. This was going to be a little time consuming, as I rush home after my 5:30 a.m. spin class on Friday’s to shower, change, and eat something for breakfast. But, the roomie and I had no real rush, so…I just had everything that I could prep ahead of time done and ready with all the rest of the ingredients out and waiting…with the glass mixing bowl. I showered. I changed. I went into the kitchen, preheated my skillet, and got to work.
Making the Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Pancake & Waffle Mix is easy. Even when I doctored the mix up. You see, I asked Cathy if she wanted just straight-out pancakes, or if she’d like the Lemon Poppy Seed version that was mentioned on the back of the pouch the mix was in. She said, “You can’t throw lemon poppy seed at me and expect me not to want that!” So, one quick trip to the grocery store very early that morning to get lemons…I zested and juiced them before heading to the gym so that I just had to melt the butter and mix things together before scooping it out onto the skillet.
Nothing could be easier. With the skillet preheating, I poured the contents of the pouch into the mixing bowl and added milk and 1 egg to it. I stirred this together, then added the melted butter and (optional) vanilla extract. Then, I added the additional stuff to make it the Lemon Poppy Seed variety…1/4 cup sugar, the zest of 2 lemons, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of poppy seeds. With everything incorporated, I scooped 1/4 cup of the batter onto the griddle and repeated the process again. With two pancakes cooking, I noticed that they were getting those perfect bubbles around the edges after a couple of minutes. Time to flip the pancakes!
As I did, I noticed the gorgeous golden color on the other side. These were not only properly crisping, but they were fluffing up to these gorgeous, thick, and light pancakes. I was beyond pleased with the look of them. And they smelled amazing. That lemon scent was so refreshing. I checked the skillet side, and noticed it was now golden too…so they were moved to a plate and a new batch was started. These got a light treatment of butter and some delicious maple syrup. Breakfast was served.
Cathy got the first two pancakes that morning and when I saw her finish her first bite, I had to ask how they were, since mine were still cooking. She immediately cut another piece and began to devour it. “YUMMY” she said, with a mouthful of lemon poppy seed pancakes and maple syrup.
Mine finished up and I ate them in the kitchen while I prepared pancakes from the rest of the mix to have at a later time. In fact, four of them are coming out of the fridge tomorrow for our post-gym breakfast at the office. So, it will be interesting to see how they do on a microwave reheat.
That being said…these pancakes did have that perfect golden crust, giving it that amazing golden flavor and initial crunch as your fork slides through it. These pancakes were not dense or heavy at all. In fact, I found them rather light and airy in comparison to other pancakes I’ve made from baking blends. The lemon flavor was incredible…and at just the right level. Any more and it would have been too tart. I was glad I left the vanilla extract in, despite it being an optional addition. I just think it added to the flavor in the end. Overall, I devoured these in record time, cleaning my plate of every last remnant of the pancakes.
In the end, I ended up making 12 pancakes from the mix itself.
So, let’s talk ingredients. The Cup 4 Cup Pancake & Waffle Mix is made from cornstarch, white rice flour, sugar, brown rice flour, milk powder, tapioca flour, baking powder, potato starch, salt, and xanthan gum. It is gluten-free…but trust me…you’d never know it. No one would. And these pancakes were definitely diner-style and diner quality.
As for the nutritional information…a serving of the Cup 4 Cup Pancake & Waffle Mix is 1/4 cup of the mix. This serving provides 140 calories and is fat free. It is also cholesterol free. This serving also will provide 440 mg sodium and 8 grams of sugar. One serving has less than 1 gram of fiber and 2 grams of protein. Of course, all of that changes when you prepare it with the rest of the ingredients. I used almond milk in mine, for the record.
Beyond impressed with Cup 4 Cup All Natural Gluten Free Pancake & Waffle Mix. On a busy morning, breakfast was still simple to make. And these really are some of the best pancakes I have had since going gluten-free. I think having a product that was developed by chefs for consumers helps keep up the integrity. And we all know that nothing that Thomas Keller touches would be sub-par.
I’m hooked. I sort of always want to have these in my pantry. Forever.