Better Than Store-Bought: Multi-Purpose Baking Mix

By , Bryn Mooth
Baking mix is an easy pantry staple—because it includes leavening and shortening, you can quickly transform the mix into pancakes, biscuits or quick breads by adding liquid (usually milk and/or eggs).
Did you know how simple it is to make your own? This Homemade Multi-Purpose Baking Mix incorporates whole-wheat flour and costs about the same (about 15 cents) per serving as the national brand. It has about 15% fewer calories and 70mg less sodium per serving, as well. It is sugar- and dairy-free.
Keep this Homemade Multi-Purpose Baking Mix in a plastic container or bag and refrigerate it up to 6 months. Substitute this in place of the name-brand store-bought baking mix. For example, it works well in a classic streusel-topped coffee cake.
Here's how to use your baking mix!
To make pancake batter: Stir together 2 cups baking mix with 1 cup milk and 2 large eggs.

To make biscuits: Stir together 2 1/4 cups baking mix and 2/3 cup milk; knead the mixture together. Drop spoonfuls on a baking sheet (brush with melted butter if desired) and bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until tops are golden.
4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour or whole-wheat flour (see Note)
1/3 cup baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups vegetable shortening (organic if you prefer)
Note: White whole-wheat flour and regular whole-wheat flour are nutritionally comparable: Both contain additional protein and fiber that comes from the bran and the germ of the wheat kernel. White whole-wheat flour is made from a variety of wheat that's lighter in color and milder in flavor than regular whole-wheat flour. The two can be used interchangeably. Use regular whole-wheat flour if you prefer a heartier, nuttier flavor and slightly denser texture.

In a very large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat or white whole-wheat flour, baking powder, salt and cream of tartar. Use a wire whisk to very carefully incorporate the dry ingredients fully by gently sweeping the whisk along the inside of the bowl to the bottom, then up through the middle in a folding motion. Cut the shortening into chunks and add them to the flour mixture. Use your fingertips to knead the shortening into the dry ingredients, working the mixture as you get smaller and smaller clumps. Be sure to incorporate the flour at the bottom of the bowl. You'll end up with a fully incorporated mixture that resembles slightly damp sand.
Transfer the baking mix to a large plastic container or gallon-size zip-top plastic bag. Store the baking mix in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Serving Size: 12 cups, about 36 servings
What is your favorite use for baking mix? Use it in any of these recipes!

Bryn Mooth is extending her 20-year career in publishing as an independent journalist and copywriter. She shares seasonal recipes, kitchen techniques, healthy eating tips and food wisdom on her blog

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N147V0ONCN 7/1/2020
Baking powder already has the salt and cream of tarter in it so it's interesting to add more. I like the idea of leaving the shortening out and adding in oil when used. Then it doesn't need refrigeration.
NIOMIW 6/30/2020
Looking forward to trying this! Report
RD03875 6/13/2020
Thanks for this Report
LIS193 5/22/2020
Thanks Report
thanks Report
thanks Report
Great Report
Very helpful. Report
Thank You for the information. Report
What a great idea Report
Very helpful. Report
I don't need a mix, it's too easy to start from scratch each time. Report
Looks interesting. Report
Great idea. A basic ingredient modified slightly for different uses. Report
this was good info thanks Report
So switch the shortening to oil. What's the big deal. Report
Good to know. Report
I may have to give this a try. Report
I never use shortening. Report
We can never get enough of what we don't really need.
- Matthew Kelly Report
I think I will try the white whole-wheat flour variety. Trying to up the fiber without upsetting the family. I'll see how this goes. It's definitely worth a try. Report
Seriously, SparkPeople? By putting this article out here again, you're STILL advocating for the use of shortening? TRANS-FATS? Shame on you! Report
Nice alternative to store bought. Report
It really didn't please our taste buds. Report
I have a master mix recipe that does not contain shortening. That is one of the ingredients added when mixing up. Works great and is shelf stable. Report
I love making home made but this makes so much! We make biscuits maybe twice a year. I just make a batch from scratch when we want them. Would definitely consider if we made them more. Report
This recipe is in my Deep South Cousin's bin. I don't know if there is a meal that she doesn't make biscuits. It definately saves time and some money. Report
thanks for all the comments... I like the idea of leaving out the shortening so it's shelf stable. I've been using a canola/coconut oil combo from Spectrum that I really like for cooking. The canola keeps it liquid and very light flavor. Like the idea of using EVOO for pizza crust or bread.... I'm slowly trying to ween myself off of processed foods that I can replace with my own.... it's a learning & organizational process.... Report
I have made a mix similar to this for years. I always leave out the shortening(I never have enough room to store the mix in my fridge) and add liquid oil when I use it to make my biscuits or pancakes. It has saved me a lot of time and money over the years. Report
I was looking at the recipes and I would make the brownies and of course the biscuits which I usually make from scratch Report
Shorting and hard margarine is not good for you trans fat in it . Report
This is cool! Thank you. I am going to make this. Report
Jibbie49--- I have a copy of that book and LOVE it. Use it constantly. Thought of it as soon as I saw this! Report
I will try this, leaving out the shortening, and substitute oil at time of use. I never use shortening.
Baking powder already has the salt and cream of tarter in it so it's interesting to add more. I like the idea of leaving the shortening out and adding in oil when used. Then it doesn't need refrigeration. Report
After reading some of the comments, I'm not sure if I want to try this! Report
Love the white whole wheat to me. Report
The bread in the picture looks wonderful; is there a recipe for it using the featured baking mix? Report
Thanks for the recipes! I will definitely try!!!
DH loves the Impossible Pumpkin Pie or Impossible Coconut Pie I make with Bisquick, so will try with this mix.
Great for Impossible Quiche, also. Report
It is not that hard to make pancakes from scratch. This mix has shortening which I avoid at all costs. for 9- 4 inch pancakes =1 cup half unbleached flour and whole wheat flour, 1 tsp baking powder,1 tblsp sugar, 1 tblsp ground flax seed (optional) 1 cup milk, 1 egg, 1tblsp canola oil. mix dry ingredients together, mix egg oil and milk add to dry ingredients. Bake on 350 griddle. Report
I have used a recipe similar to this for years, trying to get some whole wheat into our diets, mine came from the "Penny Pincher's Cookbook" but I leave out the shortening and add liquid oil when using the mix. This gives it a longer shelf life and I can use whatever oil I want. I love using EVOO for making Biscuit Crust Pizza or I use canola when making waffles or pancakes. Report
Wow, I came back to this page to see if anyone answered my question about the recipe for the bread in the picture at the beginning of the article, only to find my comment has been removed. I guess that bread wasn't made using the baking mix and someone doesn't want to admit it. Thanks for the censorship SparkPeople! Report
It is so handy to have mixes available. Thanks for suggesting a healthier alternative. This will be put to good use! Report
Just an FYI for those that are interested. While Crisco's label claims to be "trans-fat free" it is in fact hydrogenated and all though the serving size says no trans-fats it still has it (especially because you are using 2 cups and not 2 TBS). Coconut oil would easily be able to be substituted like Dragonfly02 suggested.
I can't wait to make this. Thanks for the recipe. Report
This is great information!! Thanks so much for sharing!! Being a Spark member pays off again & again : ) Report
I need the nutritional data Please Report