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I Tried 6 Frozen Pancakes & the Best Ones Taste Homemade

The freezer aisle is packed with easy, ready-to-heat flapjacks, but which brand tastes the best?
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Who among us isn't looking for a solution to busy mornings? Whether you're getting a gaggle of kids ready for school or simply trying to get yourself out the door for work, there never seems to be enough time in the morning to savor a nice sit-down breakfast. Heat-and-eat breakfast options from your grocer's freezer, like burritos, waffles, and pancakes, are a smart way to quickly put together a meal on the go.

However, not all frozen pancakes are created equally, especially when it comes to nutritional content and flavor. So, to narrow things down, I tested six of the most popular frozen flapjacks to find the best-tasting, most satisfying breakfast treat to keep stashed in your freezer. I warmed each pancake according to the package instructions and tasted it on its own.

Here's how these popular frozen pancakes stacked up, ranked in descending order from my least favorite to the absolute best.

Kodiak Power Flapjacks

Lizzy Briskin / Eat This, Not That!
PER SERVING (3 flapjacks): 190 cal, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 370 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (4 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 14 g protein

Kodiak is known for making better-for-you pancake and waffle mixes that are higher in fiber and protein than your average flapjack, and the nutritional panel on these frozen pancakes doesn't disappoint. Unfortunately, though, they left something to be desired in the flavor department.

The look: These frozen flapjacks, which are made from whole wheat flour, are darker and, well, wheatier looking than the others I sampled, which are mostly made from refined white flour.  They're a bit smaller than some of the other pancakes, but a serving is three, so it's plenty filling, especially when you consider the 14 grams of protein from wheat and whey protein isolate.

The taste: I wanted to love these pancakes because I've enjoyed Kodiak cakes made from the mix in the past, but I found them to be pretty dry and not sweet or flavorful enough. In truth, they just tasted too healthy.

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Trader Joe's Silver Dollar Pancakes

Trader Joe's Silver Dollar Pancakes
Lizzy Briskin / Eat This, Not That!
PER SERVING (11 pancakes): 230 cal, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 280 mg sodium, 43 g carbs (3 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 8 g protein

These miniature pancakes are as adorable as they sound. They're the Munchkins of frozen breakfast foods, and you could easily eat a plateful (so it's a good thing the serving size is 11 pancakes).

The look: Perfectly round and golf-ball sized, these pancakes are the most petit I tried. Though not thick or fluffy, they would definitely appeal to little eaters, and they're easy to pack away like potato chips.

The taste: Despite the high sugar content (11 grams per serving), I found these mini pancakes to be dry. I would definitely want to add maple syrup or butter to this already sugar-loaded breakfast. I cooked them as directed in the microwave and found that while the top of the pancakes dried out, the bottom became soggy and kind of unappetizing.

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Van's Plant-Based Protein Pancakes

Van's Plant-Based Protein Pancakes
Lizzy Briskin / Eat This, Not That!
PER SERVING (2 pancakes): 190 cal, 5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 280 mg sodium, 27 g carbs (1 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 10 g protein

These pancakes are fortified with plant-based protein derived from peas and wheat. They're more filling than most, despite the two-pancake serving size. But, if you're not a fan of plant-based protein, you may be put off by the flavor.

The look: These light golden pancakes look like your classic diner breakfast on a smaller scale. They have the typical bubbly surface and griddle marks you'd expect from a short stack fresh from the kitchen.

The taste: Van's protein pancakes have a distinct underlying flavor of pea protein. If you're not used to plant-based protein or don't love the smell or flavor, these won't be your favorite breakfast item. But, if you are looking to incorporate more vegan protein into your diet, this is a sweet option that packs 10 grams of protein per serving.

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Eggo Buttermilk Pancakes

Eggo Buttermilk Pancakes
Lizzy Briskin / Eat This, Not That!
PER SERVING (3 pancakes): 250 cal, 8 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 520 mg sodium, 40 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 5 g protein

This popular frozen pancake brand produces uniform, fluffy, golden pancakes that are a bit too soft and airy for my preference.

The look: Every pancake from the Eggo box looked identical: a perfectly shaped disc with slightly tapered edges, measuring about a quarter inch high in the middle. They're light in color and weight.

The taste: These pancakes are quite sweet. The texture is very stretchy and light. In fact, I found the pancakes to feel too airy and not substantial enough for me.

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Whole Food's 365 Original Pancake Bites

Whole Food's 365 Original Pancake Bites
Lizzy Briskin / Eat This, Not That!
PER SERVING (6 pancakes): 190 cal, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 3 g protein

If you're looking for a light, fluffy little ball of a pancake, you'll be delighted by these pillowy treats from Whole Food's 365 brand. A six-piece serving size is plenty to feel satisfied without so much sugar to send you for a crash.

The look: Just as cute as Trader Joe's silver dollar pancakes, these little bites from Whole Foods have a spherical shape that you just want to sink your teeth into. They're airy and light, but not as weightless as Eggo's.

The taste: These pancake bites have a lovely vanilla-forward flavor that makes them almost dessert-like. They're not too sweet, and have a creamy and moist interior that tastes like a real treat.

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De Wafelbakkers Buttermilk Pancakes

De Wafelbakkers Buttermilk Pankcakes
Lizzy Briskin / Eat This, Not That!
PER SERVING (2 pancakes): 260 cal, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 580 mg sodium, 46 g carbs (1 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 6 g protein

These thick, fluffy, and light pancakes hit all the right notes of flavor, texture, and looks. If you're looking for a frozen breakfast pancake that can replace mom's homemade, grab a bag of De Wafelbakkers and you're in for a treat.

The look: These pancakes come in a clear plastic bag. So, from the start, I could see that they had a homemade look. They have slightly frilly edges that don't look pressed out of a machine and a golden pock-marked top that takes on a bit of extra color in the toaster oven or microwave.

The taste: De Wafelbakkers pancakes are perfectly sweet with a hint of tang from the buttermilk. They're stretchy and soft and they warmed evenly in the microwave, so there were no dry or watery spots. You don't even need extra syrup or butter to enjoy these delicious flapjacks.

Lizzy Briskin
Lizzy is a trained chef, food writer, and recipe developer for print and digital outlets including Insider, Real Simple, and the Chicago Tribune. Read more about Lizzy