Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Pancake & Waffle Mix Taste Test

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gluten free pancakes with blueberries and strawberries

I (finally) made my pilgrimage to Trader Joe’s to re-stock my bare pantry full of gluten free goodness.  While there, I picked up a package of TJ’s Gluten Free Pancake & Waffle Mix.  Feeling all Betty Crocker (now that she’s gluten free!), I whipped up a batch of blueberry waffles to taste test.


  • Uber-simple to make.  Even those distracted by shiny things (ahem, guilty as charged!) will be able to add the three ingredients to the mix.
  • Mix is free from gluten, peanut, milk & dairy, soy, and corn.
  • Reasonably priced at $2.99 for 18-ounce package (makes 12 waffles or pancakes).
  • The package is purple – my favorite color!


  • The cooking instructions are for waffles OR pancakes using the entire contents of the mix.  I wish they would offer instructions for 3, 6, or 12 waffles/pancakes.  Of course, you could dump out the mixture, re-measure the contents and rework the recipe, but I am mathematically challenged, so this was not an option.
  • The mix had a faint but slightly “off” odor (something I have found in many gluten free mixes).
  • I found there to be a slight aftertaste to the waffles I prepared.  It was a bit metallic tasting (not that I frequently lick metal objects, but this is the best way to describe the aftertaste).


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Maureen Stanley was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2005. Way back before gluten-free was “mainstream“. Maureen created Hold The Gluten blog and podcast in 2008 as a way to connect members of the gluten-free community across the world.


  1. I do not think the mix contains bean flour, although I could be wrong. I don’t object to bean flour in moderation, but I agree about the off-flavor of this mix as well as their brownie mix. Waffles are actually pretty easy to make gluten-free and allergen friendly, and this mix was not up to snuff for our house. We tried it once and won’t be buying it again. For those that can tolerate the ingredients (dairy, nuts etc) I recommend Pamela’s, and for those with multiple allergies, a good recipe or Namaste mix is probably the best way to go. I do appreciate the reasonable cost of this mix- too bad we didn’t like it.

    A very fair review!

  2. I totally agree about lots of GF products having that ‘faint but slightly “off” odor’. What IS up with that? Is is the Xantham gum?

  3. By coincidence, I tried this same mix for the first time this morning, but used it for pancakes. I also wished they had instructions for making smaller servings without using the whole bag – I ended up cutting the recipe in half and making 6 pancakes (but I really only needed 2). The mix was easy to make, as you noted, and the pancakes cooked up well and looked great. I am very new to GF foods, but they were a bit bland and grainy (?) for my taste – though I like your idea of adding fruit. I’ll try that with my second 1/2 of the mix.

  4. Have you tried the brownie mix? It’s very good! I have a bag of the pancake mix but have not tried it yet. I’m sure I’ll taste metal in it now….teehehe…just kiding!

  5. The mix does contain Arrowroot flour… I’ve never baked with Arrowroot, so I’m not sure if there is an odor associated with that flour!? It’s weird – when I bake “from scratch” my waffles or pancakes never have an odd taste. Only when I’ve used pre-made flour mixes!

  6. I’ve been meaning to try this for awhile and I’m sure for the price it would make a good addition to my pantry. Still, metallic aftertaste doesn’t sound too promising…

    Beautiful waffle though! I think I might forgo the mix and save up for a waffle iron!

    – Dana

  7. Have you tried their frozen gluten free waffles yet? OMG THEY ARE SO GOOD! 😀 Much like VANS but cheaper and you get more of them in the package.

  8. Hey Maureen… good post! The aftertaste in the waffles could also be the tapioca flour in the TJ mix. Certain tapioca flours come through strongly in GF flour blends, and some people are more sensitive (and averse) to that flavor than others. I don’t mind it (and don’t always taste it), but Kelli always tastes it and doesn’t like it. We’ve modified our own custom GF flour blend to eliminate tapioca for this reason.

    Cheers, Pete

  9. I use this a lot, and the way i get around the measuring is, as the following. I almost 100% of the time use the mix to make belgian waffles and the whole package will make 6 waffles (on my belgian waffle maker). The package is 18 oz net wt. If I want only 2 waffles, I have a little kitchen scale, and weigh the package (minus the paper outer package) to verify it’s 18oz, then open it and pour into my mixing bowl until there is only 12 oz left (using 6 oz of mix) (there may be other/better ways to measure, but my cheap plastic scale only holds 16 oz so i couldn’t put a bowl on top of it and then add 6 oz). Since all of the other ingredients added are easily divisible by 3, I add 1/2 cup milk, 1 egg, and 1 Tbls oil. Voila! I have used pamela’s baking and pancake mix for making waffles and prefer the trader joe’s mix by far (so does my non GF husband, though GF is still a step below regular gluten products, however, he eats what i eat when we are at home)

  10. I was just at Trader Joe”s in Needham and this has been discontinued in the region it seams. They get it right and then UGH!

  11. I just ran across this recipe and being a waffle eater by choice, I am looking forward to trying it. Thank you April, for your method of mixing it down for for two waffles.

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