Welcome to “McDaniel’s Bite-Sized Reviews” | Kodiak Power Cakes Buttermilk 

It’s a weekly series we’re calling “McDaniel’s Bite-Sized Reviews!” Each Thursday, we’ll share a popular food, drink or supplement one of our MNT Registered Dietitians tried, reviewed and rated. With the growing number products on the grocery store shelves, figuring out which items are getting you the most nutritional bang for your buck can feel overwhelming? Our hope is that we can make grocery shopping at least 0.5% easier!

FYI – these posts aren’t sponsored. They are opinions of unpaid tastebuds.

Check Out Our Past Reviews:

Product: Kodiak Power Cakes Flapjack & Waffle Mix: Buttermilk 

What is it?

Kodiak Power Cakes are a 100% whole grain, high-protein mix that makes for hearty pancakes or waffles. Each serving contains 14 grams of protein if made with water or up to 18 grams by replacing water with milk and/or an egg. The Power Cakes are available in six flavor varieties that include, buttermilk, peanut butter, cinnamon oat, dark chocolate, almond poppyseed, and chocolate chip.

Why Did We Try?

I’m standing by this statement: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” A hearty, balanced morning meal has been shown to optimize cognitive function, hunger hormones, energy levels and body weight. Not only do I care about these benefits for myself, but I prioritize good nutrition at this meal for my boys. A well-rounded start includes protein, healthy fats, whole-grains and produce. That’s a tall order for 7 am, so I sought out this pancake/waffle mix for its potential to be a complete package.  Made with 100% whole-grain wheat and oat flour, it’s a great source of fiber-rich carbohydrate. The added whey and milk concentrates boost protein, and I typically add healthy fats by including 1 Tbsp. of nut butter, hemp or ground flaxseeds.  Plus, what kid doesn’t love pancakes?!

Kodiak Cakes Nutrition Facts Label

Where to Find & Cost 

Kodiak Power Cakes mix can be found at most Schnucks, Dierbergs, Whole Foods, Target, and Walmart Superstores. If you’re outside of the Midwest, use their store locator. The average cost per 20 oz. box (11 servings) is $4.50 – $5.50.

Product Line Comparison for Different Flavors: 

As you can see, there is some nutritional variation between flavors. We’ll be sticking with the lower added sugar Buttermilk flavor, so we’ve got room for syrup!

Worth the Bite? Our 5 Star Rating 

Taste: 5/5 stars

The buttermilk variety of Kodiak Cakes tastes like what you’d get if you made them from scratch. They’ve got a light and fluffy consistency, with a hint of maple syrup. In the past, other high-protein mixes or frozen, ready-to-eat pancakes/waffles I’ve tried, have tasted chalky and been physically hard to swallow. Not the case with Kodiak!

Satiety: 5/5

High-protein breakfast foods help us feel full. Without added nut butter and fruit, one serving of pancakes might not have had as much “sticking” power. But, overall, they shaped up to be hearty breakfast option compared to other grains like a bagel or toast.

Nutrient Density: 4/5

For 190 calories, these pancakes offer 30 grams of grains, 5 grams of fiber and 14 grams of protein. In comparison to something like wheat bagel or toast, you’re getting a bit more fiber and a lot more protein. One serving contained 380 mg of sodium which contributes 16% of an adult’s needs. For kids, this sodium amount is higher than recommended.  The cakes also offer 6% of your iron needs and 2% calcium. Make them with milk or fortified plant-based milks to up the bone boosting nutrients.

Value: 4/5

Let’s compare the cost ($4.50 and $5.50) or $0.40-$0.50/serving to its competitors:

  1. Bob’s Red Mill Protein Pancake & Waffle Mix, $0.83-$0.90/serving
  2. Archer Farms Protein Buttermilk Pancake Mix, $0.53/serving
  3. Bob’s Red Mill Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix, $0.28/serving
  4. Bisquick Original Pancake & Baking Mix, $0.21/serving

When comparing apples to apples with other high protein mixes, they’re a more affordable product.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

How We Took a Bite:

There are many ways to boost the nutritional value of ready-to-make pancake and waffle mixes:

Healthy fats

  • Top or mix in ground nut butters, flax seeds, chia, or hemp seeds into batter to increase healthy fat content, especially for omega-3.

Fiber

  • Adding the seeds above will increase fiber. You can also add inulin powder, a prebiotic to pancake mix to feed the healthy gut bacteria. Learn more about prebiotics and inulin here.

Decrease added sugars

Reduce the amount of sugar from syrup by mixing in fresh or frozen fruit to syrup. Warm berries in the microwave, mix and pour. You’ll get an extra dose of sweetness from the fruit, not syrup.

Produce

Get creative with your toppings! Try pancakes with fresh fruit such as bananas, berries, or apples & cinnamon. Mix in mashed bananas, pumpkin puree, or applesauce.

Jennifer McDaniel

Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.