Baking Shortcut: Make Your Own Mixes


If you’re planning to bake, you can save time by mixing the dry ingredients ahead of time, assembly-line style. When it’s time to start baking, the dry ingredients are pre-measured and ready, and all you need to do is add the yeast and the wet ingredients.

This works for all of your favorite baking recipes. You could even make cookie mixes and give them as Christmas gifts.

I’m using this recipe for gluten-free bread. It’s fantastic.

Quart-size glass jars are just the right size for most bread recipes. To pour the flour in the jars without making a mess, use a wide-mouth funnel. (If you don’t have a funnel, you can make a cone with a sheet of paper.)

You can try this for cookies, muffins, brownies, biscuits, and other yummy treats.
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Oh goodness, this is an utterly fantastic idea; why didn’t I think of this! I reckon it would make a lovely gift too – some yummy muffin or biscuit recipes all packed up in a jar.

    So inspirational – thank you!

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  2. That is a great idea – and it looks beautiful, too!


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  3. Denise C. says:

    What a GREAT and SIMPLE idea!!! One of the MANY reasons why I love Simple Notebook! :)

  4. Denise C. says:

    Sorry I meant Small Notebook, I have not had my morning coffee yet! :)

  5. This is a great idea. When I had my last baby I wanted to do this with herbs to make a soothing herbal bath. Have you tried these after baby? The herbs do wonders to heal and soothe. Seriously – I can’t imagine living without one every day for that first week.

    Shannon´s last post…Choosing Superfoods & Supplements

  6. Why didn’t I think of that?! We make our own bread around here and lots of cookies. That would make it so simple! Filling our jars with cookie and bread mix sounds like a good rainy day project for the kids and I.

    Marci@OvercomingBusy´s last post…Benefits Of Sleep

  7. Aren’t Mason Jars beautiful?

    juliet´s last post…The Devil We Know

  8. This is simply genius!!! I have always done it as cookies in a jar as a Christmas Gift. But for our life this would be totally brilliant.

    se7en´s last post…This Week (17th August) at Se7en…

  9. don’t know why i didn’t think of this sooner…thanks for sharing this!

  10. How long to they last this way? Does mixing the ingredients lessen their shelf time?

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  11. I do that for pancake mix. I like to make my own. I use plastic bags, but I think I will be checking out the thrift stores for some nice Mason jars to store them in. Great idea!

  12. I NEED to do this. Thank you for the idea.

    Don’t forget to come by and enter my giveaway for a lovely coffee set!

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  13. Great minds think alike. I’m writing a post on this very subject – DIY baking mixes – for tomorrow. Linking back here, of course.

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  14. this is SUCH a great idea…

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  15. Thanks for posting this. It is a great idea. You are full of wonderful ideas as always. I appreciate the link to Karina’s blog also. David has suddenly decided to go gluten-free and I am just a tad bit overwhelmed about that!

  16. Well, aren’t you smart? What a great idea. I love the simplistic beauty of mason jars.

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  17. Super idea! I just discovered your blog and love it already!

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  18. I echo everyone else.. why didn’t we think of this before??

    Great idea and they look fab too…

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  19. I always thought pre-made baking mixes would serve as a great thank-you gift. There are many recipes that call for creaming butter and sugar, and I am not a chemist enough to devise my own “mix” recipe in my head…where did you find your mix “recipe”? Do you know of other mix recipe resources? Great idea!

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    • No special mix recipes that I know of, just the dry ingredients from favorite recipes. Mixes usually includes the dry ingredients like flour, salt, sugar, or baking powder. Butter, oil, or water would be added by the baker, just like with store-bought brownie mixes.

      • i have been doing this for a while. For recipies like cookies where they like you to cream the sugars I just put those in a seperate jar.

  20. Thanks! This measure-ahead idea is just the best. I’ve never come across that one before. Thanks, too, for the GF bread recipe…I’m always looking for good ones :-)

  21. What an amazing idea! We are just expanding our pantry and I am totally going to do this!

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  22. I’ve received gifts of mixes–several cookbooks have recipes on how to make them for gifts. But I have never thought of something as practical as making a mix for me, just to simplify. Great idea!

    mrs. e´s last post…First Days of School

  23. Love it! And I agree, they look great….. Rachel, in short, you are a genius! Thanks :)

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  24. For anyone else that would make more than what looks like probably only one loaf at a time, clean glass pickle or olive jars (the big deli ones) would work.

  25. Great idea! I have been saving all my glass jars and gradually filling them up, and using my new label maker to mark them. This will be a good thing to use up more jars (DH will be happy!)

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  26. This is a fabulous idea- and would make a lovely gift. Beautiful! One note on shelf life- in hot and humid climates gluten-free flours can break down faster than you might think (especially higher protein flours like brown rice, bean or soy flour).

    To be safe, I would recommend jarring only what you would use within a month and keeping the jars out of direct sun. Cool, dry storage is best.

    I’m glad you like the recipe! xox

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  27. I’ve been planning to check out the cookbook “Make-A-Mix” by Karine Eliason, Nevada Harward, and Madeline Westover. It’s recommended on the Sweet Peas and Happy Things blog.

  28. I would feel so cool with several of those jars in my pantry!

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  29. Such a great idea! As I bake all our biscuits/cakes/snacks from scratch this will save me so much time and help me be a lot more organised. Love it. Thank you x

    Sandra´s last post…I’m in trifle trouble

  30. I’ve given jar mixes for gifts, even have a recipe book full of jar mix ideas…yet NEVER thought of pre-mixing for my own baking use. Amazing. Thank you for sharing this idea!

  31. Another quick tip that I use when baking cookies is to freeze half the recipe. I drop the cookies (in this case chocolate chip) onto a non-greased pan, put in the freezer for ten minutes than transfer them to a ziplock baggie. When I’m ready to bake them I place however many I want on a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 350 and cook for the regular amt of time (in this case 13 mintues). I usually bake 6 at a time. It’s perfect timing when we take dinner out of the oven the cookies go in and they are ready afterwards.

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  32. I’ve started making my own mixes…I found a great book by Backwoods Home ~ Self-reliance, Recession-proof your pantry.

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  33. absolutely love it! when i went camping this last week, i did a similar thing with ziploc bags and my own healthier pancake mix. but using mason jars is a great way to speed things up at home!

  34. This is an AMAZING idea! This is a huge time saver. I believe by doing this, I will bake my own much more often!!!

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  35. I have just discovered Small Notebook and this was one of the first things i came across… what a fantastic idea! Pre-mixing the ingredients will save so much time, and a cupboard full of beautiful mason jars will look so great :) Can’t wait to get started on this! I think a trip to the bulk food store is in order…

  36. I have thought about doing this many times, but never actually did. LOL I love the jar idea! I think you have inspired me.

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  37. I found this website this evening around 7 my time. I did a google search for chocolate syrup recipe. Anyway, its now 9 here and I am still intrigued. I did however take time out to make the syrup, and it turned out delicious.

  38. Have you ever tried freezing the actual bread dough? I do that with pizza dough and occasionally cinnamon roll dough – they’re both yeast-based recipes, and require a little time post-thawing to rise again, but they still taste just fine. I’ll make 3 pizza doughs at once, and have dough on hand for our weekly pizza night for almost a month. I also do this w/cookie dough as one commenter mentioned.

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  39. Great idea!!! I love this! I have a dozen jars that I wasn’t able to use for canning (garden didn’t do anything for me this year!) that I need to use. Perfect!

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  40. In keeping with the new baby theme (congratulations!), these could also be part of a gift, along with or in lieu of, a meal for the family…especially nice if you are blessing a neighbor or someone that you don’t know well.

  41. Janetta says:

    I’ve been doing this for nearly two years now (since I WON a bread maker in a competition!) and I found it tedious to have to get out all the ingredients and measure and weigh each time. I always make six zip lock bags of a five-seed bread mix and stash them in a basket in my pantry. It takes hardly more time to do six as one and then I can throw everything in the breadmaker in two minutes.

    I use a lot of glass jars for storage but find the plastic bags in a basket take up a lot less space.

    Thanks for your lovely blog which I thoroughly enjoy!

  42. This is a perfect idea! It would be really great to just have to pull out a jar whenever we need bread and just mix the rest of the ingredients together. I have a stash of grain, wheat free flour, and others to turn into bread mixes right away. thanks!

  43. I’ve done that too! Only I didn’t use jars, I would put the ingredients into a ziplock bag and then write in the rest of the recipe right on the bag. It saved tons of time, though I don’t bake a whole lot anymore since going grain-free. One thing I will do is if I’m making some breakfast muffins with coconut and almonds, I will blend them up in the blender first (coconut and almond flours are too expensive for me!) and then put them in a little baggie or container for easy access the next day.
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