You may never go back to regular pancakes after trying these lemon ricotta pancakes. Adding ricotta cheese and fresh lemon into the batter leaves you with fluffy, custard-like, and tangy pancakes every time!
Classic pancakes transform into a decadent treat when you add creamy ricotta cheese and fresh lemon juice, and zest to the batter. They’re just as easy to make as the traditional version but feature divine, crowd-pleasing flavors!
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Why you’ll love this lemon ricotta pancake recipe
- Fluffy, creamy pancakes. Ricotta is a savory, soft cheese that adds moisture and lift to pancake batter (the savory flavors are cooked out). It’s the best way to transform a traditional breakfast into a luxurious treat.
- Fresh tang in every bite. Lemon juice and zest add a bright zing to these pancakes. It’s a welcome and refreshing bite that perfectly matches the creamy texture.
- Easy to make. Despite the extra ingredients, these pancakes are just as easy to make as any other pancake recipe. Each one takes about 5 minutes to cook!
What I love about this recipe is how all it takes are two simple additions to give everyday pancakes a fresh Italian flair. They’re just plain luxurious!
This recipe uses the same simple ingredients as most classic pancake recipes, with the addition of ricotta cheese and lemon. Here is what you’ll need:
- Self-rising flour – Self-rising flour is a combination of white flour, baking powder, and salt. It’s my go-to in many recipes, like Protein Pancakes and Homemade Bagels, because it cuts down on the number of ingredients needed and creates fluffier results.
- Baking soda – When this is combined with acidic lemon juice, gas bubbles form in the pancake batter which leads to fluffy pancakes.
- Salt – For flavor.
- Sugar – White sugar or cane sugar is best.
- Ricotta cheese – Choose a good quality, full-fat ricotta cheese. The cheese adds moisture to the pancakes, which gives them a rich, creamy, and custard-like flavor.
- Milk – Whole milk will yield the creamiest, most flavorful pancakes.
- Lemon – You need both fresh lemon juice and zest.
- Egg – Eggs add structure to the pancakes and trap the air bubbles inside, helping them rise and fluff up. If you have an aversion to eggs, try my Eggless Pancakes instead.
- Butter – Melted.
How to make lemon ricotta pancakes
These ricotta pancakes are easy to make in 4 simple steps. Here’s how it’s done:
Step 1: Mix the dry ingredients.
Mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl.
Step 2: Mix the wet ingredients.
Stir the ricotta cheese, milk, lemon juice and zest, egg, and melted butter in a separate bowl.
Step 3: Finish the batter
Pour the wet mix into the dry, and gently stir together until just combined.
Step 4: Cook the pancakes
Heat some oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Once hot, scoop some of the batter into the pan and place a lid on top. A covered pan is key to trapping the heat and yielding thicker pancakes! Cook until you see bubbles form around the edges of the pancakes. Remove the lid, flip, and cook for one more minute. Repeat until you run out of batter.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Overmixing the batter is a fluffy pancake’s worst nightmare. Instead of rising, they’ll become flat and dense because the gluten has been overworked. To avoid overmixing, gently fold the wet mixture into the dry in a circular motion with a spatula. Only mix until the wet and dry mixes are just combined, and no dry flour remains.
- Let the finished batter rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cooking the pancakes. This extra time allows the gluten to relax and dissolve most of the lumps.
- If needed, drain the excess water from the ricotta. A too-watery ricotta may thin out the pancake batter.
- Always cover the pan when cooking the lemon pancakes. This traps the heat, which, in turn, yields extra thick pancakes.
- To keep the cooked pancakes warm, place them on a baking sheet and cover them with tinfoil. Keep them in the oven set to the lowest possible temperature (100ºF or lower).
To store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To freeze: You can freeze the pancakes in an airtight container for about three months. Place sheets of parchment paper in between each one to prevent them from sticking to each other.
Reheating: Reheat the pancakes in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds or in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until crispy and warmed through.
Recommended tools to make this recipe
- Non-stick pan. A good non-stick pan will make sure the pancakes cook evenly and never stick to the pan.
- Skillet. No pan? Use a cast iron skillet!
- Spatula. To seamlessly flip the pancakes.
More pancake recipes to try
- Red velvet pancakes
- Almond flour pancakes
- Cottage Cheese Pancakes
- Almond Milk Pancakes
- Keto pancakes
- Protein pancakes
- Dutch baby
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can make the batter up to 1 day in advance and keep it in the fridge until it’s time to cook. Place the chilled batter on the kitchen counter for 15 to 30 minutes before cooking so it can come down to room temperature.
I haven’t tested this recipe with gluten-free self-rising flour, but it should work as an alternative. You can make homemade gluten free self-rising flour, although a tried and tested blend, like Doves Farm gluten free self-rising flour, is the best choice.
Absolutely! Up to ½ cup of fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries, or diced strawberries can be folded into the batter.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
- In a mixing bowl, add the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the ricotta cheese, milk, lemon juice and rind, egg, and melted butter. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
- Add oil to a non-stick pan and place it over medium heat. Once hot, scoop out 1/4 cup portions of the pancake batter and immediately cover the pan (this traps heat and yields thicker pancakes). Cook the pancakes for 2-3 minutes, or until you see bubbles form around the edges. Remove the lid and flip the pancakes and cook for a further minute.
- Repeat the process until all the batter is used up.
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