Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes: Light, rich & airy all at the same time. There's just a hint of lemon but orange or vanilla is great, too.

First, to my children: These are not your Momma’s pancakes. I was the worst Mom in the morning and I apologize. I’m surprised you didn’t starve to death or die of malnutrition. And now, here I am making pancakes (and all kinds of breakfasty things) for the folks all the time. Secondly, even when I did make pancakes, they weren’t these Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.

lemon ricotta pancakes

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

These Lemon Ricotta Pancakes are pretty frickin’ fantastic. They’re rich, they’re fluffy, they’re airy and filling all at the same time.

They’re a pain, no doubt, to make. That pain fades away upon the first bite. If you’re a Mom, it’s kind of like when you first hold your baby and everything that went before is all of a sudden just worth it. Okay, so that’s an exaggeration. But you get where I’m going with this, yeah?

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Make Lemon Ricotta Pancakes on some putz around morning. Like today when it’s going to be 95 degrees with humidity and you (and by that I mean me, of course) have no big plans to go out. Or do anything. Just putz around and stay cool.

Yep, stay cool and make & eat absolutely amazing “pain in the patooty” to make Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. When you zest the lemons, make sure to wrap and save them for another use. Lemonade maybe? We tried this recipe with orange, too. The folks loved both versions, but I leaned slightly toward the lemon. Recipe only very slightly adapted from Chowhound.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for coating the frying pan and serving
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon packed finely grated lemon zest (from about 2 to 3 medium lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • Powdered sugar, fruit, or maple syrup, for serving (optional)

Place butter and milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until butter has melted; remove from heat and let cool slightly, or alternatively: Place butter in a medium bowl and melt in the microwave. Pour milk over and stir. The mixture should be barely warm. Zap a few more seconds if not.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Place egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Whisk in a quarter of the milk-butter mixture (this will temper the eggs and prevent them from curdling), then whisk in the remaining milk-butter mixture until smooth.

Add the reserved flour mixture and fold/stir with a rubber spatula until just combined (do not over mix); set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks (they should bend like soft-serve ice cream; make sure the bowl and whisk are perfectly clean with no traces of grease, or the whites will not whip properly). Halfway through whisking them, sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Use a mixer or egg beater if you’d like.

Using the rubber spatula, fold the whites into the reserved batter until just combined.

Gently fold the ricotta into the batter, being careful not to break down the texture of the cheese (the batter will be lumpy and streaked with ricotta); set aside.

Heat a large nonstick frying pan, griddle, or seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat until hot, about 4 minutes. Test to see if the pan is hot enough by sprinkling a couple of drops of cold water in it: If the water bounces and sputters, the pan is ready to use.

Lightly coat the pan’s surface with butter, then use a 1/4-cup measure to scoop the batter into the pan. Cook until bubbles form on top of the pancakes, about 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until the bottoms are golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve immediately with powdered sugar, fruit, butter, or maple syrup.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 454
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 26 g 41 %
Saturated Fat 15 g 76 %
Monounsaturated Fat 7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 209 mg 70 %
Sodium 610 mg 25 %
Potassium 290 mg 8 %
Total Carbohydrate 42 g 14 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g 5 %
Sugars 11 g
Protein 18 g 36 %
Vitamin A 18 %
Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium 30 %
Iron 5 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


I’ll be posting this recipe on Fiesta Friday number 179, hosted by Angie and co-hosted by Petra @ Food Eat Love and Laura @ Feast Wisely.Be sure to stop by Fiesta Friday and Petra and Laura’s blogs and see what everyone is making this week.

47 thoughts on “Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

  1. Your poor kids!! Now I am wishing I had nothing to do tomorrow but fuss over pancakes and try my hardest to not go outside in the heat. Alas, I must go out and there will be no time for pancakes. Maybe next weekend!

  2. These do look amazing Mollie– worth the trouble! We like pancakes for Saturday supper and these would be great! And I have lemons in the fridge right now! thanks thanks! Sounds like you are really into summer weather there. We’re having hot days too. so I’m staying indoors (with the air conditioning on!) trying to finish stitching a quilt for a new grand-baby before it arrives in August!! take care friend! xoxox

  3. petra08

    Your pancakes looks absolutely amazing. I love the sound of ricotta and lemon added and they are so fluffy! Fantastic! 🙂

  4. Love ricotta pancakes! This recipe has come at the perfect time, Mollie. I have friends coming over for breakfast on the weekend. Now I know what I’m making. I can taste them already. Yum!

  5. You had me at lemon and ricotta, two of my favorite foods. I’m not much for sweets, but these obviously aren’t overly sweet so I may have to give them a whirl. I also recently discovered the joys of ricotta cheese mixed with honey and toasted walnuts, and drizzled over figs or good toast. That may be something else to try! Great post!

  6. I’ve heard that ricotta makes the BEST panckaes, but because I don’t care for it on it’s own I haven’t used it to make them yet. Thee pics are definitely making me reconsider that decision. They look PERFECT.

    • Jess, I think Ricotta can sometimes be a little dry and chalky on it’s own – I guess it depends on the Ricotta? Can I just say those sugar cookies you made last week look so amazing!

  7. These sound so lovely and look so fluffy! I had previously not been a fan of pancakes, but recently I realized it was just because I was not doing them right! Who needs flimsy little iHOP pancakes when you can have nice flavorful fluffy ones. I have a yogurt pancake recipe posted that I just love! They are a lot thicker and the leftovers actually keep well so I just save the extras to send my daughter off with in the morning.

    • Hi Abbey – I love using yogurt in pancakes – and any baked good! I will check yours out. I am kind of the same as you – a pancake has to be at least a little special before I’ll even consider it. I really didn’t think I even liked pancakes, having grown up on the mix.

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