Light, fluffy and extremely moist, these ricotta pancakes deliciously flavored with lemon and lemon zest are a breakfast favorite!
Totally in love with ricotta for its soft and moist texture, I have been looking for a ricotta pancake recipe for quite a while now. I have tasted many different ones and they happen to be all very different. So after browsing dozens of ricotta pancake recipes, I finally came up with my own version matching my high expectations in terms of texture and flavor, and I have to say that I am very happy of the result.
But before we go further here, I have to stop you for a minute to share my love for pancakes. To me, pancakes are strongly connected to weekend, morning and breakfast. Three of my favorite words in life! Thus, you can find different versions on the blog. Among them, make sure you check my Easy fluffy American pancakes (number 1 on the blog!), my Lemon poppy seed yogurt pancakes, my Healthy 3 ingredients pancakes, and also my Vegan pink beet pancakes (naturally pink-colored!).
Now I’ve got a new one and it’s already a breakfast favorite in my house, so I will probably make it again and over again for quite a while. So what’s so special about them? First of all, they feature ricotta cheese. Cheese in your pancakes, really? Oh yes, believe me! Ricotta has a rich and fresh texture, both firm and supple at the same time, with a slightly sweet flavor. It also has a high moisture content which makes it perfect for cheesecakes by the way – and actually here, the pancakes kind of taste like cheesecake too!
Not only the moist texture of the pancakes are brought by the ricotta cheese, but also by the buttermilk. As usual I prepare my homemade buttermilk as it is so quick and easy to make. If you have never made your own one before, here’s what you need to do: pour one tablespoon of lemon juice (or white vinegar) in measuring cup and fill with milk until you reach the 1 cup lever. Stir, and let sit for 10 minutes before using it. Nothing more or less. Easy, right? Buttermilk has this wonderful power to bring a very moist texture to your baking and I love using it in muffins or banana breads for instance (check these two amazing banana bread recipes here and here).
In addition to ricotta and buttermilk, I used here some whipped egg whites in my pancake recipe here. This is quite unusual actually. While folding the whipped egg white into the batter, there should be still white bits of egg whites floating in the batter (as for a magic cake), which is totally fine – combine gently but please do not overmix, as this is what will give the light and fluffy texture to the pancakes.
Don’t forget to add the lemon juice and zest to flavor your pancakes and bring a very refreshing taste. For a change, you can replace with some orange juice and zests from time to time. To serve, dust with icing sugar, and top with fresh berries (keep in mind that blueberries and lemon always pair very well), some fresh mint, and generously pour some maple syrup on top. Breakfast is ready!
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup buttermilk*
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 egg whites
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, ricotta, egg yolk, vanilla,lemon juice, lemon zest, and blend until combined.
- In a clean, dry bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the ricotta mixture and let the batter rest for 3 minutes.
- Pour into flour mixture and whisk just to combined (do not overmix).
- Pour about 3 tbsp of the batter onto a greased skillet and cook until bubbles begin to appear on surface and bottom is golden brown, then flip and cook opposite side until golden brown.
- Serve warm with fresh berries, maple syrup, and dusted with icing sugar if desired.