I love cheese – especially ricotta – and these Ricotta Pancakes really make me smile. Plus, they’re super light and fluffy. Who doesn’t love fluffy pancakes? Try this yummy and nutritious recipe with the kids – they’ll absolutely love it. Get creative with the toppings!
Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes
Who doesn’t love fluffy ricotta pancakes? Try this yummy and nutritious recipe with the kids – they’ll absolutely love it. Get creative with the toppings!
The trick to making the fluffiest ricotta pancakes is all in the way you treat the eggs. In this recipe, I separate out rich egg yolks from the whites. This way I can whisk the whites using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or a whisk and brute strength until they form soft peaks. You will know they are soft peaks when you remove the whisk and the egg white peak bends but still holds. Make sure when you are separating your egg white and yolk that no yolk remains in the egg whites. If this happens you will have a very difficult time forming peaks, and we want fluffy ricotta pancakes.
Whenever I am making pancakes, I like to test my griddle with a small drop of pancake batter first. This way you can gauge whether the surface is warm enough and ensures that you don’t waste any of your ricotta pancakes batter!
The ricotta in my ricotta pancakes adds a richness and creaminess that you don’t get by adding whole milk alone. Mixed with the egg whites, you get the best of both worlds- fluffiness and richness!
I call my ricotta pancakes recipe kid-friendly, but I believe any recipe can be “kid-friendly” as long as you are willing to get kids involved. Even the most complex recipe has a few simple tasks along the way to delegate, and if all else fails, let them be the taste-testers.
Don’t be afraid to go savory with your toppings. Here are some suggestions:
- Fried egg and chives
- Kale or pistachio pesto
- Sauteed mushrooms
- Cherry tomatoes and basil
- Avocado (as Olivia suggests!) and toasted sunflower seeds
If you prefer sweet:
- Drizzle on a lemon poppy seed glaze (1/4 cup confectioners sugar, 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds)
- Top with chia jam
- Drizzle honey and top with roasted, sliced almonds
- Drizzle with nut butter
- Stone fruits or berries
A Cheese By Any Other Name
Ricotta is sometimes confused with a number of different cheeses like cream cheese, cottage cheese, or mascarpone. All of the aforementioned cheeses are considered “fresh,” meaning un-ripened with mild flavors and creamy textures. One of the ways they differ is in the amount of whey or liquid in the final product. Heating or kneading fresh cheese curds will produce Pasta Filata, a category of cheeses that include mozzarella or burrata. These types of cheeses melt well and are perfect for pizza topping!
You can make ricotta in your kitchen!
Because ricotta is a fresh cheese, it is relatively simple to pull together in your own kitchen. No ripening or fermenting required!
All you need is whole milk (about 8 or 9 cups), salt (1 teaspoon) and lemon juice (from 2 lemons or about ¼ cup). Heat the milk (with salt added) in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring the milk up to 195 degrees F slowly making sure not to boil. I use a thermometer for this, like the ones used for making candy or caramel. Once the milk reaches 195 degrees F turn off the heat, add the lemon juice and stir a couple times to combine. Let this mixture sit for 5 minutes (do not stir).
Set a strainer over a bowl and lay cheesecloth over the strainer. Once the milk mixture has had a chance to rest, pour the curds and whey through the cheesecloth and strainer. Allow this to sit straining for 20 minutes to one hour depending on the consistency you want (less time for most moist, more time for less moist). You now have ricotta to use in my fluffy ricotta pancakes recipe!
My other favorite ways to use ricotta
Ricotta can add moisture and flavor to any type of meat burger or meatball. If you are interested, try my Ricotta Beef Burgers. I also like to spice up figs with ricotta, walnuts, a drizzle of honey and a pinch of salt. These Figs with Ricotta make fabulous appetizers or a sweet afternoon treat. I think my favorite way at the moment to use ricotta is in my Honey Whipped Ricotta with Honey, a recipe from my latest cookbook, The Mediterranean DASH Diet.
Looking for more pancake recipes? Try my Pink Pancakes.
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple sugar or granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup whole or 2% milk
- 2 large eggs separated
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Butter for cooking
In a medium bowl, mix together flours, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
In a large bowl, mix together ricotta, milk, egg yolks, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the ricotta and milk mixture, stirring gently until just combined.
In a small bowl, beat the egg whites with a handheld electric mixer or handheld whisk until stiff. Stir a small scoop of the egg whites into the pancake batter to lighten the batter, then fold in the remaining whites with a spatula.
Heat a griddle over medium-high heat. Melt a small bit of butter in the pan, just enough to coat the surface. Use a 1/3-cup measure to pour batter onto the hot griddle for each pancake. Cook the pancakes for about 3 or 4 minutes, until the undersides are golden and you see a few bubbles popping through the pancakes. Flip the pancakes and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, until golden. Repeat with the remaining pancakes.
Serve the pancakes immediately, with maple syrup, fruit jam, lemon curd, or powdered sugar.