These Lemon Ricotta Pancakes are lemon-scented, light as air, and make every day a little sunnier. Make them as-is, or add blueberries for the best breakfast ever.

A stack of lemon ricotta pancakes on a plate.

What’s the trick to making fluffy, airy pancakes? I learned that it’s separating the eggs.

When you beat the whites separately and fold them in to the batter, you get lofty cakes that are light and delicious every single time. Who knew that just one extra little step could make such a huge difference in pancake texture?

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredient notes
  2. Step-by-step instructions
  3. Recipe tips and variations
  4. Lemon Ricotta Pancakes Recipe

Ingredient notes

  • Ricotta cheese: You can make your own ricotta with whole milk, lemon juice, distilled white vinegar, and salt. Store-bought is also fine, of course. Whole-milk ricotta has the best flavor but part-skim works too (but avoid nonfat ricotta).

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Top with a wire rack and coat with nonstick spray and set in oven. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center. Add ricotta, the 2 egg yolks, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla until just combined. Gently stir in melted butter.
Lemon Ricotta Pancake batter in a bowl.
  1. In a standing mixer fit with the whisk attachment, or using an electric mixer, whip the 4 egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip whites soft and billowy, about 1 minute. 
Egg whites whipped in a mixing bowl.
  1. Add sugar and whip until glossy, stiff peaks form, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add ⅓ of egg whites to batter and fold in gently until incorporated. Fold in remaining egg whites.
Lemon ricotta pancake batter in a mixing bowl.
  1. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil until shimmering. Wipe out oil with a paper towel, leaving a thin layer on the bottom of the pan.  Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup or a 2-ounce ladle, add batter to skillet. Gently spread each portion into a 4-inch round. Cook until bubbles start to form in the batter and the edges are set and deep golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Lemon ricotta pancakes cooking in a skillet.
  1. Flip pancakes and continue to cook until the second side is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer to prepared rack in the oven to keep warm while preparing the rest of the pancakes.
A skillet with 3 lemon ricotta pancakes in it.
  1. Cook the remaining batter, adding more oil as necessary to the skillet. Serve warm with butter and syrup or blueberry topping.
A stack of lemon ricotta pancakes on a plate.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes twelve (4-inch) pancakes
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Make ahead: If you decide to make your own ricotta, it can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
  • Blueberries: Add a handful of frozen blueberries straight into the batter, or place them strategically into each pancake as soon as you spoon the batter onto the pan. They’ll cook as the pancake cooks.
  • Blueberry compote: In a small saucepan over medium heat, add 2 cups blueberries, 3 tbsp water, 3 tbsp sugar, and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Cook until thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Serve warm.
A stack of lemon ricotta pancakes on a plate.

How to Make Ricotta Cheese

Learn how to make ricotta cheese at home. It’s quick and easy: all you need is milk, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt. Technically, authentic ricotta cheese is made from cooked whey, which is a by-product…

30 minutes
View Recipe

More breakfast favorites

A stack of lemon ricotta pancakes on a plate.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

These Lemon Ricotta Pancakes are lemon-scented, light as air, and make every day a little sunnier. Make them as-is, or add blueberries for the best breakfast ever.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 4 servings (three 4-inch pancakes each)
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Calories 333

Ingredients 

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 8 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese (see note 1)
  • 2 large eggs separated, plus 2 large egg whites
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Top with a wire rack and coat with nonstick spray or vegetable oil. Set in oven.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center. Add ricotta, the 2 egg yolks, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla until just combined. Gently stir in melted butter.
  • In a standing mixer fit with the whisk attachment, or using an electric mixer, whip the 4 egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip whites soft and billowy, about 1 minute. 
  • Add sugar and whip until glossy, stiff peaks form, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add ⅓ of egg whites to batter and fold in gently until incorporated. Fold in remaining egg whites.
  • In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil until shimmering. Wipe out oil with a paper towel, leaving a thin layer on the bottom of the pan. 
  • Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup or a 2-ounce ladle, add batter to skillet. Gently spread each portion into a 4-inch round. Cook until bubbles start to form in the batter and the edges are set and deep golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Flip pancakes and continue to cook until the second side is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer to prepared rack in the oven to keep warm while preparing the rest of the pancakes.
  • Cook the remaining batter, adding more oil as necessary to the skillet. Serve warm with butter and syrup or blueberry topping.

Notes

  1. Ricotta cheese: You can make your own ricotta with whole milk, lemon juice, distilled white vinegar, and salt. Store-bought is also fine, of course. Whole-milk ricotta has the best flavor but part-skim works too (but avoid nonfat ricotta).
  2. Yield: This recipe makes twelve (4-inch) pancakes
  3. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  4. Make ahead: If you decide to make your own ricotta, it can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
  5. Blueberries: Add a handful of frozen blueberries straight into the batter, or place them strategically into each pancake as soon as you spoon the batter onto the pan. They’ll cook as the pancake cooks.
  6. Blueberry compote: In a small saucepan over medium heat, add 2 cups blueberries, 3 tbsp water, 3 tbsp sugar, and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Cook until thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 3(4-inch) pancakesCalories: 333kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 12gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 521mgPotassium: 152mgFiber: 1gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 596IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 160mgIron: 2mg
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Meggan Hill

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