Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

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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 Lemon Ricotta 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?

Recipe ingredients

Labeled lemon ricotta pancakes ingredients.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

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. 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.
Batter for lemon ricotta pancakes in a clear 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. Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium high heat, greasing if desired (see note 2). 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.
A skillet with 3 lemon ricotta pancakes in it.
  1. Flip pancakes and continue to cook until the second side is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
A skillet with 3 lemon ricotta pancakes in it.
  1. Remove from skillet and cook the remaining batter. Serve with butter and maple syrup or fresh blueberries.
A stack of lemon ricotta pancakes on a plate.

Do I need a pancake dispenser?

Showing the Norpro pancake batter dispenser.

Although a pancake dispenser isn’t completely necessary for making delicious pancakes at home, after testing a bunch, I loved how easy the Norpro Batter Dispenser made making breakfast. It has an even pour and was way less messy getting my batter into the pan, and I am now a pancake dispenser convert! You can get it for $20.66 at Amazon, and you can use it for dispensing cupcake batter and sauces, too.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes twelve (4-inch) pancakes (more or less depending on how you size them).
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: If you decide to make your own ricotta, it can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer: Arrange cooled pancakes in a single layer, not touching, on a small baking sheet or plate. Freeze until the pancakes are individually frozen, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag. Freeze up to 2 months. Reheat in the microwave or toaster from frozen (yes, you can just pop them in the toaster!).
  • Oiling the skillet: If you love crispy edges on your pancakes, you’ll want to lightly grease your skillet with oil or butter before adding the batter. If using a non-stick skillet, you can skip the fat and cook the flapjacks in a dry skillet for a smooth, brown surface.
  • Keep them warm: To keep pancakes warm while you’re preparing them, or to store them for an imminent brunch, preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Set a rack over a baking sheet and place in the oven, then transfer cooked pancakes to the rack until serving time.
  • 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.
  • Classic Homemade PancakesFor standard white-flour pancakes better than anything you’d get at the diner, try my beloved Homemade Pancake Recipe. It’s ready in 20 minutes or less, and they are so good! Definitely a family and reader favorite.
  • Buttermilk pancakes: Whip up a batch of tall, fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes for your next breakfast, brunch, or brinner.
  • Vegan Pancakes: For a hearty plant-based breakfast, try my Vegan Pancakes made with oat milk, flax seeds, and coconut oil.
  • Healthy Pancake Recipe: If you’re looking for wholesome breakfast ideas, keep a batch of homemade Healthy Pancake Mix in the pantry. Whenever the mood strikes, mix up batter for as few as 3 to 4 pancakes at a time. It’s ideal for busy school mornings and will keep the kids full until lunch time.
A stack of lemon ricotta pancakes on a plate.

More sweet breakfasts

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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.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings (three 4-inch pancakes each)
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Calories 333
5 from 9 votes

Equipment

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • 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.
  • Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium high heat, greasing if desired (see note 2). 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. Remove from skillet (see note 3 about keeping pancakes warm in the oven) and cook the remaining batter. Serve with butter and maple syrup or fresh blueberries.

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. Oiling the skillet: If you love crispy edges on your pancakes, you’ll want to lightly grease your skillet with oil or butter before adding the batter. If using a non-stick skillet, you can skip the fat and cook the flapjacks in a dry skillet for a smooth, brown surface.
  3. Keep them warm: To keep pancakes warm while you’re preparing them, or to store them for an imminent brunch, preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Set a rack over a baking sheet and place in the oven, then transfer cooked pancakes to the rack until serving time.
  4. Yield: This recipe makes twelve (4-inch) pancakes (more or less depending on how you size them).
  5. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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