With the most delicious fresh lemon flavor and a distinctly fluffy texture, these Ricotta Pancakes are a perfect family breakfast to share—on a holiday or any day.

Fluffy ricotta pancakes in stack with syrup and raspberries.

Ricotta Pancakes

I am a huge fan of yogurt pancakes and I’ve discovered that using ricotta in the batter is another wonderful way to achieve that amazing texture. Plus, when you also add lemon, you have a the perfect pancakes for spring—or any day where you want cozy and also bright and fresh.

This pancake recipe is a favorite for Easter breakfast, Mother’s Day, or any day that the craving strikes. We love them with berries, but you can add any sides or toppings that your family enjoys most.

(If you have ricotta left after making these, try my Ricotta Pie and lemony Ricotta Pasta.)

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Ingredients You Need

Here’s a look at what you need to have on hand to make this breakfast recipe so you know what to pick up at the store or gather in your kitchen.

Ingredients for ricotta pancakes on countertop.
  • Whole-milk ricotta cheese: Look for ricotta cheese near the cottage cheese and sour cream at your supermarket. I prefer to use full-fat or whole-milk ricotta since the fat helps add moisture and richness.
  • Milk: I use whole milk in my cooking and baking so that’s what I use here. You can also use a favorite nondairy milk if you prefer.
  • Eggs: Eggs help to bind the pancake batter and create that fluffy interior. If you can’t do eggs in your family, use a store-bought egg replacer like the one from Bob’s Red Mill.
  • Butter: I use unsalted butter both in the batter and to cook the pancakes.
  • Lemon: Lemon zest adds amazing flavor and freshness to the finished pancakes. You can leave it out if you don’t have it though. You can add vanilla extract if you omit the lemon.
  • All-purpose flour: I love these pancakes with all-purpose flour, but you can also use whole-wheat flour if you prefer. If using whole-wheat, add 2 tbsp more milk to ensure the batter isn’t too thick.
  • Sugar: I add a little sugar to the batter to add a hint of sweetness. You can use maple syrup or honey if you prefer.
  • Baking powder: Fresh baking powder helps the pancakes rise as they cook.
  • Add-ins such as blueberries, diced strawberries, diced peaches (optional)

Step-by-Step Instructions

Below is an overview of how to make this ricotta pancake recipe so you know what to expect. Scroll down to the end of the post for the full amounts and timing.

how to make ricotta pancakes in grid of 4 images.
  1. Add the ricotta, milk, eggs, and butter to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine into a smooth mixture.
  2. Add the dry ingredients and whisk gently to combine. Add desired add-ins if using.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Melt a little butter and swirl to coat the pan.
  4. Spoon out a little batter per pancake. Cook until you see bubbles start to form on the surface and the edges are set. That’s how you know when it’s time to flip them. Flip and cook until lightly golden brown and set all the way through.
Ricotta pancakes on cooling rack.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make pancakes fluffier?

The key to fluffy pancakes is to use fresh baking powder, eggs, and tender flour, which in this recipe is all-purpose flour.

How can I make Lemon Ricotta Pancakes?

This is a great recipe for Lemon Ricotta Pancakes since we use fresh lemon zest and ricotta cheese in the pancake batter.

Can I use buttermilk in this recipe?

Feel free to substitute buttermilk for the milk in this recipe. It will make the pancakes a smidge tangy.

Fluffy ricotta pancakes in stack with hand holding fork.

Favorite Pan and Griddle for Pancakes

My favorite nonstick pan for cooking in general and for pancakes is this Green Pan skillet or this Tramontina skillet. My favorite griddle for family meals is the Presto Slimline.

How to Store

Store leftover ricotta pancakes for 3-5 days in the fridge in an airtight container. Warm for 15-30 seconds on a heat-safe plate in the microwave. Or freeze between layers of parchment paper (or in a single layer) in a freezer bag.

Ricotta pancakes on three plates with sides.

Best Tips for Success

  • If using whole wheat flour, you may need 1-2 additional tablespoons milk since it absorbs liquids more readily.
  • Gluten-free: Use a 1:1 style of gluten-free flour.
  • Dairy-free: Use nondairy Greek-style yogurt and nondairy milk.
  • Look for ricotta cheese near the sour cream in your supermarket. Full-fat or whole milk ricotta cheese is best here.
  • Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract if desired.
  • Enhance the lemon flavor even more by adding 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice to the batter.
  • If you have extra ricotta, try my Lemon Ricotta Pasta, Spinach Pasta Sauce, Red Pepper Pasta Sauce, or my Mini Ricotta Pies.
  • Serve with fresh berries as you like.
  • Try my 2-ingredient Baby Pancakes, too.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this post, so please rate and comment below!

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Fluffy ricotta pancakes in stack with syrup and raspberries.

Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes

With the most delicious fresh lemon flavor and a distinctly fluffy texture, these Ricotta Pancakes are a perfect family breakfast to share—on a holiday or any day.
5 from 38 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Breakfast
Calories 297kcal
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • ½ cup plain whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted and cooled; plus more for cooking)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (or whole-wheat flour; if using whole-wheat, add 2 tbsp more milk)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup add-ins such as blueberries, diced strawberries, diced peaches (optional) You can stir 1 cup into the batter or sprinkle a few pieces of each on each pancake if you prefer.
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Instructions

  • Add the ricotta, milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine into a smooth mixture.
  • Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the lemon zest. Whisk gently to combine.
  • Add desired add-ins if using. (You can add 1 cup to the whole batch, or use a few pieces of any of them as you make each pancake. Just add the fruit or chocolate chips to the top of the batter after you add it to the pan in Step 5.)
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Melt a little butter and swirl to coat the pan.
  • Spoon out about ¼ cup batter per pancake for regular-size pancakes or 2 tablespoons batter for mini pancakes. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until you see bubbles start to form on the surface and the edges are set.
  • Flip over with a spatula and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Serve or place into a 200-degree-F oven on a baking sheet while you finish making the rest of the batch. Add a little more butter as needed to keep the pancakes from sticking.
  • Serve warm with maple syrup and additional fruit as desired.

Notes

  • Store for 3-5 days in the fridge in an airtight container. Warm for 15-30 seconds on a heat-safe plate in the microwave. Or freeze between layers of parchment paper (or in a single layer) in a freezer bag.
  • If using whole wheat flour, you may need 1-2 additional tablespoons milk since it absorbs liquids more readily.
  • Gluten-free: Use a 1:1 style of gluten-free flour.
  • Dairy-free: Use nondairy Greek-style yogurt and nondairy milk.
  • Look for ricotta cheese near the sour cream in your supermarket. Full-fat or whole milk ricotta cheese is best here.

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 122mg, Sodium: 435mg, Potassium: 137mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 524IU, Calcium: 251mg, Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

This post was first published March 2023.

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5 from 38 votes (14 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These pancakes are delicious! So easy and I love the subtle lemon flavor! I like to add in frozen blueberries for an extra little pop. My 16 month old and I both love them!

  2. 5 stars
    These are my new go to pancake recipe! I love that they’re more substantial than most pancakes but just as easy to make and fluffy. I make them with white whole wheat flour. They are excellent topped with honey and berries, peaches, and blueberry lemon compote. In the fall I’m excited to try them with an apple cinnamon spin. Thanks for an excellent recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious and fluffy and lemony! I love a thick pancake batter. Doubled recipe as directed except used 1.5 teaspoon of dry lemon peel and 2-3 tsp of lemon juice instead of lemon zest. Oh and I had part-skim ricotta. Made about 16 pancakes (about 1/4 cup batter each). Not sure how many pancakes are in a listed serving?
    My almost 4 year old loved them. Will be freezing for pancakes anytime!

  4. 5 stars
    HOOKED on this recipe! I was wondering though if you can sub cottage cheese? looking for ways to increase protein. thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    I made these on Mother’s Day and they were a huge hit, even with my four year old who doesn’t usually like pancakes! What a great recipe. They make for super fluffy, soft and sweet pancakes. I used the zest from two small Meyer lemons and they were very lemon-y (but not sour or tart). I’ll be adding these to our breakfast rotation for sure!

  6. 5 stars
    These pancakes are flavorful and fluffy! I used strawberries and soy milk in mine. Another winner for breakfast. I plan to try blackberries and raspberries when I get some.

  7. 5 stars
    These taste almost like fruit loops to me! I’m gonna have a hard time not sneaking some out of the freezer. So fluffy and yummy! Hope my baby likes them.

  8. 5 stars
    These were so tasty and fluffy, and did not flatten after cooling down, as many pancakes do. Thank you for the recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    Is it possible to make this recipe as a sheet pan pancake ? If so, at what temp and how long ? I’m less likely to mess up the cooking this way 🙂

    1. Ricotta has a slightly different flavor and these are also lemony. The texture is similar thought.

  10. 5 stars
    Hi,
    I want to make these for baby. Would leaving out sugar affect the recipe in any way besides sweetness? Also can I use soy milk instead of cows milk? I just want to keep allergen exposure with soy milk.
    Thanks

    1. Leaving out the sugar and using soy milk will work just fine, the flavor comes from the ricotta and the lemon. I hope they enjoy them!

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you! Baby loved them. Next time I’ll do it with salt and sugar for the rest of the family. We tried them and they were delicious but we need sugar and salt 🙂