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 37 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 37 votes (14 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been making these almost every weekend for my family. I used cottage cheese instead of ricotta and blend it with the milk first. And I’m using GF flour. Delicious!!!

  2. 5 stars
    I made these with cottage cheese instead of ricotta and omitted the sugar and salt to share with my 10 month old and we both really enjoyed! Such a nice fluffy consistency and the lemon flavour is perfect.

  3. I had a tub of ricotta in the fridge not knowing what to do and came across this recipe! Morning breakfast dilemma and ricotta usage – check check ✔️ my 4 yo and 1 yo liked them. I topped the pancakes for the 4yo with raisins and bananas so they get caramelised. One bowl and so easy! Win win for all! Thanks Amy

  4. 5 stars
    These were easy to make, and would be so simple to customize. Love another commenters suggestion about adding pumpkin and cinnamon. These pancakes are SO FLUFFY and soft. What a dreamy texture. I don’t know if others think 1T is a lot of sugar but they are so very slightly sweet. I topped them with butter and flakey salt, personally. Another easy and delicious recipe- thank you Amy!

  5. 5 stars
    I liked this recipe, but I think that 1 cup of flour is a little too much: the batter was pretty thick, and I could taste the flour afterwards. They turned out well otherwise.

  6. 5 stars
    I love these!! I make a double batch every week! The ricotta makes them so fluffy. I love adding a few tablespoons of canned pumpkin and extra cinnamon instead of the lemon sometimes to switch it up!

  7. 5 stars
    I make these with a flax egg since my daughter is allergic to eggs and they come out great! I also do slightly less sugar (1 teaspoon per half recipe) and they have a nice sweetness.

    1. It can be, but you’d want to let it sit at room temperature a bit before making so that it’s not freezing cold. They may not rise as well if the batter is straight out of the fridge.