Traditional pancakes are great, but what makes them even better? For me, I’m all about adding an unassuming ingredient (not blueberries or chocolate chips, although those are great). My secret is ricotta! The addition of this ingredient equals cloud-like pancakes that are so freaking delicious. And, as the mornings get brighter, now feels like a great time to share my tried-and-true ricotta pancake recipe. Traditional pancake recipes are abundant (including our delicious Chinese five spice pancake recipe), but a good ricotta pancake recipe is not. So let’s dive into what makes this the best ricotta pancake recipe + how to make a batch for your breakfast this weekend!
The Best Ricotta Pancake Recipe for an Easy & Delicious Weekend Breakfast
Before we get started on the recipe for these ricotta pancakes, here’s a bit of info about why this simple ingredient change is a total game-changer!
Why you should put ricotta in your pancakes
I should tell you that it’s not quite as simple as dumping a lump of ricotta in your batter and calling it a day. The ultimate goal is to make the fluffiest pancakes you’ve ever had, which is why this Italian cheese it key. Once combined with beaten egg yokes, the result is total magic. Essentially, adding ricotta breaks up the cakiness of traditional pancakes, leaving you with a light and custard-like pancake.
While I wish it was as simple as adding a healthy scoop of ricotta to your pancake batter, there are a few other factors to keep in mind (but nothing too complicated, thankfully!). Leaveners, like eggs and baking powder, are the key. And, of course, an acid like buttermilk. These additional ingredients not only add flavor, but also activate the first reaction in baking powder. It’s a two-rise process: first with acid, then with heat. This way, you will get the most out of your baking powder… equalling super-fluffy pancakes!
What makes a pancake fluffy?
Like with any baked good, the treatment of gluten (flour) is important. The first trick with these pancakes is to reduce the quantity of flour a bit more than a traditional pancake. Second, adding ricotta helps to break the gluten up a bit. The result is a tender and fluffy pancake.
The next contributor is whipped egg whites. This adds a stabilized air to your batter that bakes in when the whites are cooked. The final ingredients are baking powder and acid in the form of buttermilk. When you compile these tricks together, you get the perfect cloud-like pancake of your dreams (no hyberbole).
The Fluffiest Ricotta Pancakes
- Hand mixer
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup ricotta strained if a lot of liquid
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 3 large eggs separated yolks from whites
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- canola oil for cooking
- Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt) in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, egg yolks, buttermilk, vanilla. Mix until well blended.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg whites using an electric mixer, until medium-stiff peaks are formed. The egg whites should look like soft serve and hold a small, loose peak when the beater is lifted from the bowl. Avoid getting the whites too stiff or they won't incorporate into the batter.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing until just combined and no lumps are formed.
- Take about 1/3 of the egg whites and combine them into the batter; this will lighten the batter up for the remaining whites to be folded in until just combined. Try not to knock too much air out.
- Fold in the egg whites and allow the mixture to sit in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat with about a tablespoon of canola oil or another oil with a decent smoke point. In about 1/3 cup potions spoon the batter into the center of the pan.
- Once bubbles start to break through, flip the pancake and cook for another minute or two.
- Occasionally wipe out the skillet and add fresh oil.
- Serve immediately with your favorite fruit topping. This recipe is served with kumquat compote. Any fruit, syrup, or powdered sugar will complement these pancakes perfectly.
Ideas for pancake toppings:
I topped these ricotta pancakes with kumquat preserves. There are tons of different ways you can top them, though! Here are a few I recommend:
- Fruit preserves
- Whipped cream and fresh berries or other fruit
- Whipped cream, bananas, and chocolate shavings
These ricotta pancakes can also be the perfect canvas for savory flavor combinations, similar to a crepe. So experiment and have fun!
So what do you think of this easy ricotta pancake recipe? It really is the perfect way to make your weekend breakfast a bit more delicious!