Easy, Fluffy Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

published Mar 14, 2020
Valentine's Day
Easy, Fluffy Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

A simple recipe for the best light and fluffy lemon ricotta pancakes.


Makes12 (4-inch) pancakes

Prep10 minutes

Cook15 minutes to 18 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Olwen Phillips

When it comes to pancakes, my husband and I can never agree. He wants them plain and simple with nothing but a healthy pour of maple syrup. I, on the other hand, like adding things like blueberries or bananas to the equation. The one thing we can agree on? The best pancakes are the fluffiest ones.

That’s why we’re both extra-enthusiastic about a stack of these lemon ricotta pancakes on a weekend morning, which, thanks to whipped egg whites, are incredibly light and lofty. They’re simple enough for the pancake purist, yet feel special enough, with their wisp of lemony flavor, for those, like me, who crave a little something extra.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Olwen Phillips

These Lofty Pancakes Are the Reason to Always Have Ricotta

After trying these pancakes, you’ll understand why I always keep a tub of ricotta on hand. The Italian cheese lends a mildly creamy and rich flavor to your short stack, while making the insides of the pancakes almost custardy. Plenty of whipped egg whites give these pancakes their loftiness, and lemon zest and juice give them a mellow zip that make them well-suited for less traditional toppings like fresh citrus segments. Of course, a simple drizzle of maple syrup will also do the trick.

Easy, Fluffy Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

A simple recipe for the best light and fluffy lemon ricotta pancakes.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes to 18 minutes

Makes 12 (4-inch) pancakes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 4

    large eggs

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 1 cup

    whole-milk ricotta cheese

  • 1/2 cup

    whole or 2% milk

  • 1 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon

    granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • Unsalted butter, for cooking

  • For topping: citrus segments, fresh berries, lemon curd, or maple syrup


  1. Separate 4 large eggs, placing the whites in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and the yolks in a large bowl. (Alternatively, you can place the whites in a medium bowl if using an electric hand mixer or whisking by hand with a sturdy whisk.)

  2. Finely grate the zest 1 medium lemon onto the egg yolks, then squeeze the juice from the lemon into the bowl (about 1 tablespoon zest and 3 tablespoons juice). Add 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese and 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk, and whisk to combine. Add 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and whisk until just combined; do not overmix.

  3. Beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. (Alternatively, beat with an electric hand mixer or sturdy whisk.) Stir 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk batter with a rubber spatula to lighten it. Then gently fold the remaining egg whites in until just combined; do not overmix.

  4. Heat a large cast iron or nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon unsalted butter to the pan and swirl to coat. Drop the batter into the pan in 1/4 cup portions, 3 at a time. If needed, use the bottom of the measuring cup or the spatula to gently spread out each portion into rough 4-inch rounds. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, the edges begin to look dry, and the bottoms are golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until the other side is golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes more.

  5. Transfer the pancakes to a warm oven or plate. Repeat cooking the remaining batter, using 1 teaspoon butter for each batch and wiping out the skillet between batches, as needed. Serve the pancakes immediately, with topping of choice.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The pancakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months.