Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Nothing says spring like fluffy and light Lemon Ricotta Pancakes bursting with bright lemon flavor! These delicious pancakes are easy to make and pack plenty of flavor thanks to lemon zest and fresh lemon juice and the ricotta cheese gives them the perfect tenderness. You’ll love these beautiful pancakes for springtime brunches.
soft & fluffy lemon pancakes!
Say hello to springy, beautiful lemon ricotta pancakes! This lemon pancake recipe is guaranteed to brighten your day. Since it’s officially spring and Easter is right around the corner, I wanted to bring you an easy springtime breakfast recipe for all of your celebrations. Usually my lemon pound cake is all the rage, but why not lemon pancakes too? Especially these that are light and fluffy with pops of citrus lemon flavor in every bite!
If you’re a fan of lemon recipes, you MUST give these pancakes a try! I love that they’re packed with a little extra protein thanks to the ricotta – 5 grams in each pancake. So, not only are they absolutely irresistible, they are also super satisfying. Don’t worry, you can’t taste the ricotta cheese, it just gives these pancakes the perfect extra tenderness.
These are definitely worth cooking up for Easter or Mother’s Day brunch. Or really any day of the week!
While lemon ricotta pancakes sound a little fancy, you’ll actually use plenty of pantry staples to make these flavorful pancakes. Here’s the lineup:
- Flour. Regular all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour work great for this recipe. If you want to make them gluten free, I think an all-purpose gluten free flour or oat flour should work well, but please note that I have not tried it.
- Salt. Really brings out the lemon flavor!
- Water. Most pancake recipes call for a good amount of liquid, usually milk. I first tried these lemon ricotta pancakes with milk and then I gave the recipe a try using water. Surprisingly, the pancakes made with water cooked up even more light and fluffy than the ones made with milk. Feel free to use either, but I recommend water for best results.
- Baking powder + baking soda. Will help these lemon pancakes get nice and fluffy. The baking soda is whisked with the water to increase the fluff factor.
- Ricotta cheese. You don’t taste the ricotta in these pancakes, it just adds a ton of tenderness. It’s similar to adding yogurt to pancake batter, but even better!
- Lemon zest. The lemon zest is very important to the flavoring of these pancakes, so don’t skip it. Here’s the inexpensive zester (affiliate link) I use.
- Oil. Use just 1 tablespoon of oil to add moisture to these pancakes and give them the perfect texture. Use any variety you’d like.
- Sugar. You’ll need just one tablespoon of sugar to add a touch of sweetness.
- Egg. One egg not only adds fluffiness to these pancakes, but also helps the ingredients bind together.
- Vanilla extract. For a little extra flavor. You can sub with almond extract for that traditional lemon poppy seed muffin flavor!
- Melted butter. A little bit of melted butter gives these pancakes the perfect texture.
- Lemon juice. I recommend freshly squeezed lemon juice for this recipe. Lemon concentrate, is too potent and sour.
how to make this recipe
This recipe for lemon ricotta pancakes is super easy! Aside from zesting a lemon, these pancakes are all about mixing wet ingredients in one bowl and dry ingredients in another bowl. The full, printable recipe is at the bottom of the page, but here’s a quick rundown:
- Mix dry ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
- Combine wet ingredients. In a separate large bowl, whisk together baking soda and water and then mix in the ricotta cheese, lemon zest, oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Stir until smooth, breaking up lumps of ricotta as you mix. Add the melted butter, lemon juice and the flour mixture and stir until most of the flour disappears.
- Let batter rest. For best results, rest the pancake batter for about 15 minutes. This will allow the gluten in the flour to relax and the starch grains to swell and will make for the most light and fluffy pancakes.
- Cook pancakes. Heat a large non-stick skillet or griddle. Once hot, scoop out about 1/4 cup of pancake batter for each pancake. After about 3 minutes and when bubbles begin to form on the surface and the edges of the pancakes look set, flip and cook the other side until cooked through and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy. Top pancakes with any favorites. We love maple syrup and fresh blueberries on these lemony pancakes!
These are everything you want in a pancake. They’re soft and so fluffy… each bite melts in your mouth… you’ll be reaching for more than one. Stack. Possibly. 😉
lemon poppy seed pancakes
If you want to make these lemon poppy seed pancakes, simply add 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds to the dry ingredients and make as directed. Yum!
tips for recipe success
This recipe is simple and straightforward, but I do have a few pancake-making tips to give you the most perfect, fluffy lemon pancakes.
- Don’t over-mix the batter. You want to gently fold the wet and dry ingredients together until you have a lumpy, just-moist batter. Lumps are good in pancakes, trust me! If you stir the batter until it is perfectly smooth, you’ll have a very dense, flat pancake instead of a light and fluffy one.
- Make ahead. The pancake batter can be made ahead of time. If needed, make and then store batter in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours before you plan to cook the pancakes.
- Don’t press down on the pancake with the back of your spatula. This will cause the pancake to flatten and it won’t help them cook any faster.
- Only flip once. Flipping the pancakes back and forth causes them to deflate and become dense, so when it’s time to check if they’re done on bottom, just barely lift them to take a peek.
- Keep the pancakes warm. As you’re cooking the pancakes in batches, keep cooked pancakes warm in the oven. Heat oven to 200ºF, then transfer pancakes to a baking sheet or oven-safe plate and place in the oven until ready to serve.
- Try warming up your syrup before serving. It’s so good that way and helps the butter melt all over your pancakes. Yes, please!
lemon pancake toppings
These pancakes are absolutely divine as-is, but feel free to add some tasty toppings to make these your own! Here are some toppings that work great with lemon pancakes:
- Syrups. maple syrup, honey, fruit syrup
- Glaze. Make a lemon glaze to drizzle over the top! For the glaze, stir together 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract.
- Fresh fruit. blueberries, apricots, strawberries, raspberries, peaches
- Nuts. almonds, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts
- More fun toppings. cream cheese, jam, blueberry sauce, whipped cream, yogurt, shredded coconut, powdered sugar
One awesome thing about homemade pancakes is that they keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. For the fridge, let pancakes cool completely and then put them in a zip-top baggie. You can reheat in a toaster or microwave when you’re ready to eat.
Lemon ricotta pancakes are very freezer friendly. Once pancakes have cooled to room temperature, freeze them first on a large pan or plate. When the pancakes are slightly hard, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag. Pancakes will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months. Freezing them first, separately, keeps the pancakes from sticking together.
To reheat frozen pancakes, you can either heat them in a toaster oven, microwave, or a warm oven. You can also reheat without thawing them first.
I hope you get a chance to make these soon. They’re easy, flavorful and a major crowd pleaser. Top them with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey or pure maple syrup for maximum deliciousness. Enjoy!
If you try this lemon ricotta pancake recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup cold water
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon oil (any variety works)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk water and baking soda together. Then, add ricotta cheese, lemon zest, oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth, breaking up lumps of ricotta as you mix.
- Stir in melted butter, lemon juice, and flour mixture. Combine until most of flour disappears into the batter. Let batter sit at room temperature about 15 minutes.
- Heat a lightly greased skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Portion out 1/4 cup scoops of batter onto skillet or griddle, cooking in batches as needed. When bubbles begin to form on the surface and the edges of the pancakes look set (2 to 3 minutes), flip and cook the other side until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm with maple syrup and butter and/or other favorite toppings.