Lemon ricotta pancakes are unlike any pancake you’ve experienced before. They have a milky tang with gorgeous notes of zippy lemon. The ricotta makes them incredibly fluffy and soft while lemon adds brightness. A simple sweet-tart rhubarb sauce brings the final touch of freshness and fruitiness to these irresistible pancakes.
These lemon ricotta pancakes sound impressive (and they are!), but they’re so easy to pull off. They’re excellent when you’re looking for the best brunch recipes to cook for friends and family. Once you whip these up, all that’s left to do is make a few brunch sides, set the table, and make the perfect mimosa.
Ingredients for Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
- Rhubarb: The rhubarb in our fresh sauce brings out the sweet-tartness of these pancakes.
- All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour is a versatile flour that gives these pancakes structure.
- Ricotta: Ricotta makes pancakes extra soft and fluffy while adding a milky tang.
- Lemon: The lemon juice and zest add a bright, citrusy note that helps cut the richness of the ricotta.
- Brown sugar: Here, we call for brown sugar because it adds a robust flavor and gorgeous, deep color.
- Milk: Milk adds some flavor to pancakes, and its natural sugars aid in browning for a golden pancake color.
Step 1: Create the rhubarb sauce
Place the rhubarb, water and brown sugar in a small saucepan, and give it a quick stir. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the rhubarb is tender, about 10 minutes.
Step 2: Make the pancake batter
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the ricotta cheese, milk, lemon juice and zest. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined.
Editor’s Tip: If you want fluffy pancakes, do not overmix during this step. There should still be a few small lumps in your pancake batter.
Step 3: Cook the pancakes
Drop batter by two tablespoonfuls onto a greased hot griddle. Cook over medium heat until small bubbles form and pop on the surface and the bottoms are lightly browned. Flip the pancakes, and cook until the other side is golden brown. Serve immediately with rhubarb sauce.
Editor’s Tip: To keep the pancakes warm while you cook them all up, preheat your oven to 250°F, and place a baking sheet inside. Add your cooked pancakes to the baking sheet in the oven, and get started cooking your next round of pancakes.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes Variations
- Change with the seasons: Make this lemon ricotta pancakes recipe autumnal by omitting the lemon and rhubarb and finishing the pancakes with a cinnamon-apple topping instead.
- Fold in raspberries: If you can’t find rhubarb, omit the rhubarb jam from this recipe and fold frozen raspberries into the pancake batter. The raspberries will make up for the sweet-tart flavor the rhubarb jam would give.
- Drizzle of maple syrup: If you don’t want to make this pancake recipe’s rhubarb sauce, opt for classic maple syrup instead.
- Splash of blueberry syrup: Lemon, blueberry and ricotta are a winning trio, so give our easy blueberry sauce recipe a go instead of the rhubarb sauce.
How to Store Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Let the cooked pancakes cool to room temperature, then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
How to Freeze Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Layer room-temperature pancakes in a resealable bag or airtight container between sheets of waxed paper or parchment paper. Store in the freezer for up to three months.
To reheat from frozen, place the frozen pancakes on an ungreased baking sheet, cover with aluminum foil, and reheat in a preheated 375° oven until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes. Alternatively, place two pancakes on a microwave-safe plate, and microwave on high until heated through, 40 to 50 seconds.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes Tips
What makes pancakes less rubbery?
What makes pancakes less rubbery is not overmixing the batter. Once you add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mix just until combined. There should be a few small lumps in your batter.
Which ricotta is best for baking?
The best ricotta to use for baking is whole-milk ricotta. It lends the best milky flavor and soft texture for a knockout finished dish.