Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

If you’re looking for a way to instantly take your pancake game to the next level, you must try this lemon ricotta pancakes recipe. Not only do they have a unique combination of flavors but leave you feeling more satisfied thanks to the added protein.

lemon ricotta pancakes with lemon slices and raspberries on top.

What sets lemon ricotta pancakes apart is their heavenly texture. They’re fluffy, moist and dense all at once, melting in your mouth with bursts of flavor. The creamy ricotta cheese taste is just rich enough paired with a bright, citrusy lemon flavor and sweetness for balance.

Even with so much flavor happening, they go well with a variety of different toppings, from fresh berries to whipped cream to maple syrup. Lemon ricotta pancakes are also versatile when it comes to when you serve them. They’re suitable for any season, although I recommend fresh berry toppings when the fruit is in season. (Although our family is obsessed with a little lemon curd on top. Try it!)

If you’re like me, pancakes fall into the breakfast food category, but they could be whipped up for a special treat any time of day. These will definitely make your family look forward to “breakfast for dinner” nights if that’s something you ever do around your house!

stack of lemon ricotta pancakes.

Ingredients needed to make Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

  • Flour: Any all-purpose flour will work best!
  • Sugar: Granulated white sugar, straight from the pantry.
  • Lemon Juice: Squeeze it fresh for the brightest flavor.
  • Lemon Zest or Lemon Extract: If needed, you can substitute 1/2 a teaspoon for the required 1 teaspoon of lemon zest.
  • Buttermilk: In addition to the lemon juice, buttermilk brings more acidity to activate the baking soda for fluffy pancakes.
  • Ricotta Cheese: Pick up a tub at the store or make it yourself with a simple process that uses buttermilk, whole milk and cream.
  • Eggs: You’ll use three eggs in this recipe, which adds even more protein beyond the ricotta.
  • Vanilla Extract: The vanilla brings a warm depth of flavor.
  • Baking Powder: This double-acting leavening agent reacts in wet ingredients and again when cooking for the perfect fluffy pancakes.
  • Baking Soda: While you’ll have baking powder to make your pancakes fluffy, a bit of baking soda adds even more lift when it reacts with the acids of the lemon and buttermilk.
  • Salt: Salt mostly balances the flavor of the lemon, sugar and vanilla while reducing any bitterness from the baking soda.
  • Butter: You’ll need at least 2 tablespoons for this recipe and perhaps a little more for cooking.
lemon ricotta pancake ingredients.

Be sure to check out the full ingredient measurements and complete recipe below.

Kitchen Equipment Needed:

  1. Large mixing bowl
  2. Medium mixing bowl
  3. Griddle or large sauté pan
  4. Cookie scoop, optional

What to serve with Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

With pancakes, it is all about the toppings for me. These pair well with fresh berries like raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. They complement the sweet, tart flavor and creamy texture of the pancakes. You could punch up the sweetness with a berry compote, or play off the tartness with a sweet, citrusy lemon curd or glaze.

lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberries, raspberries, whipped cream and lemon curd toppings.

With or without the berries, a dollop of whipped cream or a sprinkle of powdered sugar looks beautiful and pairs well. Both add a slightly sweet flavor, and the cool whipped cream brings a cool, light texture that contrasts perfectly with the warm, dense pancakes.

If pancakes just aren’t pancakes without a sweet and sticky topping, you can always go for the classic maple syrup. You could also mix it up with blueberry syrup or a blueberry sauce, a flavor that always goes well with lemon. An alternative that gives a similar texture and different flavor profile? Drizzle on some honey.

The pancakes are usually the star of the show for a typical family breakfast. You might consider adding a protein like bacon or sausage. For a larger gathering, I’ve added a few other favorite breakfast and brunch recipes down below!

lemon ricotta pancakes on the griddle.


Whenever I share this recipe for lemon ricotta pancakes, I get some of the same questions, so I have listed them with answers here. If there’s anything I haven’t covered, drop your question in the comments and I’ll reply as soon as I can!

Can a pancake be healthy?

They can, especially if you watch your serving size and toppings. A bonus to ricotta pancakes is they add a creamier texture with a punch of protein you don’t get with regular pancakes.

As far as how many calories ricotta pancakes have, that will vary depending on your portion size. Comparing this pancake recipe to traditional pancake recipes, you’ll have additional calories from the ricotta and a couple more eggs and tablespoons of sugar.

On the other hand, these call for only 3/4 cup of buttermilk, which is about 50% lower in calories than whole milk. Most traditional pancakes call for a little over a cup of whole milk.

So if you’re watching calories, aim for smaller portion sizes with lemon ricotta pancakes than you would have with regular pancakes. Keep in mind you’ll still feel just as full thanks to the protein from the ricotta and additional eggs.

How do you make pancakes more fluffy?

With this recipe, both baking soda and baking powder do the trick. By using both, you get a quick lift from baking soda and a more controlled rise from the baking powder.

You may see other recipes that call for one or the other and wonder, is baking soda or powder better for fluffy pancakes? In short, baking powder, because it’s double-acting. It bubbles a bit when you’re mixing and again while you’re cooking, so it distributes the lift around each pancake better.

Baking soda only works when it reacts with acids, like the buttermilk and lemon juice in this recipe. Without that combination, you’d not get the lift and probably have a slightly bitter aftertaste with no acid to balance it. Baking powder already has a bit of powdered acid in it.

lemon ricotta pancakes flipped on the griddle.

What is ricotta cheese made of?

Traditional ricotta is made from leftover whey from the process of making other cheeses, like mozzarella. The whey is reheated until curds form. These curds are drained to produce ricotta.

Another method – and one you can try at home – involves mixing vinegar or lemon juice after heating whole milk or cream, which leaves a bit of those flavors even when you drain the curds. An alternative is heating buttermilk along with a mixture of whole milk and cream, which separates the whey as it cooks. Once the curds form, you drain them thoroughly.

If you’re pressed for time, picking up a good-quality ricotta at the grocery store works just fine.

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lemon ricotta pancakes

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

If you’re looking for a way to instantly take your pancake game to the next level, you must try this lemon ricotta pancakes recipe. Not only do they have a unique combination of flavors but leave you feeling more satisfied thanks to the added protein.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breads, breakfast, brunch
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 24 pancakes
Author: Laura



  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest or ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 Tablespoons butter or more for cooking

Toppings optional

  • fresh fruit like blueberries or raspberries
  • maple syrup
  • whipped cream
  • lemon curd
  • powdered sugar
  • berry syrup


  • In a large bowl whisk all dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl add eggs and  beat with a whisk. Add in the buttermilk, ricotta and vanilla and beat until well combined.
  • Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring just until everything is combined. 
  • Last, fold in the lemon juice and zest/extract stirring evenly but be careful not to over mix the batter. 
  • Heat griddle or pan and add half the butter. Once melted, add about 1/4 cup pancake batter (see notes) at a time to make small circles. Cook until you see bubbles, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook other side until golden brown. 
  • Serve warm and top with maple syrup, lemon curd and fresh fruit of your choice. 


  • I used a large (3 Tablespoon) cookie scoop to scoop out the pancake mix and pour it onto the griddle. This made 24 four-inch pancakes. If using a 1/4 cup measuring spoon for the pancakes, you’ll yield about 18. 

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