Ricotta Hotcakes

The last time I made these pancakes, I used up my homemade ricotta cheese. Check out my easy recipe for cheesemaking at home!

Ricotta hotcakes are easy to make.
Ricotta hotcakes are easy to make.

Ricotta hotcakes with lemon will be a new family favorite. I know what you’re thinking: “cheese- in hotcakes?! There’s no way that can taste good.” But hear me out, adding ricotta cheese to these ricotta pancakes makes them buttery, soft and tender. And they don’t taste anything like cheese. You’d never know that you’re eating cheese in this sweet breakfast food.

These lemon ricotta pancakes are some of the best pancakes you’ll ever eat. They are melt-in-your-mouth tender from the ricotta cheese with the perfect amount of lemony kick from fresh lemons. These pancakes are a bright addition to any breakfast table. They pair well with many toppings as well, such as the standard maple syrup, fresh berries, lemon curd, jam or powdered sugar and butter.

Hotcakes vs. Pancakes

What is the difference between hotcakes and pancakes anyway? Well, there is no difference. Pancakes and hotcakes are the same thing and the words can be used interchangeably. Both the terms “hotcakes” and “pancakes” describe the pillow-y flat cakes that are cooked on a skillet over heat. Generally served for breakfast, these cakes are generally sweet and are accompanied with sides of syrup, whipped cream and powdered sugar. Other terms for these cakes also include “flapjack” and “griddlecake”.

While the pancake recipe did originate in the U.S., many cultures enjoy pancakes. Many Americans enjoy pancakes, or hotcakes, or breakfast with sweet side such as syrup or whipped cream, or even chopped fruit. The French enjoy a much thinner pancake, with a similar kind of batter, called a crepe. Latin cultures make a cake out of cornmeal and lard, called a tortilla. The tortilla is eaten and used for savory meals rather than sweet ones. Potato pancakes, made out of ground potato, are popular in the Middle East. Each culture has a similar “pancake-like” dish that they enjoy.

How to Make Ricotta Hotcakes

Even though these lemon ricotta hotcakes have a couple of extra ingredients, they are still your standard pancake. Mix your dry ingredients together first: flour, baking powder and sugar. Then mix in your egg, cheese, lemon juice and vanilla. Lastly, fold in the poppy seeds and lemon zest.

Lemon ricotta pancakes will be your next family favorite!
Lemon ricotta pancakes will be your next family favorite!

If you want these pancakes more lemony, then by all means, add more lemon juice or zest to your ricotta hotcakes. Like your pancakes sweeter? Feel free to add more sugar. Taste a bit of the batter and see if you like the taste. Adjust the taste of the batter by adding more cheese, lemon or sugar.

To save some time, you can use the premade pancake mix in a pinch. Just add in the ricotta, lemon, egg and poppy seeds.

Cooking Pancakes

Making pancakes is quite simple and luckily does not require much skill.

Add a bit of butter to a pan and heat. Add about a third of a cup of pancake batter to your pan and let it cook until you see air bubbles coming to the surface of the pancake and popping. This will occur after about 3 minutes on medium-high heat. This is how you know the pancake is ready to flip.

After flipping your pancake, let it cook for about another minute. Then transfer to a plate. Either make a nice stack of pancakes as you are cooking the or arrange on a large plate for serving.

Lemon ricotta pancakes are ready to flip when small air pockets come to the surface and pop.
These pancakes are ready to flip.

Continue this process until there is no more hotcake batter left. This recipe makes enough for about twelve pancakes.

The secret to making pancakes is twofold:

  1. There always seems to be a bad first hotcake. Try not to beat yourself up over it. Use this first hotcake as a tester. Try it and adjust your batter if it needs it.
  2. Make sure all your hotcakes are the same size by using a measuring cup to measure out the batter. This will ensure that all hotcakes not only come out as perfect round medallians, but they will also cook evenly.

How to Reheat Pancakes

These pancakes are also super freezer-friendly. I often make a double batch of the recipe so I can store some in the freezer. After allowing the pancakes to cool, place them in a gallon bag and put them in the freezer. When you are ready to reheat your pancakes, place them in the toaster! This is a great hack for serving breakfast on busy weekday mornings.

Freezing Pancakes

Like I mention above, freezing these hotcakes is a great way to save them. It also makes a fast breakfast for those of us with busy mornings.

If you do decide to them, add them to a gallon freezer bag and place in the freezer, removing as much of the air as possible from the bag. Freeze. When you are ready to eat one or two (or three or four) of the pancakes, just take them out of the bag and reheat in the toaster on medium or in the microwave for 30 seconds. In my opinion, they will reheat much better in the toaster. Check the middles after toasting to make sure they are warmed through.

After the pancakes are reheated, I usually just slap a little butter on them, grab a napkin and head on my way out the door.

The hotcakes will keep for about 4 months in a freezer bag in the freezer before they become freezer-burned.

Ricotta Hotcakes

5.0 from 1 vote
Recipe by Sarah
Course: Breakfast, Side, DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 1 cup ricotta cheese

  • 1 egg

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 3 tbsn sugar

  • 1 cup flour

  • 1.5 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • 2 tsp lemon zest

  • juice of one lemon

  • 2 tsp poppy seeds (optional)


  • Whisk the flour, baking powder and sugar together. Then whisk in the wet ingredients: ricotta, vanilla, lemon juice, milk and egg. Fold in the lemon zest and poppy seeds.
  • Heat about a tablespoon of butter in a nonstick pan and add about a third of a cup of batter to the pan. Flip the hotcake when small bubbles rise to the surface.
  • After flipped, let cook for another minute. Remove from heat with browned on both sides. Top with whipped cream, berries, lemon curd, or your other favorite toppings.

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