How to make my favorite ricotta pancakes

Fluffy ricotta breakfast pancakes are clearly not Italian, but I made them in Italy with Italian ricotta so I’m letting it slide. This is also my favorite recipe for pancakes so I’m writing it down here for safekeeping.

Today is a holiday in Italy, the Feast of the Epiphany. Children are visited the night before by a witch named Befana who puts candy and coal in stockings like Santa does on Christmas Eve in the United States.

While a lot of Italy has the day off, I’m working (in my pajamas) but we celebrated with a lunch of ricotta pancakes at my boyfriend’s request who is not working (also in pajamas).

The following recipe is adapted from this recipe for fluffy ricotta pancakes on

Ricotta pancakes

Serves 2, makes 7 to 8 small, fat pancakes

  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese, strain if there is extra liquid
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder (or 1/8 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate which is easier to find in Italy, plus 1 teaspoon of lemon juice)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 1 vanilla bean, sliced open and scraped insides only
  • Butter
  • Maple syrup
  1. Mix the flour, baking powder or sodium bicarbonate, sugar, and salt together in a small bowl.
  2. Mix the ricotta, milk, egg yolks, vanilla bean, and lemon if using together in a large bowl.
  3. Stir the flour mixture into the ricotta mixture.
  4. Beat the egg whites until they form small peaks.
  5. Place a large spoonful of the beaten egg whites into the bowl with the ricotta mixture and blend together to lighten the batter and then gently fold in the rest.
  6. Melt a small amount of butter in a pan or griddle.
  7. Place approximately 1/3 of a cup of batter onto the pan for each pancake. I use buttered metal rings to get a fat, tall shape.
  8. Cook the pancakes on one side until golden and then flip and cook until golden on the other side.
  9. Plate and serve with butter and Vermont maple syrup. Did I mention I’m from Vermont?

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