“Yay, pancakes!” is the cry of two excited little boys, when they see me measuring pancake batter onto a hot griddle. Sweet Sunday breakfasts have become a tradition of ours, and pancake Sunday is without a doubt, their favorite sweet breakfast. While I usually make plain, classic pancakes, I thought I would make something a little different this past weekend. Lemon ricotta pancakes with strawberry sauce are such a delicious treat for breakfast, and I know you’ll love them as much as we do.
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What are Lemon Ricotta Pancakes?
Lemon ricotta pancakes are made with ricotta cheese, sour cream and lemon juice, for a very light and airy batter. And the pancakes themselves are just as light and airy. They puff up beautifully on the griddle, and the subtle lemonyness adds such lovely bright flavor notes that keep them from being too sweet.
To serve with the pancakes, homemade strawberry sauce complements the lemon beautifully. I simmered strawberries until the juices were thick and syrupy, and it was the most wonderful topping for the pancakes. Of course, if you’re a pancake purest, there’s nothing wrong with serving these with butter and pure maple syrup. They’re delicious, however you eat them. But lemon ricotta pancakes with strawberry sauce is a perfect pairing of flavors. These pancakes would be fantastic with a blueberry compote, too.
Make the strawberry sauce.
So first, get those beautiful strawberries simmering. You’ll need to wash and chop some strawberries, toss them with a little sugar and lemon juice, and let them simmer for a bit until reduced and the juices are syrupy. Let the sauce cool while you make the pancake batter. You can even make the strawberry sauce a day or two in advance, to save time in the morning when everyone is hungry for pancakes.
Make the pancake batter.
For the pancake batter, first sift together the dry ingredients, to make sure your flour doesn’t have any lumps. You’ll need all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and coarse Kosher salt.
Then, whisk together your liquid ingredients. Whole milk, ricotta cheese, sour cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest make these lemon ricotta pancakes so light, fluffy and flavorful.
Briefly whisk together the wet and dry ingredients, and you’re ready to start cooking.
Cook the pancakes.
I cook my pancakes low and slow, for a really even, golden brown color, so I preheat a griddle to between 300-325F. Cook on one side until they’re easy to flip over, then cook the other side until they’re cooked through.
You won’t believe how soft and light these lemon ricotta pancakes are. They look so beautiful with a light dusting of powdered sugar and a little butter melting down over the top. And the strawberry sauce just completes the deal for a perfect breakfast treat.
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Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce
- ½ lb strawberries, hulled and chopped
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup whole ricotta cheese
- ½ cup whole sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup lemon juice, fresh or bottled
- zest of 1 large lemon
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, until thick, syrupy, and reduced to 1 cup.
- Let cool while you make the pancakes. The sauce can be made a day in advance, as well.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Separately, whisk together the milk, ricotta, sour cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and zest.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and whisk briefly, just to moisten; a few lumps in the batter are fine, and you shouldn’t over-mix.
- Heat a griddle to between 300-325 degrees F.
- Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to portion out the batter for the pancakes, leaving plenty of space between them so you can flip with ease. Cook for several minutes on one side until golden brown, then flip and cook the other side until cooked through.
- Serve with the strawberry sauce, and/or with butter and maple syrup.
- This recipe yields 16 small pancakes (1/4 cup batter each), or 8 large pancakes (1/2 cup batter each).
- You can keep the cooked pancakes warm in a 200-degree oven, while you finish cooking the rest.
- Leftover pancakes can be frozen, then toasted later for a quick breakfast.