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Ricotta Pancakes | RecipeTin Eats

Ricotta pancakes are special because they are extra moist and fluffy inside. These are based on Bill Granger’s ricotta hotcakes recipe from his bistro Bills, a breakfast institution in Sydney. Time to up your pancake game!

Pouring maple syrup over Ricotta pancakes

Ricotta Pancakes

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE traditional pancakes. But sometimes it’s nice to make a wee bit of an effort to make ricotta pancakes which are extra special.

Super moist inside with a flavour that is almost a bit cheesecakey. Even if you don’t know you’re eating a ricotta pancake you’re eating, you know it’s different to standard pancakes. Which is why they’re a favourite among trendy bistros as a breakfast menu item. Like Bills. Any Sydney-siders fond of Bill Granger’s ricotta hotcakes? No need to battle the traffic into the city on weekends, not to mention the queue for a table or the cost. Just make these at home! 🙂

Freshly cooked Ricotta pancakes

Here’s a nice close up for you. Fluffy. With little bits of ricotta curds studded throughout. Liberally doused with maple syrup. YES!

Inside of Ricotta pancakes

Ingredients in ricotta pancakes

Other than ricotta, there’s nothing in these that you probably don’t already have in your pantry!

Ricotta pancakes ingredients
  • Ricotta – Use full fat, not low fat (it lacks flavour and creaminess, and thus the two things it adds to the pancakes!). Standard ricotta, not whipped or spreadable or any other such variation.

    TIP: Get one in a basket sealed in vac packs or over the deli counter. My favourite brand is Paesanella – comes in both forms. Avoid Perfect Italian in tubs (mainstream Australian grocery store brand.) It’s bizarrely powdery and just not pleasant.

  • Baking powder AND baking soda/bi-carb – These make the pancakes rise. In my classic pancakes, I only use baking powder as that’s all that’s needed to make them fluffy. Ricotta weighs down the batter so we need the extra rising boost from a touch of baking soda (which is approximately 3x stronger).

    Don’t worry if you don’t have bi-carb, just use extra baking powder. The difference is only minor. 🙂

  • Vinegar (or lemon juice) – I know this looks weird, but trust me! Vinegar/acid activates the baking soda to give it a kick start. You see iterations of this in most of my baking recipes, whether it’s a touch of vinegar or yogurt or sour cream (which serve the same purpose).

    We only use 1 teaspoon so it doesn’t make the pancakes taste vinegary. Use any clear vinegar or lemon juice.

  • Flour – Just plain/all-purpose flour. Works better to use flour + baking powder + bi-carb that just self raising flour (which has baking powder pre-mixed) which never rises as well.

  • Sugar – Just 3 tablespoons. We don’t want these sweet because we will DOUSE them with maple syrup!!

  • Eggs – 3 large ones which are 55g/2 ounces each. No need to bring them to room temperature, fridge cold is fine.

  • Milk – Full fat best, though low fat and non-dairy will work too.

  • Vanilla – For Flavour.

  • Salt – Just a pinch, to bring out the other flavours in the pancakes. Standard baking practice!

How to make ricotta pancakes

The batter part is super easy – whisk the wet ingredients, then whisk in the dry ingredients. We can do that half asleep. But you do need to be awake and alert when you cook them! Golden rule: 3 minutes on the stove, golden brown surfaces.

How to make fluffy ricotta pancakes
  1. Whisk wet ingredients – Whisk the Wet ingredients in a bowl. Be vigorous to break up the ricotta! You will end up with little ricotta curd bits all throughout.

  2. Whisk in dry ingredients – Scatter the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt across the surface. Then whisk just until the flour is incorporated and the batter is lump free.

How to make fluffy ricotta pancakes
  1. Heat pan (I use 2 pans because I’m impatient) – Using a good non-stick pan, heat it on medium. Then either brush lightly with a bit of melted butter, or melt a little dab of butter then wipe the excess off with a paper towel. Why? Because otherwise the excess butter will burn when cooking the pancake, leaving unsightly dark brown patches and a burnt flavour. It’s a common mistake! We just want to use the bare minimum so the pancake doesn’t get stuck on the pan.

    PERFECT GOLDEN BROWN – Also, using minimum butter is how you can make the pancakes a beautiful even golden brown all across the surface, like pictured below, instead of splotchy – like pictured above in the step photo 4. If you use even just a little too much butter in the pan, they come out with golden splotches. It’s not a big deal, just a visual thing! With the added benefit that you’re cooking with less butter which means you can put more butter ON your pancakes… 😈

To make pancakes a perfect golden brown like this, wipe the pan clean of melted butter (butter = splotchy surface, like pictured in the step photos and video). Visual difference only!
  1. Dollop batter – Pour 1/4 cup batter in the middle of the pan. I use an ice cream scoop, one of my favourite kitchen tools. So handy for pancakes, muffins, cupcakes, fritters, meatballs….

    It should pretty much spread into an even-round by itself but make need a bit of coaxing. Don’t spread it too thin, we want ricotta pancakes nice and thick!

How to make fluffy ricotta pancakes
  1. Cook 3 minutes – Cook the first side for 1 1/2 minutes or until golden brown. The sides and surface should be just about set so the pancake holds its shape when you flip.

    Flip, then cook the other side for 1 1/2 minutes until golden. Adjust the stove heat as needed to ensure they don’t brown too fast. You really need the pancakes to cook for 3 minutes and be golden brown to ensure they are fully cooked inside.

  2. Remove pancakes and continue cooking. If you want the perfect golden brown surface like pictured in this post, either do not any more butter at all OR just brush the pan very lightly with butter.

    Stack the pancakes up so they keep each other warm. I use 2 pans so it takes me around 12 minutes to cook the whole batch. If you’re only using one pan, you might want to keep them warm in a low oven, or just microwave briefly before serving (they reheat 100% perfectly).

Pouring syrup over Ricotta pancakes

Matters of ricotta pancakes

Cooking part done, let’s chat serving!

Toppings – Lovely just served with butter and maple syrup, but I figure if I’m making the effort, I may as well go all the way. By “all the way”, it just involves sprinkling halved strawberries with sugar and leaving them to sweat for a bit to soften the strawberries and extract some of the juice. The fancy word for this is “macerated strawberries”, but really, all it means is that the strawberries are softened slightly.

It’s also a neat trick to improve under-ripe strawberries when they are out of season, like now. 🙂

Making ahead – Ricotta Pancakes hold up quite well made ahead too. Because they are so moist, they don’t suffer as much as ordinary pancakes which become stale relatively quickly. Whereas reheated ricotta pancakes are pretty similar to freshly made!

So this weekend, why not stay in for brunch? Flop around in your daggy slippers, stay in your PJ’s, no need to comb your hair. The coffee refills are free and nothing – nothing – beats a good homemade meal!

Happy weekend everyone! – Nagi x

Watch how to make it

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Pouring syrup over Ricotta pancakes

Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes


Tap or hover to scale

Ricotta pancakes are a step up from plain ones. They are extra moist inside, and delicately fluffy, made famous by Australia’s very own Bill Granger. Stove control is key, because these are thicker than standard pancakes. Heat too low, and the pancakes will be raw batter inside or won’t rise enough. Too high, and the pancakes will burn before the inside is cooked. The golden rule is 3 minutes and golden brown surfaces. It’s fine to go over (they will still be moist inside) but if you go under 2 1/2 minutes, they will be raw inside.9 – 10 pancakes (about 13cm/5″ in diameter).


  • Whisk wet – Place the Wet ingredients in a bowl and whisk vigorously to combine. You should have little ricotta curd bits in it, but you don’t want giant ricotta clumps.

  • Add dry – Scatter the Dry ingredients across the surface then whisk until combined. The batter will still have little ricotta curds in it, and while dollop-able, it is thicker than standard pancake batter.

  • Batter in pan – Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat until hot (I use 2 pans). Brush lightly with melted butter (or melt a bit then wipe off excess – Note 4). Pour in 1/4 cup batter – it should just about spread evenly into a round but may need a bit of coaxing. (I use an ice cream scoop – Note 5)

  • Cook – Cook the first side for 1 1/2 minutes or until golden brown (turn heat down if browning too fast). Flip then cook the other side for 1 1/2 minutes or until golden. Remove onto a plate.

  • Cook remaining – If you’re non stick coating is good, you won’t need more butter though a very light brush of melted butter won’t hurt. Continue cooking, lowering the heat as you go as the pan gets hotter. You should get 9 to 10 in total. Keep cooked pancakes stacked so they keep each other warm (or use a low 50C/125F oven).

  • Serve ricotta pancakes with macerated strawberries, softened butter and copious amounts of maple syrup.

Macerated strawberries (optional)

Recipe Notes:

1. Ricotta – Do not use whipped or creamed ricotta, they are too wet. Use standard ricotta. My favourite brand from grocery stores in Paesanella (sold in tubs). Type “ricotta” in the search bar for all the other recipes that you can use leftovers for!
2. Vinegar and other acidic things kick starts the rising effect of baking soda. 
3. Baking soda (bi-carb) and baking powder both make cakes etc rise but have different rising characteristics, with the main difference being that baking soda is more powerful. I found ricotta pancakes benefit from a bit of extra rise boost from baking soda because the batter is a little more dense.
4. Golden brown pancakes! The step either lightly brush the pan with melted butter or to melt then wipe off most of the butter is the secret to ensuring that the first pancake comes out beautifully evenly gold all over, rather than splotchy! Not an essential step, but I like to do this. It applies to normal pancakes too. Also means less butter required for cooking (which means you can put more ON your pancakes!)
Also, too much butter in the pan = burnt butter. So don’t go crazy with butter in your pan, save it for serving!
5. Ice cream scoop – Handy for dolloping pancake batter (as well as muffins, fritters, meatballs!). A 1/4 cup / 60 ml scoop is a great standard size to have.
6. Flipping/cooking – The key is to ensure each pancake cooks for at least 3 minutes to ensure they are cooked inside. Even up to 5 minutes is fine (it won’t dry out thanks to the ricotta), but 3 minutes is the sweet spot!
Because the batter is thicker than ordinary pancakes, you won’t get as many bubbles on the surface to indicate it is ready to flip. If you see the start of a few (but not yet bursting), that’s all that’s needed to indicate that it’s cooked inside. Or lift the edge to check the underside.
7. Leftovers will keep for 3 – 4 days in the fridge, or 3 months in the freezer. They reheat better than normal pancakes (which go quite stale the next day) because they are more moist.
Recipe credit – This recipe is based on Bill Granger’s famous ricotta pancakes served at his bistros. However, I found it a bit tricky to ensure the pancakes cook through properly without burning and the outcome is also rather sensitive to the creaminess of the ricotta which varies from brand to brand. So I tweaked to make the recipe “safer” by altering the batter slightly (details in post). 🙂
Nutrition per pancake, assuming 10 pancakes, toppings excluded.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 148cal (7%)Carbohydrates: 18g (6%)Protein: 6g (12%)Fat: 6g (9%)Saturated Fat: 3g (19%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 64mg (21%)Sodium: 51mg (2%)Potassium: 164mg (5%)Fiber: 0.5g (2%)Sugar: 5g (6%)Vitamin A: 219IU (4%)Calcium: 106mg (11%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Originally published in March 2016. Republished May 2023 with improved recipe, brand spanking new photos and a video added!

Pancakes, pancakes, pancakes

Life of Dozer

Then and now – when Dozer saw a table full of this……

Ricotta Pancakes - So much more moist than ordinary pancakes - and so easy to make!

….here was his reaction back in 2016 on the original publication date…


….and 7 years on, today, on the re-publication date. NOTHING HAS CHANGED!

A stray strawberry and a huge hunk of pancake may have fallen his way….. 😉

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