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A stack of lemon ricotta pancakes with syrup being drizzled on top with strawberries nearby.

Ricotta Lemon Pancakes with Vanilla Sauce

Course: Brunch
Cuisine: Brunch
Keyword: Breakfast, Lemon and Ricotta, Pancakes, pancakes with vanilla sauce, Ricotta, Ricotta pancakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 361kcal
The hint of lemon, mixed with the ricotta cheese, buttermilk, nutmeg bring these to incredible levels. The stiff peaks of the eggs whites make these pancakes amazingly light, yet so flavorful. And the vanilla sauce brings it all together!
Print Recipe


  • Hand mixer, or stand mixer
  • Griddle, or medium-sized non-stick skillet



  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt


  • 3 large eggs separated
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 ½ cups unbleached-all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil for frying


  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter optional
  • 1 cup maple syrup, warmed optional
  • 1 cup mixed berries optional


MAKE THE SAUCE (Can be done 1 day in advance)

  • Mix all of the ingredients until smooth in a small mixing bowl. For super smooth sauce, blend in a blender or food processor. Refrigerate until needed. Thin with 1 tablespoon of milk if the sauce is too thick.


  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the egg yolks, buttermilk, sugar, and ricotta cheese.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, lemon zest, nutmeg and salt.
  • In a third bowl, beat the egg whites (I use an electric hand mixer), beat the egg whites until stiff peaks start to form.
  • Mix the dry ingredients into the buttermilk mixture with a few quick strokes. A few lumps remaining are okay.
  • Fold in the egg whites.
  • Pour in a little oil (about 1 tbsp) into a medium sized non-stick skillet...or griddle.
  • Once hot, drop about 1/4 cup of the batter on the skillet/griddle.
  • Bubbles should rise...cook for about 1 & 1/2 minutes and then flip.
  • Cook for about another minute on the 2nd side. Pancakes should be light golden brown.
  • Remove...place each cooked pancake on a cookie rack on a baking sheet and keep warm in a 200°F oven.


  • Place one pancake on a plate, then add a layer of the sauce. Repeat.
  • Top with slice of butter and warm maple syrup (optional)
  • Serve with fresh berries (optional)



Mix the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until just incorporated.  Don't over-mix.  A slightly lumpy batter is okay.
Cook the pancakes until small holes form on the top of the pancake, then flip.  About 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on one side, and then another minute on the other.  Pancakes should be golden brown in color.
Keep the vanilla sauce chilled until ready to use.  A thin layer between each pancake is all that's needed.  If more is desired, we recommend doubling the vanilla sauce recipe. 
Pancakes can be cooked and then wrapped individually in foil for up to one day. Re-heat in a 375°F oven, unwrapped, on a slightly greased baking sheet for 5 to 8 minutes, or until warmed through. 
Butter, pure maple syrup, and fresh berries are all nice additions, but not required. 


Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 131mg | Sodium: 507mg | Potassium: 253mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 649IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 227mg | Iron: 2mg