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Lemon Ricotta Pancakes are the brightest, sweetest way to start your day! They are light and slightly citrusy and pair perfectly with homemade coconut syrup, berry syrups, or just a dusting of powdered sugar and fresh fruit!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Do it right with some of our other favorite breakfast recipes like Overnight Sourdough Waffles, German Pancakes, Cinnamon French Toast Sticks, or Southern Biscuits and Chocolate Gravy.
Welcome to #LemonWeek 2021 hosted by Lynn from Fresh April Flours! What better way to welcome summer than with over 50 recipes featuring bright and sunny lemons? Come join me and my fellow Lemon Week bloggers as we bring you recipes from appetizers to drinks to entrées and desserts!
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Coconut Syrup
I love, love, love pancakes. They are so easy, there are so many great variations, and best of all, you get to top them with delicious syrups and jams and sauces. I remember as a kid going out to eat for the occasional special breakfast (usually when my dad’s job was transferring us and the company was paying all the expenses) and feeling compelled to try every last syrup variety that was offered. I might as well have just held the jars of blackberry or apple cinnamon or apricot syrup (my favorite) over my gaping mouth and poured, because I absolutely drenched my pancakes in the stuff.
I’m not much different as an adult as far as wanting lots of syrup and ALL THE FLAVORS.
These lemon ricotta pancakes with coconut syrup were the perfect opportunity to unleash my inner child (like she is ever very restrained to begin with) and slather already delicious pancakes that are subtly rich and tart from the ricotta cheese and lemon zest and then bathe them in scrumptious coconut syrup. With a little dusting of powdered sugar and a few fresh blueberries on the side for good measure.
Oh heavens, this is my kind of breakfast. (Incidentally, I have a recipe for Toasted Coconut Pancakes that you most definitely need to try as well!) Also, it’s a great way to use up leftover ricotta cheese after making a batch of lasagna or stuffed shells the day before.
I adore this flavor combination. I have seen coconut syrup with banana macadamia nut pancakes (it’s a Hawaiian thing and delicious, I’m positive, though I don’t recall seeing it the last time we were in Maui) and examples of lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry syrup (also wonderful – another syrup that I adore and make on a regular basis), but never lemon and coconut together.
And I have to let my little corner of the internet know that this is an opportunity that is a’wasting because man alive are those two things AMAZING together. Sorry for the caps shouting but I want to lemon-coconut everything up now and I’m feeling a little amped up about it.
For reals, though, these lemon ricotta pancakes are so light and tender that you could eat them with just a sprinkling of powdered sugar and be happy. And it is frighteningly easy to eat 3 or 8 of them without blinking an eye.
But then you top them with a super easy, creamy smooth coconut syrup and it’s like you are transported to some imaginary island where coconuts and lemons grow together on a magical lemon-coconut tree because of course that is how nature intended it to be. And all is right with the world. We could certainly use more of that, couldn’t we?
Seriously though, you have to try this coconut syrup. Not only is it amazing with these lemon ricotta pancakes, but you can use it on lots of other things. Waffles, french toast (OMG it would be amazing on french toast, especially cinnamon roll french toast – that’s it, this is happening soon), as an ice cream topping (chocolate & coconut – another flavor pairing that puts stars in my eyes), or even as a dipping sauce for coconut shrimp (note to self, make coconut shrimp and dip it in this stuff, pronto).
The possibilities are, well, maybe not endless, but there are a lot of possibilities!
- Ricotta cheese: This ingredient adds wonderful richness and flavor to the pancakes. Look for whole milk ricotta cheese, although part-skim milk ricotta cheese will work as well.
- Lemon: One juicy lemon is all you need to add wonderful citrus flavor to these pancakes. Be sure to zest the lemon before juicing it.
- Flour: Regular all-purpose flour works great for fluffy, light pancakes.
- Milk: There really is no need for buttermilk in these pancakes because of the acid in the lemon juice that goes into the batter. Regular milk works just fine.
- Eggs: You need eggs for binding and to help the pancakes rise.
- Baking powder: There is a good amount of baking powder which is what makes the batter rise so your pancakes are fluffy.
- Butter: Don’t skip buttering your skillet! Not only does it help the pancakes not stick to the pan, but it also adds wonderful flavor.
- Vanilla extract: A little vanilla adds a hint of sweetness to the pancakes. I love using my homemade vanilla extract.
- Salt: Just a bit of salt helps make sure the pancakes aren’t bland.
How to Make Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
- Mix wet ingredients: Start out by whisking the ricotta cheese with the eggs, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla in a large bowl. I can’t be bothered with extra dishes at breakfast, so we are keeping this a one-bowl recipe.
- Stir in dry ingredients: Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. If you sprinkle the baking powder and salt over the flour, rather than dumping it in one spot, it will mix in better without needing to whisk the dry ingredients together first. Stir just until everything is combined, but don’t overmix. It’s okay to see little lumps in your pancake batter. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes while you heat up the griddle.
- Cook the pancakes: Add a little butter to a hot griddle and use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to drop pancake batter onto the surface of the griddle. Cook for about 3 minutes until air bubbles start to appear on the tops of the pancakes, then flip and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes until done. Transfer to a plate and keep warm until ready to serve.
- Serve: I always sprinkle these lemon ricotta pancakes with some powdered sugar before serving. Not only does it give a lovely presentation, but it adds a bit of sweetness to the tangy pancakes. These are absolutely fabulous with fresh blueberries, raspberries, or sliced peaches and a generous pour of coconut syrup on top!
I recently discovered these awesome Ergospout lids (<– affiliate link) that let you turn any mason jar into a pouring pitcher. It’s perfect for your coconut syrup! Use the discount code HOUSEOFNASHEATS for an extra 10% off.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- Be sure not to overmix the batter. When it comes to pancakes and muffins, once you add the flour to the wet ingredients you will want to stir by hand just until everything is combined so the pancakes stay tender and light instead of tough. It’s okay for some streaks of flour to remain and for the batter to be lumpy.
- Ricotta Chocolate Chip Pancakes: The sweet cream ricotta pancake base can be easily customized by leaving out the lemon and adding chocolate chips instead.
- Let the batter rest. I learned this trick from Ina Garten. The Barefoot Contessa recommends letting pancake batter rest so the gluten can relax after stirring for a more tender pancake. It really does seem to make a difference!
- Making pancakes for a crowd? Keep them warm in a 250 degree F oven on a baking sheet while you cook the batches so they can be served piping hot all at once. Don’t dust them with powdered sugar until just before serving.
Some people like classic maple syrup with these pancakes, but I think coconut syrup or a berry syrup like strawberry, boysenberry, or blueberry go much better. And really, even just a dusting of powdered sugar is enough if you feel like skipping the syrup altogether.
Pancakes cook quickly – just 2-3 minutes per side – so there is little risk of them being doughy in the center. But the best test is to press on them in the middle with your finger. If they bounce right back like a cake, then the pancakes are done.
Yes! If you make a double batch and have leftover pancakes, they freeze well for easy breakfasts during the week. Be sure to store them with a piece of parchment paper between layers so the pancakes don’t stick together.
More Easy Breakfast Recipes to Try
- Toasted Coconut Pancakes
- Easy Chocolate Crepes
- Aebleskiver | Danish Pancakes
- Big, Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes
- Raspberry Streusel Muffins
- Chunky Monkey Pancakes
- Easy Belgian Waffles
- Homemade Blueberry Muffins with Crumb Topping
- and see all my breakfast recipes here
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Coconut Syrup
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
- 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons salted butter for skillet
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- 14 ounces coconut milk
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract optional
- Whisk the ricotta cheese, milk, eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla together in a large bowl.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir just until combined. Batter will be lumpy. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes.
- Heat a griddle or large pan over medium heat. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter on the griddle. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to pour the batter onto the hot griddle to make the pancakes.
- Cook pancakes until edges are set and bubbles appear at the surface of the pancake (2-3 minutes), then flip with a spatula and cook until the other side is golden brown and the pancake is cooked through (another 2-3 minutes).
- Remove pancakes from griddle and serve immediately, dusting with powdered sugar, or keep them warm in a preheated oven while cooking the remaining pancake batter.
- Combine the coconut milk and cornstarch in a small saucepan and whisk together until there are no clumps remaining.
- Set pan on the stovetop over medium heat and add the sugar, salt, and corn syrup.
- Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat just until the syrup begins to thicken a bit. Do not let the syrup come to a boil, as the syrup will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and coconut extract. Serve over pancakes and store remaining syrup in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Freezing: These pancakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. Be sure to place a piece of parchment paper between each pancake so they don’t stick together. Just thaw and reheat in the microwave, oven, or toaster until warm before serving.
- Ricotta cheese: These are best when made with whole milk ricotta cheese, but part-skim milk ricotta cheese will work if that’s all you can find.
- Zesting lemons: Be sure to always zest the lemon before juicing it. It’s really difficult to zest a lemon that has already been juiced!
Tuesday #LemonWeek Recipes
- Lemon Truffles by Fresh April Flours
- Instant Pot Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake by That Recipe
- Kumquat Lemon Iced Tea by Magical Ingredients
- Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake by Devour Dinner
- Baked Lemon Garlic Salmon by Making Miracles
This post was originally shared July 13, 2016. It has been updated May 25, 2021 with new photos, additional information, and slight recipe modifications. I enjoy seeing how far my photography has come so here are some of the original images for comparison’s sake!