lemon ricotta pancakes

lemon ricotta pancakes

These lemon ricotta pancakes are inspired by Plow, a popular breakfast joint in San Francisco. The egg whites are whipped separately for a light and delicious texture. Fresh lemon zest adds brightness to rich ricotta cheese, and the warm stack welcomes a healthy drizzle of maple syrup.

lemon ricotta pancakes
pin this recipe for your next weekend breakfast

the break up

Kenny and I began dating in college. He was the buff, sexy party boy and I was the nerdy teacher’s pet. We both worked at the school gym and connected over our love of food and compatible sense of humor. Like many college relationships, ours ended after 5 years, thanks to Kenny’s immaturity and inability to commit.

NYC 2011

We remained cordial after our breakup and I witnessed Kenny’s maturation from afar. Kenny made many positive changes in his life and attempted to [unsuccessfully] win me back. Unexpectedly showing up at my work, he would bring me “friendship” flowers and thoughtful cards. Kenny kept in touch with my family and hung out with my younger brother. He even took on leadership roles in our church and made every attempt to prove that he was ready for commitment.

Despite his valiant efforts, I had experienced too much heartache in our relationship to take him back so easily. For three years I remained unfazed by Kenny’s personal development. Fortunately, Kenny never gave up and I finally agreed to a second first date.

second first date

Kenny planned a beautiful city day for us on August 15, 2015. We enjoyed a sunny day in San Francisco, ate amazing lemon ricotta pancakes at Plow, and picked up right where we left off three years earlier. We’ve been inseparable ever since and got married less than a year after our brunch date at Plow.


These pancakes always remind me of that amazing day in SF and how I reconnected with the love of my life. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much and my [now] husband and I do. Cook up a batch and make your own special memories this weekend.

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lemon ricotta pancakes

lemon ricotta pancakes

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  • Author: Sepideh Esmaili Campos
  • Yield: 67 medium pancakes 1x


  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese 
  • 3 eggs, separated 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt 
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for cooking the pancakes


  1. Combine the flour and baking soda in a large bowl. Set aside. 
  2. Mix ricotta cheese, egg yolks, lemon juice and zest, vanilla, sea salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. 
  3. Melt the butter over medium heat in the skillet that you plan to cook the pancakes in. Pour the melted butter into the ricotta mixture and return the skillet to the stovetop without cleaning out the butter. 
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. You can also use a stand mixer for this purpose.
  5. Just before you’re ready to cook the pancakes heat the skillet over medium low heat, mix the flour and baking soda with the ricotta mixture. 
  6. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter (⅓ at a time). Fold carefully so you don’t knock out too much air from the egg whites. 
  7. Add a pat of butter to the preheated skillet and drop ¼ cup of pancake batter into the skillet. Cook until bubbles form in the center of the pancake and the bottom is golden brown, 3-4 minutes. 
  8. Flip the pancake and cook the other side until golden brown, about 3 minutes. If the pancakes get too dark, turn down the heat slightly. 
  9. Transfer cooked pancake to a large plate (can be kept in a 200 degree oven while you cook the rest of the batter). 
  10. Continue cooking the pancakes and serve with butter and warm maple syrup.

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