Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes (with blueberry syrup)

To be fair, the title for this recipe should be Lemon-Ricotta-Wheat-Buttermilk Pancakes (with optional blueberries and blueberry syrup), but that seemed like way too much of a mouthful, so I opted for an abbreviated version.  The inspiration for this recipe came from a small home-style diner in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, called The Inn on Coventry.  I ordered some Lemon Ricotta pancakes from their menu, which had a delicious flavor, but they seemed to be overwhelmed by too much ricotta, and I had to eat them with a spoon rather than a fork.  So I decided to come up with my own recipe, using buttermilk and wheat germ, significantly improving the texture, flavor, and nutritional profile.

Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes

makes eight to ten medium-sized pancakes

Dry Ingredients:

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup wheat germ

1 tablespoon sugar (use 2 tablespoons if you like your pancakes sweeter, or if you don’t plan to top them with any syrup)

Wet Ingredients:

1/4 cup canola oil (use organic, if possible)

1-1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 egg, room temperature

1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese

Additional Ingredients:

lemon zest from one lemon

1 cup ripe blueberries (optional)

butter or oil for greasing the pan


Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl with a wire whisk.  Blend the oil, egg, ricotta and one cup of the buttermilk together in a separate bowl with a fork until well-combined.  Pour the wet ingredients over the dry mixture and combine with a fork until everything is wet – don’t over-mix, or your pancakes may come out tough.  If the batter is too thick, add more buttermilk, 1/4 cup at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.  Let the batter rest for 5 minutes, then incorporate the lemon zest; meanwhile, heat up a large frying pan or griddle over medium or medium-low heat, depending on your stove.  Once hot, grease the pan with one tablespoon of your choice of butter or oil.  Spoon about 1/4 cup of batter in the pan for each pancake.  If adding blueberries, drop them evenly over the batter in the pan, 5-6 blueberries per pancake, and press them down so that they’re flush with the batter.  Flip the pancakes when the sides begin to look dry, and the bottom turns golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, then cook for about 3 minutes more.

Serve with your choice of maple or blueberry syrup (recipe below).


Pancakes can be made up to 30 minutes ahead of time.  Keep the pancakes warm on a large cookie sheet covered with foil in an oven turned on to its lowest setting.

For children, leave the batter thick, and you can easily create letters, shapes, and pictures out of the batter that will be fun for little ones to eat.

More flour or whole-wheat flour can be substituted for the wheat germ.

If your fridge is not stocked with buttermilk, powdered buttermilk can be used.  Saco brand works well, and it lasts much longer in the pantry than a jug of buttermilk does in the fridge.

Blueberry Syrup

This is super easy to make, and it’s great over pancakes or ice cream.

1/4 cup blueberry jam or preserves

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup frozen blueberrie (optional)

Stir together the jam, honey, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes before using.  Frozen blueberries can be added to hasten the cooling process.

Leave a comment


  1. Christine

     /  June 2, 2011

    I can’t wait to try this recipe…I LOVE ricotta pancakes — healthy, tasty, and great source for protein!

    Just a tidbit:
    If you do not have buttermilk (which I rarely purchase) you can always take 1 cup of milk to 1 tablespoon of vinegar (I use organic milk and, mostly, apple cider vinegar), stir and let sit for 5 mins. Wahlaa – you have buttermilk!!!
    For this recipe, you would add 1 1/2 T of vinegar.


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