Cooking With Kids – Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

One of our all-time favorite online resources for great recipes is America’s Test Kitchen. It’s a subscription site but money well spent if you’re looking for dependable, go-to, and intricately tested recipes. They adapt recipes for the home cook, so regional and ethnic recipes will not necessarily be authentic if that’s what’s important to you. But the recipes are manageable for the average person who doesn’t have access to speciality food markets. Their desserts are to die for!

Here is a new recipe from them that we tried today. These Lemon Ricotta Pancakes were definitely a hit with everyone and I loved making them with my little love-nugget this morning. She is adamant about adding all the ingredients herself! I seized the chance to teach her the difference between soft peaks and stiff peaks in egg whites and how to fold ingredients together.

I love that the recipe uses only 2/3 cups of flour but adds 1 cup of ricotta (extra protein!) and lemon zest because it adds brightness not only to sweet but also to savory dishes. They were very light and moist. The only thing that would send them even more over the top would’ve been some lightly toasted nuts on top like almonds or hazelnuts. We enjoyed them simply with warm maple syrup. These are definitely going to be added to our family favorites!


Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

by America’s Test Kitchen
Makes twelve 4-inch pancakes; serves 3 to 4


  • 2/3 cups (3 1/3 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs, separated, plus 2 large whites
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 4 teaspoons juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons vegetable oil


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Spray wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray and place in oven. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl and make well in center. Add ricotta, egg yolks, milk, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla and whisk until just combined. Gently stir in melted butter.
  2. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip whites to soft, billowy mounds, about 1 minute. Gradually add sugar and whip until glossy, soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer one-third of whipped egg whites to batter and whisk gently until mixture is lightened. Using rubber spatula, gently fold remaining egg whites into batter.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Using paper towels, wipe out oil, leaving thin film on bottom and sides of pan. Using ¼-cup measure or 2-ounce ladle, portion batter into pan in 3 places, leaving 2 inches between portions. Gently spread each portion into 4-inch round. Cook until edges are set and first side is deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Using thin, wide spatula, flip pancakes and continue to cook until second side is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Serve pancakes immediately or transfer to prepared wire rack in preheated oven. Repeat with remaining batter, using remaining oil as needed.
Just as when making soufflé, we whip the egg whites—in this case, four of them—which creates an egg foam that lightens the batter.
A moderate 2/3 cup of flour adds enough starch to shore up the egg foam’s structure but not so much that the pancakes become bready.
Lemon juice not only contributes tangy flavor but also reacts with the alkaline baking soda to produce carbon dioxide that inflates the egg foam.
– America’s Test Kitchen


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