Nicole Boyd, Food Editor

Nicole Boyd, Food Editor

Adjusting to the cold winter that has recently come upon us, I look for an extra dose of warmth and comfort whenever and wherever I can. Often, I find the consolation I require at brunch in a plate of pancakes fresh off the griddle.

I am a pancake nut, a pancake maven if you will. To me, pancakes are not only the ideal brunch food, but the ideal anytime food. When done right, they are light, fluffy, crispy, and just sugary enough to fulfill a dessert-lover’s breakfast dreams while also filling the stomachs of those with a penchant for the savory. It is this perfect capacity to satisfy that draws me to pancakes, both homemade and restaurant-made, in chilly times.

With a medley of bright flavors inspired by a meal I ate on a recent summer vacation, these lemon ricotta pancakes epitomize the natural warmth of flapjacks. The recipe is based on a particularly memorable stack of lemon ricotta soufflé pancakes I had the pleasure of eating at MyMy Coffee Shop in San Francisco. Aside from being harmoniously light, fluffy, and crispy—as perfect pancakes should be—the dish was distinguished by accents of lemon distributed perfectly and evenly throughout each cake on the plate and, more notably, the surprise pockets of ricotta hidden beneath the flapjacks’ picturesque exteriors.

If I do say so myself, these lemon ricotta pancakes come pretty close to mimicking that MyMy experience. They boast an ideal balance of sweet and tart that is complemented beautifully by the pocket of ricotta resting in center. Full foodgasm is achieved by topping these with syrup, fresh berries, powdered sugar, and an extra dollop of ricotta.


1 1/2 cups flour

3 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/4 cup milk

3/4 cup ricotta cheese

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 tbsp. butter, melted, plus more for cooking

1 lemon



  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, mix milk, eggs, cooled butter, vanilla, the zest of approximately 1/2 lemon, and the juice of approximately 1 lemon.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. The desired batter consistency should still have some tiny lumps. Tame the perfectionist beast.
  4. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  5. Heat up a large skillet over medium heat and melt a pat of butter to create a thorough coating of grease.
  6. Add batter to pan to form cakes of about 3 inches in diameter and width. Immediately drop a clump of ricotta into the center of the cake being cooked and drizzle with a little more batter so that the cheese is mostly covered.
  7. Flip each cake after the little bubbles forming at the surface begin to pop and create holes. Cook to set the other side, another 1-3 minutes.
  8. As pancakes are ready, put them in layer on a baking sheet. Place in the oven until ready to eat.
  9. Serve warm and topped with maple syrup, your favorite berries (I recommend raspberries), and (optional) powdered sugar.

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