These simple Banana Ricotta Pancakes are sure to become a part of your weekend breakfast routine. Moist and fluffy pancakes are topped with freshly sliced banana, drizzled in luxurious caramel sauce and sprinkled with desiccated coconut. A fabulous twist on your regular pancakes, they will have you coming back for more.
These Ricotta and Banana Pancakes will knock your socks off with taste and texture - especially when you know how quickly you can pull these together. If you love a special breakfast recipe that doesn’t involve toast or cereal (let’s be honest...so yawn-worthy!), then this pancake recipe will not disappoint. Roasted Strawberry Crêpes, Earl Grey Brioche French Toast and Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are happily devoured on the weekend in my household.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of living on the beaches of Sydney is the breakfast/brunch culture. People getting up early to enjoy the beach and surf in the mornings, before the hot midday sun sets in, is the norm. Being an early riser myself, I loved it! Enjoying breakfast in a beachside cafe was a treat, and I would always go for pancakes!
In London, the cafe's open later on the weekend, and there isn’t the brunch buzz so early in the morning. So, to combat those pangs, we can tap into that brunch feeling that Bill Granger put onto the map (his Ricotta Hotcakes are to die for!) and make these delightful banana ricotta pancakes at home. The addition of the ricotta adds incredible moisture and flavour whilst making them comes in two parts; you are left with unbelievably light and fluffy pancakes. Fresh bananas, a decadent drizzle of caramel sauce and a smattering of desiccated coconut add the finishing touches reminiscent of a cafe experience.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Uplevel your regular pancake. Adding ricotta to these pancakes is a game-changer. It creates a moist, tender crumb that won't dry out. No rubbery pancakes for you today.
- Impress without the faff. These look good enough to serve in a beachside cafe - yet with only an extra step in whisking egg whites, they are pretty darn easy to make.
- Uber light and fluffy. That extra step of whisking egg whites mentioned above is your trick to getting light as air pancakes. Well worth it!
- Make them your own. I've served these with fresh banana and caramel sauce, but you can add whatever fruit you like to the batter or on top and dollop with any type of sauce or jam.
Most of the ingredients needed to make these Banana Ricotta Pancakes will already be in your pantry and fridge. The main ingredient that you may need to make a special purchase for is the ricotta. But let me tell you...it is totally worth it!
- Wet ingredients - Ricotta, milk (full fat), egg yolks, vanilla extract (for flavour and sweetening)
- Dry ingredients - Plain flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
- Egg whites - Keep these separate as they get whisked up, incorporating lots of beautiful air, and then folded into the batter.
- Serve with - freshly sliced bananas, homemade caramel sauce (or storebought) and desiccated coconut.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
As you’ll see in my process instructions below, there is an extra step over the regular adding dry to wet ingredients and mixing everything together. But that extra step is your ticket to fluffy pancakes. And let’s be honest- it only takes an extra minute or two!
- Add wet ingredients and mix. Add in the ricotta, milk, yolks (keep the whites separate to use later on) and vanilla extract. Whisk them together. It doesn’t matter if there are small lumps of ricotta in the mixture. (Image 1 & 2)
2. Sift in dry ingredients and mix. Don’t worry about sifting the dry ingredients into a separate bowl. Sift them straight into the mixing bowl (saves a bit of time and washing up!). Whisk in the flour, baking powder, soda and salt and mix until a few streaks of flour remain. (Image 3 & 4)
TIP: If you can still see some streaks of flour in the batter, this will prevent you from over mixing and keep your pancakes from going rubbery. Plus, lumps in the batter are a good thing - no need to whisk them all out.
3. Whisk egg whites. We want to incorporate lots of air into the egg whites. Do this by whisking until they are light and fluffy and hold firm peaks when you pull the whisk out of them. (Image 5) I use hand-held electric beaters for this but you can whisk them by hand or with an electric stand mixer if you prefer.
4. Add whites to the batter. We’re going to add the egg whites in two goes to incorporate them without knocking out all the air we’ve created by whisking them. Add ¼ of the whisked whites and fold through until mixed in. (Image 6 & 7)
Add the remaining whites and again fold through with a rubber spatular keeping your movements light, until mixed in. (Image 8 & 9)
5. Time to cook. I use a crêpes pan, but a large non-stick frypan will work equally well. Heat the pan gently over medium-low heat, add a teaspoon or two of butter and melt until the surface is covered. Spoon pancake batter into the pan. (Image 10) (If using a large frypan you can cook three or so pancakes at a time).
TIP: I find a ⅓ cup to hold the perfect amount of batter for a good-sized pancake. Using it every time gives me uniformly sized pancakes. But you can choose the size that works best for you.
Cook the pancake over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until you start to see little air bubbles pop through the surface (can you see them in Image 11?) Check the underside of the pancake is golden brown and then flip over. Cook again for 2-3 minutes until golden. (Image 12)
The ricotta pancake will puff up when you’ve flipped it - this is the heat causing those egg white to rise, and then as the batter on the pan sets in place and the internal cooks through, the pancakes stay nice and fluffy. (Image 13) Don’t you love the ins and outs of baking! Note, when you slide the pancake onto a plate, it will collapse a little, but this is normal. The lightness and fluffiness are still there!
Continue to cook the batter until you have a platter filled with pancakes (Image 14)
I love to serve these ricotta pancakes with freshly sliced banana, decadent caramel sauce and a sprinkle of desiccated coconut.
A couple of things to note.
- Banana: You can caramelise the banana if you like. Do this by melting butter in a small frying pan and adding the sliced banana. Fry until sizzling and golden, and flip and fry until golden again.
- Caramel Sauce: I used homemade caramel sauce. You can make the caramel sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, heat gently in the microwave until it's runny again. Alternatively, use store-bought caramel sauce. I get that sometimes we don’t have the time to go that extra mile.
- Desiccated coconut: You can use coconut flakes if you would prefer, or instead, you can add some chopped nuts like hazelnuts or pecans.
It's great to have a simple recipe that you can turn into your own. This Banana Ricotta Pancake recipe does exactly that. It allows you to customise it. So cool! Below I’ve given you some ideas on how or what ingredients you can substitute.
- Ricotta: If you don't have ricotta on hand then you can substitute it for cottage cheese.
- Flavour add-ins: Add lemon or orange zest into the batter for an added boost of flavour. Mix in raspberries or blueberries for a traditional style pancake. (We all love a blueberry pancake am I right?!) Or my kids favourite is to throw a handful of chocolate chips into the batter!
- Toppings: Swap out the banana for any type of fruit that you like. Instead of caramel sauce, dollop with conserve, drizzle with maple syrup or a fruit coulis or simply smother in melted butter! For a little extra love, sprinkle your fluffy ricotta pancakes with chopped nuts, or dried fruit for some textural variation.
- Whisk the egg whites correctly. Make sure that the bowl you whisk them in is clean and dry. Then whisk them until stiff peaks form. By doing this you'll maximise your chances for fluffy pancakes!
- Fold in the egg whites in two parts. By adding in a small amount of egg white into the batter first you are loosening up the batter which makes folding in the remaining eggs whites gently that little bit easier.
- Use a measuring cup to pour the batter. This helps with an even pour every time to give you that picture-perfect stack.
- Be patient when cooking. The best temp to cook sits at medium-low. You want to ensure the temperature isn't too high as you'll risk burning the outside whilst the inside won't cook properly and you'll have runny batter when you cut into it. Not ideal!
Frequently asked questions
There are two possible reasons for this. Your baking powder is out of date (it can happen, especially if you don’t use it a lot). Or you haven’t whisked the egg whites enough, and you’ve knocked out a bit too much air when folding them through.
This can occur if the batter is overmixed. When combining the dry ingredients into the wet, you want to whisk them in until just combined. I like to see a few flour streaks left in the mix. If we over-mix the batter, this can overdevelop the gluten in the flour and cause the mix to tighten and result in rubbery pancakes when cooked.
It needs to be thick enough to drip slowly off the back of a spoon but not run off it. Too thin and the pancakes will be flat, too thick, and the pancakes will turn out tough.
How to store and freeze
To store: Store Ricotta Banana Pancakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To freeze: Cook all your pancakes and wait for them to cool fully. Place a square of baking paper in between each pancake and store in a freezer safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. To de-frost, place pancakes on a baking tray in a pre-heated oven for 7-10 minutes until warm through.
Tools you’ll need
- Whisk: To whisk the wet ingredients together and then the dry ingredients into the wet.
- Mixing bowl: You'll actually need two. One to add the dry into the wet ingredients, and another to separately whisk the egg whites in.
- Handheld electric beaters: I use these to create the volume needed in the egg whites, but if you want an arm workout for the day- do it by hand. Or if your electric stand mixer is easily accessible, then use that!
- Rubber spatula: To gently fold the eggs whites into the batter.
- Large Flying Pan: A large frying pan or skillet allows you to cook numerous pancakes in one go. In the process photos, you can see that I use a crêpes pan. I use it to give me the best results, but I can't cook as many in the one go, so the process takes a little longer.
More breakfast recipes that you may like
- Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
- Rhubarb Scrolls with Crème Fraîche Glaze
- French Lemon Crêpes with Lemon Syrup
If you tried these Banana Ricotta Pancakes or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how you go in the comments below. I love hearing from you. Also, please leave a star rating whilst you're there!
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This post was originally published in August 2019 but has been updated with new photos, new content and a revised recipe.
Simple Banana Ricotta Pancakes Recipe
- 250 g ricotta
- 300 ml whole milk
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 300 g plain flour (all-purpose)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 30 g unsalted butter
Salted Caramel Sauce
- Store bought or please refer to my Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe found here
- 2 bananas, sliced, just before serving
- 35 g dessicated coconut (toasted in a dry frypan)
- Add ricotta, milk, yolks and vanilla extract and mix. In a medium bowl, add the ricotta, milk, egg yolks and vanilla extract and mix with a whisk until combined. Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined.
- Sift in dry ingredients and mix in. Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and whisk until just combined.
- Whisk egg whites. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites using hand-held electric beaters, until stiff peaks form. (Do this by hand with a whisk if you would prefer).
- Add eggs whites to the batter. Add ¼ of the eggs whites to the batter and fold in gently. This loosens up the batter. Then add the remaining egg whites and fold through until just combined.
- Heat a skillet and fry pancakes. Heat a large frying pan (or a crêpes pan like I use) over medium heat. Melt, small knobs of butter in the pan, just enough to coat the surface. Use a ⅓ cup measure to pour the batter into the pan. Cook pancakes until bubbles start to pop through the batter and the underneath is golden brown (approx 3-4 mins). Now flip and cook the other side for 2-3 mins. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Salted caramel sauce
- Please refer to my delicious Salted Caramel Sauce found here.Prior to serving, microwave caramel sauce for 15 seconds and then stir. Repeat this process until the sauce is warmed through and runny.
- Serve pancakes warm with a freshly sliced banana, drizzle of caramel sauce and a sprinkle of desiccated coconut. Enjoy!
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.