Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Ginger Syrup

By Sally Cameron on March 06, 2011

Breakfast, Sauces and Condiments, Travel

Pancakes, Hawaiian style, thanks to the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii. After happily devouring a plate of these lemon ricotta pancakes with ginger syrup, I knew I had to get the recipe. The hotel kitchen kindly obliged, noting it was one of the most requested recipes by guests.

big island pancakes | AFoodCentricLife.com

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Ginger Syrup

Pancakes may be standard breakfast fare, but made with Ricotta cheese and a zealous addition of lemon zest, they are anything but standard. With a drizzle of homemade ginger syrup, these are possibly the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten. In fact, we’ve had them two mornings in a row (obviously this recipe was posted was before I went gluten-free and mostly sugar-free).

The Key to Lightness

The key to these light pancakes is whipping the egg whites before gently folding them into the batter. The whipped egg whites provide volume and lightness. You can even try this trick with you standard pancake recipe. For fine lemon zest use a microplane zester. It’s a great little tool every cook should have in their gadgets drawer.

Ginger Syrup

Make the ginger syrup up to two weeks in advance, cover and refrigerate until you need it. It is fantastic over waffles, crepes, ice cream, fresh fruit and lots of other things where you need flavor and some sweetness.

Next weekend, make something special for breakfast and try these Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. It’s a taste of the islands no matter where you are. I can’t wait to make them at home.


Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Ginger Syrup

Thanks to the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel on the big island of Hawaii for sharing this recipe.  I’ve added a few notes for ease of preparation at home. If you don’t have time to make the ginger syrup ahead, maple syrup will work. Add fresh berries, and you have a fabulous breakfast treat. Yield, about 18-20 small pancakes
Servings 4 to 5



  • 6 large eggs separated
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk Ricotta cheese
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup natural sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh, finely grated lemon zest

Ginger Syrup (3/4 cup)

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 5 tablespoons matchstick-size strips of peeled, fresh ginger root about 1 ounce
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest


  • Powdered sugar for dusting optional
  • Assorted strawberries raspberries, blackberries and blueberries for garnish
  • Fresh mint leaves optional garnish



  • Heat a flat griddle, large sauté or fry pan over medium heat. Using an immersion blender fitted with a whisk attachment or with an electric hand mixer, whip egg whites until they hold firm, glossy peaks. Set aside.
  • Beat Ricotta, butter, egg yolks and vanilla together. Set aside. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt and zest. With a flexible rubber spatula, stir dry ingredients gently into the Ricotta mixture. Stir a spoonful of the whipped eggs whites into the batter; then gently fold in the remainder of the whites.
  • Grease the heated griddle or pan with butter or non-stick spray. Drop a scant ¼ cup of batter for each pancake on the griddle. Cook until golden on the underside and the top shows small bubbles. Gently flip pancakes and cook until other side is golden. Set aside on a plate and keep warm until all pancakes are made, or serve as you go.
  • To serve, dust the pancakes with powdered sugar and pour warmed ginger syrup. Serve with fresh berries if desired.

Ginger Syrup

  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan; stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and boil until reduced to ¾ of a cup, about 5 minutes.  Cool, then refrigerate until serving.


Ginger syrup can be made two weeks ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate. Warm before serving for pancakes.


Serving: 4g
No Comments
  1. Debbie - March 7th, 2011

    Bob and I stayed at that same hotel years ago and you’ve brought back fond memories of our stay. Beautiful photography, too! The chef shared with me his recipe for coconut creamed spinach. It was to die for! Can’t wait to try your pancakes! 🙂

  2. Dr. Patrick Mahaney - March 12th, 2011

    Yum! Those look so delicious! Great photos of Hawaii. Cardiff, Phil, and I wish we were there to take a swim!

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