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Ricotta Pancakes with Caramelized Bananas

Up your brunch game with these moist, fluffy ricotta pancakes topped with caramelized bananas that takes them over the top.

We used the simplest methods to make the pancakes and banana topping. The results? Mouth-watering!

stack of ricotta pancakes with caramelized bananas on plate

Ricotta cheese adds moistness and a slight creaminess to these pancakes. They’re almost a cross between fluffy pancakes and crepes. Perhaps a little denser than a regular pancake, but still plenty fluffy.

If you search for ricotta pancake recipes on Google, you will find that they all have pretty much the same ingredients – with some variation in amounts.

Some recipes incorporate beaten egg whites to make the pancakes fluffier. Our recipe does not. I’m lazy, especially in the morning. And beating egg whites is an extra step without a big payoff. You won’t miss it.

The caramelized bananas are the crowning glory. You can put them on dense hockey puck pancakes and they’d be great. The banana sauce takes about 2 minutes to make with 3 essential ingredients. Just to be clear, the ripe bananas are not browned in this recipe. You are simply smothering them in a caramel-type sauce of butter and maple syrup.

Bottom line: Make lots of these caramelized banana pancakes, because they go quickly! And if you love pancakes, try our lemon blueberry pancakes or pumpkin spice pancakes too.

Ingredients – tailored to your taste

butter, sugar, cornstarch, crushed toasted hazelnuts, chocolate chips.
Ricotta pancake batter ingredients
maple syrup, banana, butter, cinnamon.
Caramelized banana ingredients

Ricotta: You can use full fat or light. Full fat is richer of course.

  • Substitutes for ricotta: Instead of ricotta, try cottage cheese (just blend it before adding it to the pancake mixture), cream cheese or Greek yogurt. Note, these substitutes might change the texture and flavor a bit, but they will still add extra moisture and creaminess.

Variations for the pancakes and banana topping:

  • Caramelized bananas: Try adding toasted pecans, walnuts or macadamia nuts. And/or a pinch or cinnamon or nutmeg.
  • Pancakes: Add a mashed banana for extra banana flavor. Or you can add a spoonful of peanut butter to give them a nutty flavor.
  • For a savory version: Omit the sugar and vanilla and add about 1 cup/170 grams of cooked, finely chopped onions and vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, etc. Great for toddlers – hidden veggies!

Step-by-step instructions

one bowl egg mixture and one bowl dry ingredients
Mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients in two separate bowls.
ricotta pancake batter in bowl with whisk.
Combine in a medium bowl to make the batter.
4 pancakes cooking in skillet.
Cook pancakes on a griddle or in a large nonstick skillet in batches until they’re golden brown.
caramelized bananas in bowl.
Heat butter, maple syrup and banana slices to make caramelized bananas. Add pinch of cinnamon if you like.
stack of ricotta pancakes with caramelized bananas on top on a plate.
Spoon the warm bananas over the top of the pancakes. Enjoy!
stack of ricotta pancakes cut open with caramelized bananas on top on a plate.

Ricotta Pancake Tips

  • Drain the ricotta: This is not always necessary, but if the container you buy has a lot of liquid at the top, drain it off before adding the cheese to the batter.
  • Resist overmixing: Mix the wet and dry ingredients just until they are mixed together well. The batter may have small lumps in it, but that’s okay. Overmixing causes dense pancakes.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan: The pancake batter is going to spread out. So, make sure you give yourself enough room between each one to be able to flip them.
  • Grease the griddle: The last thing anyone wants is for pancakes to stick to the bottom of the pan. Make sure to grease the pan or griddle with a little butter or nonstick spray. This is even true when using nonstick cookware.

Shortcut

Skip the caramelized bananas (not recommended!) and replace them with a plain drizzle of maple syrup or pre-made toppings such as a warmed-up raspberry or strawberry jam.

Make ahead 

  • Instructions for several make-ahead options are in the recipe notes. I don’t recommend making the caramelized bananas ahead. They will get too soggy.
    1. Make the batter the night before and store in the fridge in an airtight container.
    2. Make the pancakes and keep them in the fridge for a day or two. They make great leftovers for breakfast or snacks.
    3. Freeze the ricotta pancakes for up to 2 months.

Recipe FAQs

What is ricotta cheese?

Ricotta cheese is a type of Italian cheese with a mild, soft, slightly sweet flavor with a creamy, soft, and slightly grainy texture. It adds moisture and richness to dishes like pancakes, desserts, salads and pasta. It resembles whipped-up cottage cheese.

Can I use whole wheat flour?

Yes, you can use whole wheat instead of regular flour. Just keep in mind it may cause you to end up with denser pancakes, so perhaps consider half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour.

Are pancakes and flapjacks the same thing?

Yes and no. Flapjacks and even hotcakes are often used to describe regular breakfast-style pancakes. But in some places, like the UK, flapjacks are baked cookie-like treats made with oats sugar, and butter. So, depending on where you are, flapjacks can be pancakes or a completely different sweet treat.

What to serve with ricotta pancakes?

With a decadent caramelized banana topping, you don’t really need anything else with these pancakes. But, when I am making a breakfast spread, I will sometimes serve them with a side of foolproof scrambled eggs or a simple side of tropical fruit salad.

stack of ricotta pancakes with caramelized bananas on top on a plate.

If you like this recipe, please leave a 5 star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟in the recipe card below. And if you REALLY like it, consider a review in the comments. Thanks very much!

stack of ricotta pancakes with caramelized bananas on top on a plate.
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4.85 from 20 votes

Ricotta Pancakes with Caramelized Bananas

Up your brunch game with these moist, fluffy ricotta pancakes with a 3-ingredient caramelized banana topping that takes them over the top.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Breakfast, brunch
Cuisine: American, Vegetarian
Servings: 16 pancakes

Equipment

  • Griddle or non-stick skillet/pan

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (214 g)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or less if using salted butter)

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk, any kind (I use 2%)
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese, Note 1 low fat is fine too
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 banana, mashed (optional) pancakes will be a bit denser but full of banana flavor.

Caramelized Banana Ingredients

  • 2 small bananas, 1/2 inch slices
  • 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

Instructions

  • PREHEAT OVEN TO WARM (160-200F) to keep pancakes warm as you make batches. If using a griddle, PREHEAT it to medium high. (If using a pan, you'll be cooking on medium heat)
  • MIX DRY INGREDIENTS – flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt – in a larger bowl.
  • MIX WET INGREDIENTS – milk, ricotta, eggs, vanilla, melted butter – in a separate bowl – until well blended. Mix in mashed banana if using.
  • MAKE BATTER: Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and whisk until just combined. A few lumps are good. Don't over mix.
  • MAKE PANCAKES: Heat a skillet or non stick pan to Medium (if not using griddle). Spray pan with oil or melt a tsp butter in pan. Use a 1/4 cup/59 ml. measuring cup to ladle pancakes onto pan. You will have to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan. Cook for about 3 minutes or until bubbles start to appear on surface. Flip over with spatula and cook another 2-3 minutes. Transfer to plate and keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining batter.
  • MAKE CARAMELIZED BANANAS: While pancakes are cooking, heat butter and syrup on medium until bubbly. Add cinnamon if using. Stir in sliced bananas and warm through for 1 minute. Spoon onto pancakes.

Recipe Notes

  1. Ricotta cheese substitutes: ricotta cheese should be easy to find, but here are some alternatives if you need: cottage cheese (blend it before adding it to the pancake mixture), cream cheese and Greek yogurt. These substitutes might change the texture and flavor a bit, but they will still add extra moisture and creaminess. 
  2. Variations for pancakes:
    • Caramelized bananas: Try adding toasted pecans, walnuts or macadamia nuts. And/or a pinch or cinnamon or nutmeg.
    • Pancakes: Add a mashed banana for extra banana flavor.
    • For a savory version: Omit the sugar and vanilla and add about 1 cup/170 grams of cooked, finely chopped onions and vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, etc. Great for toddlers – hidden veggies!
  3. Make Ahead
    • Make the batter the night before and keep it covered in the fridge.
    • Make the pancakes and keep them in the fridge in a sealed container or bag for a couple of days. Reheat in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds.
    • To freeze, cool pancakes first. Either layer them between parchment and place in a sealed container or flash freeze them on a flat tray for 20-30 minutes, then pile them into a sealed bag or container. Freeze them for up to 2 months. Reheat uncovered in microwave for 30-50 seconds (or in a 375F/195C oven, covered, for 6-8 minutes).
 
Nutrition values are estimates based on one pancake (not including mashed banana) with caramelized banana topping. 

Nutrition

Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 214mg | Potassium: 132mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 187IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 1mg
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6 Comments

  1. My first initial bite was so good but then after it had a weird bitter after taste. I am not sure what went wrong? Could it be I didn’t mix enough but didn’t want to over mix.

    1. Hi Nicole. I don’t think the mixing would have anything to do with an aftertaste. Is is possible the ricotta or milk were a bit off? I also understand Covid can have a strange affect on taste (hope that’s not the case!).

  2. Dear “TWO KOOKS IN THE KITCHEN”,
    It has been a while since I browsed through your site. WOW, am I impressed. It’s time to incorporate “PROFESSIONAL” into your name.
    I look so forward to seeing your weekly updates.
    Thanks for all the effort in making this one of the best cooking/baking sites I’ve every seen.
    All the very best,
    Malcolm B.

    1. Thank you Malcolm! What a lovely, encouraging comment. We really appreciate you taking the time to let us know what you think of our site. Best regards. Two Kooks.