Ricotta Hotcakes with Vanilla Cardamom Mascarpone

October 3, 2014

What makes a pancake a hotcake and not a pancake?

It’s a case of cake semantics and the answer, according to my breakfast brain, relates to thickness. I feel that a pancake is the thinner of the two, while hotcakes are…. I don’t know, more… sassy. Hotcakes plump and pert, and while making them I find it best to be bare foot, wearing high-waisted pants and a headscarf, 1940s style. Picture this… you’re standing over the stove, the sun and smell of batter calling sleepy babes to the kitchen as you flip and sip coffee. The hotcakes are piled unreasonably high, ready for hungry morning guests who are sitting at the breakfast bench with a fork in one hand and jug of maple syrup in the other.

I really like that image.

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These ricotta hotcakes are everything they should be – light, satisfying and eager for syrup. Really, friends, when not using your ricotta for doughnutting, you should be hotcaking. I recommend serving the hotcakes with strawberries, as above, or a quick compote. At a pinch a good jam will do, swirled through tart greek yoghurt. And while eating you can do as Ben did and read Blindness (woah!) or go my route and linger over a recipe for broccoli with orecchiette by Georgio. Both of these books are superb.

Beyond yoghurt, these hotcakes do well alongside vanilla and/or cardamom-spiked mascarpone, and I’ve provided a recipe (more of an instruction, really) below. A scoop of something not-so-sweet but creamy is fairly mandatory in this hotcake situation. Then we decorate the not-so-sweet cream and not-so-sweet hotcakes with so-sweet pure maple syrup in true 1940’s North American fashion. It’s so very good. Just tie your headscarf, whisk those egg whites into stiff peaks and get flipping. 

Ricotta Hotcakes

Serves 4 (I make a full batch even for just the two of us and will freeze the remaining hotcakes. Just wrap them individually in plastic wrap and pop in the toaster to heat them up).

Adapted from The Kitchn’s great ricotta hotcake recipe.

1 cup Spelt Flour (regular wheat flour is fine too)
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
A pinch of Sea Salt
2 Eggs, separated
1 cup Ricotta (I love Nonna Sofia‘s brand)
1 tablespoon Pure Maple Syrup
2/3 cup Milk
Butter, for the pan

To serve: berries, vanilla cardamom mascarpone (see recipe below) and pure maple syrup

1. Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl and whisk to aerate and combine.
2. Whisk the egg yolks, ricotta, maple and milk in a separate large mixing bowl.
3. Whisk the egg whites in a large mixing bowl vigorously (or with a mixer) until stiff peaks form.
4. Add the flour to the mixing bowl with the ricotta/milk mixture and gently fold to combine. Add 1/3rd of the egg whites to the bowl and carefully fold through, then fold in the remaining egg whites.
5. Heat a dab of butter in a nonstick pan (or two) over medium heat. When hot, use 1/3 cup to scoop the batter onto the pan. Cook for ~3 minutes until the undersides are golden, then confidently flip with a spatula and cook for another couple of minutes until cooked through. Place the hotcakes on a wire rack so they don’t get soggy (cover with foil if you want to keep them warm) and cook the remainder of your pancakes. Top with berries, vanilla cardamom mascarpone (see recipe below) and pure maple syrup.

Vanilla Cardamom Mascarpone
Scoop 250g quality mascarpone into a small mixing bowl (I’ve been loving this brand recently but would love to make my own or find a great local producer – any tips?). Fold through 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or the seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean) and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom (I pound green cardamom pods in a mortar and pestle, fish out the skins and then pound again to get the powder).


Heidi xo



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  • Jacqui Tyler October 3, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    You paint such a beautiful picture with your words Heidi! I sense that these hotcakes might be calling my name this long weekend.

    • Heidi October 6, 2014 at 11:36 am

      Thank you so much, Jacqui 🙂 x

  • Hannah October 4, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Don’t fear the squidge, Hannah. Don’t fear the squidge.

    • Heidi October 6, 2014 at 11:38 am

      Haha what squidge, dear? x

  • Sarah October 6, 2014 at 10:25 am

    I just clicked on thekitchn website! What a great blog – you’ve just made me add their new book to my wishlist.

    Ricotta Hotcakes are my absolute favourite sweet treat breakfast – I like Bill Grangers famous recipe, but looks like I’ll have to give these a whirl.

    Sarah xx

    • Heidi October 6, 2014 at 11:39 am

      The Kitchn is seriously great, I’m sure the book will be fabulous! x

  • InTolerant Chef October 6, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    These do sound delicious Heidi! I call any thin ones crepes and all thick ones pancakes- I don’t know where I stand on the name hotcakes 🙂

    • Heidi October 15, 2014 at 8:48 am

      How good are crepes though… x

  • World Pancake Day | gateaunourrissant February 18, 2015 at 8:29 am

    […] I prefer pancakes of a different kind, that being gorgeous homemade Spelt Ricotta Pancakes, introduced to me via the ever inspiring Heidi Sze from Apples Under My Bed. I also have changed up […]

  • Sally November 11, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Hi, Heidi! This is my first comment on your blog. 🙂 I’ve just made these hot cakes yesterday. I’ve never tried ricotta hot cakes so I’m not sure how they exactly taste, while mine, looks good, texture not so, moist or might be undercooked on the inside. I’m wondering is it the wholemeal spelt flour? Or something that I did wrongly?

    • Heidi November 11, 2015 at 11:59 am

      Hi Sally! Sorry to hear they weren’t the best texture. Gosh, there are so many variables with pancakes! Too runny on the inside may be due to a runnier ricotta than the brand I used or the heat of the pan when cooking. If it’s too hot then they’ll crisp on the outside before cooking on the inside. They should definitely be fluffy on the inside, not moist or soggy. I’d recommend playing with the cooking temperature or if you don’t think it was that (which is usually my issue), then add a bit less liquid to the mix. Ricotta hotcakes are definitely something you want in your life, so have anther try! Whether this recipe or another X

      • Sally November 11, 2015 at 1:58 pm

        Ah~~ I am thrilled to receive a reply from you! Firstly, thank you!! I’ll keep your advice in mind and your support/enthusiasm is a motivation! Have a great day ahead!