Aliya LeeKong makes Spice Ricotta Hotcakes, as seen on her Cooking with Kids course on Food Network Kitchen.
Recipe courtesy of Aliya LeeKong

Spiced Ricotta Hotcakes

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 2 to 4 servings (10 to 12 pancakes)
  • Nutrition Info
These hotcakes are one of my favorite brunch recipes and are everything you could want in a pancake. Light, fluffy and almost custard-y from the ricotta, with a spiced nuance from the cinnamon, cardamom and (yes!) a touch of black pepper. They aren't too sweet, either, which, for me, is important when it comes to pancakes. I like to top these with pomegranate molasses when I have it, but I also use good old maple syrup or thin out whatever jam I have on hand in a pinch.



  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch pepper in a large bowl. Thoroughly mix the ricotta, milk, egg yolks (reserve the whites) and vanilla in a second large bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  2. Separate the egg whites into a medium bowl; reserve the yolks for another use. Lightly beat the egg whites with a handheld electric mixer until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. (Alternatively, use a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment). Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter. Let the batter rest about 5 minutes. 
  3. Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Melt enough butter to just coat the surface. Working in batches, pour 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle for each hotcake and cook until golden brown and puffed, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. 
  4. Serve hot, sprinkled with confectioners' sugar and drizzled with pomegranate molasses.

Cook’s Note

My ricotta was on the drier side. If yours has a lot of liquid, I suggest draining it a bit with some cheesecloth and a fine-mesh sieve to keep it from changing the batter texture. Never leave a child unattended in the kitchen. This recipe is appropriate for children of various ages. When a recipe calls for cooking on the stove or using a knife, an adult should do those activities and let the child assist, if age appropriate.