Do you often – if not all the time – pass up cottage cheese in the dairy cooler at the grocery store, thinking it’s too bland?
I see that upturned nose! I’ll tell you exactly what you’re missing out on every time you avoid buying it:
So many fun recipe ideas, including my homemade sweet and fluffy pancakes!
Cottage cheese, typically made with unaged curds mixed with milk or cream and seasoned with a pinch of salt, is a perfectly plain base ingredient. Its curdy simplicity can be easily and creatively used in multiple applications.
See how I’m not complaining? It deserves rave reviews!
Staying comfy and cozy in the breakfast category, you can also incorporate cottage cheese in pancake batter.
With the addition of this ingredient, you will create a moist and tender pancake, with a little tangy acidity and the nutritional bonus of extra protein and calcium.
But I haven’t told you the best part yet. Here we go…
Because the small curds will not fully dissolve into the batter, the mix will be speckled with little tiny pieces of cheese.
Take note, breakfast makers: This is what you want. Leave the curds alone.
Don’t freak out, thinking you’ve done something wrong, and try to voraciously over-whisk the batter to get rid of the cheese flecks.
As the pancakes cook, all of the tiny curds will soften and begin to melt. And some on the surface will begin to brown and caramelize. And when you hungrily cut into your stack of hot pancakes, each and every rip will potentially create the cutest mini cheese pulls you have ever seen!
Not only will you get to enjoy the crispy edges of a griddled flapjack, but you’ll also adore gobbling up the delicately cheesy and irresistibly fluffy and moist interior.
Making the batter is no different than what you’d do with any typical pancake mix: whisk the dry ingredients separately from the wet, gently combine everything together, let it rest for 10 minutes, then cook.
It’s easy, so you really don’t have any excuses not to cook your next at-home breakfast completely from scratch!
Complete the dish by serving it with the tastiest accompaniments: maple syrup and fresh berries are my usual toppers, but we have some amazing fresh fruit syrups that you might also like to drizzle all over your flapjacks.
I’ll be in your head the next time you’re at the store – with my recipe in mind, you’ll be tempted to buy a tub of cottage cheese.
And I’ll let these fluffy pancakes make their way into both your heart and your stomach – it will be love at first cheese pull, even before you take your first bite!Print
Not sure what to do with extra cottage cheese? For a delicious breakfast, try these fluffy and moist homemade pancakes.
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup small-curd cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Vegetable oil or butter, for cooking
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cottage cheese, whole milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet and gently whisk until just blended without overmixing. Allow to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
- Heat an electric griddle or a large skillet to a medium heat setting. Lightly grease with oil or butter.
- Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter per pancake onto the griddle or skillet, leaving room in between each. Cook until small bubbles begin to form on the surface, 1-3 minutes. Flip to cook the other side until golden brown, 1-2 minutes.
- Transfer the pancakes to serving plates and repeat with the remaining batter, adding more oil or butter as needed to the griddle or skillet*. Serve while they’re hot!
If you prefer to serve the pancakes all at once rather than in batches, place the cooked ones in a single layer on an oven-safe wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to an oven preheated to 200°F to keep them warm while you continue cooking the remaining batter.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Pancakes
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Breakfast
Keywords: pancakes, cottage cheese
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep and Measure
Set out all the tools you need for making the batter: one small mixing bowl, one large mixing bowl, and a whisk. Set out all the tools you need for cooking: a 1/4-cup liquid measure, a spatula, a spoon rest or plate to rest the spatula on, and kitchen towels to keep your work area clean.
Crack 2 eggs into the large mixing bowl or a separate small bowl, and remove any shell fragments.
Measure out the whole milk, vanilla extract, and cottage cheese – low-fat or full-fat cottage cheese are both fine options to use here. You can also try your hand at cheesemaking at home, and make your own batch of fresh cottage cheese!
Decide if you will be using vegetable oil or butter to grease the skillet or griddle – I prefer using clarified butter, which gives you fantastic crispy pancake edges and the amazing flavor of butter, but with a higher smoke point than regular unclarified butter.
Step 2 – Whisk Dry Ingredients
Whisk together all of the dry ingredients – the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt – in the small mixing bowl.
Mix until all of the ingredients are completely incorporated. Set aside for now.
Step 3 – Whisk Wet Ingredients
Whisk together all of the wet ingredients – the eggs, cottage cheese, milk, melted and cooled butter, and vanilla extract – in the larger mixing bowl.
Whisk until the eggs look like they are totally combined with the other ingredients.
Most of the cottage cheese curds will not incorporate into the liquid ingredients, and individual pieces will be visible throughout the mixture. This is fine!
Step 4 – Whisk Dry and Wet Ingredients Together
Delicately whisk the dry ingredients into the wet. Use a gentle hand! Don’t overmix the batter, which can result in a gummy pancake.
If the batter seems too dry or thick, gently mix in a tablespoon of milk at a time. If the batter seems too thin and runny, mix in a tablespoon of flour at a time.
And here is another reminder that the curds will remain solid and intact at this point, dotted throughout the batter.
Step 5 – Rest the Batter
Set the batter aside to rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes without mixing.
By allowing the batter to rest before cooking, the flour will have a chance to hydrate fully, and the pancakes will be especially fluffy and light.
Step 6 – Cook
Heat the nonstick skillet on the stovetop over medium heat, or preheat your griddle to an appropriate heat setting for cooking pancakes.
Once the skillet or griddle is fully heated, add enough oil or butter to lightly coat the surface. To help with this process, swirl to coat the entire surface of the skillet, or brush the griddle with a heatproof pastry brush.
Be sure to keep extra oil or butter nearby. You’ll need to re-grease the pan as needed while you cook the pancakes in batches!
Using the 1/4 cup measure as your guide, start forming your pancakes in the skillet or on the griddle. Make sure to leave a little space between each one so they cook uniformly. Depending on how big your skillet or griddle is, the number of rounds you can cook at one time will vary.
After 1 to 3 minutes, small bubbles will form on the surface of the pancakes. Using your spatula, carefully flip each pancake over and cook until the other side is golden brown, or cooked to your desired level of doneness, for 1 to 2 additional minutes.
You will see any exposed cheese curds start to glisten and melt.
Step 7 – Serve Immediately and Cook Remaining Batter
Transfer the finished pancakes to a serving plate – I recommend that these be served immediately while they are still hot from the skillet or griddle to enjoy seeing the stringy, melted cheese with every slice!
Repeat Step 6 and 7 with the remaining batter. Enjoy!
Go for Small Curds
Using low-fat or full-fat cottage cheese won’t make a significant difference in the results of this recipe, but there is one thing to be on the lookout for on the labels when you’re shopping:
Most containers are labeled with the size of the curd, often marketed as either “small curd” or “large curd.”
Don’t accidentally buy the large curd variety – double check this on the label before you head to the checkout area!
Large curds will make the batter a little too lumpy, and the pancakes won’t cook as evenly as they will if you use small curds.
What are your favorite ways to incorporate cottage cheese in a recipe? Ideas, please and thank you! Feel free to leave a comment below.
Vanilla – what would we do without it, especially when it provides the most beautiful aroma in these freshly made pancakes? If you’re looking for more sweet breakfast ideas that benefit from a few splashes of vanilla extract, I have some favorites to share with you:
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on September 7, 2014. Last updated on April 16, 2023.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is an ACS Certified Cheese Professional and cheesemonger living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.