I must admit: I’ve never been the biggest fan of pancakes but these gluten-free ricotta pancakes changed my mind. And trust me, I don’t say that lightly. After developing this recipe I found myself asking: why have I not been making my pancakes with ricotta cheese this entire time!?
When talking about gluten-free ricotta pancakes, it’s important we know what gluten is. Gluten is a protein found in barley, rye, contaminated oats, and wheat. It may be helpful to remember the acronym “BROW” when trying to remember what foods have gluten.
In baked goods, gluten holds things together working as a binding agent. It gives texture and chew to foods.
Most people can safely eat gluten. However, some people have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease which means they need to avoid gluten. It can cause digestive issues such as diarrhea and nausea as well as nonintestinal symptoms such as rashes, headaches, or joint pain.
Making any gluten-free pancakes (gluten-free ricotta pancakes included) means understanding what it means for the pancake when we remove gluten.
As we know, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It is what helps give baked goods their structure and texture. It’s always why, when baking you have to be careful not to over mix because you can breakdown the gluten protein and ruin the texture of your baked good if you do.
Because gluten-free cooking removes gluten from the equation we unfortunately loose it’s structural and textural qualities. That ALSO means we have to worry less about over mixing.
Keeping that in mind, when making regular pancakes with wheat flour, the key role of the wheat flour is to add chewiness and structure to the pancake. To recreate this, we need to think about ingredients we use that will help honor those qualities.
You can make your own pancake flour mix to replicate this with a combination of gluten-free flours and gums (and yes, things like xanthan gum, are safe). Or you can use a pre-made mix. I personally like Josie’s Best pancake mix. Though I’ve also heard really good things about Gluten-free Bisquick. (Both mixes are affiliate links).
Regardless, for the fluffiest and best outcomes, you want a mix of gluten-free flours and gums, trust me.
So now that we’ve got the general idea of how to make the perfect gluten-free pancakes out of the way, why are ricotta pancakes so special?
Well aside from the fact that these gluten-free ricotta pancakes have converted me from the dark side of pancake hate (JK I never hated pancakes… they just weren’t my first pick), these ricotta pancakes are easy and delicious.
But let me share why these pancakes sit so much better with me than normal gluten-free pancakes.
First, these gluten-free ricotta pancakes don’t give me an energy crash. From a nutrition perspective, this makes sense. Normal pancakes offer more carbs and if not paired with the right toppings, can hit your blood sugars quickly. As someone who is sensitive to this, adding the ricotta cheese to the mix adds more fat and protein to slow the energy release.
Second, these pancakes made with ricotta have a delicious chewy texture. Something that most gluten-free pancakes do well but the ricotta cheese makes even better.
Third, the ricotta cheese adds a mild savory sweet flavor that compliments the pancake flavor beautifully… seriously I’m drooling just thinking about it.
So if you haven’t tried gluten-free ricotta pancakes, I urge you: go try them now!