This sweet, moist, and irresistible Syrniki Recipe (Ukrainian Cheese Pancakes) is sure to become your new favorite treat for breakfast or dessert. Easy to make gluten-free and keto!Jump to Recipe
You may never go back to traditional American pancakes after trying my Syrniki Recipe (Ukrainian Cheese Pancakes). Made with fresh and creamy farmer’s cheese, dried fruit, and eggs, the moist bites are completely irresistible. Serve your pancakes with a dollop of sour cream and fresh berries for the authentic Ukrainian experience!
Mixing farmer’s cheese (like ricotta or cottage cheese) into the pancake batter packs this homemade syrniki recipe with tons of protein compared to traditional American pancakes. They’re perfect for anyone looking for something sweet and delectable in the morning, plus the recipe is easy to make gluten-free and keto-friendly.
On the inside, syrniki are soft and moist while the outside is golden brown with a slight crunch. Make them a part of your brunch or breakfast with Bacon Chaffles and Deviled Eggs on the side to get the best start to your day.
What is syrniki?
Syrniki (A.K.A. Ukrainian cheese pancakes) is a classic Slavic treat with a sweet flavor and moist texture. They’re similar to American pancakes but made primarily with soft farmer’s cheese or Russian tvorog cheese, which packs them with protein instead of carbs. They’re best served with fresh or dried fruit or syrup on top and a scoop of Greek yogurt or sour cream.
What is Syrniki made of?
- Farmer’s cheese – You can use farmer’s cheese (Russian tvorog cheese), well-drained small curd cottage cheese, or ricotta cheese. If you can’t find farmer’s cheese at your local grocery store, you should be able to find it at specialty cheese shops or Russian grocers.
- Flour – Just like American pancakes, Ukrainian pancakes are made with all purpose flour. One of the key differences is that they’re dredged in the flour before frying to keep them from sticking to the pan.
- Eggs – To help bind the pancakes together and fluff them up.
- Sugar – White granulated sugar will work in this recipe but you can always swap it out for cane or coconut sugar.
- Vanilla – To help the pancakes taste sweet and refined.
- Dried fruit – Dried cherries or raisins are sometimes mixed into the batter for an extra touch of sweetness and texture. You can always leave them out if you’re not a fan of dried fruit.
How to make Ukrainian cheese pancakes
If you’re using dried fruit, soak them in some hot water so they soften. This will make the texture of the pancakes 10 times better.
Make the syrniki batter by whisking the eggs, cheese, and vanilla together in a bowl. Next, add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Syrniki pancake batter is quite thick (almost like a biscuit dough) compared to regular pancake batter.
Scoop some of the batter onto a plate with 1/2 cup of flour. Coat and form it into a patty. Fry each pancake patty in a hot pan with oil until both sides are golden brown.
Sprinkle each pancake with some powdered sugar and serve with jam, fruit, or syrup. Enjoy!
Tips and tricks
- I like to make half of the batter with dried fruit and half without. It’s the perfect method when serving a crowd or picky eaters.
- Don’t crowd the pan when cooking the cheese pancakes. You’re better off cooking them in 2 or 3 batches so each one can hit the heat evenly.
- Before you start frying your syrniki, make sure the oil in the frying pan or griddle is hot. Test it by sprinkling a bit of flour into the pan. If it sizzles, the pan is hot enough.
How to serve syrniki?
The traditional Russian way of serving syrniki is with sour cream and fresh berries or preserves on top. If you prefer, you can serve them with a drizzle of powdered sugar, maple syrup, chocolate sauce, or honey instead.
They’re also a sweet and tasty addition to any brunch buffet. Amaze your guests by serving the syrniki next to potato latkes, soft scrambled eggs, chocolate waffles, and eggs benedict. Wash it all down with a bellini for the best brunch ever!
Frequently asked questions
- Can I make syrniki keto-friendly? Yes! Syrniki are already high in protein but to make them keto-friendly, replace the flour with almond or coconut flour and replace the sugar with 1 teaspoon of stevia or a keto-friendly sugar.
- Can I make syrniki gluten free? For gluten-free syrniki, substitute the all purpose flour for almond or rice flour.
- What kind of pan should I use? A classic griddle is always great when cooking pancakes because they distribute heat very evenly. If you don’t have a griddle, use a non-stick pan instead.
More sweet breakfast recipes
- Easy Crepe Recipe
- Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast
- Mini Chocolate Pancake Cereal
- Caramelized Banana French Toast
If you give this Syrniki Recipe a try, let me know in the comments below. I love seeing your pictures too, so please tag me on Instagram @lenaskitchenblog and use #lenaskitchenblog so I can share them to my page!
Syrniki Recipe (Ukrainian Cheese Pancakes)
- 1 lb farmer’s cheese, or use well drained ricotta or cottage cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup all purpose flour, plus ½ cup for dredging
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup dried cherries, or raisins (optional)
- 8 tbsp avocado oil, also use vegetable oil or any light oil, for frying
Dried fruit tip
- In a small bowl, soak the dried cherries or raisins in hot water to soften, while you make the dough. Skip if not using any dried fruit. I like to do half the batter with dried fruit and half without.
Make the syrniki batter
- Whisk 2 eggs in a large bowl and add the farmer's cheese and vanilla. Sift in ½ cup flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, mix until combined with a fork. The batter will be thick like dough, not like traditional pancake batter. Divide dough in half and add dried fruit if you'd like to use fruit, or add fruit into the full recipe.
Form the syrniki
- Prepare a plate with ½ cup of flour – you will use it to coat the pancakes. Using a cookie scoop, scoop the batter into the flour. Gently roll around with your hands. Add the dough into your hands, gently press the pancakes to form a patty shape. Dust off any remaining flour, you only need a light coating.
Cook the syrniki
- Tip: Before you start frying your syrniki make sure the oil in the frying pan is hot by sprinkling a bit of flour into it. If it sizzles it’s hot enough.
- Using a large nonstick skillet, heat 3-4 tablespoons of oil, and gently place the flour-dredged cheese pancakes into the pan. Cook on medium heat for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until each side is golden brown. Place on a paper towel to drain and cool.
- Do not crowd the pan – cook them in 2-3 batches if necessary.
- To serve, sprinkle with powdered sugar, or drizzle with maple syrup or honey. Try the traditional Russian way of topping with sour cream and fresh berries or preserves.