Syrniki (Cottage Cheese Pancakes)

Syrniki (Cottage Cheese Pancakes)

Syrniki (Cottage Cheese Pancakes) are a delicious and healthy breakfast or even dessert dish that is packed with protein.

Syrniki (Cottage Cheese Pancakes)

Hello everyone. Happy Monday! I hope you enjoyed the weekend (Which, as always, gone too fast), and you are ready for a new week. And my new recipe is in fact a perfect way to start any week off right.

Who loves cottage cheese, please raise your hands?! You are going to love this recipe!

Syrniki (Cottage Cheese Pancakes)

Ooo I love Syrniki. That’s the food from my childhood. As it sometimes happens with foods, syrniki are often confused with Russian cuisine, but the recipe originated from Ukraine, naturally becoming the part of Russian cuisine, too. Honesty, I did not realize they were Ukrainian myself until someone pointed it out.

However, it’s quite hard to say what category does this dish fall. I would not call is “cheesecakes” even though there’s some similarity in terms of texture and flavour. Probably ricotta cheesecake would be the closest match. But I would call them “pancakes” either. Perhaps, cottage cheese fritters would be the best description.

But who cares about the name when a recipe is so delicious, right?

Certainly, there are different ways of making perfect Syrniki. And that’s how I’ve made these tasty guys which turned out perfect, if you ask me.

Pro-Tips or “Just like Scallops”

– Take cottage cheese with high fat content, if possible. Don’t take that curded (and usually salty) cottage cheese because it has a different taste and texture. The ideal would be farmer’s cheese. If you cannot find cottage cheese with high fat content, that’s fine. The one I used was only 0,8%. Not ideal but still tasty. Lastly, the cheese should not be to moist. Too high moisture content means using more “thickening agent” like flour which would affect the taste.

– Many recipes call for use of use of flour as the “thickening agent”. I am not a huge fan of flour for syrniki because of “doughy” aftertaste that often happens. Instead I suggest using semolina. It absorbs the excessive moisture well without altering the taste. We will still use a little of flour for a beautiful sear.

– Do not skip on chilling the cheese batter because semolina needs to start working. You will see the batter will significantly thicken up once chilled. While it’s not necessary, I would recommend putting already shaped pancakes into a freezer for 10 minutes or so. That will help keep their shape.

– Use neutral oil or the combination of oil and butter. I would not recommend using only butter because of a smoke point. It’s trickier to achieve a nice sear with butter.

– The pan should be well-preheated before you put the pancakes. It should not be either too / not enough hot. Barely hot pan would result pancakes turning oily while too hot pan would result in browning them too fast. Fry 1-2 pancakes first to find a good balance between high medium and low medium heat options.

– Be gentle and do not rush. Just like with scallops, you need to let the pancakes sit onto the pan unmoved. If you start flipping them too early or too often, you could damage the sear. Just let them cook about 4-5 minutes per side before flipping.

How to Serve

Syrniki are already delicious, but you can make them even better. For instance, you can stir in some raisins or lemon zest into the batter. You can also use vanilla sugar. Vanilla extract is not an ideal option because it adds extra moisture, but you can use it too. Since pancakes are not overly sweet, you can dust with some icing sugar. But my favourite way is to serve them with sour cream and some jam. Yum!

Fried syrniki will be fine fine in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. So you can make a huge batch to enjoy them for breakfast. Just simply preheat them in a microwave. Perfect, right?

I hope you like Syrniki – Cottage Cheese Pancakes, and you will try them soon. If you try it, let me know in this post or send me an Instagram message or share you photos adding the hashtag #havocinthekitchen.

Cheers!

Syrniki (Cottage Cheese Pancakes)
Syrniki (Cottage Cheese Pancakes)

Syrniki (Russian Cottage Cheese Pancakes)

Recipe by Ben | HavocinthekitchenCourse: Breakfast, DessertCuisine: Ukrainian
Servings

4-6

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Chilling / Freezing time

40

minutes

Syrniki (Cottage Cheese Pancakes) are a delicious and healthy breakfast or even dessert dish that is packed with protein.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. cottage (farmer’s cheese), preferably high fat content

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp. sour cream

  • 1 tbsp. vanilla sugar (or granulated sugar + 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract)

  • 1-2 tbsp. semolina

  • 2-3 tbsp. all-purpose flour, for dredging

  • 3-4 tbsp. oil for frying

  • Optional: 1/2 cup raising or 1 tbsp. lemon zest

  • Sour cream or plain yogurt, jam – optional, for serving

Directions

  • In a medium bowl combine the cottage (farmer’s) cheese, egg, sour cream, sugar, and 1 tbsp. of semolina. Mix well with a wooden spoon or with a hand mixer at low speed, until smooth (about 1 minute). It will be quite sticky. Do not use blender as the mixture become too loose. Since the fat and water content of your cheese can greatly vary, start with one 1 tablespoon of semolina and adding the second one if the mixture is still too sticky. I would not recommend adding more than 2 tbsp. of semolina until you’ve chilled the batter (It will thicken up a bit.)
  • Stir in any additions like raisins or lemon zest if using.
  • Place the bowl with mixture in the refrigerator, for about 30 minutes. It will thicken up, but it can still be a bit sticky to touch. If the batter still too loose, you can add another tablespoon of semolina, but it should be okay to shape the pancakes.
  • Take some batter at a time (About 1/4 cup or so) and shape into thick pancakes. I prefer smaller syrniki, but you can use more batter per one. If the batter is sticky, you can lightly dust your hands with flour. Depending on the size, you should get around 10 to 16 pancakes.
  • Add the flour into a small plate. Dredge the pancake with flour on both sides. Shake off the extra flour. Transfer them on a plate or board and freeze for 10 minutes. Freezing is optional, but it helps keep their shape.
  • In a meantime, preheat oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat (You might need to adjust to slightly lower heat later.)
  • Gently arrange the pancakes into the pan using a spatula. Cook on medium-low heat for about 4-5 minutes, or until each side is golden brown. While frying, avoid moving or flipping them too early as you can damage the sear.
  • Gently flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
  • Transfer the fried pancakes onto a paper towel to absorb the excess of oil.
  • Fry the remaining pancakes adding more oil if necessary.
  • Serve them warm right away or keep refrigerated for up to 3 days (Simply preheat in a microwave.) Enjoy dusted with icing sugar or with sour cream or / and jam!

32 thoughts on “Syrniki (Cottage Cheese Pancakes)

  1. Neil says:

    Although I’ve made a type of cottage cheese pancake Ben, I’ve never seen anything like these before. Wow they look amazing. I’ve got to try these one morning. Lynne loves pancakes so they’re sure to be a hit here!

  2. Raymund says:

    Ohhh I love this, I was fortunate enough to have tried one when we had a cruise from Helsinki to St Petersburg, initially I did not know what was inside, I though they were just normal bread and to my surprise it was cottage cheese. Yum! thanks for sharing the recipe, now I know how to make them.

  3. Valentina says:

    My hand is raised high. I think cottage cheese is great — and love the way it’s used in these pancakes. I think I’ve had something similar in a Polish restaurant that I love. I would have them for both dessert AND breakfast. :-) ~Valentina

  4. David @ Spiced says:

    I love learning about Russian recipes as they are often different from anything I’ve come across before. Add Syrniki to the list! I’ll admit that I don’t use cottage cheese all that often – no real reason, I just don’t think of it too much. I need to correct that with a batch of these “pancakes”! And I agree with you that ‘cottage cheese fritters’ doesn’t have the same ring to it. Good call with the pancakes!
    David @ Spiced recently posted…Sheet Pan Chicken Pot PieMy Profile

  5. Marissa says:

    Whoa. I’ve never heard of syrnik, but sign me up! These look fabulous, Ben. I’d gladly enjoy them for any meal of the day and I know my husband would love them too. Bookmarked to try ASAP!

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