Serves a Crowd

Cottage Cheese Pancakes From Cowgirl Creamery & Bette's Oceanview Diner

October 18, 2013
16 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin. Food Stylist: Olivia Mack McCool. Prop Stylist: Amanda Widis.
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 4; makes 16-20 (3-in/7.5-cm) pancakes
Author Notes

This recipe makes the lightest pancakes you’ve ever tasted. As Sue Conley writes: "I tossed many a pancake during my eleven happy years as a breakfast cook at Bette’s Oceanview Diner in Berkeley, CA. This is one of my favorite pancake recipes. You’d expect the cheese to make the pancakes heavy, but the opposite is true. During cooking, the cheese and egg whites work together to make these light. You can use cottage cheese or ricotta. Top them with seasonal fruit and these morning delights are a perfect wake-me-up for any season.

I co-founded Bette’s Oceanview Diner in 1982 with Bette and her husband, Manfred. When I left to start Cowgirl Creamery in 1993, the first cheese we developed was Clabbered Cottage Cheese and Bette used our cheese at the diner for the Cottage Cheese Pancakes which became a popular “Tuesday Special”. The pancakes were greatly enhanced by using the luscious Cowgirl Creamery Clabbered Cottage Cheese. Seriously, it made a huge difference.

This recipe was inspired by Bette Kroening’s memories of kosher dairy restaurants in New York City. Bette and I wrote The Pancake Handbook with our very clever friend, Steve Siegelman, who helped us to create lively and personal narratives as we tested all of our favorite recipes at the diner. The Pancake Handbook is one of my finest achievements. It was a true collaboration between the three authors with help from the good cooks at Bette’s Oceanview Diner." Recipe adapted slightly from Cowgirl Creamery Cooks (Chronicle Books, 2013). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Cottage Cheese Pancakes From Cowgirl Creamery & Bette's Oceanview Diner
  • 1 pint fresh fruit, such as berries or sliced nectarines in summer, figs in fall (or frozen fruit anytime)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups full-fat cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Vegetable oil for the griddle
  • Crème fraîche for accompaniment
  1. In a medium pan, toss the berries and sugar over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks until thick. Add the milk and beat for another 30 seconds. Gently fold in the cottage cheese.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and sugar and pour into the cheese mixture, stirring lightly.
  4. With an electric mixer or whisk, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until they are stiff but not dry. (A helpful rule of thumb: The egg whites' stiffness should match the consistency of the ingredients you fold them into; a heavy cake batter should get stiffer egg whites than a light, more liquid pancake batter.) Gently fold the whites into the batter, just until combined. It’s okay if the batter is lumpy.
  5. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or skillet over medium- to medium-high heat. Ladle 1/4 cup/60 ml of the batter onto the hot griddle for each pancake, leaving space between pancakes. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface of the pancakes, then flip. Hold pancakes on a rack in a low oven (200°F) until ready to serve. It’s okay that the pancakes deflate on the plate. They should be lighter than air even though they present as thin, flat pancakes on the plate.
  6. When done, spoon on fruit and crème fraîche and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lee
  • Jennifer
  • Clare Wagner
    Clare Wagner
  • Byron Pugh
    Byron Pugh
  • awg
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

9 Reviews

GoodEats21 March 20, 2022
These were so delicious. I hate making pancakes, no patience and these require a lot of patience, but it is so worth it. I will make them again just wonder what is the best way to reheat. My husband and I couldn't eat them all. We tried!
Lee May 6, 2020
Easy and delicious!
Due to dietary restrictions, I subbed buckwheat flour for white, and honey for sugar.
JustMegan April 15, 2020
Let me preface this by saying I am not a pancake person (blame a traumatic breakfast when I was younger for that). But these pancakes were amazing! So light and airy they don't weigh you down the same way other more dense varieties do. The creme fraiche and berries were the perfect topping too, keeping the pancakes light and fresh. This is the first time I have made pancakes for breakfast and actually helped my husband eat them. We will be making these again.
Jennifer January 5, 2020
Takes more effort than most pancake recipes, but it's nice to have a tasty high protein option. The combination of everything, including toppings, had good flavor & made for a nice at home brunch. I would use ricotta in the future though for the sake of consistency. My cottage cheese was thinner than what was used in the video & didn't get evenly distributed.
Clare W. November 5, 2019
Because these were high protein and relatively low carb pancakes I was excited to try these as they may have been good for my diabetic family member. However, they were very delicate as others have commented, and even set to LOW on my stovetop they burned before the inside cooked. Maybe I should have made them even smaller than 1/4 cup size. Anyways, I ended up getting frustrated and poured the rest of the batter into a lightly oiled souffle dish and baking it at 350˚F for maybe 20 minutes and that worked well!
jenncc October 6, 2019
Really enjoyed these light, delicious pancakes! They are a bit fragile so be careful when you flip them. I did add a generous teaspoon vanilla. Will certainly be making these again.
Byron P. September 28, 2019
I made these this morning for my kids... they liked them but prefer the ricotta ones. I thought they were delicious! I didn't use much sugar in with the flower and you do have to watch them so they do not burn but - AMAZING! These will be on high rotation! Thanks.
Byron P. September 28, 2019
*flour!! autocorrect *facepalm*
awg September 22, 2019
Absolutely amazing! So light and soufflé-like; just delicious. I used blueberries and the sauce was fresh and not too sweet, which we loved. No creme fraiche on hand, but a mixture of yogurt and sour cream gave a nice tangy accompaniment to the berries. I see the wisdom of making them small; they are so delicate that if you make them larger than your spatula they may break as you turn them. No worries about broken pancakes, though. Every last one was enjoyed! Doubt I can go back to regular pancakes now. ; )