Lemon Mascarpone Pancakes combine the citrusy notes of fresh lemon and the mild tanginess of Italian mascarpone cheese into a decadent breakfast treat. For these pancakes, mascarpone cheese is folded into the batter, along with buttermilk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. The batter is lightly sweetened, yet still light with bright flavors. It's the perfect brunch pancake!
Would you believe me if I told you that I was inspired to make these pancakes after eating lemon mascarpone ice cream from our favorite ice cream shop? My taste buds were like- woah- this would be great in a pancake. And...here we are.
If you like lemon ricotta pancakes you will love this recipe. Mascarpone is slightly sweet and buttery and adds a bit of luxury to these fluffy pancakes. They are perfect for brunch. Top with blueberries for the ultimate pancake combo!
What is mascarpone cheese?
Mascarpone is a rich and creamy Italian cheese that is known for its smooth and velvety texture. It is traditionally made from cow's milk and is widely used in both sweet and savory dishes. Mascarpone has a high-fat content, typically around 60-75%, which contributes to its luxurious taste and texture.
Here is what you will need to make these lemon mascarpone pancakes.
- Flour- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder and baking soda- Helps to give the pancakes their fluffy rise
- Sugar- To sweeten the batter
- Eggs-Large eggs
- Buttermilk- Keeps them extra fluffy and light
- Lemon- Zest and juice
- Mascarpone cheese- Make sure it's room temperature so you an easily mix into the batter
- Unsalted butter
- Vanilla extract
- Optional: powdered sugar, maple syrup for topping.
See the recipe card for quantities.
You will need a few mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, a few kitchen utensils, and a non-stick pan or electric griddle to make the pancakes.
Step by step
Below is a quick visual on how to make mascarpone pancakes with lemon. Full instructions are located in the recipe card.
Start by mixing your dry ingredients in one bowl, and your wet ingredients in another. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together, and whisk until combined. DO NOT overmix. It will be lumpy and thick.
Heat butter or oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Here you can see the butter foam a bit.
Drop ⅓ cup of batter into the hot skillet. Lightly spread it a little. Leave to cook until bubbles start to form all over and they begin to poke through the batter. Don't be tempted to flip too early or you will have a runny mess.
When bubbles are forming throughout, use a spatula and flip the pancake. Continue to cook on the other side until golden brown. Adjust the heat as needed if it's cooking too fast. Continue to cook with the remaining batter.
Helpful hint: To keep your pancakes warm while cooking the rest of the batch, preheat your oven to 200°F. Place your cooked pancakes on a baking sheet to keep warm until ready to serve.
Avoid this rookie mistake
Do not overmix the batter! It will be lumpy and thick. Resist the urge to make the batter smooth. If you do, it will result in dense, gummy pancakes.
Substitutions and variations
- Orange: Substitute orange zest and juice for a sweeter, slightly different citrus flavor.
- Cream Cheese: Instead of mascarpone, you can use cream cheese for a slightly tangy and creamy texture.
- Ricotta: Another creamy cheese option that can be used as a substitute for mascarpone, providing a slightly different texture and flavor.
- Greek Yogurt: For a lighter option, you can use Greek yogurt, which will also add a tang.
- Milk: Swap out buttermilk for milk.
- Cinnamon or Nutmeg: For a warm and cozy twist, add a pinch of ground cinnamon or nutmeg to the batter.
- Berries: Feel free to add berries directly to the batter. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries work best.
✍Tester's notes: I have not tested this recipe with different flours or plant based milks, so I cannot recommend alternatives. If you do make these adjusted to any special diet, please let me know in the comments!
What to serve with mascarpone pancakes
Lemon mascarpone pancakes are already quite flavorful and rich on their own, but you can serve them any way you want. Here are a few of my faves!
- Fresh Fruit: Serve a variety of fresh fruits to balance the richness of the pancakes. Berries like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries work well, as do slices of bananas or peaches.
- Whipped Cream: A dollop of freshly whipped cream can add extra creaminess and sweetness. You can even infuse the whipped cream with a touch of lemon zest or a hint of vanilla for added flavor.
- Maple Syrup: Traditional maple syrup is a classic pancake topping that pairs wonderfully with the lemony and creamy flavors of the pancakes. Consider using real maple syrup for the best taste.
- Honey: Drizzle some honey over the pancakes. The bees would want you to!
- Nuts: Chopped nuts, such as toasted almonds, walnuts, or pecans, can provide a nice crunch and a contrast in texture to the pancakes.
- Curd or Jam: Lemon curd or a berry jam can be served as a sauce alongside the pancakes, or right on top. Try them with my strawberry rhubarb jam!
- Savory Sides: If you're looking for a balanced meal, you can add some savory elements. Consider serving the pancakes with scrambled eggs, a side of smoked salmon, or crispy bacon.
These lemon mascarpone pancakes are best eaten right away. But let's be real, your first pancake will be cold by the time you finish the rest. So be sure to preheat the oven to 200°F, and place the pancakes on a baking sheet, (separated) to keep them warm until you are ready to eat.
For longer storage, you can freeze the lemon mascarpone pancakes for up to 3 months. To freeze your pancakes, make sure they are cooled. Layer a piece of parchment paper in between each pancake to prevent sticking. Store in a freezer-safe plastic bag, or wrap tightly in food wrap.
To reheat, place them in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes until heated through. You can also use your toaster to reheat them. I would avoid using the microwave as they will get very mushy.
Remember that reheated pancakes may not be as crispy as freshly cooked ones, but they should still be flavorful.
This can be caused by having your heat too high. You may need to adjust your heat throughout the cooking process. Also make sure to flip when you see at least 6-8 bubbles form on your pancakes.
This can happen when you overmix the batter. When combining the wet and dry ingredients, stir only until flour streaks disappear. Don't be tempted to have a smooth batter, it is meant to be lumpy and thick. Overmixing will cause the gluten in the batter to activate leading to dense and chewy pancakes.
Looking for pancake pairings?
Try some of my favorites.
🍳Did you make this recipe? I would love to hear about it! Please leave a recipe rating with comment right below the recipe card. If you snapped a photo of your creation, don't forget to tag me on Instagram @brunchandbatter.
Lemon Mascarpone Pancakes
- electric griddle or non-stick skillet
- 1½ cups (8 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Kosher or fine sea salt
- 4 tablespoon white granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk room temperature
- 1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese room temperature
- 1½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- butter or oil for the skillet
- butter, maple syrup, powdered sugar for serving optional
- Preheat the oven to 200℉. Have a baking pan ready to keep the pancakes warm while you prepare the batter.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.1½ cups (8 ounces) all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon Kosher or fine sea salt, 4 tablespoon white granulated sugar
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and mascarpone until smooth. Add the butter and vanilla and whisk again.2 large eggs, 1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk, 1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, 1½ teaspoon grated lemon zest, 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Add the mascarpone mixture to the flour mixture, and stir with a spatula until just combined. DO NOT overmix. The batter will be lumpy and thick. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
- Heat a large nonstick griddle or pan over medium-low heat. Add butter or oil to the pan until sizzling, but not browned. Using a measuring cup, ladle about ⅓ cup batter onto the skillet, spreading it slightly. Repeat with more batter, without overcrowding the pan.butter or oil for the skillet
- Cook, until bubbles break the surface of the pancakes, and the bottoms are golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary. Repeat with the remaining batter. Keep cooked pancakes in the oven until ready to serve.
- Serve hot with butter, maple syrup, or powdered sugar. Makes 12 4" pancakes.butter, maple syrup, powdered sugar for serving