The Simple Addition That Will Give You Lighter, Fluffier Pancakes

A quintessential breakfast, pancakes can be as simple or as intricate as you'd like. Dress up a basic pancake with a slab of butter and a drizzle of syrup. Or, go full-out dessert mode with the addition of chocolate chips, a scoop of ice cream, and your fruit of choice. Pancakes are a crowd pleaser for kids and adults alike. All you need are a few baking essentials to whip some up for yourself.

Whether you're trying your hand at a new pancake recipe or sticking with your own tried-and-true version, you're bound to make a breakfast the whole table can enjoy. If you're looking to make your pancakes all the fluffier, however, consider making one change that will elevate any batter. The technique has nothing to do with the cooking process or your mixing strategy. Rather, making fluffy pancakes is all about the addition of one particular, cheesy ingredient that will change your pancake's texture for the better.

Ricotta is a pancake game-changer

Ricotta is often associated with lasagnas and pizzas, but it's also a secret weapon in baking. According to America's Test Kitchen, ricotta, when added to pancakes, breaks up the breadiness of typical recipes. It adds complexity to both flavor and texture, balancing pancakes with a cheesy, yet sweet, twist.

To make your own, perfectly creamy ricotta pancakes, The New York Times recommends beating whole eggs with the ricotta and adding baking powder to the batter. This combination will prevent your pancakes from becoming souffléd and instead yield that desired, fluffy consistency. Gently stirring flour into your batter will also keep your pancakes from turning rubbery.

In addition to using ricotta, you may want to add a pop of lemon. Citrus pairs well with the cheese, so for a unique, but balanced, flavor, incorporate some zest into your batter. If you're trying for a sweet rather than tangy pancake, skip the lemon altogether in favor of chocolate chips and even more sugar. Cannoli pancakes embrace one of the better-known ricotta desserts, presenting it with a new form via pancakes.

Yet if you'd rather skip straight ahead to dessert, we can't blame you. You can easily use ricotta to make a cheesecake or other baked goods that call for creamy, silky textures. With a dollop of ricotta, you're guaranteed a fluffier iteration of even the most standard of pastries — not to mention an easy upgrade to your breakfast.