Cheese Pancakes: The Original Latkes Recipe

Cheese Pancakes: The Original Latkes Recipe
Staff Writer



Latkes originally derived from Italian ricotta pancakes and became part of the Hanukkah culinary tradition because they combined the two popular food symbols of the holiday: fried food and dairy.

Click here to see Happy Hanukkah: For the Love of Latkes!


  • 16 ounces farmer cheese, pot cheese, or drained ricotta cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • About ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • About ½ teaspoon table salt or 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil or butter, for frying
  • Sour cream, yogurt, maple syrup, cinnamon-sugar, or fresh fruit, for serving


In a large bowl, beat together the cheese, eggs, flour, sugar, vanilla, and salt until well combined.

In a large skillet or griddle, heat a thin layer of oil or butter over medium heat. In batches, drop the batter 1 heaping tablespoon at a time and fry until the top is set and the bottom is browned slightly, about 3 minutes. Turn and fry until golden, about 2 minutes.

Serve with sour cream, yogurt, maple syrup, cinnamon-sugar, or fresh fruit.

Cheese Shopping Tip

If a piece of cheese smells strongly of ammonia, don't buy it. This is typically a sign of spoilage.

Cheese Cooking Tip

Allow cheese to come to room temperature before serving. This will accentuate the flavors and aromas.