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Syrniki Recipe

If you love pancakes, but want to pump up the protein on a typically carby breakfast, you’ve got to try syrniki. These traditional Russian pancakes are fluffy and filled with soft cheese.

Looking for even more pancake ideas? You’ll love these Russian buttermilk pancakes, this Dutch baby pancake, and this fantastic shake and bake German pancake recipe!

Syrniki pancakes stacked and topped with berries

Russian Pancake

This is a very traditional and popular Ukrainian or Russian pancake that packs a ton of protein in the form of cheese. It is as delicious, as it is good for you. You can serve warm syrniki pancakes for either dessert or breakfast. Plus, it comes together quickly—and gets eaten even quicker.

The protein in this Russian pancake comes from cheese (“syr” means cheese in Russian). It may sound odd at first, but this combination works really well because of the type of cheese.

This Russian pancake is made with a Russian tvorog cheese. This soft cheese is similar in taste to yogurt, and the texture is a mix between soft feta and ricotta. It can be purchased at oriental stores under the name of Tvorog, farmer’s cheese, or Amish cheese. You can even make it at home (with just 2 ingredients) by following my Tvorog recipe.

If you don’t have tvorog, but want to try a close alternative, use ricotta in place of tvorog and make these Ricotta Pancakes.

Russian pancakes with a bite taken out showing the texture

These syrniki were made with the addition of semolina. The texture is less doughy and with a more pronounced texture and flavor of the farmer’s cheese.

How to Serve Syrniki

One of my favorite parts of eating pancakes is getting to experiment with toppings! There are a lot of different ways you can enjoy syrniki, here are some of the ones my family likes best:

  • Topped with jam. The easiest topping you can imagine – just scoop out some jam and serve with the syrniki!
  • Sprinkled with powdered sugar. A light sprinkle of powdered sugar gives these pancakes just the right touch of sweetness.
  • Topped with fresh berries. This is probably my favorite way to enjoy syrniki. I like mine with raspberries, but blueberries and chopped strawberries work too.
  • Served with a dollop of cream. Sweetened sour cream or fresh cream pairs perfectly with the syrniki.
  • Drizzled with Nutella. If you love chocolate, spread on some Nutella on!
  • Layered with syrup. Of course, you can always add syrup to your pancake! If you do this, I invite you to try it with a bit of sour cream too—the pairing works fantastically!
A bite of syrniki on a fork being dipped into sweet sour cream

This syrniki batch was made with the addition of all-purpose flour. Notice the difference in texture from the one made with the addition of semolina.

Syrniki Ingredients:

Farmer’s Cheese Recipe (Tvorog) – when looking for the best cheese to make syrniki look for a well drained farmer’s cheese with not a lot of whey. If the cheese you do have has a lot of weigh, just line a sieve with a paper towel, add the cheese and allow the extra whey to drip off. The farmer’s cheese will sometimes go under the name of Amish cheese or tvorog, depending on where you’re located.

If tvorog or farmer’s cheese is not sold locally, you can always make your own tvorog using only milk and buttermilk.

Flour – you can use either semolina or all-purpose flour this recipe. Using one or the other will have an effect on texture though. Try it both ways and pick your favorite.

Eggs – eggs are used as one of the binding ingredients in this recipe. Regular large-sized eggs are all you need.

Vanilla extract – not crucial but definitely adds the right hint of sophistication.

Syrniki pancakes on a plate topped with powdered sugar, sour cream, and jam.

How to Make Syrniki:

For detailed recipe instructions see the recipe card bottom of the post.

  • Combine all ingredients with a fork or mixer.
  • Then, shape syrniki by dropping mounds into flour, rolling into a ball, then patting it down into a puck-like pancake. Or make a log with the dough, cut into equal pieces, then shape.
  • Next, fry in a well-oiled skillet until golden on both sides.

Syrniki dough prior to frying

  • Serve with sweetened sour cream and jam or fresh fruits, or one of the other options mentioned above.

Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe with precise ingredient amounts.

More Breakfast Recipes:

Syrniki Recipe

Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Russian, Ukrainian
Keyword: Syrniki
Calories: 131 kcal
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Mix everything thoroughly using a fork or a mixer. The mixture will be very sticky and that is normal.

  2. Shape: Using a large ice cream scoop scoop the syrniki mixture and drop it directly into flour. Then, roll into a ball and flatten into a 3/4" thick pancake. Coat the outside in flour as needed to prevent sticking.

    Or, press the dough into a dough ball, then roll into an even log. Cut into 12 pieces with a sharp knife. Coat the outside of each piece in flour, as needed to prevent sticking and shape into a 3/4 inch tall puck-like pancake.

    Pro Shaping Tip: to make these Russian pancakes into perfectly round puck-like pancakes drop chunks of syrniki mixture into flour, coat it well then roll into a ball. Pat it down to about 2/3 inch thick, then place a cup over the flattened pancake and on a well floured surface, quickly, in rotating motion swirl the pancake with the help of the cup. This will create perfectly neat sides of the pancake.

  3. Fry in a skillet: Add couple tablespoons of oil and/or butter to a skillet and preheat it over medium heat. Fry Syrniki in batches until deep golden on both sides. Add more oil and butter as needed to prevent the cheese pancakes from sticking.

  4. Serve with sweetened sour cream and jam or fresh berries.

Recipe Notes

  • Note 1:
    If using semolina the syrniki pancakes will have a more pronounced farmer's cheese flavor. Using all-purpose flour will produce pancakes that are more pancake-y and less cheesy. Using half of each will give you the best of both worlds. 
Nutrition Facts
Syrniki Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 131 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 51mg17%
Sodium 294mg13%
Potassium 10mg0%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 40IU1%
Calcium 4mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Marina | Let the Baking Begin

Welcome to Let the Baking Begin! I'm Marina and my love and passion for eating only the most delicious foods drive me to share that love here on Let the Baking Begin (since 2009). With over 20 years of experience in the kitchen, you know the recipes are tested and retested until perfect. I'm so happy to have you here. Enjoy! Read more...

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