Cottage cheese pancakes (сырники)

Сырники (pronounce as Sirniki) A classic Russian breakfast/treat that made of cottage cheese (in Russian, творог) that’s nutritious and easy to make.

There are many ways to serve them, such as with jam/compote, smetana, condensed milk, fresh berries, or even raisins mixed into the pancakes. 
Not all recipes call for semolina flour, but using it makes the pancakes softer. I use a fork to lightly break down the cottage cheese pieces, but in restaurants or cafes, they usually mash them up finely so there are no curds in the pancakes. It depends how you want them. From start to finish, frying all 10 pancakes took me about 10 minutes, which I think it’s pretty efficient, especially when you have a hungry child screaming for breakfast!

Makes 10


  • 450 g 9% fat cottage cheese*
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp semolina flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Extra of both flours for dusting and forming the pancakes, about 2-3 tbsp each
  • Unsalted butter for frying

Recipe Preparation 

In a medium mixing bowl, mash and break up the cottage cheese curds with a fork. Mix in egg and vanilla extract. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
Mix the two kinds of flour on a medium, shallow plate. Spoon out a heaping tablespoon of the cottage cheese mixture and roughly form a patty. Coat patty with flour and form a 1.5 cm flat, round disc, setting aside on top of flour as you form the remaining patties.
Heat butter in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Fry patties in batches until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Serve warm with condensed milk, fresh berries, and/or your favorite fruit compote.

* The cottage cheese that are sold here in Russia has a dryer texture, compare to the one that we are used to in most countries. Therefore, if you aren’t using Russian cottage cheese you can strain the cottage cheese through a fine sieve or with a cheese cloth to remove excess liquid beforehand. 
Alternatively, you can also use ricotta cheese to replace cottage cheese but the fat content will be much higher compare to cottage cheese.
You can make them ahead of time and store them in the fridge for 2 days in advance. Simply reheat them in a frying pan on medium to medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until warmed through.

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