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Syrniki (farmer’s cheese pancakes)

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This is my favorite recipe for syrniki (farmer’s cheese pancakes). It is easy to whip up these delectable, fluffy Russian cheese pancakes for a scrumptious breakfast delight. Pancakes are traditional in America; in Eastern Europe, they’re syrniki! 

Syrniki is my favorite breakfast treat; my mom used to make it for us growing up, and we always felt so special when she made it for us. Farmer’s cheese (tvorog) is the main ingredient in syrniki, and after I had kids of my own, I had to learn how to make farmer’s cheese so I could make syrniki for my children 🙂 I use semolina (Manka) in this recipe because it makes Russian syrniki fluffy and not dry, try not to use too much flour as flour can make them too thick. 

fried syrniki stacked on a white porcelain plate

What are syrniki (farmer’s cheese pancakes)?

Syrniki are slightly sweet, cheesy Russian pancakes made from Farmer’s cheese. But it isn’t the type of cheese that you are thinking of; it’s kind of like cottage cheese but less watery. They are a traditional Russian and Ukrainian recipe, typically served for breakfast or as a snack. They are super soft and just slightly sweet on the inside. These pillowy pancakes of cheesy goodness are just so delicious.

Where to buy farmer’s cheese:

Most stores do not sell farmer’s cheese, but you can check at your local stores next to the sour cream and ricotta sections. You can pretty much find Tvorog in any Eastern European grocery store. Farmer’s cheese is very simple to make! Here is the recipe for the best farmer’s cheese!

I often make a double batch of syrniki. We enjoy one batch now, and I freeze the other to enjoy later! To freeze them, I make the batter and shape the syrniki according to the recipe. Flour a cutting board and each individual pancake, then place the cutting board into the freezer till they freeze. Then, pack them into a Ziploc bag or an airtight container. You can fry them frozen( cook them for 5 min each side) or defrost them. Flour them again before cooking. 

ingredients laid out on a round cutting board to make syrniki: farmer's cheese, egg, sugar, flour, salt, semolina

Ingredients for syrniki (farmer’s cheese pancakes)

  • 500 grams (about 2 cups) of farmers’ cheese 
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) of semolina (Manka)
  • 2 tablespoons flour plus more for dusting- you can use all-purpose flour
  • 2-3 tablespoons of sugar
  • pinch of salt 
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract or vanilla sugar
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins (optional)
  • oil for frying- light olive oil or avocado oil

Easy syrniki recipe

Add the farmer’s cheese in a large bowl and break it up with a fork to ensure there aren’t any big clumps of cheese. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix it very well until you get a smooth batter. The syrniki batter will be thick. You can use a fork or a handheld mixer (I prefer to use a fork because I like the little clumps of cheese)

syrniki (farmer's cheese pancakes) batter in a white bowl with a wooden spoon

Flour a cutting board, then use an ice cream scoop to portion the syrniki. This will help to get beautiful and even syrniki throughout. Place the batter into your palm and roll it into a ball. Place the syrniki on the floured board and use the bottom of a glass to slightly press down on it to give it it’s shape. You want the syrniki to still be thick but with flat tops. Dust flour on top and the sides. 

shaped syrniki on a wooden board with dusted flour

Heat a large pan on medium heat, drizzle in 2 tablespoons of oil, and fry the syrniki for 3 minutes on both sides or until golden brown. Place them on a paper towel to drain any excess oil, dust with powdered sugar, and Enjoy while they are warm! 

fried syrniki (farmer's cheese pancakes) stacked with sour cream on top and strawberry preserves on top

Serve (farmer’s cheese pancakes) with fresh berries, fruit preserves, maple syrup, sour cream, or Greek yogurt!

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Syrniki (farmer’s cheese pancakes)

This is my favorite recipe for syrniki (farmer’s cheese pancakes). It is so easy to whip up these delectable, fluffy Russian cheese pancakes for a scrumptious breakfast delight. Pancakes are traditional in America; in Eastern Europe, they’re syrniki! 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine european, russian, ukranian
Servings 6

Equipment

  • frying pan
  • Large bowl
  • mixing tool: fork or hand mixer
  • ice cream scooper

Ingredients
  

  • 500 grams  of farmers’ cheese 
  • 50 grams of semolina (Manka)
  • 2 tbl flour plus more for dusting- you can use all-purpose flour
  • 2-3 tbl sugar- depending how sweet you want them
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp  vanilla extract or vanilla sugar
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins (optional)
  • oil for frying- light olive oil or avocado oil

Instructions
 

  • Add the farmer’s cheese in a large bowl and break it up with a fork to ensure there aren’t any big clumps of cheese. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix it very well until you get a smooth batter. The syrniki batter will be thick. You can use a fork or a handheld mixer (I prefer to use a fork because I like the little clumps of cheese)
  • Flour a cutting board, then use an ice cream scoop to portion the syrniki. This will help to get beautiful and even syrniki throughout. Place the batter into your palm and roll it into a ball. Place the syrniki on the floured board and use the bottom of a glass to slightly press down on it to give it it’s shape. You want the syrniki to still be thick but with flat tops. Dust flour on top and the sides. 
  • Heat a large pan on medium heat, drizzle in 2 tablespoons of oil, and fry the syrniki for 3 minutes on both sides or until golden brown. Place them on a paper towel to drain any excess oil, dust with powdered sugar, and Enjoy while they are warm! 
    Serve (farmer’s cheese pancakes) with fresh berries, fruit preserves, maple syrup, sour cream, or Greek yogurt!
Keyword russian pancakes, syrniki

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