Cottage Pancakes Recipe

A few of you asked about the cottage cheese pancakes I mentioned a few posts back. Here you go. Plus a look at some of the vintage photos I've picked up at flea markets and antique shops over the years.

Cottage Pancakes

I was cleaning out the desk drawers in my office the other day, and came across my collection of vintage photographs. They're pictures I've picked up (a couple here, a couple there) at yard sales and flea markets. A dollar for this one, two for that. I thought you might enjoy seeing a few of them. Additionally, a number of you were curious about the cottage cheese pancakes I mentioned (in passing) a couple posts back. They're pretty great, and a nice alternative to pancakes that are predominately flour-based. So, between the pictures and the pancakes, I hope you'll find something to your liking in this post...

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Pictures first? I'll start by saying, there isn't much rhyme or reason to the photos I choose to buy. I have to like something about the image, and that's about it. Sometimes it's the expression of the person in the photo, or maybe it's the way they're looking into the camera. The pattern of a dress, the look of a sky forty years ago, the way a table is set - all things that have caught my attention at one point or another. Sometimes I'll pin a picture to an inspiration board, or temporarily place a selected shot in a notebook. It sort of depends on what I'm working on (or thinking about). Sometimes they just live in my office drawer. Flip the photos, and I often find handwritten notes sketched on the backs - names, dates, far-flung places.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

The two shots (directly above), I have a special fondness for. The first was printed in June, 1959. Clouds from the window of an airplane. It is printed on matte paper, and you see just a bit of the metallic wing. With the image to the right, it was the expression of the main subject that caught my attention, set against the dramatic alpine backdrop. The back of the photo notes, "Kay & Carlisle, Switzerland." And above those, two Kodacolor prints date 1965 from what I suspect was a vacation to Acapulco.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

I choose landscapes, and sometimes interiors, and also portraits. The little girl with the big orange bow and floral dress might be my favorite find. It is July, 1966 and she is watching the airplanes at the San Diego Airport in California. The sky is clear, and she is seated high on a cinder block wall. The image below her is a mystery to me. I'm unsure when, or where, it was taken. Although, it seems to have been cut from a paper scrapbook (something I see a lot of). Let me know if you like this sort of thing, I'm happy to share more found photos at some point, if you're interested.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Now, here's the thing with the pancakes. I'm going to share a version I make that incorporates minced cauliflower. I think of this as "the white version". That said, you can take these in a completely different direction if you like. I just typically work something with added texture, flavor, and nutritional oomph to the base batter. If it's not cauliflower - chopped spinach, blanched/chopped nettles, broccoli, dill - it's hard to go wrong. And it's fun to experiment.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

I kept the recipe straight-forward here, but you can also do blini-sized versions of these. They're great topped with the dill butter from Super Natural Every Day. Seriously, blank canvas. Have fun with them.

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Cottage Pancakes

To those of you who aren't cauliflower fans, yes, you can absolutely leave out the cauliflower. Or swap in an comparable amount of any the following: blanched nettles, broccoli, or spinach. With the spinach or nettles - blanch quickly in salted boiling water, drain well, and chop (nearly) into a paste.

1 cup /  7 oz / 200g cottage cheese
3/4 cup / 180 ml milk
4 room temperature eggs, separated
1 cup / 4 oz / 115g raw (or quickly blanched) cauliflower, chopped into rice-sized bits

1/2 cup / 75 g whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup / 75 g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

butter, for cooking

In a large bowl mix the cottage cheese, milk, and egg yolks until smooth. Stir in the cauliflower.

In a separate (clean) bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks.

Sift the flours, baking powder, and salt into another bowl. Add the flours to the cottage cheese mixture, and stir until just barely(!) combined. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter with a spatula.

To cook, warm a griddle or pan over medium heat, melt a bit of butter in it, then spoon a little scoop (say, ~3 tablespoons) of batter into the pan for each pancake, working in batches. You want to cook these relatively slowly, until each pancake is deeply golden on one side. Flip each pancake, and wait until the other side is golden, and the pancake is cooked through. Continue until you've worked through all the batter. You can keep cooked pancakes in a 225F oven until you finish, to keep them warm. They're great simply with a pat of butter and a sprinkling of salt. Or, if you want to get a bit fancy, whip up a bit of harissa, saffron or pesto-swirled salted yogurt.

Makes ~1 1/2 dozen medium pancakes.

Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 15 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

Apologies, comments are closed.


This is probably a silly question, but ... do you measure the cauliflower before or after you chop it?

HS: Hi Missy, after - and quite honestly, it doesn't have to be a perfect cup.

I like your intuitive photo selection process. I cannot think of a better way to go about it.

I love cauliflower and these little pancakes look divine. I have never seen pancakes with cauliflower in them. What a great find.

I love the idea of savoury pancakes. We always seem to make them sweet here and serve them with maple syrup. I think the photos are wonderful and love that you have a connection to them even though they are of strangers. Lovely bits of the past.

Savory pancakes-that is so to my liking. These go on the weekend want-to-do list. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the why of liking these vintage photos and sharing some of your creative process. A different eye, a new perspective for inspiration. Appreciate.


The photos are so so so sweet! And the pancakes look amazing! I will definitely try making them with spinach !! yumm.

These sound amazing! I would totally drizzle them with maple syrup though. Is that weird?

I am Russian and one of our staples is a farmers cheese pancake called a Syrnik. It's traditionally made with farmers cheese, flour, egg and sugar. I make these for my kids every week, as they are perfect for breakfast or lunch on the go. I never considered making them savory, but this looks interesting. Do you think its important to use cottage cheese? We use farmers cheese because its less runny.


You make these pancakes sound almost as virtuous as my morning oatmeal. :) p.s. share more of your picture collection with us!

i love that you've posted the vintage photos! my dad has been working on archiving our distant family's photos and piecing together our genealogy for a few years now. i love looking through those photos with him and learning about the people behind the faces.

These are just adorable, Heidi. Right up my alley. Missing you at the Cookbook Conference this week! Seems like an event you should run. :)

I was just wondering what to do with leftover cauliflower- perfect! what a great new recipe- thanks!

ooh - another clever way with cauliflower!! It's printed and put on next weeks meal plan! Last week I came over a recipe (on another blog) that uses cauliflower as "rice" in a "Cauli-otto" - delicious and nutricious!!

vintage pictures always make me sad for some reason. A far away world, and yet so near. But they are lovely. Thank you for the pancake recipe. We love pancakes here, and a healthier version is more than welcome.

Great photos. I love the use of cauliflower here - great way to add something something!

Cottage Pancakes-great idea. Would have never thought to add cauliflower. These are the reasons you are so innovative Heidi! I too love the photo of the girl with the big orange bow dress. Just beautiful. Glad you shared these. Would be happy to see more of these again sometime.

Thanks for sharing some of your photo finds with us Heidi, what a neat thing to collect. I'm with you too, that one of the little girl with the bow would be my fav pick of the bunch too. Keep em coming, love it!

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