Syrniki (Cheese Pancakes)

Here’s An Easy Syrniki Recipe For You To Enjoy!

Syrniki – sometimes also written as syrnyky or sirniki – are delicious cheese pancakes with a hint of sweetness and a whole lot of cheesy goodness.

With just a few common ingredients and a hot pan, these pancakes are easy to make and even easier to enjoy for breakfast, as a snack or as dessert.

These Syrniki pancakes are popular in Russia, Ukraine, and other countries in this region. They are typically enjoyed with jam, sour cream, berries, or other fruit!

three cottage cheese pancakes with strawberry on top on white plate.
Sweet and cheesy Syrniki!

Unsurprisingly, these pancakes with cottage cheese utilize cottage cheese that has been drained, squeezed, and pressed through a sieve.

Farmer’s cheese, a pressed cottage cheese that has a slightly firmer texture than classic cottage cheese, is also often used for these pancakes.

If you use farmer’s cheese for this recipe, just keep in mind that you might have to reduce the amount of flour you use (due to the lower moisture content) – otherwise the pancakes might end up a bit too hard.

Tvorog – as a type of farmer’s cheese is called Eastern Slavic countries – is also very similar to German quark which is often used in baking as well.

Ingredients

ingredients to make cottage cheese pancakes in bowls on grey counter top with labels.
These are the ingredients you need for this cottage cheese pancake recipe!

In order to make this recipe for Syrniki, here are the ingredients that you’ll need:

  • Cottage cheese – You’ll drain the cottage cheese, squeeze out excess moisture and press it through a sieve. Alternatively you can use farmer’s cheese but might have to reduce the amount of flour by a tiny bit (since it contains less moisture).
  • Eggs – You’ll need two eggs. This helps bind the pancakes.
  • All purpose flour – To make the pancake mix.
  • Sugar – To add some sweetness.
  • Salt – To add flavor.
  • Vanilla extract – For a hint of vanilla.
  • Olive oil – For frying the pancakes.

Recipe Tips

Before you make these syrniki with cottage cheese, read through the recipe tips so that you know what to expect from this recipe:

  • Make sure to drain the cottage cheese well and to squeeze out excess liquid. You can use a cheese cloth for this. Also, press the cottage cheese through a sieve to give it an airy texture.
  • Do not add more flour to the mixture. Otherwise the syrniki might turn out too hard.
  • You can form a round syrniki with your hands, but then it will have a less accurate shape than when using a cup or metal ring.
  • You can add other things to the batter such as raisins but this is optional.

How to Make Syrniki – Step by Step Instructions

Here is how to make these Russian cheese pancakes. You can follow the steps in this section and check out the recipe process photos to see just how we did it.

If you don’t need the photos, the recipe card for these fluffy cottage cheese pancakes can be found at the bottom of this post!

cottage cheese sitting in a metal strainer over top a bowl on a grey counter top.
Press the cottage cheese through a sieve.

You can buy cottage cheese without liquid, but if it is in whey (the liquid), it must be drained. It is also better to squeeze the cottage cheese to remove excess moisture.

Then rub the cottage cheese through a sieve to get a very soft and airy texture. It may seem easier to do this through a blender, but don’t do it – the blender will give it a sticky, viscous texture that will require more flour.

fluffy drained cottage cheese in a bowl with silver spoon sticking out on grey counter top.
Add the cottage cheese to a mixing bowl.

Transfer the “grated” cottage cheese to a bowl.

ingredients for syrniki like sugar in glass bowl with silver spoon sticking out sitting on grey counter.
Add the other ingredients to the bowl as well.

Then add the eggs, flour, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt.

syrniki cheese pancake dough in glass mixing bowl sitting on counter top.
Mix well.

Mix thoroughly with a large spoon to obtain a homogeneous, sticky mass.

round cookie cutter beside circle of dough with flour around on wooden board.
Shape the syrniki.

Sprinkle a cutting board or table with flour so that the dough does not stick. Cut off a small ball of dough.

Using a cup or a metal ring, shape a perfectly round syrnik. If it is too thick, gently press it down with your palm. Repeat until you have used up all of the dough.

three cheese pancakes frying in black pan.
Fry the syrniki.

Heat the olive oil in a pan. Put the syrniki in the pan and fry them for roughly 4 minutes on one side until golden brown.

three golden brown syrniki pancakes cooking in black pan with grey counter top around.
Fry the other side as well.

Then flip the syrniki over and fry them for another 3 minutes with the lid on until they are fully cooked and golden brown on both sides.

The exact time required can vary depending on the thickness of the syrniki.

three golden brown cheese pancakes on white plate with whole strawberries dipped in cream beside.
Now it’s time to serve the syrniki.

Serve the syrniki with jam, sour cream, berries or other fruit of your choice.

Storage Tips

These cheese pancakes taste best when they are fresh. You can store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for around 2-3 days. You can pan fry them again to reheat.

You can also freeze syrniki for 2-3 months.

FAQ

Here are some common answers to questions about Syrniki.

What are Syrniki?

Syrniki – also known as tvorozhniki in Russia or Syrnyky in Ukrainian – are cheese pancakes. Made from curded cheese, these pancakes are slightly sweet, slightly crumbly, and often fried in oil before being served with jam, sour cream, or fruit!

What is the main ingredient in Syrniki pancakes?

The main ingredient in Syrniki pancakes is a curd cheese such as tvorog. In North America, Farmer’s Cheese or cottage cheese is often used.

How to make Syrniki?

To make these syrniki, drain the cottage cheese and push through a strainer to create an airy texture. Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl. Shape the dough into circles with a cutter or by hand and fry in oil until golden brown on both sides.

Related Recipes

If you loved these Syrniki, you might also enjoy these other Russian recipes – some sweet, some savory!

stack of three cottage cheese pancakes on white plate with strawberries around.

Syrniki (Cheese Pancakes)

Syrniki – these delicious cheese pancakes – are slightly sweet and fried to perfection. Made with cottage cheese, these pancakes can be served with jam, syrup, or fruit!
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cottage cheese, drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  • You can buy cottage cheese without liquid, but if it is in whey (the liquid), it must be drained. It is also better to squeeze the cottage cheese to remove excess moisture. Then rub the cottage cheese through a sieve to get a very soft and airy texture. It may seem easier to do this through a blender, but don't do it – the blender will give it a sticky, viscous texture that will require more flour.
    2 cups cottage cheese
  • Transfer the "grated" cottage cheese to a bowl. Then add the eggs, flour, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt.
    2 eggs, 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Mix thoroughly with a large spoon to obtain a homogeneous, sticky mass.
  • Sprinkle a cutting board or table with flour so that the dough does not stick. Cut off a small ball of dough. Using a cup or a metal ring, shape a perfectly round syrnik. If it is too high, gently press it down with your palm. Repeat until you have used up all of the dough.
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan. Put the syrniki in the pan and fry them for roughly 4 minutes on one side until golden brown. Then flip the syrniki over and fry them for another 3 minutes with the lid on until they are fully cooked and golden brown on both sides. The exact time required can vary depending on the thickness of the syrniki and your pan.
    3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Serve the syrniki with jam, sour cream, berries or other fruit of your choice.

Notes

  • Instead of cottage cheese, you can also use farmer’s cheese. However, you might have to reduce the amount of flour a little bit since farmer’s cheese has a lower moisture content. 
  • You can form a round syrniki with your hands, but then it will have a less accurate shape.
  • Do not add more flour, otherwise the syrniki will turn out too hard.
  • You can freeze syrniki for 2-3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 133mg | Sodium: 677mg | Potassium: 205mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 354IU | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 1mg

This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.

Course Breakfast
Cuisine Russian, Ukrainian
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This recipe was contributed by
Yuliia Stsepeleva
Yuliia was born in Ukraine and lived in Eastern Ukraine, close to Russia, for many years. Her experience makes her very familiar with both Ukrainian and Russian cuisine. She now lives in England, but still enjoys cooking Ukrainian dishes for her family.

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