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Russian cheese pancakes

What could be better in a gloomy autumn day than a cozy Sunday breakfast with the whole family? This is the moment when the whole family gathers at the table and enjoys home-made food without fuss and haste. In Russian families the most popular Sunday breakfast dishes include pancakes, fritters and syrniki or cheese pancakes. Cheese pancakes are also a perfect afternoon snack and kids love them.

Then why are syrniki called cheese pancakes if they are cooked from curd? The thing is that in many Slavic countries (syrniki is a Slavic dish) cheese and curd still mean the same thing. This has changed in Russia only recently. With the appearance of cheese-making industries the differentiation between curd and cheese became definite. The primary product from which cheese is made has become known as “curd”.

The origin of curd is very hard to identify. Logically, it came into Russian cuisine with the formation of cattle breeding and development of dairy production. In Rus’ the curd was cooked very simply. Sour milk was put in a cold oven and left for some time, then the mixture was strained to remove the excess liquid, and finally put under the press. This well-pressed curd could be stored in a cool cellar for quite a long time.

It is unknown who was the author of the syrniki recipe. Perhaps, it was some inventive housewife who decided to add curd to pastry. Nowadays cheese pancakes are hugely popular. They are served in cafes and restaurants, they are loved equally by children and adults. There are a great variety of syrniki recipes which differ in the list and amount of ingredients, presence or absence of filling. In some Slavic countries all cheese casseroles are still called syrniki.

We offer the simplest and the fastest recipe of cheese pancakes so that you could cook an enjoyable breakfast for your family.


  • 1-1.2 lb cottage cheese

  • 1 egg

  • 1 Tbsp sugar

  • vanilla sugar

  • 2 Tbsp flour

  • 1 Tbsp semolina

  • melted butter (or vegetable oil)

  • sour cream or jam for serving


Mix the cottage cheese, egg, flour, semolina, salt and sugar into a soft dough. You can use a blender. Leave for a while in the fridge. This is needed to ensure that the semolina and flour have separated. Then make small balls from the dough, roll in flour and flatten.

Fry the syrniki in hot oil until golden brown on each side. Serve hot with sour cream, jam or honey.

Bon appetite!