Whenever I’m on the road exploring a new city, I love turning to Instagram to help guide my way, so when I saw these incredibly beautiful pancakes at a coffee shop called Proud Mary in Portland’s artsy district of Alberta, I knew I had to check them out. Visually stunning for sure, but the best surprise was the taste and texture. I broke into the crisp exterior and greeted a tender and light interior that exceeded all expectations for what a pancake could be. The edible flowers might have drawn me in, but one bite and I knew I absolutely had to track down this recipe.

Owner Nolan Hirte vividly remembers the inspiration for this pancake recipe. It was a ricotta hotcake he tried around 12 years ago at a tiny cafe in Perth, Australia. He recalls fresh orange slices married with Grand Marnier and fresh mascarpone on top of one of the lightest hotcakes he’s ever had. That experience blew his mind, and when he opened up the first Proud Mary restaurant, he knew he wanted something similar on his menu. The ricotta is the key to making these pancakes so incredibly light and airy. And taking the time to create a meringue is the added step that puts these pancakes over the top. Once he’d cracked the code, the rest is history.

Proud mary hotcake recipe

Courtesy of Barney Hannagan, Proud Mary

(Serves 3-4)


  • 4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cups ricotta
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 cups self-rising flour, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 5 Tablespoons ultrafine baker’s sugar


  • maple syrup
  • pumpkin seeds, chopped
  • sunflower seeds, chopped
  • chia seeds
  • flax seeds
  • blueberries
  • whipped cream
  • edible flowers
  • fresh mint leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit and preheat a 7-inch non-stick skillet so it’s warm.
  2. Add egg yolks, milk, ricotta, and vanilla into a stand-up mixer and mix slowly until combined but ricotta is still visible.
  3. Slowly fold sifted flour and salt into the ricotta mixture. Be careful not to overmix. Once the flour is combined, pour the batter into another mixing bowl and set aside. Clean the stand-up mixer.
  4. Add egg whites to the mixer and whisk on high for about five minutes or until they are just coming to a peak. Add sugar and keep whisking on high until a stiff peak is obtained.
  5. Gently fold the meringue into the ricotta batter.
  6. Pour about 1/4 of the batter into the warm skillet. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Repeat with remaining batter.
  7. Serve the hotcakes with maple syrup, seed mixture, blueberries, whipped cream, edible flowers, and fresh mint leaves.

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(Photos via Nicole Iizuka and Proud Mary)