Cheese latkes are nothing like the latkes you may be familiar with for Hanukkah, but they are definitely one you need to try. More like ricotta pancakes, they’re gently sweet and delicious any time.
If you’re a regular here, you’ve probably seen me mention at some point how I find it fascinating how similar dishes can exist in many cultures. The same basic ingredients come together in much the same way, miles apart.
Some are recipes that traveled with immigrants and evolved, others emerged independently. These cheese latkes might surprise you by being different from what you might expect.
Cheese latkes are actually the more traditional, original latkes. The more familiar potato latkes are a more recent creation.
Both, of course, are similar to other dishes, and these are most like ricotta pancakes. I did, in fact, see some recipes using ricotta in here, but I believe the more traditional use cottage cheese or farmer’s cheese.
To me, this makes more sense since these are sometimes called Hungarian cheese latkes, or kaese latke, and that kind of cheese is more popular in that region.
How to make cheese latkes
I found the easiest way to make these was to put everything in the food processor and mix it up. Then take tablespoons of the mixture and fry in small batches until golden on both sides, just a few minutes.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can mix this by hand, and if so I’d suggest blending the wet ingredients first before adding the dry. You’re looking for a relatively thick mixture, that may still have the odd lumps of cheese but otherwise combined.
As with many pancakes, the first few may not cook quite as well as later batches, so consider them a practice round. They’ll still taste as good, though, so they are perfect for testing as you cook the rest. Just an idea, of course.
If your pan is non-stick, you will only need to gently brush oil over as you start. For pans that are not non-stick, you may need to brush a little more now and then as you go.
How do you serve cheese latkes?
You can serve these pancakes with syrup, cinnamon sugar or with some jam and sour cream. They are gently sweet so are best served with sweeter toppings rather than savory.
These cheese latkes might be a traditional Hanukkah food, but to be honest I could snack on them any time, as could my younger son. Light, smooth and gently sweet they’re tasty little bites.
Cheese latkes are a traditional Hanukkah food, but they're great any time. Light, smooth and gently sweet, they're tasty little bites.
- 2 oz cream cheese 55g (approx 1/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese 8 tbsp
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour 70g plain flour
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Put everything in a food processor and blend so they are well combined but still with a little bit of texture.
Warm a medium-large skillet or griddle over a medium heat and brush lightly with oil. Drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture on to the pan spreading out slightly in to circles with the back of the spoon. Only cook around 4-6 at a time to save overcrowding the pan.
Cook for around 2-3 minutes on the first side until you can see it starting to brown slightly around the edge. Flip over then cook another minute or two on the other side. Both sides should be a nice golden brown.
Repeat with the rest of the mixture then serve with cinnamon sugar, maple syrup or jam and sour cream, as you prefer.
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