Recipe: Special Day Pancakes

This recipe is for adventure seekers, for those bold in life and at the table. The Special Day Pancake is a thin, half-custard/half-crêpe alternative to the cakey, mile-high flapjack you may be familiar with. Around my mom’s house, these are made on Christmas morning (or any number of other special occasions), and served up with a big plate of crispy bacon, fresh-cut cantaloupe, and, just... mimosas for days.

Growing up, I never understood what made my mom’s pancakes different than everyone else’s. I’m not talking she added, like, a pinch of nutmeg, or a handful of raspberries or anything like that. I mean that her pancakes were from another realm; they were a mysterious offering that, far as I was concerned, had been handed down to humans by a shiny, ageless being living on a mountain somewhere.

Don’t mishear me: I’m not saying these are better than any pancakes your parents ever made. I’m saying that these Special Day Pancakes are just another path to breakfast enlightenment.

When I was old enough to understand this concept that her ‘cakes were fundamentally a separate category than, say, my dad’s Sunday morning Bisquick batch, I asked her what was the deal. She told me it was a recipe her mother used to make for their family, and that the main ingredient was cottage cheese.

You can imagine my confusion. I had been scrumped! Cottage cheese in a pancake? Who does that?!*

When I got older still, old enough to begin cultivating a sense of food-culture-heritage, I called my mom up one morning to ask for the recipe. (I was a young and independent adult living on my own in the world and by god, I wanted to make my mommy’s pancakes!) To my great delight, she said the recipe called for only 4 ingredients﹘cottage cheese, oil, eggs, flourand that it was easy to memorize … JUST COUNT TO FOUR.

recipe for success: cottage cheese, oil, flour, eggs.

recipe for success: cottage cheese, oil, flour, eggs.

So, without further adieu, I, Jessica Zerbe, hereby pass along one of my most nostalgic childhood recipes to you, fair Reader. I hope that when you taste it, you say to yourself,

"Hmmmm. Wait ... what?"

just as I did in my youth, lo so many years ago.


Recipe Hack: "Just Count to Four"

1 --> cottage cheese

2 --> vegetable oil 

3 --> eggs

4 --> flour 



Okay … ingredients assembled. Recipe hacked. Let’s cook!

This recipe makes about 9 medium sized pancakes.

You will need:

  • 1 cup cottage cheese - (large or small curd. ain’t no matter.)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil - (or something similarly neutral-tasting.)
  • 3 eggs (large... or whatever.)
  • 4 tablespoons flour - (ap is good. no need to get fancy.)
  • butter or cooking spray - enough
  • champagne - a lot
  • orange juice - a splish
  • a blender
  • a skillet


Make a mimosa. Throw ingredients 1 through 4 in a blender and hit it until smooth. Drink mimosa. Meanwhile, get a frying pan or electric griddle warmed up (med-hi or approx 350 degrees). Refill 'mosa. Lay down some butter (or cooking spray) and pour the mixture out into silky little puddles of morning glory. Bottoms up/refill. Fry until golden on one side and flip. Repeat until done. 

EAT THESE PIPING HOT OFF THE SKILLET. I joked about it earlier, but berries do well in this recipe, if you are so inclined. Also, don’t forget the syrup.

Bon appétit!

This is the closest you get to seeing a final product. I was hungry.

This is the closest you get to seeing a final product. I was hungry.



*Genius people. That’s who.