How to Make Babo Detroit’s Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Make the delicious breakfast item fro the popular Midtown eatery at home with this recipe.
Photograph by Rebecca Simonov.

Kris Lelcaj, the owner of Babo Detroit, the all-day diner in Midtown, named the eatery after his father “babo,” which is slang for “dad” in Albanian. Their menu is made up of “artisanal takes on comfort food classics” like eggs Benedict, and avocado toast along with burgers, chicken sandwiches, cheesesteak and more.

Their lemon ricotta pancakes are made with a blend of fresh ricotta, lemon zest, blueberries and Michigan maple syrup. Learn how to make this delightful breakfast item with this easy-to-follow recipe.


  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 3 cups ricotta
  • 6 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1⁄4 cup lemon zest
  • 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Lemon zest, blueberries, and maple syrup for serving


  1. Add the buttermilk, ricotta, eggs, butter, and lemon zest to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add this dry mixture to the wet, and slowly fold until fully incorporated, being careful not to overwork the batter.
  2. Melt a small amount of butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Using
    a ladle, scoop a portion of batter into the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes on the first side. Carefully flip and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes on the second side. Repeat until you have used all the batter.
  3. Serve with fresh lemon zest, blueberries, and maple syrup and enjoy!

Babo Detroit is located at 15 E. Kirby St., Suite 115, Detroit. Call 313-974-6159 or for more information — and be sure to check out the recipes section at for even more copycat recipes including how to make The Morrie’s Kung Pao Cauliflower and One-Eyed Betty’s Chicken Tchoupitoulas.  

This story is from the January 2023 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more in our digital edition