Kefir Pancakes, called Oladi (Оладики) is a Russian breakfast favorite. Crispy on the outside, yet still fluffy and tasty on the inside! If you like buttermilk pancakes, you'll love Kefir Pancakes!
Kefir Pancakes are a Slavic breakfast staple, smaller in size than American pancakes. I always remember eating it at the summer dacha (like a Russian cabin in the woods), usually with fresh berries and cream. It's easy to make for breakfast, and something different if you're looking for a new pancake recipe.
What is Kefir?
Kefir is a fermented milk drink, full of probiotics. It's different from yogurts because the it's made from kefir grains. It has the consistency of a thin yogurt, has a slightly sour taste, and is a tiny bit fizzy.
Originating in the Northern Caucasus and spreading throughout Russia and the former Soviet Union. Kefir is part of the Russian diet, and not some new hipster trend like Oat milk (sorry Oat milk fans). 🤣
This is an easy 'made from scratch' Oladi recipe, with one difference, Kefir. As mentioned, Kefir is a probiotic filled, fermented yogurt like product that is incredibly healthy and part of the Russian diet.
Oladi aren't as sweet as many pancake recipes. This is due to the tanginess of the Kefir and the less sugar used when comparing to other pancake recipes. If you like sweeter pancakes, add an extra tablespoon of sugar to the batter.
Ingredients for Kefir Pancakes
Like many Russian recipes, the ingredients are simple. You probably have them all already in your pantry and don't need to go shopping to prepare this recipe.
- Kefir - tangy and fermented probiotic drink
- Eggs - to keep the ingredients together
- Oil - Sunflower or Canola - for the batter and frying
- All Purpose Flour - can also use wheat flour or even buckwheat flour
- Baking Powder - helps the batter rise
- Baking Soda - makes it super fluffy
- White Sugar
Kefir can be found in most supermarkets these days, or you can make your own kefir at home using kefir grains. However, sometimes you might not have it available, so here are some substitutions.
- Buttermilk - equally interchangeable with Kefir
- Greek Yogurt and milk - use 1-¼ cups of natural yogurt with ½ cup of milk
- Whey - if making Farmer's Cheese, save the whey for pancakes
How to Make Kefir Pancakes
So this is the easy part, make them just like you would make regular pancakes.
- Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl
- Make a well, add eggs, kefir and oil, whisk until lump free
- Heat oil in frying pan, spoon 2 tablespoons batter to make a Kefir pancake
- Cook until bubbles appear, then flip over until golden brown
- Only flip them once, and serve right away
What to Serve with Kefir Pancakes?
I love the classics, and eating them in the traditional Russian style, with homemade Smetana or Sour Cream. Honestly, you can use the same toppings as you enjoy Blini Crepes with, or your favorite pancake toppings.
- homemade sour cream and fresh berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries)
- jam, like blueberry or strawberry
- whipped cream and fresh raspberries
- drizzled with honey
- spread with caramel sauce
- nutella, peanut butter and bananas, chocolate sauce....
- maple syrup, of course!
- For sweeter Kefir Pancakes, add an extra tablespoon of sugar to the batter
- Batter should have consistency of a thick cream, add extra tablespoon of flour if you need it thicker
- Mix in some fruit into the batter - like diced apples or fresh blueberries
- If you're feeling naughty, mix in some chocolate chips!
Breakfast Recipes You'll Love
- Syrniki - Cheese Pancakes
- Blini - Russian Crepes
- Mannaya Kasha - Russian Cream of Wheat
- Stuffed Breakfast Crepes with Bacon and Egg
- Buckwheat Porridge Kasha
Don't buy pancake mix from the store, it's so easy to make homemade pancakes with Kefir. You'll love this healthier Russian breakfast staple - Oladi, like eating at babushka's kitchen. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 1¾ cups kefir whey, buttermilk or milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 cups flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- oil for frying
- In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt.
- Create a well in the centre, and add the kefir, eggs, and oil and slowly whisk until smooth and most of the lumps are gone.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Make sure the frying pan is hot. Add about 2 tablespoons of batter to make each pancake. You should fit 3-4 pancakes in a large trying pan.
- Cook the pancakes until bubbles appear on the pancakes and a few of them have burst. The trick is to get as many bubbles bursting as you can without burning the pancakes.
- Carefully flip the pancake to cook the other side until golden brown. Remove pancakes to a plate or on a tray in a warmed oven. Add more oil and repeat process with the remaining batter.
- Serve with fresh berries, jam and sour cream.