The ultimate guide to cooking syrniki (RECIPE)

Ideal syrniki.

Ideal syrniki.

Victoria Drey
These culinary secrets will help to hone your syrniki game to perfection.

Syrniki – aka Russian cottage cheese pancakes – are one of the most beloved national breakfasts. With just five ingredients and 20 minutes you’ll have a second-to-none morning dish with a signature sweetish cheesy texture. Despite seeming quite easy, however, there are some points and steps in the recipe that you must pay attention to. Otherwise, your syrniki can easily lose the shape, or taste more like pastry instead of having the desired unique cheesy consistency.

I spent years improving my syrniki skills and finally developed an ideal formula. Just follow these simple tips, and enjoy the most authentic and scrumptious syrniki that you’ll ever taste.

1. Proper tvorog base

Tvorog – or some type of cottage cheese /curd – is the key to ideal syrniki. Firstly, it should be quite dry and not too moist so that the syrniki hold their shape while cooking. It is also important to use tvorog with a creamy consistency.  So, if you have grained cottage cheese, make sure to pass it through a sieve or work it with a blender. Another tip – make the dough with cold tvorog straight from the fridge because this also influences the proper syrniki shape. 

2. Less flour is more

Syrniki are known for their signature cheesy texture; so, one important point in the cooking process is not to go overboard with the flour. Add 1 heaped-tablespoon of flour per 200 g tvorog, or cottage cheese, and enjoy the ultimate syrniki consistency.

3. Yolks for eggs

Egg white makes the dough too liquid – so adding just yolk instead of a full egg into the dough is one of the key secrets of ideally shaped syrniki. Moreover, if you make a double portion of syrniki, double all the ingredients, except the yolk – one is always enough. 

4. Baking instead of frying

The right cooking technique is very important. If frying syrniki on high heat, they quickly burn on the surface but stay raw inside. They need to be baked, and you can actually “bake” syrniki right on a pan: just cook them covered with the lid on low-medium heat for around 7 minutes on each side. This way syrniki are well-cooked and slightly golden-brown on the sides.

5. Sugar lastly

Or not sweeten the dough at all. The point is that adding sugar gives the dough extra moisture, which is one of the factors that cause syrniki to lose their shape. That’s why I recommend adding 1 tablespoon of sugar. This should be the very last step just before shaping syrniki, and then sweeten the cooked ones with various toppings such as sour cream, jams, condensed milk, powdered sugar and others.


  • 200 g tvorog / cottage cheese
  • 1 yolk
  • 1 heaped tbsp wheat / rice flour + some for shaping
  • 2 tsps sugar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • pinch of salt


1. In a bowl mix tvorog, yolk and salt with a fork.

2. Add flour and mix again until you get a smooth thick consistency. Leave the dough in the fridge for 5 minutes to set. Finally, add sugar right before shaping your syrniki.

3. Generously dust your cooking surface with flour and separate the dough into 5 equal pieces. Working with one at a time, first round the dough into a ball, then slightly flatten it and shape into a patty with even edges.

4. When you are done with all the dough pieces, place syrniki on a pan with a small amount of flavorless vegetable oil on low-medium heat. Cover with a lid and cook for around 7 minutes on one side or until the bottoms become slightly golden.

5. Then reduce the heat to low, and cook covered on the other side for 5 minutes or so.

6. Let your syrniki cool to room temperature and serve with your favorite toppings – I prefer sour cream and strained strawberry. Priyatnogo appetita!

READ MORE: Baked apples: Master the healthiest Russian-style breakfast (RECIPE)

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