How to make Russian Pancakes: Oladi

How to make Russian Pancakes: Oladi

Photo by: Lena Tzivekis

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Philadelphia, PARussian Pancakes - It’s no secret food has the power to bring people together. Growing up, my mom would cook dinner for my family every single night. Sadly, long gone are the days where the five of us would gather around the table, sharing a meal superior to anything you could eat at a restaurant, as we often told our mom.

Recipe For The Best Oladi Russian Pancakes

And as our individual lives grew busier with school and work, the only time of the week we all managed to be in the same place at the same time was at home, on Sunday morning.

Knowing this, at least every other week, my mom would wake up extra early and prepare Oladi, or as we called them, Russian pancakes. The sweet aroma of these fluffy, fried pancakes filled the house and was often what woke my brothers and me up in the morning. My mom never fried anything in the house, but these were a special exception. For us, oladi truly represented what a pancake should be: a pillowy cake fried on a pan. They were slightly sweet enough that you could eat them plain, but we would still drizzle syrup over the top or even sweetened condensed milk, the Russian way.

In my opinion, old-fashioned flapjacks have no competition when it comes to oladi. You don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself, and you may never resort to boxed pancake mix again!


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 ½ cups buttermilk (room temp)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)
  • Sweetened condensed milk for serving (optional)
  • Sour cream for serving (optional)


Step 1- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Whisk until combined.

Step 2 – Add buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract to dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Be careful not to overmix.

Step 3 - Heat a nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil into the pan and heat the oil. Fill the batter into a ¼ cup measuring cup and add it into the skillet for each pancake. Cook until bubbles form on the surface of the pancake, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the other side, for 2 to 3 minutes more. Pancakes should appear golden brown on the edges, and light brown in the center.

Step 4 – Serve with sweetened condensed milk, fresh fruit, or sour cream, and enjoy.

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ETLena Tzivekis
My name is Elena Tzivekis and I love to write about places, and talking about some of the coffee shops in the Philly area!

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