plate with pancakes and strawberries next to fake flowers
Yogurt pancake cake for Shavuot or Mother's Day (Photo/Faith Kramer)

Perfect pink pancake cake for Mother’s Day or Shavuot

Here’s a recipe that’s pretty in pink and makes a great brunch entrée or dessert for Mother’s Day on May 9 — or for Shavuot a week later.

It’s a “pancake cake” that stacks up fluffy, tangy pancakes with a creamy, slightly sweet, strawberry cream-cheese filling (and lots of fresh strawberries!).

Shavuot is an ancient wheat harvest holiday that celebrates the giving of the Torah, and one of the traditions is to eat wheat and dairy, which is why this recipe is perfect. This year, it is observed from sundown May 16 through sundown May 18.

To serve this dish as individual pancakes instead of one large cake, simply reduce the pancake size to ¼ cup of batter.

Yogurt Pancake Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese

Serves 4 to 6


Yogurt pancakes

  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups plain yogurt (not Greek style)
  • 4 Tbs. melted butter, divided
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest, optional

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl until well combined.

Separate eggs, putting yolks in a large bowl and whites in a small one. Beat yolks then add yogurt, 2 Tbs. butter, vanilla extract and zest. Mix well. Stir flour into the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. (Do not over mix; lumpy is OK).

Whisk the egg whites until very foamy. Fold into the batter and stir gently to combine.

Lightly brush a skillet with melted butter. Heat over medium heat. Pour 1 cup batter into the middle of the pan. Use a spoon to scrape out all the batter from the measuring cup and to shape the pancake into a 6-inch to 7-inch round.

Cook about 3 to 4 minutes, until bottom is browned, top is set and small bubbles are beginning to appear (adjust heat as needed). Use 2 spatulas to carefully flip pancake. Use spatula to push any batter splats or drips back into the pancake. Cook about 1 to 2 minutes, until bottom is brown. Move pancake to a cooling rack. Repeat 3 more times, adding more butter to pan as needed.

Once they are cooled, use them or wrap them. To store, wrap airtight between layers of wax paper. Refrigerate up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before using.


  • 16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature (see note)
  • 2 Tbs. strawberry jam
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (sift if lumpy)

Put cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Beat on high with electric mixer until very smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add jam, mix on medium until incorporated. Add sugar. Mix on medium until frosting is smooth and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Use or refrigerate sealed airtight for up to 1 day. Return to room temperature. Stir well before using.

Note: Use 2 “bricks” of 8-oz. foil-packed cream cheese.

Cake assembly

  • Yogurt pancakes, room temperature
  • Frosting, room temperature
  • 2 cups thinly sliced strawberries
  • 6 large, whole strawberries
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh mint

Place 1 pancake on serving plate. Spread ½ cup of frosting on top almost to the edge of the pancake. Top with one third of the sliced strawberries. Repeat with next 2 layers. Place the fourth pancake on top. Spread with remaining frosting.

Slice each whole strawberry into two long halves. Arrange on top of cake. Scatter mint on top. Cut with a long, serrated knife to serve. Make up to 2 hours ahead.

To make in advance, omit mint. Store in refrigerator on a plate with a large bowl flipped upside down to enclose cake (or use a cake keeper). Refrigerate up to 1 day. Remove from the refrigerator 45 minutes to 1 hour before serving. Garnish with mint.

Faith Kramer
Faith Kramer

Faith Kramer is a Bay Area food writer and the author of “52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen.” Her website is Contact her at [email protected].