Racuchy: Polish Apple Pancakes

Racuchy z Jabłkami

Racuchy (pronounced: rah-tsu-he; already plural) are a type of small thick pancake, made with yeast – or, like in this recipe – with a tiny addition of baking soda.  

‘Racuchy z Jabłkami’ are a popular variation. Filled with apples and lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar, are a hit among kids – even those with fussy taste buds. They were my guilty pleasure growing up, and I still enjoy them to this day.

For the full list of ingredients & detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. But before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know below.

There are quite a few versions of this recipe out there: from savoury (like those served for Christmas Eve supper in the Podlachia region), to sweet and fruity, enjoyed across the country. 

If you’re looking for more recipe ideas for Polish desserts with Apples, why not try Szarlotka or Jabłecznik next?

Do you need any special ingredients to make these Polish Apple Pancakes?

There are no fancy ingredients in this recipe. You can pick them up easily at most supermarkets. You’ll need 3-4 apples, flour, milk, baking soda, powdered sugar and some butter for frying.

Ingredients for Polish Apple Pancakes

In terms of tools, all you need is a box grater, large bowl and a skillet / frying pan.

What should you serve with these Polish Apple Pancakes?

Traditionally, Apple Racuchy are served with cream and lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar. 

Here’s a list of other popular toppings:

  • Powdered sugar (just a sprinkle!)
  • Sweetened fresh cream or thick yoghurt, also whipped
  • Custard
  • Fruit jam, applesauce, fruit pieces.
  • Honey or maple syrup
  • Cinnamon (don’t overdo it!)
  • Chopped nuts (e.g. walnuts, hazelnuts)

Can you cook these Polish Apple Pancakes another way?

Yes., you can oven-bake Racuchy instead:

Preheat the oven to 356°F (180°C) Line a baking tray with parchment paper, brush the bottom with some melted butter. Scoop the batter using a 1/4 cup measure (roughly 3-4 tablespoons worth), creating evenly sized mounds. Use the back of a spoon to spread Racuchy out. Bake for about 15 minutes until the centres are firm.

Some recipes for these Polish-style Apple Pancakes contain yeast rather than baking powder. As soon as I try them, I’ll let you know :)

What diets are these Polish Apple Pancakes suitable for?

These Racuchy are vegetarian. To make them gluten-free, you could experiment with a gluten-free flour, although I haven’t tested it myself.

How long can you keep these Polish Apple Pancakes in the fridge?

Once served, you can keep Racuchy out for up to 3 hours – less if you’ve topped them with cream. 

Personally, I recommend only making enough batter for what you are planning to fry. You can store fried Racuchy in the fridge (for a day or two) and just reheated them in a microwave – but they taste best straight off the frying pan. 

If you happen to have any leftovers, place the pancakes in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze these Polish Apple Pancakes?

Yes, you can – although as I mentioned above, it only makes sense if you have some Racuchy left over. Don’t make them in advance with an intention to freeze.

Place all Racuchy on a tray or a cookie sheet. They should be close together but not touching. Put them in a freezer for an hour or so. After that time you can move them into a freezer-friendly resealable bag. Remember to label the bag with the date and type of product. Consume within 3 months.

How do I reheat these Polish Apple Pancakes?

From chilled:  In a microwave, reheat Racuchy for around 20-30 seconds (for one pancake), and for around 50-60 seconds (for five). 

Alternatively, preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC, cover Racuchy with foil (that will prevent them from getting dry). Bake for around 8-10 minutes until soft and warm again.

From frozen: You don’t have to thaw Racuchy in advance. To reheat them in a microwave, place the pancakes on a microwave-friendly plate. It takes around 30 seconds for one, and around 1 minute for five. The time will vary depending on their thickness and the power of your appliance. 

Another option is to reheat these Apple Pancakes in the oven. Preheat to 350ºF/180ºC, place Racuchy on a tray and cover with foil (otherwise they’ll get dry). Bake for around 10 minutes until warm.

More Tips, Tricks and Insights 

  • Resist the temptation to add more cinnamon (into the batter) than specified in the recipe. One time, I added a bit too much and its flavour overpowered the apples.
  • Experiment with the size of the apple pieces. If you keep them in chunks (rather than grating), the apple flavour will be more profound.
  • When pouring the batter onto the frying pan, keep the pancakes as thin as possible. That way they’re more likely to cook all the way through.
Racuchy z Jabłkami - Polish Apple Pancakes with no yeast

Racuchy z Jabłkami: Polish Apple Pancakes

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Also known as: "Placki z Jabłkami". Soft and fluffy apple pancakes, a hit among youngsters. Perfect for breakfast, dessert or a quick snack. So quick & easy to make - no yeast is needed!

Ingredients

For racuchy

  • 4 large apples (30 oz, 850 g)
  • 3 cups (350-400 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (20 g) powdered / icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 0.5 teaspoon (2-3 g) baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups (500 ml) whole milk
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter; for frying, can be substituted with canola oil

For the topping (optional)

  • 1 cup (250 ml) cream 18%
  • 1 teaspoon powdered/icing sugar, can be substituted with honey

For sprinkling

  • extra powdered/icing sugar; for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Peel the apples. Grab each apple by the top and the bottom of the core and grate it using large holes. You could also grate only half of the apples and slice the other half into tiny cubes instead. Squeeze the juice out of the grated apples and set aside.
  2. Grab a large bowl. Sift in the flour, powdered sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Gradually pour in the milk, whisking as you go.
  4. Add 2 eggs and keep on whisking. Mix everything together well. The batter should be smooth and ideally lump-free.
  5. Add grated/sliced apples to the batter and combine everything together with a spatula.
  6. Grease the frying pan with clarified butter (regular butter tends to burn, but you can use canola oil instead). Set it on a medium heat.
  7. Using a small ladle (or just a regular tablespoon), pour the batter onto the frying pan and form a small pancake. Make sure the pancake isn't too thick! Repeat until you're out of space on the pan.
  8. Fry the pancakes for 2-3 min on each side until golden.
  9. Repeat until you're out of batter. Keep them warm in a low oven as you go (optional).
  10. Serve warm or cold. Top with cream (sweetened with powdered sugar) or just sprinkle them with powdered sugar.

Notes

Recipe adapted from "Kuchnia Polska" by dr. Stanisław Berger 1969 p.505

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 3
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 309Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 1151mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 2gSugar: 17gProtein: 6g
Illustration of the Polish Apple Pancakes Recipe
Illustration: Kasia Kronenberger
Kasia Kronenberger

Kasia Kronenberger changes the (often unfavourable) perceptions of Polish food through digital storytelling. She creates purpose-led, bite-sized videos, exploring her cultural identity through food. As a self-taught home cook, Kasia enjoys trying out recipes from old Polish cookbooks. She’s keen of all things smoked or fermented.


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Polish name:
Pronunciation:
Cuisine: Polish
Region / Subregion: all-Polish
Other traditional or regional names:
Also known as (including misspellings): Racuszki