Racuchy: Polish Apple Pancakes

Racuchy / Racuszki z Jabłkami

‘Racuchy z Jabłkami’, those sweet little Polish-style Apple Pancakes, were definitely a guilty pleasure growing up. I have to admit, it’s been decades since I last enjoyed one – until this recipe came along.

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.

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

There are quite a few different versions out there: from savoury (like those served for Christmas Eve supper in the Podlachia region), to sweet and fruity, enjoyed across the country. Filled with apples and sprinkled with powdered sugar, they’re a hit among kids – even those with fussy taste buds.

Apple Racuchy (Polish Apple Pancakes), served with fresh apple slices, fresh cream and sprinkled with sugar

If you’re looking for more recipe ideas for Polish desserts with Apples, why not try one of those classics?

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. In terms of tools: kitchen grater, a large bowl and a frying pan is enough.

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 all the 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 centers are firm.

Some recipes for these Polish-style Apple Pancakes contain yeast rather than baking powder. As soon as I try one of 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. I’ve held cooked Racuchy in the fridge (for a day or two) and just reheated them in a microwave – but they never tasted as good as fresh ones straight off the frying pan. 

But if you happen to have any leftovers, place them 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 racuchy’s 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.

Smacznego!

Polish apple pancakes - Racuchy z jabłkami - served on a white plate, topped with cream, powdered sugar and apple slices. Vertical image.
Polish apple pancakes - Racuchy z jabłkami - served on a white plate, topped with cream, powdered sugar and apple slices. Vertical image.

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

  • 3 cups (350-400g) All-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (500ml)whole milk
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 3.5 tbsp (50g) baking soda
  • 3-4 medium apples
  • 2 tsp (5g) powdered sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 tbsp clarified butter (for frying)

For the topping

  • 250ml (1 cup) cream 18%
  • 1 tsp powdered sugar (optional)
  • powdered sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Peel the apples. Grab each apple by the top and the bottom of the core and grate it on the large holes.Set aside.
  2. Get a large bowl. Sift the flour. Gradually pour in the milk, mixing together with a whisk (fork will work as well).
  3. Add eggs, baking soda, powdered sugar, a pinch of salt and the cinnamon (optionally). Mix everything together well. The batter should be smooth, silky and ideally lump-free.
  4. Add grated apples to the batter, blend together.
  5. Grease the frying pan with clarified butter (or substitute with canola oil). Set it on a medium heat.
  6. Using a small ladle (or just a regular tablespoon), pour the batter onto the frying pan and form a small pancake. Make sure it isn't too thick! Repeat until you're out of space :)
  7. Fry the pancakes for 2-3 min on each side until golden.
  8. Repeat until you're out of batter. Keep them warm in a low oven as you go (optional).
  9. Serve warm or cold. Top with cream, sprinkle 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

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Illustrated recipe for Polish Apple Pancakes ("Racuchy z jabłkami ") drawn by Kasia Kronenberger
Illustration: Kasia Kronenberger

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Kasia Kronenberger Polish food blogger

Cześć, I’m Kasia.

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