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Russian Blini Recipe

Blinis are similar to a crepe that is thick, slightly chewy and has a gorgeous lacy appearance from the yeast in the batter. This yummy Russian treat can be enjoyed both savory or sweet and makes a fantastic breakfast, snack or even dinner if you wish.

If this sounds amazing to you, you’ll love some of my pancake recipes, like this cottage cheese pancake, my Dutch baby pancakes, and—of course—my Russian buttermilk pancake recipe!

Stack of blinis on a plate with a fork.

The Versatility of Russian Crepes

I will forever love crepes for their versatility. They can be filled, dipped, rolled and topped with both savory and sweet fillings. But there is a special place in my heart for these chewy and thick type of Russian crepes that are so commonly made in Russia and Ukraine.

The yeast in the batter gives these Russian crepes an incredible aroma, similar to what you smell when you cut a fresh loaf of bread. You just want to put your face close to it and inhale all that amazing scent. Yum!

Lacey, thick blini crepes folded with salmon and sour cream on a plate.

How to Serve This Russian Blini Recipe

As this Russian blini recipe produces extra-thick crepes, they work very well with any traditional crepe dipping sauce. My personal favorite is sweetened sour cream.  A good jam will not hurt of course, but sweetened sour cream is where my heart at when it comes to this Russian blini recipe. That’s probably because it’s how I ate them growing up—it brings back all the memories every time!

Traditionally, however, these blinis are typically served with more savory toppings. The most common things to pair this Russian blini recipe with are caviar or smoked salmon. By the way – did you know you can make awesome smoked salmon without a smoker?

Here’re our favorites in a list: 

  • Sweetened sour cream or crepe fresh
  • Jam or preserves
  • Sweetened Condensed milk
  • Nutella + Bananas+ Almonds OR Nutella + Strawberries
  • Butter and sugar
  • With sweetened tvorog (farmer’s cheese)
  • Sour cream and caviar
  • smoked salmon without a smoker, dill and sour cream Thank

Russian blini recipe made with smoked salmon and topped with dill and sour cream

How to Make Blinis

*For detailed recipe instructions see the recipe card bottom of the post.

This yummy treat can be whipped up first thing in the morning. While the dough proofs, enjoy a cup of coffee or an episode of your favorite show, then come back and finish this easy recipe.

Blini Ingredients

As you can see, the ingredients for blini are easy to find and likely items you already have in your cupboard.

Blini ingredients layed out on a counter such as milk, sugar, flour, oil, and yeast

How to Make Blini Batter

  • Mix together warm milk, sugar, and yeast and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Add in the egg, flour, and salt and whisk until smooth.
  • Cover the bowl and allow the yeast to proof.

Visual step by step directions for making blini batter

How to Make the Blinis

  • Preheat a skillet until appropriately warm, and add butter to it.
  • Using a spoon, add the mixture to the pan until the entire pan is coated.
  • Cook, then flip with a spatula and allow the other side to cook.
  • Transfer to a plate and make the next blini until all the batter is used.

Visual step by step directions of making blinis in a pan

How to Fill Your Blini

Blinis can be filled with almost anything. My favorite ways to enjoy them are sweet (sweetened sour cream and jam) or savory (caviar or smoked salmon).

Visual step by step directions for filling blinis with smoke salmon.

Make ahead blinis 

The batter can’t be prepared ahead of time because the yeast will no longer be active if it has to be kept for too long.

But, you can cook the crepes, cool them, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Remove from the fridge a couple of hours before serving to bring to room temp, or microwave until slightly warm and serve.

To freeze, separate each crepe with a layer of parchment paper, then tightly cover and freeze. Transfer to the fridge overnight to thaw. Then, microwave to warm up before serving.

Close up of a stack of Russian crepes on a plate with a fork.

 

More Crepe recipes:

 

Blini Recipe

Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin
Course: Appetizer, Dessert, Entree
Cuisine: Russian
Keyword: Blini Recipe
Calories: 114 kcal
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 crepes

Ingredients

Blini Recipe

To grease the skillet while cooking crepes

  • 1 tbsp cold butter

Instructions

How to make Blini batter

  1. Mix 2 cups of warm (under 90F) milk with 1 Tbsp of sugar, and 1/2 tsp of yeast and allow to sit for about 10 minutes.

  2. Then, add 1 egg and 1 1/2 cups of flour and 1 tsp of salt. Place the whisk in the middle and slowly start to whisk the mixture into a smooth batter. If you try to keep your whisk only in the middle of the mixture and allow the flour naturally to come towards the middle to be whisked, you will have a smooth batter with no lumps. Lastly, add 2 tbsp of oil and whisk until smooth once more.

    If you still ended up with flour lumps in the batter, pour the batter through a sieve to remove them.

  3. Cover the mixture with a tea towel and set it into the oven with the light on (do not turn on the heat) or any other warm, draft-free place for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. During this time the mixture should form a foamy top. Stir the batter and preheat your skillet for cooking crepes.

How to cook the Blinis

  1. Preheat an 8-inch skillet over medium heat until it's thoroughly heated and you can feel the hotness of the pan if you hover the palm of your hand about 2 inches above the skillet.

    Pierce 1 tbsp of cold butter with a fork, then quickly grease the bottom of the pan with the butter.

    Next, using a 1/4 cup measuring spoon pour the batter in the middle of the pan and swirl it to cover the bottom completely. Cook for several minutes until the top is no longer wet. Then, using a spatula carefully flip the crepe and cook on the other side for a couple more minutes. Transfer to a plate.

    Continue cooking the crepes in this manner until all batter is used up. Do stir the batter throughout cooking so the flour doesn't settle in the middle.

Recipe Notes

To store the crepes - Allow the crepes to cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. 
When ready to serve either bring them to room temperature beforehand, or pop the plate with the crepes into the microwave. 

Nutrition Facts
Blini Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 114 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 18mg6%
Sodium 121mg5%
Potassium 80mg2%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 86IU2%
Calcium 50mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Bon Appetit & Happy Pinning

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Originally published in December of 2012 this recipe was updated in February 2020.

Marina | Let the Baking Begin

Welcome to Let the Baking Begin! I'm Marina and my love and passion for eating only the most delicious foods drive me to share that love here on Let the Baking Begin (since 2009). With over 20 years of experience in the kitchen, you know the recipes are tested and retested until perfect. I'm so happy to have you here. Enjoy! Read more...

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  • feexPlailiams

    Bravo, your idea it is brilliant

    · Reply
  • Mia

    Marinka you didn’t make it up. I remember, I used to come often to your house and your mom used to make blinis’ very similar to these. The recipe was a little bit different.

    · Reply
    • Thank you Mila! I knew it wasn’t me))))

      · Reply
  • feexPlailiams

    Now that’s something like it!

    · Reply
  • feexPlailiams

    On mine, it not the best variant

    · Reply
  • Mila

    My family and I loved this recepie.

    · Reply
    • Thanks for the feedback! Appreciate it much!

      · Reply

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