Easy Blini Recipe (Russian Pancake)

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Russian Blini – these bite-sized pancakes make perfect appetizers! Top with smoked salmon or caviar to add a touch of luxury to your dinner or festive table. Follow my authentic blini recipe and never go back to store bought again!

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Stack of blini pancakes topped with sour cream and caviar

In collaboration with Attilus Caviar

Blini are a type of pancake made from wheat or sometimes buckwheat flour. Traditionally from Russia and the Ukraine, blini come in a variety of sizes and can be served in different ways.

I used the yeasted bite-sized version for my blini recipe. They take a little longer to prepare but they are incredibly delicious – perfect if you want to impress!

These cocktail pancakes are perfect for serving as appetizers – simply add your favorite toppings such as smoked salmon and caviar and serve with champagne or ice cold vodka.

Blini canapés with caviar and sour cream

How to make my Blini Recipe

Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page. Please take a look at the steps and video before attempting this recipe!

NOTE: I used rapid rise yeast (also known as “fastacting” or “instant rise”) in this recipe – the type used in bread machines. This type of yeast is typically mixed in with the flour and doesn’t require activating first. 

Combine melted butter, whole milk, cream, warm water and an egg yolk in a large bowl. It is best if all the liquid ingredients are at room temperature.

mixing blini batter in a bowl

Sift flour, yeast and sugar over the liquid ingredients and then use a balloon whisk to slowly combine until you have a smooth batter.

Making blini batter

Cover the bowl loosely with a cloth or plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm spot for 1-2 hours. The batter will have risen slightly and have bubbles over the surface after this time.

Blini batter after rise

Whisk the egg white and salt with a hand mixer until soft peaks form and then gently fold into the batter. 

whisking egg whites

Heat a non-stick frying pan and wipe with a little flavourless oil (you can also use clarified butter instead of oil or a cooking spray). You don’t want the pan to be greasy or full of oil, just enough so that the blini don’t stick. 

Add a tablespoon of batter per pancake and cook over medium heat until bubbles form on top and the surface appears dry.

Frying blini pancakes in a skillet

Flip over and cook on the other side until nicely coloured, this should only take a minute or so. Set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel while you use up the remaining batter. Do not stack to avoid them getting soggy. The blini can be kept at room temperature for an hour.

Serving your blini

Add a small dollop of sour cream on each little pancake and carefully top with a little caviar, or a small slice of smoked salmon. Sprinkle with finely chopped chives and serve immediately.

Can you freeze blini?

This recipe makes about 60 (!) bite-sized pancakes and you can easily freeze any cooked leftovers. Cool the blini completely then store in a container, separated by greaseproof paper.

Stack of blini with egg and caviar

Caviar Blini

I remember the first time I tasted caviar so distinctly. It was at a fancy dinner date with my then boyfriend (now husband), served over blini with ice-cold shots of vodka on the side. One bite and I was totally hooked!

I am quite tickled to finally recreate this sensational little canapé on the blog, several years since that memorable meal. 

What does caviar taste like?

upCaviar refers only to the cured eggs of certain species of sturgeon. While other fish eggs, such as salmon and trout, are sometimes termed as ‘caviar’ they are technically roe.

Caviar has a a delicate taste that is not easy to describe. While some people refer to caviar as ‘fishy’, this is far from my experience. 

Instead it has a subtle fresh aroma reminiscent of the sea and a buttery, sweet-briny flavour that fills your mouth as the small caviar grains pop. 

Attilus Caviar
Stack of blini pancakes topped with sour cream and caviar

Blini Recipe


Course: Appetizer / Party food

Cuisine: Russian

Keyword: Bini, Blini Recipe, Russian Blini

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 minutes

Proofing: 2 hours

Total Time: 14 minutes

Servings: 60 blini pancakes

Calories: 32kcal


To serve

  • Add a small dollop of sour cream on each little pancake and carefully top with a little caviar, about 1/4 of a teaspoon or a small piece of smoked salmon. Sprinkle with finely chopped chives and serve immediately. A



To make oven-poached quail eggs: Preheat the oven to 150°C (300° F). Spray a mini cupcake tin with cooking spray. Carefully crack one quail egg into each hole** and top with a little water. Bake for about 5 minutes until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Leave to cool in the muffin tin for 3-4 minutes and then carefully scoop out using a teaspoon. Best used immediately, otherwise the yolks will eventually start to set in the residual heat.
** Quail eggs have quite a hard shell! You might need to break them into a little bowl first then transfer to the tin.

Nutritional Info

Calories: 32kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 30mg | Potassium: 15mg | Vitamin A: 65IU | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.2mg


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