With This Blini Recipe You Can Enjoy A Delicious Breakfast In No Time!
Blini – also known as blinchiki in the diminutive and singular as blin – are thin Russian crepes, similar to French crepes (but often a little bit thicker).
Made from a very simple, unleavened batter, Blini are easy to whip together and can be enjoyed both savory and sweet!
Sometimes blini are also referred to as Russian pancakes, so there is a bit of a debate as to whether they should be considered crepes or pancakes.
Since these ones are made from unleavened batter, we’ll go with crepes – but in the end, what matters is that they are delicious!
They are also popular in surrounding countries. In Ukraine they are called mlyntsi, and in Hungary a very similar dish is known as palacsinta. Buckwheat blini are also a popular version – in Lithuania, buckwheat blini are known as grikių blynai.
To make things more interesting, once they are rolled, stuffed, and/or fried or baked, they can take on a whole new name and become a different dish (eg. Blintzes).
For example, in Ukraine, mlyntsi that gets stuffed (with apples, mushrooms, or cheese) become nalysnyky!
The term “Blini” can also get quite interesting depending on where you are in the world. In Russia, blini refers to the food in this recipe.
In North America, however, blini has become synonymous with a much smaller pancake – only a few inches in diameter – made with a leavened dough.
To make this blinchiki recipe, here are the ingredients that you will need – there aren’t too many!
- Eggs – Two eggs to make the batter.
- Sugar – Granulated sugar, alternatively brown sugar.
- All-purpose flour – Regular all-purpose flour works well. You can substitute some of the flour with whole wheat or buckwheat flour.
- Milk – Either low-fat or whole milk is fine. Alternatively, oat, soy, or almond drink will also work.
- Vegetable oil – Use an oil with a neutral taste.
- Ground cinnamon – For extra flavor.
- Salt – A small amount of salt will bring out the flavors.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
Before you make these Russian blini, read through these recipe tips so that you understand everything there is to know!
- Instead of granulated sugar, you can use brown sugar if you prefer. Similarly, you can substitute almond, cashew, soy or oat drink for cow’s milk. Just keep in mind that this will change the taste of the blini slightly.
- For more flavorful blini, you can add a splash of vanilla extract to the batter if you’d like.
- If the frying pan is poorly coated, it’s best to add a little more oil after frying each crepe.
- Part of the flour can be substituted with whole wheat or buckwheat flour. However, if the pan is poorly coated, these crepes may stick to the surface during frying, so be sure to use more oil to counteract this.
How to Make Blini – Step by Step Instructions
In this section, you can follow the recipe process photos to see exactly how we made this Russian crepes recipe.
The detailed recipe card with all the ingredients and measurements can be found at the bottom of this post.
Crack the eggs into a deep bowl. Then add the sugar, salt and ground cinnamon. You can also add a little bit of vanilla extract to the batter if you like the taste.
Beat the eggs thoroughly with a whisk or electric mixer.
Add half the milk (3/4 cup) and all the flour to the bowl.
Mix thoroughly until you have a thick batter without lumps.
Then pour in the oil. Use an oil that has a neutral taste such as vegetable oil, avocado oil or canola oil.
We do not recommend using extra virgin olive oil as it has a strong flavor.
Gradually add the remaining milk while whisking. The crepe batter should be quite liquid, but not like water or milk.
It will be similar in thickness to beaten eggs for scrambled eggs. Let the batter sit for half an hour to allow the flour to swell. Stir again before frying.
Grease the frying pan with vegetable oil to fry the first crepes. Heat it, then pour a small amount of batter and spread it over the pan, turning it in a circular motion.
Fry over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. The edges of the crepes should turn dark orange.
Using a spatula, carefully flip the crepe to the other side and fry for 1 more minute.
Transfer the fried crepes to a plate, forming a stack. You can brush each crepe with a little bit of butter if you like. This will make them softer and more tender, but also more greasy.
Repeat until you have used up all the batter (it should make between 15 and 20 blini).
You can serve the blini with jam, sour cream, condensed milk, syrup or other toppings of your choice. Enjoy!
These thin blini are definitely best enjoyed hot and fresh out of the pan.
If you do have leftovers, you can either wrap them in foil or place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge. Be sure to let them cool completely first. They’ll keep for a couple of days.
You can reheat the blini in a frying pan over low heat with a little oil or butter. Make sure to flip them so that both sides are heated through.
Here are some answers to a few questions about these Blini:
Blini – or Blinchiki in the diminutive and Blin (singular) – are thin Russian crepes. Nowadays, Blini also refers to a much smaller, leavened pancake made in some Western countries.
From the point of view of ingredients, Russian crepes and French crepes are essentially identical. The batter proportions may be slightly different, but the concept of a runny, unleavened batter fried in a hot pan is the same.
To make Russian blini, combine the batter ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk the batter well. Heat some oil in a hot pan and pour in the batter. Fry for a few minutes until golden brown, then flip until brown on the other side and the batter is fully cooked. Serve sweet with jam, syrup, or other fruit, or savory with sour cream.
If you enjoyed this recipe for Russian blini, here are some other tasty recipes that you may want to try:
- Syrniki (Cheese Pancakes)
- Pelmeni (Russian Dumplings)
- Oladi (Russian Pancakes)
- Ponchiki (Russian Cheese Donut Holes)
Blini (Russian Crepes)
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, more for frying
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/5 teaspoon salt
- Beat the eggs in a deep bowl, then add the sugar, salt and ground cinnamon. You can also add a splash of vanilla extract to the crepe batter. Beat thoroughly with a whisk or electric mixer.2 eggs, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1/5 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Add half the milk (3/4 cup) and all the flour to the bowl. Mix thoroughly until you have a thick batter without lumps. Then add the oil.1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 cups milk, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Gradually add the remaining milk while whisking. The crepe batter should be quite liquid, but not like water or milk. It will be similar in thickness to beaten eggs for scrambled eggs. Let the batter sit for half an hour to allow the flour to swell. Stir again before frying the blini.1 1/2 cups milk
- Grease the pan with vegetable oil to fry the first crepes. Heat it up, then pour a small amount of batter and spread it over the pan, turning it in a circular motion. Fry over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the edges of the crepes turn dark orange.
- Using a spatula, carefully flip the crepe to the other side and fry for 1 more minute.
- Transfer the fried crepes to a plate, forming a stack. You can brush each crepe with a little bit of butter if you like. This will make them softer and more tender, but also more greasy. Repeat until you have used up all the batter (it should make between 15 and 20 blini).
- You can serve the blini with jam, sour cream, condensed milk, syrup or other toppings of your choice. Enjoy!
- You can use brown sugar instead of granulated sugar.
- You can also use almond, cashew, soy or oat drink instead of cow’s milk. Keep in mind that it may change the flavor slightly.
- If the pan has a bad coating, it is best to add a little more oil after frying each crepe.
- Some of the flour can be replaced with whole wheat or buckwheat flour. However, if the pan is poorly coated, the crepes may stick to the surface during frying.
This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.