A recipe for Blini (Russian Crepes)! These large, thin pancakes are perfect for pairing with a variety of sweet or savory options.
I first posted the recipe for these Blini (блины, Russian Crepes) during my first year of blogging in August 2013 and now in 2021 they continue to be a favorite in our house. Blini (or diminutive Blinchiki) are large pancakes with a texture slightly thicker than crepes. The batter comes together easily with only a handful of ingredients and about 15 minutes of rest before cooking in thin layers on a hot skillet.
We especially love the versatility of these pancakes. I usually serve them sweet with jam (strawberry), honey, and/or sour cream, but they are also perfect for pairing with a variety of savory toppings/fillings such as smoked salmon. One of these days I really want to use them to make Meat Blini with Beef and Rice (Блинчики с мясом) from Peter’s Food Adventures.
A Few Blini Tips
I made the Blini batter with milk, but have seen kefir, buttermilk, or a combination of milk/water. Some also have yeast or buckwheat flour.
I whisked together the ingredients until smooth with no lumps. If you can’t get it smooth enough or are looking for a quicker way, simply toss everything in the blender and process until smooth.
Allow the mixture to rest covered at room temperature (I usually just toss a kitchen towel over the bowl) for 15-30 minutes before cooking.
I use a crepe pan to make the Blini, but a well seasoned or nonstick wide skillet would also work well. The trick to a thin, even pancake is a thoroughly heated pan and pouring in the batter (about 1/4-1/3 cup, 60-80 milliliters) quickly. As soon as the batter touches the pan, swirl it around in a circle to coat the bottom.
Watch the temperature and adjust the heat between medium and low as needed. They cook quickly, so keep an eye on them and take care not to overcook.
If the batter is too thick to easily swirl in the pan, slowly whisk in a little more milk. If the batter is too thin to handle and falls apart when trying to flip, slowly add a little more flour.
Some recipes add a little baking soda, about 1/2 teaspoon, to help create a more lacy texture.
This recipe makes about 14-16 Blini. The kids can never stop at one Blin, so usually this amount is enough for our family of four with maybe a couple extra. The ingredients can easily be doubled to serve a crowd. Refrigerate leftovers for about 2 days or freeze in a single layer, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag for up to 2 months.
Looking for more pancake recipes?
- Silver Dollar Pancakes
- Panqueques con Dulce de Leche (Argentinian Dulce de Leche Crepes)
- Pandekager (Danish Pancakes)
This recipe was originally posted in August 2013 and updated October 2021 to add metric ingredients, rewording of instructions, and new photos.
Blini (Russian Crepes) Recipe
Adapted from Russian Bites
Blini (Russian Crepes)
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (470 milliliters) milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) vegetable oil plus more or butter for the pan
- Sour cream
- Honey or sweetened condensed milk
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
- Slowly whisk in the milk until combined and no lumps remain.
- Whisk in the eggs, followed by the vegetable oil. If too thick, slowly add a little more milk. If too thin, slowly add a little more flour.
- Cover the bowl and allow to rest at room temperature for 15-30 minutes.
- Place a large nonstick skillet or pan over medium low heat. Lightly grease with oil or butter.
- Once thoroughly heated, add 1/4 – 1/3 cup (60-80 milliliters) batter to the center and immediately tilt the pan in a circle to coat the bottom in a thin layer.
- Cook until set on the top and the bottom turns golden, about 2 minutes.
- Flip and cook until the other side is golden, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove to plate. Rub the pan with more oil and repeat with remaining batter.
- Serve immediately with sour cream, jam, honey, and/or sweetened condensed milk.