Our best Russian pancakes recipe makes blini in the style of French crêpes if you’re looking for a quick and easy pancake recipe for Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday or if you’re celebrating Maslenitsa or Pancake Week in March, also called Crepe Week or Butter Week, an Eastern Orthodox holiday joyously observed by Russians.
This is the best Russian pancakes recipe for Russian blini, the wonderful buttery thin French crêpes that Russians call blini or pancakes, not to be confused with thicker, fluffier American pancakes. Not all blini are small, but I have recipes for cocktail-size blini or buckwheat pancakes with smoked salmon, caviar and sour cream, and Russian potato pancakes.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy pancakes recipe for Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day tomorrow or for the Russian Orthodox holiday of Maslenitsa or Pancake Week in March then please do try our Russian pancakes recipe.
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Now let me tell you about our best Russian pancakes recipe.
Best Russian Pancakes Recipe for Blini in the Style of French Crêpes
My Russian grandmother made these sweet, thin, buttery pancakes for me for breakfast with butter, jam and sour cream, however, they can also be served as savoury blini with smoked salmon, fresh dill, gherkins, and sour cream. This recipe makes a batch of 10-12, however, baboushka would make a towering stack of several dozen. She never did things by halves!
Growing up, breakfast at my Russian grandparents’ typically consisted of crunchy radishes and cucumbers and sweet ripe tomatoes freshly plucked from my grandfather’s veggie garden, all sprinkled in salt, and eaten with a boiled egg, maybe some salted herrings, a couple of slices of black bread, and always washed down with a shot of home-made vodka.
I would sit by Papa’s side at what I then thought was a massive oak table, but what I now realise is of average size – fortunately, it currently lives at my mum’s place – and I’d watch him tuck into this garden-fresh feast as Baba placed comforting dishes in front of me, such as her delightfully buttery scrambled eggs, refried pelmeni and vareniki and these Russian pancakes in the style of French crepes.
This is really straightforward, so no tips to making our best Russian pancakes recipe today, but do let us know if you have any questions about making blini in the comments and I’ll answer there and add tips here. Enjoy!
Best Russian Pancakes Recipe
- 225 g plain flour
- 40 g white sugar
- 5 g salt
- 3 eggs
- 500 ml milk
- 40 g butter - melted
- Salted butter - for cooking the crêpes
- To make the pancake batter, in a large bowl, sift the flour, add salt and sugar, then whisk to combine.
- Create a well in the centre of the flour mixture, add eggs, whisk, then when thoroughly combined, gradually add milk, continuing to combine.
- When completely combined, add the melted butter, combine until you have a smooth batter, then refrigerate for a minimum of an hour.
- To make the pancakes, warm a dinner plate in an oven, then have that, butter, and a spatula or two, by the stove.
- Heat a frying pan of 25cm (10 inch) in diameter on medium-heat, drop a teaspoon of butter into it, titling the pan to ensure it covers the entire base.
- Taking the pan off the heat, tilt the pan slightly and pour in a ladle-full of batter at the highest point, then shift the pan around to swirl the batter so that it evenly coats the pan, then return it to the heat.
- From around 30 seconds onwards, the edges of the batter should start to brown and crisp up and the batter should begin to bubble, indicating that it’s almost ready to be turned over. Lift the pancake a little with a spatula to check how done it is on the underside and when it has started to brown in places, it’s time to flip it over.
- Note that the first pancake can sometimes be a bit tricky to turn over so you may have to use a spatula and your fingers. Every other pancake will be easier to turn over with a spatula – and if you’re new at this, in time you should be able to flip it in the pan.
- When the other side has browned, take the pan off the stove, slide the pancake onto the warm plate, and spread butter over the pancake, especially the crispy edges.
- Then repeat until you’ve used up the batter.
- Plate individually or on a platter at the centre of the table. You can serve the pancakes in the stack you created while cooking them, fold them twice over (as above), or fill them and roll them. Serve sweet or savoury. For sweet, we suggest berries or jam, sour cream or cream, and lemon and icing sugar.
Please do let us know if you make my best Russian pancakes recipe as we’d love to know how they turn out for you and would love to hear your tips.