Homemade gluten-free blini (Russian fluffy bite-sized pancakes) are super easy to make, cheaper than store-bought, and oh so much tastier! Paired with avocado & smoked salmon they make the ULTIMATE party canapé!
When it comes to holiday or party canapés, it doesn’t get more classic, than pretty and chic Russian blini.
These savoury tiny pancakes have been fiercely hitting the holiday menu for decades and they’re still going strong!
As much as I love the classic blini recipe, this year I’ve been experimenting on an upgraded allergy-friendly version, and I’m so happy with the result!
These gluten-free blini have a nice bubbly texture and a slightly nutty flavour, they taste just as good * if not even better * as the original version.
Top these gluten-free blini with a dollop of refreshing lime & avocado cream and thin slices of smoked salmon, and you’ve got the ultimate party canapé!
Gluten-free Blini Ingredient Tips
These gluten-free blini are super pretty and versatile, and make a fantastic option for brunch, aperitivo and dinner parties alike. They’re super quick to make and only require a bunch of simple ingredients: buckwheat & rice flour, milk, free-range eggs, baking powder and a pinch of salt.
Buckwheat flour is traditionally used to make blini, and is one of the healthiest and most nutritious gluten-free flours around. I also like to add a tiny amount of rice flour, but you can totally opt for just one type of flour (if you use only rice flour, you might need to add a little more milk).
If you have followed me for a long time, you know I struggle with some types of dairy, so for my gluten-free blini I opt for fresh whole milk from the award-winning brand a2 Milk™.
If you have not tried it yet, this rising-star milk is made by cows that naturally produce milk with only A2 protein and no A1 protein. I love this milk, it tastes absolutely delicious and I find it gentle on my tummy, so I highly recommend it!
The traditional blini recipe calls for yeast, bringing the total time for making them to several hours, so if you are always running out of time like me, baking powder is your friend here, just make sure you pick a gluten-free baking powder.
You can simply beat one egg until frothy and pale, but if you have a bit of extra time, for super fluffy results try to leave the yolk out and incorporate 2 egg whites (whisked until stiff peaks form) into the batter right at the end.
Gluten-free Blini Toppings
These gluten-free blini make the perfect base for both sweet and savoury toppings. If you ask me, you can’t go wrong with the avocado & smoked salmon combo, but here are a few other favourite toppings:
– crème Fraiche, caviar & chive
– goats’ cheese, broad beans (or peas), & mint leaves
– banana & homemade dulce de leche
– strawberries & homemade hazelnut chocolate spread
– ricotta cheese, basil pesto & halved cherry tomatoes
– poached pear, walnuts & honey
Gluten-free Blini Time-saving Tips
To save a bit of time, you can make the batter for these gluten-free blini the night before, cover it with cling film and place in the fridge until you need it, making sure to give it a nice whisk before using it.
Also, did I mention these gluten-free blini freeze beautifully? Simply arrange them on a baking sheet and freeze them for 1 hour, then store them in a zip-lock bag for up to one month.
then simply leave covered in the fridge until needed, whisking up well before use.
A healthy take on a party classic canapé, these gluten-free blini with avocado cream and smoked salmon are sure to become a hit at your NYE party or any other special occasion!
Gluten-free Blini with Avocado Cream and Smoked Salmon
- 80 g buckwheat flour
- 1 tbsp rice flour
- 1 tsp baking powder (I use gluten-free)
- 150 ml fresh whole a2 Milk™
- 2 egg whites
- olive oil for greasing
- sea salt and black pepper
- 1 avocado
- 1 tbsp yogurt
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 100 g smoked salmon
- 1 tsp lime zest
In a large bowl mix together the buckwheat flour, baking powder, a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper and a2 Milk™ until reaching a smooth lump-free batter.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then gradually fold the whisked egg whites into the batter mixture, until fully incorporated.
Grease lightly with olive oil a large frying pan and heat over medium high heat, then spoon a tablespoon of the batter into the pan to make a small bite-sized pancakes, about 3 cm large.
Cook the pancakes for one minute, then flip them on the other side and cook for a further minute, or until golden on both sides. Remove the pancakes from the pan and keep them warm.
In a small bowl smash the avocado with a fork until creamy, then add in the yogurt and lime juice, season with sea salt and black pepper to taste and mix until all the ingredients are combined.
Place one teaspoon of the avocado cream over the gluten-free blini, then top them with smoked salmon, sprinkle the lime zest on top and serve.
I like to use my own homemade a2 Milk™ yogurt for this recipe, but you can also use a dairy-free alternative.