Airy, fluffy, slightly sour blinis with a perfect melt-in-your-mouth texture, crispy outside, and soft and succulent inside? Yes please! 5 ingredients are all you need to make delicious gluten-free keto blinis that you can crown with your favorite toppings!
What are blinis anyway?
Blini is kind of a savory pancake that originates from Russia. Blinis are eaten mostly in Slavic countries, although western people know them, too. However, the western and Slavic versions are a bit different. Blinis are usually leavened with yeast, and some varieties contain buckwheat which lends a bit sour note to blinis. Often sour milk is used too, making the blinis notably sour.
Blinis are usually eaten in the end of winter, originally to honor the renaissance of the new sun. Orthodox people ate them to use up all their dairy products before Great Lent. Nowadays, blinis are eaten throughout the year. Well, here in Finland, we eat blinis mainly during February.
There are thin and thick varieties of blinis. The Finnish blinis — that I’m used to — are thick and fluffy. They are leavened with yeast, and they usually contain both wheat flour and buckwheat flour. Usually, the batter contains sour cream, cream viili, or beer and milk.
Finnish blinis are fried in an ample amount of butter, making the surface crispy and delicious while the interior stays soft and succulent. They really melt in your mouth!
How to make Keto Blinis
This version of keto blinis contains just 5 ingredients. The no-no flours, wheat, and buckwheat are replaced with keto options. I tried several flours for keto blinis and found out that almond flour and psyllium make the best taste and texture. More about my experiments in the next section.
Patience is a virtue when making blinis. Since blinis are thick, they naturally need quite a long time to cook — on both sides. Depending on the temperature, it takes about 10 minutes for one side to cook. Well, the other side takes a much shorter time, about 5 minutes.
Talking about temperature: use low enough temperature to prevent the bottom of the blini from burning. That happens surprisingly easily, so it’s a good idea to use even lower temperature just to make sure the blini won’t burn.
Covering the skillet with a lid is a must and certainly speeds up the cooking process.
And now we get to the skillet: I have a small cast-iron skillet which is especially made for frying blinis. It’s about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. You can use any small cast-iron skillet you’ll find. And if you don’t find any small skillet, don’t despair: you can pour the batter in the center of a large skillet and cook a smaller blini.
The recipe is easy to make, although you have to separate the eggs and beat the whites until fluffy to guarantee the best result.
Oh, you must have wondered how to eat these blinis and what to put on top? No worries, I will give some options in the Tips for toppings section further down in this post.
So, that’s it. Let’s take a look at how to prepare these melt-in-your-mouth keto blinis.
First, separate three eggs. Place them in different bowls.
Add 1/2 cup (120 ml) water to the egg yolks.
Add also 2 tablespoons organic lemon juice.
Whisk until well combined. Set aside.
Combine 2/3 cup (160 ml) almond flour…
…and 2 teaspoons psyllium husk powder (yes, the fine-textured type).
Mix until well combined. Set aside.
Next, beat the egg whites…
…until stiff peaks form.
Add the almond flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture.
Whisk until well combined.
Take the beaten egg whites and fold them in the batter.
Mix with a spatula until smooth.
Heat a small (cast-iron) skillet over low heat. Add about one tablespoon butter and let it melt. Well, go crazy and add two tablespoons, it doesn’t matter! Butter makes everything better anyway.
Pour about 1/2 cup (120 ml) batter into the skillet.
Level the surface with a spatula.
Cover the skillet with a lid and let cook until the top is set.
Let cook for a few minutes (preferably covered with a lid) until completely done.
Remove from the skillet and continue with the rest of the batter.
How I came up with this easy keto blini recipe
Even I have experience in developing keto recipes for a couple of decades, I think I’ve never really tried a keto version of blinis. I wonder why since I love to eat seasonally and blinis are such common seasonal food in Finland.
I remember my mother used to make blinis as well, however, she naturally used buckwheat, a must-have ingredient in Finnish blinis. And I’ve never been a big friend of buckwheat and its peculiar taste. Luckily, you don’t use buckwheat on a keto diet as it’s too high in carbs. Moreover, it does contain pretty similar antinutrients as grains with gluten, so it’s a double whammy.
At the beginning of this year, somebody asked in my Finnish keto baking group on Facebook about a recipe for fluffy and thick keto blinis. And since I love to develop recipes that people want, I immediately started thinking how to make thick, fluffy, and slightly sour keto blinis.
I did my first experiments in the summer cottage a bit over one month ago. As the Finnish keto baking group is formed around our Ketokamu baking mix, I naturally used it as flour. For the sour note, I decided to add smetana (kind of thick sour cream but with more fat, usually about 40%).
So, for my experiment, I used 3 eggs, 100 grams smetana, 200 ml water, 1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt, and 200 ml of our Ketokamu baking mix. And, of course, I used a generous amount of butter for frying.
Well, the result was tolerable — and most importantly, the blinis held well together. However, the texture was far too dense rather than airy and fluffy — even I separated eggs and beat the whites until stiff peaks formed.
The blinis were indeed edible, but I ultimately wanted to get airy and fluffy blinis with a slightly sour taste.
Then, I realized that it was most likely the smetana that made the blinis too dense and heavy. I had used smetana to lend the necessary sour note to the blinis. Maybe it helps if I use less smetana? The blinis might get fluffier and yet have enough sour flavor, I thought.
I did another experiment with half less smetana. But, I was disappointed when the blinis turned out too dense again. Now what?
Well, how about if I left out smetana altogether? How do I get the sour flavor to the blinis and, most of all, without them being too dense but melt-in-your-mouth fluffy?
Suddenly I realized that lemon juice would be an obvious sour flavor lending ingredient. It wasn’t fatty and heavy ingredient like smetana, so it might work, I contemplated.
A couple of weeks passed before I had time to try out the lemon juice in the blini recipe. However, when more people in the keto baking group started asking for a blini recipe, it was time to start experimenting again.
In my experiment, I omitted the smetana and used one tablespoon lemon juice instead. My enthusiasm was palpable when the blinis turned out airy, fluffy, and delightfully sour! I was so happy with the recipe, and after posting it to the keto baking group, people liked it and were raving about it. Moreover, they found out that the recipe also makes perfect keto waffles!
After a while, I started pondering posting a keto blini version here on my blog. Naturally, I couldn’t use the Ketokamu baking mix, but other, more commonly available keto flours. My first thought was to replace the baking mix with coconut flour, and that I did. Well, the result was slightly disastrous:
The blinis held together surprisingly well, but the texture was far too hard and dense, and the coconut flour taste was almost disgustingly overpowering. I clearly needed to use another flour. Coconut flour didn’t definitely work for blinis.
I had just received my order of egg white powder. I’m not a big fan of egg white powder since it’s oxidized already when manufactured, and thus it doesn’t do good for you. I know ketoers use it widely, and I’m truly worried about the consequences. However, I do use egg white powder but very seldom, and in those cases mainly just play with the ingredient to see how it works in various recipes.
That I was also planning to do this time. I replaced the coconut flour with egg white powder. I wasn’t very surprised when the blinis turned out more of small omelets rather than blinis. Well, they were certainly delicious, but they were not blinis. They were omelets:
And now what? After a short musing, I decided to use a foolproof keto flour combination: almond flour and psyllium husk powder. If that doesn’t work, then nothing will work, I concluded.
Quickly, I calculated the needed amounts and started experimenting. I was exceedingly happy when I finally got airy, fluffy, and slightly sour blinis, just what I was aiming at! When fried in an abundant amount of butter, the surface is scrumptiously crispy, while the interior stays soft and succulent. Amazing!
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy:
- 3 organic free-range eggs
- 1/2 cup = 120 ml water
- 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice from organic lemon
- 2/3 cup = 160 ml almond flour
- 2 teaspoons psyllium husk powder
- an ample amount of butter for frying
1. First, separate the eggs. Place them in different bowls.
2. Add the water and the lemon juice to the egg yolks. Whisk until well combined. Set aside.
3. Combine the almond flour and the psyllium husk powder. Mix until well combined. Set aside.
4. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
5. Add the almond flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture. Whisk until well combined.
6. Fold in the egg whites. Mix with a spatula until smooth.
7. Heat a small (cast-iron) skillet over low heat. Add about 1-2 tablespoons butter and let melt.
8. Pour about 1/2 cup (120 ml) batter into the skillet. Level the surface with a spatula.
9. Cover the skillet with a lid and let cook until the top is set, about 5-10 minutes.
10. Flip over and let cook, covered, for a few minutes until completely done.
11. Remove the blini from the skillet and continue with the rest of the batter.
12. Serve with your favorite toppings (see some suggestions below).
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Anthony's Organic Psyllium Husk Powder, 1.5 lb, Gluten Free, Non GMO, Finely Ground, Keto Friendly
Anthony's Almond Flour Blanched, 2 lb, Batch Tested Gluten Free, Non GMO, Vegan, Keto Friendly
|Nutrition information (butter included)||In total||Per serving if 6 servings in total|
|Protein||34.9 g||5.8 g|
|Fat||123.8 g||20.6 g|
|Net carbs||5.2 g||0.9 g|
|kcal||1282 kcal||214 kcal|
Tips for toppings
In Slavic countries, blinis are eaten with various toppings. However, I’ll give the most common Finnish toppings here because that’s that I’m used to and what I’m familiar with (if you need even more topping ideas, you’ll certainly find the Russian and other Slavic versions for blini toppings around the web). So, you can top your blinis with the following options:
- Smetana (or thick full-fat sour cream)
- Fish roe (vendace roe is preferred in Finland)
- Chopped onion (red onion works best)
- Pickled cucumbers
- Creamy mushroom salad
- Fresh dill
This week went mostly for planning clean eating keto shelves for different stores here in Finland. We Ketokamus got the idea to improve the almost non-existing keto shelves in Finnish stores. There are some dedicated keto shelves here and there, but there is usually something wrong with them as they tend to contain non-keto stuff like banana flour or corn-based treats (!) mainly because the store staff doesn’t know almost anything about the keto diet.
So, our aim is to improve the situation and introduce the concept of clean keto shelf that contains only purely keto food and ingredients that are beneficial to your health.
My son’s birthday was yesterday, and the party preparations also kept me busy. I naturally baked a (keto) birthday cake, but I also made donuts, cookies, two types of sugar-free gummies (lemon-lime and raspberry), pigs in a blanket with Fathead dough, and keto chicken nuggets. I also offered fresh berries and veggies. For drink, I made a bowl of sugar-free strawberry juice.
Believe it or not, kids love to eat fresh stuff also on a birthday party!
Actually, I’m updating one of my Finnish keto books, and I will utilize the birthday party photos there as I’ll give guidance on how to throw a better and healthier — and yet delicious — birthday party for kids. The deadline is on Tuesday, but luckily I’m almost ready with the book, just a couple of recipes need updating.