This recipe takes a little bit of effort, but is so worth the effort. Blinis are the perfect canape recipe as they are the ideal base for many different toppings. My favourite toppings are feta and beetroot dip (basically blitzed feta and beetroot), avocado and crispy bacon and of course the smoked salmon and pickled cucumber recipe below.
Remember, if making the blinis seems too time-consuming, you can always buy premade blinis in most supermarkets.
The recipe below will make around 16 blinis, enough to serve 4 people as a starter.


For the pickled cucumber

  • 1 cucumber
  • 200ml of white wine vinegar
  • 200ml of water
  • 50g of sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt

  For the blinis

  • 100ml milk
  • ¼ tsp golden caster sugar
  • 15g butter, plus extra for frying
  • 50g strong white flour
  • 35g buckwheat flour
  • ½ tsp fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 large egg, separated

For the rest of the topping

  • 150g pack smoked salmon
  • 3 tbsp cream cheese
  • zest and juice ½ lemon
  • blob horseradish paste (optional)


Pickle the cucumbers
Thinly slice the cucumber or use a spiraliser. Combine the sliced cucumber and salt in a bowl, toss well then leave to stand for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar and water by warming slightly then leave to cool. Take the cucumbers and drain off the liquid and brush off any excess salt. Transfer the cucumber to jar with a lid and cover with the sugar and vinegar mixture. Close the lid tightly and transfer to the fridge for at least a few hours before serving.

Prepare the salmon
Flake the salmon into a bowl, add the cream cheese, lemon zest and juice, and horseradish, if using. Mash everything together with a fork, then chill until ready to serve.

Make the blinis
Heat the milk in a saucepan until just steaming, then remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and butter, swirling until the butter melts.

Tip the flours and yeast into a bowl and season with the salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in the milk mixture and the egg yolk. Whisk to a smooth batter, then cover with cling film and set aside for at least an hour.

When you’re ready to cook the blinis, tip the egg white into a bowl and whisk until it holds soft peaks. Fold the batter gently with the egg whites.

Heat enough butter and a drizzle of oil to cover the bottom of a large non-stick pan, over a medium heat.  Spoon single tablespoons of the batter into the pan, leaving some space between each one. Cook for 1-2 minutes, flip and cook for the same amount of time on the other side. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and prevent from going soggy. Wipe the pan to prevent the butter from burning and repeat until you have cooked all your batter.

Spread the salmon pate gently on the blinis and top with the pickled cucumber.
Eat immediately.