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These homemade blintzes feature a thin, delicate crepe filled with a sweetened cream cheese and ricotta filling. Top with an easy berry compote, powdered sugar, or your favorite sweet topping.
Is there a food that you maybe had as a child that just immediately brings back really nice memories? The answer is likely yes, and over the years, I’ve found several foods that invoke those feel-good moments that take me right back to very specific times growing up.
I grew up in a fairly diverse neighborhood in central Pennsylvania, and manyyyy of my friends were Jewish. This meant that not only did I know what “kosher” meant before I even went to preschool, it also meant that I attended dozens of bar/bat mitzvahs when we were teenagers.
At what I imagine was probably all of these celebrations, I remember these delicious cheese blintzes that graced the brunch buffets after services.
I always looked forward to grabbing one (or 5), and distinctly remember bringing home a plate full of a few after one brunch so I could enjoy them later. And my mom and I promptly devoured all of them in the car on the way home.
It’s been a long time since I had a blintz, so I decided to figure out how to make them myself and share them with all of you so that you, too, can enjoy the deliciousness that are light and sweet, absolutely delectable baked cheese blintzes (with all the topping suggestions).
WHAT IS A BLINTZ?
A blintz is a thin pancake (commonly known as a crepe) that has been filled with a sweet and savory cheese mixture and rolled up tightly. It is then cooked a second time, allowing the filling to become warm and gooey.
It’s often topped with a berry compote or other sweet toppings, but it can also be served with savory toppings like sour cream or crème fraiche.
Blintzes are traditionally eaten during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot (a June holiday), but they can be enjoyed year round. They are slightly sweet, savory, cheesy, and an absolute joy to eat!
CREPES VS BLINTZES
You may be surprised to know that crepes and blintzes are actually very similar. That is because in order to have blintzes you must have crepes, but you don’t need blintzes to have crepes. Let me explain.
You are likely familiar with the crepe: a thin and flexible pancake with French origins. But have you heard of a blintz? Blintzes are crepes that have been filled and cooked once again, and are often filled with a cheese filling consisting of cream cheese, ricotta, mascarpone, farmer’s cheese, or other creamy cheeses.
Blintzes, after filling, are cooked for a second time. They may either be baked in large batches in the oven, or pan fried individually in a skillet.
Blintzes originated with the Ashkenazi Jewish people of Eastern and Central Europe and, like crepes, have reached popularity over the entire world! They can be served for breakfast, brunch, or even dessert.
These cheese blintzes have three different elements: the foundational crepes, the cheese filling, and a berry compote topping.
For your standard crepe batter, you’ll need some basic ingredients that are common to pancakes and crepes.
You’ll need some eggs (room temperature if possible), milk, some melted unsalted butter, vanilla extract, flour, and a touch of salt.
For the cheese filling, I’ve created a recipe that uses some easily available options. Although the traditional version calls for farmer’s cheese, it’s not easily available to most people, so I included some basic options that everyone can find at their local grocery store!
First, I’ve chosen to include some part-skim ricotta. This is a tad dryer than whole milk ricotta and will hold together better once combined with the other ingredients and used to fill the crepes.
The other option I’ve included in the cheese blintz filling is cream cheese. This will make the filling super creamy and decadent, and is a common addition to modern cheese blintz recipes. You will want to make sure it’s softened to room temperature, so it’s easily combined with the ricotta and other ingredients.
Then, we’ll use just a touch of sugar, one egg, some vanilla extract, and some salt. This makes the perfect sweet and salty filling that will have you begging for more!
Finally, we have a homemade berry compote. While you can certainly use store bought if you can find it, a homemade version just cannot be beat.
All you need is some fresh (or frozen) berries, water, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch.
This is the traditional topping for cheese blintzes, but there are a bunch of options to choose from if you prefer something a little different.
But me? I’m sticking with a nice spoonful of warm, sweet, and fresh berry compote. Oh, and maybe a sprinkle of powdered sugar if I don’t devour the whole plate of blintzes first.
HOW TO MAKE BLINTZES
Although they seem complicated, you might be surprised to see how easy blintzes are to make from scratch. Once you have all of the individual components prepared, all you have to do is fill, roll, and bake.
MAKE THE CREPE BATTER
To get started on this easy cheese blintz recipe, get yourself a medium sized bowl and add the eggs in. Give them a whisk– enough to break up the yolks, but not so much that they’re frothy.
Add the milk, melted (and cooled) butter, and vanilla extract. Whisk again to get everything combined.
Add the flour and salt, and whisk vigorously to bring everything together. It’s totally ok if there are a few lumps, since they will likely absorb some of the liquid during the resting time.
If you’re really not feeling all the whisking, you can add all of the ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. This is a super easy way to prep them, and makes pouring the batter out later on so simple.
ALLOW BATTER TO REST
Once you have your batter thoroughly combined, allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. This will help absorb any lumps of flour, and allows the gluten to relax. This means your crepes will be soft and supple, versus tough and chewy.
On the left, before resting. On the right, after resting.
Once the 30 minutes are up, whisk the batter again. This should break up any remaining lumps of flour, but you can use a silicone spatula to press out any large lumps of flour if they remain.
If you prefer to work ahead of time, you can prep the batter the night before and cover it. Then, stash it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, remove the bowl from the fridge, give it a whisk, and get started making those delicious crepes!
COOK THE CREPES
When it comes to crepes, it’s best to have everything laid out and ready to go.
Crepes, like pancakes, require a bit of a system and flow to keep them moving along seamlessly. I recommend setting out a larger dinner plate or platter lined with parchment paper (or wax paper) and placing it right next to your stovetop.
Then, once you’re ready and all set up, heat a 9″ nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Once the skillet is hot, coat it with a light layer of butter. Pour ¼ cup of the crepe batter into the skillet, and hold it up from the heat.
Use your wrist to gently tilt the pan, swirling the batter around to evenly coat the bottom of the skillet. Once the entire bottom of the skillet is coated with a thin layer of batter, set it back down on the heat.
Cook your crepes until the top is set. It should look opaque, but still be sort of tacky and sticky if touched. In my tests, this took about 75 seconds, but it could vary based on a lot of factors, so it’s best to go by sight.
Use a silicone spatula to lift and slide the crepe out of the pan and onto the parchment lined plate. If they don’t budge easily, continue to cook for another 15-20 seconds. Try again, and the crepe should slide out super easily.
Repeat with the remaining batter, keeping in mind that the crepes may cook more quickly as you go on, since the skillet tends to stay hotter. Again, it’s SO important to go by sight here to avoid overcooking your yummy crepes.
After all is said and done, you should have about 8-10 crepes that are approximately 8″ in diameter.
Once all of your crepes are cooked through, set them aside and get started on the amazing and creamy cheese filling.
To prevent your crepes from sticking together, you can layer them in between sheets of parchment or waxed paper, but if you’re moving quickly, you don’t necessarily need to worry about that extra step.
MAKE THE FILLING
Before you begin making the filling, start off by preheating the oven to 350°F (170°F) and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper (or a silicone baking mat). This will ensure that the oven is hot and ready to go once your crepes are filled with the cheese mixture.
Add the ricotta, cream cheese, and sugar to a medium size bowl with a handheld mixer OR the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Beat the ricotta, cream cheese, and sugar together until well combined and smooth.
Add in the egg, the vanilla extract, and salt. Beat again until everything is incorporated creamy.
FILL THE BLINTZES
To get started filling your blintzes, take a single crepe and spread approximately ¼ cup of the filling in the middle of the side of the crepe closest to you.
With the side that has the filling facing you, fold the edges inwards to cover the filling.
Fold the flap closest to you up, and gently roll the filled crepe away from you. Place the filled crepe seam side down on the prepared baking sheet.
Repeat this with all of the remaining crepes and filling.
BAKE THE BLINTZES
Once all of your crepes are filled and placed on the baking sheet, bake them for 20 minutes.
After your crepes have baked through, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on the counter while you make the berry compote topping.
MAKE THE COMPOTE TOPPING
Add your fresh (or frozen) berries to a small saucepan. Add in the water, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Stir to combine.
Heat the saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a low boil.
Once a low boil is reached, stir well and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the liquid thickens.
Once your compote has thickened, pour it over the cheese blintzes to serve.
You can top them with a fine dusting of powdered sugar if you want to be extra fancy, but I’m totally in love with them as is. PLUS, it takes too long to find my sifter in the drawer, and I can’t wait to take a bite, so it’s really only for extra special occasions.
If you have any leftovers, allow them to cool completely before covering them tightly and storing in the refrigerator. They will be good like that for up to 5 days and can be reheated in the microwave, oven, or toaster oven. You could also pan fry them in a little butter.
If you prefer, you can freeze your cheese blintzes as they freeze really well! You can store them in a freezer bag for up to 2 months if individually wrapped.
When you’re ready them, just thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the microwave, oven, toaster oven, or stove top.
OTHER TOPPINGS FOR CHEESE BLINTZES
While a sweet berry compote is the typical topping for cheese blintzes, you aren’t limited to that alone.
In fact, feel free to get creative and top it with your favorite sweet (or savory) toppings. Almost anything goes when it comes to the savory goodness of these classic cheese blintzes.
For savory options you could try sour cream, crème fraiche, or a savory jam or chutney. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could try a mixture of a few different topping options.
Could I also suggest making some at Thanksgiving and topping them with spiced cranberry sauce? Yes, do that.
IS THIS CHEESE BLINTZES RECIPE KOSHER?
Cheese blintzes are a traditional Jewish food, always popular, but commonly served during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. As a result, they are also completely kosher.
To keep your cheese blintzes kosher, make sure to use kosher dairy ingredients like cheese, butter, etc. If you eat kosher, you likely already have certified ingredients in your pantry and fridge, but if not just look for the kosher symbol when you’re out at the grocery store.
It’s a simple letter “K” or “U” with a circle around it, and will often be found in the lower right corner of the packaging, but it could be anywhere, so you may have to look around for a minute to spot it.
CAN BLINTZES BE MADE AHEAD OF TIME?
You can absolutely make blintzes ahead of time, with a few things to keep in mind.
The first is that I wouldn’t recommend preparing the batter in advance. While you can let it rest in the fridge overnight, any longer than that and it will begin a super slow cold ferment.
This can change the texture pretty significantly, so I would recommend instead to make the fully cooked crepes in advance.
Your cooked, unfilled crepes can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator. To keep the crepes from sticking, you can layer sheets of parchment paper between each crepe.
If you prefer to prepare the crepes filled and rolled, you can do that but the storage time decreases. You won’t want to store them like that for any more than 12 hours.
Another storage option is freezing your cheese blintzes. While you can freeze either baked or unbaked blintzes, the unbaked version will taste a bit better when you go to serve it.
To freeze, prepare the blintzes through filling and rolling. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap or freezer paper and place in a freezer bag. Label and freeze for up to 2 months.
When you’re ready to serve, bake them completely from frozen at 350°F (170ºC) for 25-30 minutes, or until completely heated through.
Serve with berry compote, or your favorite topping of choice.
And now that you’ve enjoyed this recipe for cheese blintzes, you’re probably looking for some more brunch inspo, am I right?
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup (240mL) milk
- 2 Tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter melted; plus more for the pan
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 15 ounces (425g) part-skim ricotta
- 4 ounces (113g) full fat block cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces (227g) fresh or frozen berries1
- ¼ cup (60mL) water
- 1 and ½ Tablespoons (18g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- In a medium size bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk, melted butter, and vanilla and whisk again to combine. Add the flour and salt and whisk vigorously to combine. If some lumps remain, that's ok. They will absorb as the batter rests. Alternatively, you can add all of the crepe ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Allow batter to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, or covered in the refrigerator up to overnight.
- After 30 minutes, whisk the batter again to eliminate any remaining lumps of flour. Use a spatula to press out larger chunks, if you prefer.
- Set out a large dinner plate lined with parchment or wax paper.
- Heat a 9" nonstick skillet over medium heat. When skillet is hot, lightly coat it with butter. Pour ¼ cup of batter into the skillet, remove it from the heat, then quickly but gently swirl the batter around to evenly coat the bottom of the skillet. Continue to rotate the pan until all of the batter is set.
- Set the skillet back down on the heat and cook the crepe until the top is set and opaque but still slightly sticky (about 75 seconds). Use a silicone spatula to lift and slide the crepe out of the pan and onto the parchment or wax paper lined plate. If the crepe doesn't slide out of the pan easily, continue to cook for another 15-20 seconds. Continue with the rest of the batter. You should get about 8-10 crepes approximately 8" in diameter.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177ºC). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- In a medium size bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the ricotta, cream cheese, and sugar on medium-high speed until combined. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and salt, and beat again until everything is incorporated.
ASSEMBLE AND BAKE
- Working with one crepe at a time, spread about ¼ cup of filling in the middle of the side of the crepe closest to you. With the filling side facing you, fold each side in to cover the filling, then fold up the bottom flap closest to you. Gently roll the crepe up, rolling it away from you, then place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet.
- Repeat with all of the crepes and filling, then bake2 the blintzes for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you make the topping.
- Combine the berries, water, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, bring to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes until liquid thickens.
- Pour berry topping over the blintzes to serve. You can also serve plain, with fresh fruit, or dusted with powdered sugar. Store leftovers covered tightly in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Cheese blintzes freeze well, up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.
- Berries: I used a mix of strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. You can use whatever berries you like or skip this topping completely and just leave plain, top with fresh fruit, homemade whipped cream, hot fudge, salted caramel sauce, or simply dust with powdered sugar.
- Freeze unbaked blintzes: you can freeze baked or unbaked blintzes. Prepare blintzes through rolling, then wrap tightly and freeze up to 2 months. Bake frozen at 350ºF (177ºC) for 25-30 minutes, or until heated through.
- Make ahead: cooked, unfilled crepes can be cooked up to 2 days in advance and kept in the refrigerator. Rolled crepes can be filled, rolled, and stored covered in the refrigerator up to 12 hours.
- Nutritional information: all nutritional values are approximate.