2019 was the year of Blinis in my house. Earlier in the year, I was madly trying to come up with a gluten free, dairy free, tomato free, chicken free starter – yes my boys are very complicated – and hit the jackpot with these blinis. I simply made a few substitutes, which I have included in the recipe, and everyone – and their stomachs – were happy!

These delicious little morsels are the perfect starter to your Christmas lunch, the perfect way to kick off a dinner party or, the perfect accompaniment to Friday drinks!

This recipe was developed in conjunction with my wonderful friend and food mentor, Lydia Hamilton. Lydia is the Director of Classic Food Co., a boutique food company that offers a weekly meal service and event catering. Check out Episode 6 of the podcast where Lydia joins me to workshop how to prepare Christmas Lunch for under $100.


  • 1 cup of self-raising flour (use gluten free if required)
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup of milk (use almond or soy to make dairy free)
  • unsalted butter (use oil to make dairy free)
  • 250g tub cream cheese (use guacamole to make dairy free. Ensure store bought is free of dairy or make your own)
  • 100g smoked salmon
  • dill


  1. Place the flour and a pinch of sea salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre, crack in the egg and add 1 tablespoon of oil, then beat into the flour. Gradually whisk in the milk until you have a smooth batter.
  2. Drop a knob of butter into the fry pan. Once it’s melted, add tablespoons of batter to the pan. Cook for 1 minute each side and then flip when you see bubbles forming.
  3. Transfer the cooked blinis to a plate and continue until all the batter is used up.
  4. Smooth some cream cheese (or guacamole) on each blini, break the salmon into small pieces and place on top of the cream cheese or guacamole. Top with dill.
  5. Should make approximately 20-22 pieces


  • If you are making this dairy free, ensure your store bought guacamole is dairy free