Cheese Blintzes

Cheese Blintzes are made with thin and tender crepes filled with sweet and creamy farmer’s cheese. They are such a treat and can be enjoyed for breakfast or as a dessert.

Cheese Blintzes with a cherry sauce

Cheese blintzes have a special place in my heart. Growing up as a Belarusian, we called them (Налистники) Nalistniki in Russian and they were always one of our favorite family recipes that we enjoyed all year long and definitely on holidays and special occasions.  They are loved by many different cultures and for good reason. Thin, delicate crepes are filled with a sweet farmer’s cheese mixture that melts slightly when you cook the blintzes in butter. They are golden on the outside with layers of thin crepes and the gooey and creamy cheese filling inside.

My mom would make her own farmer’s cheese, tvorog, that has such a creamy texture and the perfect amount of tanginess and sweetness. You can often find farmer’s cheese in many grocery stores too.

This recipe is wonderful to make in advance. You can either store the blintzes in the refrigerator for up to one week and heat them up in a skillet before serving or even freeze them for up to 3 months.

What is a cheese blintz?

There are so many delicious variations of cheese blintzes enjoyed by different cultures, most commonly Russian, Ukrainian, Jewish and Polish.

Cheese blintzes start with thin crepes and are then filled with a sweet farmer’s cheese mixture, rolled up and cooked in butter on a skillet or warmed up in the oven.

Sweet Cheese Filling For Blintzes:

Farmer’s cheese is the most traditional cheese to use for the filling. It has a tart and tangy flavor and is creamy, grainy and much drier than ricotta cheese or cottage cheese. It’s much more common to find store bought farmer’s cheese in most grocery stores, usually in the refrigerated section with cream cheese. It is also sold in European specialty stores; Russian or Polish stores almost always have farmer’s cheese (творог) that you can buy. You can also make your own homemade farmer’s cheese – it very easy to make.

Adding the heavy cream and egg to the cheese will make the texture of the filling unbelievable soft, creamy and will melt flawlessly. Otherwise, the cheese tends to clump up.

Farmer's cheese for cheese blintz filling

Ingredients:

Crepe batter:

  • milk – I use whole milk, but you can use any type of milk that you prefer and even use dairy free alternatives as well.
  • eggs – use large eggs. For this particular recipe, eggs are an important ingredient and will give the crepes structure and make the most tender and delicate crepes. I don’t recommend making crepes without eggs using this recipe. If you have an egg free crepe recipe, you can use it instead.
  • all purpose flour
  • cornstarch – in addition to the flour, I like adding some cornstarch to the batter as well. It makes the crepes even more delicate, thin and has a lovely pliable texture that is easy to work with and the crepes don’t tear too easily. If you’d rather not use cornstarch, try this crepe recipe instead.
  • oil – use any oil that has a milk flavor, such as avocado oil, light olive oil (not extra virgin olive oil), grape seed, etc.
  • salt
  • oil or butter – for cooking the crepes
  • sugar – optional. You can add sugar to the crepe batter to make them sweet, if you’d like, or omit it. I hardly ever add sugar to the crepes, since I think the cheese filling is sweet enough.

Cheese filling:

  • farmer’s cheese (you can also use cottage cheese, ricotta cheese or cream cheese)
  • granulated sugar – to sweeten the filling. Use more or less, depending on how sweet you want the blintzes to be.
  • vanilla extract – for a delicious vanilla flavor. You can also add some grated lemon, lime or orange zest to the filling for a citrusy flavor variation.
  • egg – the egg will help bind the filling ingredients together, especially important when cooking the blintzes.
  • heavy cream or sour cream – this will make the filling just a bit more smooth and creamy.
Ingredients For Cheese Blintzes

How To Make Cheese Blintzes:

  1. Mix the crepe batter. Combine all the ingredients – milk, eggs, flour, cornstarch, oil and salt in a blender and mix to combine until the batter is smooth. Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight before cooking the crepes.
  2. Make the crepes. Heat a nonstick skillet on medium high heat with some butter or oil, just enough to lightly cover the bottom of the skillet. (Use a pastry brush or a paper towel to distribute it evenly and remove excess oil.) Pour in a little bit less than 1/4 cup of batter into the hot skillet and tilt the skillet, shaking lightly, to distribute the batter evenly over the bottom of the skillet. Cook for about 1 minute on the first side, then another 30 seconds on the second side. I use a 10 inch non stick skillet and get about 13-15 crepes.
  3. Prepare the cheese filling. Combine the farmer’s cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, egg and heavy cream in a bowl and mix until smooth.
  4. Fill the crepes to create blintzes. In our family, we always spread out the filling over the surface of the crepe and rolled it up. You can also place the filling in the center, towards the bottom, fold over the sides and then roll them up like a burrito that has more of a square shape. I prefer the filling spread all over the surface of the crepe, rolled up (you can trim the edges if you’d like) and then cut in half before cooking the blintzes.
  5. Cook the cheese blintzes. Melt 1/2 a Tablespoon butter in a nonstick skillet. When the foaming subsides, add the blintzes. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2-4 min.
How to make cheese blintzes

Toppings For Cheese Blintzes:

There are so many delicious options to serve as a topping with cheese blintzes. Some of the easiest is to serve them with fresh fruit or berries, whipped cream or jam.

Another popular option is sour cream. The tart sour cream contrasts with the sweet cheese filling. You can also sweeten the sour cream with some powdered sugar and even add a bit of vanilla too.

Cooked fruit toppings are also great. I’ll share a recipe for a cherry topping that you can make with either fresh or frozen cherries. Instead of the cherry sauce, you can also use other fruit or berries and cook them in a saucepan with sugar to taste and add some water to thin it out to the consistency that you like, and cook it for just a few minutes until the fruit has softened. Mash up or puree the sauce or leave it chunky, however you prefer. Any pie filling will be great as a topping too.

Cheese blintzes with raspberries

Helpful Tips

Refrigerate the crepe batter.

Giving the batter time to rest and chill will give the flour time to absorb into the batter. It will result in more tender crepes. They are also much easier to work with and won’t be as likely to tear. It’s also really convenient to make the crepe batter in advance and you can even refrigerate it up to 2 days in advance. The batter may separate, so just pulse it a few times in the blender or mix with a whisk until smooth to redistribute.

Use a blender to make the crepe batter.

First of all, it’s so easy and fast to use a blender, but will also make the batter really smooth and prevent lumps. Of course, you can whisk all the ingredients by hand using a whisk or even a hand mixer if you don’t have a blender.

Crepe batter in a blender for the cheese blintzes

How to keep the edges of the crepes from drying out:

Place the the crepes on a round dinner plate and cover with aluminum foil while you’re cooking the crepes, to prevent the crepes from drying around the edges. If you cook the crepes in advance, cover them with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to keep the crepes pliable and soft.

Substitutions for farmer’s cheese:

Instead of farmer’s cheese, you can use ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, or cream cheese. Make sure to drain the cottage cheese or ricotta cheese first or the filling will be too runny. If using cream cheese, bring it to room temperature before adding the sugar, egg and vanilla, otherwise it will not blend into a smooth mixture and have flecks of unmixed cream cheese throughout the filling.

Storing/Freezing Cheese Blintzes:

Store the cheese blintzes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

To freeze, wrap each of the blintzes (uncooked) individually in plastic wrap, then place the wrapped blintzes in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Wrapping them individually will keep them really fresh, prevent freezer burn and keep them from drying out. It is also nice to be able to take out just as many as you need without thawing the whole batch, since they won’t be stuck together.

Thaw the blintzes either in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for a few hours and then heat in a skillet or oven. You can also cook them right out of the freezer without thawing, it will just take a lot longer and you need to cook them very slowly over low heat, covered, until they are warmed through all the way to the center.

Print

Cheese Blintzes

Cheese Blintzes are made with thin and tender crepes filled with sweet and creamy farmer’s cheese. They are such a treat and can be enjoyed for breakfast or as a dessert.

  • Author: Olga’s Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 15 blintzes 1x
  • Category: Sweets
  • Cuisine: Russian

Ingredients

Scale

Crepe batter:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 Tablespoons oil (avocado, light olive oil, sunflower, grape seed, etc.)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar, optional

Cheese filling:

  • 22.5 oz – 24 oz farmer’s cheese (store-bought farmer’s cheese is sold in 7.5 oz packages, so you’ll need 3 packages total, but you can also use an even 24 oz if you buy in a bigger package or make your own.)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar, or to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or sour cream, optional

Cherry sauce:

  • 1216 oz fresh or frozen cherries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 23 Tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine, optional

Instructions

Crepes:

  1. Place all the ingredients for the crepe batter in a blender and combine, or whisk all the ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. If you refrigerate for a long period of time, you may need to add a few Tablespoons of additional water, since the flour will thicken more the longer it stands.
  3. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Brush with a little bit of butter, using a paper towel to distribute an even amount over the skillet.
  4. When the butter stops sizzling, pour in some crepe batter (a little bit less than 1/4 cup for a 10 inch skillet) and tilt the skillet, distributing the batter evenly over the surface.
  5. Flip the crepe over when the edges are slightly dry, about 1 min on the first side and 30 seconds on the second side.
  6. Repeat with all the batter, putting the crepes on a round dinner plate and covering with aluminum foil while you’re cooking the next crepe, to prevent the crepes from drying around the edges. You should have 13-15 crepes.

Cheese Blintzes:

  1. Combine all the filling ingredients together in a bowl. Mix until smooth.
  2. Spread the filling over the surface of each crepe and roll each one up tightly. You can trim the edges if you’d like.
  3. You can also place the filling in the center of the crepe towards the bottom, then fold the sides over, and then roll up from the bottom to create a blintz, that looks kind of like a square shaped burrito.
  4. Melt 1/2 a Tablespoon butter in a nonstick skillet. When the foaming subsides, add the blintzes.
  5. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2-4 min.
  6. Serve with the cherry sauce, freshly whipped cream, sour cream, whipped cream, jam or fresh berries.

Cherry sauce:

  1. Whisk all the ingredients except the cherries in a small saucepan. Add the cherries.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 min, until cherries are cooked through and the sauce thickens.

Notes

Storing, Freezing, Reheating Cheese Blintzes:

Store cheese blintzes in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for up to one week.

To freeze, wrap each of the blintzes (uncooked) individually in plastic wrap, then place the wrapped blintzes in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Wrapping them individually will keep them really fresh, prevent freezer burn and keep them from drying out. It is also nice to be able to take out just as many as you need without thawing the whole batch, since they won’t be stuck together.

You can thaw the blintzes either in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for a few hours and then heat in a skillet or oven. You can also cook them right out of the freezer without thawing, it will just take a lot longer and you need to cook them very slowly over low heat, covered, until they are warmed through all the way to the center.

Keywords: cheese blintz, how to make cheese blintzes, cheese filled crepes

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

This is an updated version of the Cheese Blintzes recipe that was published originally on February 1, 2012.

20 Comments

  • Alli

    You make it look so simple and scrumptious. I never have luck turning out creeps as thin and beautifully colored as yours. Looks incredible.

    • Olga K.

      Thanks Alli!
      It doesn’t only look easy, it really is. Although, I have to admit, I had an awful time making crepes before. It was so frustrating! Once you find the right batter and a great nonstick skillet, it makes things A LOT easier. I really like the recipe for these crepes. I have another recipe that I use for savory crepes, and it works just as well – doesn’t rip and cooks to perfection in minutes. Another trick that I have learned is to pour in more batter than you need and then just pour out the excess back into the bowl. You can cut off the little tail and you have perfectly thin crepes every time:)

  • Barbara

    Without a doubt, my favorite Russian dessert!! I have eaten way too many nalistniki over the years. I remember the excitement when “nalistniki makers” (for crepes!) were discovered and they could be mass produced. I am enjoying your website…it brings back memories of the early days when many families immigrated to our Upstate New York town from Belarus and attended our church. I still enjoy some of these foods with friends and family. Now maybe I can make some.

  • Oksana

    I made this cherry sauce today for my cheese nalisniki….and oh my…what a great combo! I absolutely love the touch of red wine and cinnamon…yummy! And what a great presentation when serving to guests! Thanks Olga!

  • margarita

    olga, im assuming these freeze well too? ive bought some from trader joes- blintze with cheese frozen- they were delish.. so im hoping to make some and freeze them too. How should i store them? in a ziplock bag or just cling wrap?

    • olgak7

      I’ve never tried freezing them, but I’ve heard that they do freeze well. The main thing to keep in mind is that they are tightly sealed. I would store them in a ziptop bag. Maybe even put parchement paper between the layers of nalistniki. Let me know what you end up doing.

  • margarita

    by the way, i have a crepe maker and its made my life so much easier! only my hubby knows how to make amazing crepes on the skillet! lol

  • Veronika

    Did you know that Bed Bath and Beyond sells crepe maker, the cheapest one $29.99, makes my life much easier. and you get the perfect crepe like pro.

    • olgak7

      I’ve seen crepe makers in many different stores. I’m sure they are great. I am a minimalist though, and prefer to not have extra gadgets and appliances if I can use something else to perform the same task. In my kitchen I try to implement the rule of having as little uni taskers as possible, things that only perform one function, unless I would use it A LOT:). Everybody is different though. That’s just my preference. Making creeps in a skillet is very easy for me.

  • Zhanna

    I love this crepe recipe. Tried many. Some call for way too many eggs. But this one is perfect.

    Though, one batch definitely doesn’t produce 15 to 22 crepes.

    I had to double the recipe to produce 25 blintzes.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.