Bring a touch of Hungary to your next appetizer spread with Liptauer, a seriously addicting, paprika-infused cheese spread that is perfect for game day or a fancy appetizer party, and everything in between.
Paprika-Spiced Hungarian Cheese Spread
Liptauer (pronounced LIP-tower) is a popular appetizer spread throughout the Balkan countries of Hungary, Austria, and Slovakia. Its base is traditionally a soft farmer’s cheese that is blended with butter, to create a creamy and fluffy spread. The cheese and butter mixture is then blended with seasonings including a good amount of paprika, capers, and minced onion, giving the spread a smoky, salty, and slightly tangy flavor.
While a soft farmer’s cheese is most traditionally used when making authentic liptauer, farmer’s cheese can be a bit hard to come by in the States. So, it’s a good thing that cream cheese has become a perfectly acceptable substitute when making liptauer cheese spread.
Our Liptauer Recipe
Since liptauer is quite popular across multiple countries, it is no surprise that there are many variations on the spread. We found versions that were made sweet with sweet pickles or salty with anchovies. Some like their liptauer spicy and add hot paprika or hot sauce. Other versions are more savory and add fresh or dried herbs. The texture of some spreads are smoother, from the addition of sour cream, and some are chunky, from blending cottage cheese into the mix.
We omitted a lot of the regional “extras” and opted to make liptauer using the set of ingredients that seemed most common among all the recipes we found. Sweet paprika (not hot paprika), capers, and onions give a nice base layer of smoky flavor with a hint of brine. Mustard and caraway bring additional sweetness and tang to the spread.
Once you get a feel for the spread, have fun with it! Feel free to mix in some sweet pickles or hot sauce, if those are flavors that your family likes. Liptauer is one of those dishes that is best when you make it your own!
Serving Liptauer Spread
Many wineries in Vienna, Austria serve both a mild and a spicy version of liptauer as an accompaniment to their local wines. It was the wine that first directed us to liptauer, as we were looking for something to pair with the Austrian Grüner Veltliner wine. (You’ll hear more about our exploration into this wine later in the week.)
While we did find that the liptauer paired incredibly well with wine, its ability to be spread on anything makes it the perfect appetizer, no matter what beverage you’re serving.
Traditionally, liptauer is spread on a hearty rye or pumpernickel bread, and we loved the way the creamy, slightly tangy and salty spread complemented the deep and robust flavors of the rye bread.
To tell you the truth, we became quite addicted to this spread as soon as we tasted it. Liptauer found its way onto any bread or cracker we had around the house. We spread it on our morning toast and topped it with hard boiled eggs. We even used it as a dip for raw veggies. This spread, which we were initially slightly skeptical about how the flavors would come together, has become our new favorite snack!
For best flavor, refrigerate the prepared spread for at least 1 hour before serving.
Yield: 2 c of cheese spread
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 4 oz salted butter, softened
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 Tbsp onion, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp capers, chopped
- 1 ½ tsp sweet paprika*
- 1 tsp caraway seeds, ground
- 1 tsp prepared mustard
- ¼ tsp salt
- Combine all ingredients in the a medium mixing bowl and blend using an electric hand mixer, until everything is well mixed and the cheese is fluffy.
- Refrigerate the spread in an airtight container for at least 1 hour before serving.
- Liptauer is traditionally served on rye or pumpernickel bread, but we found it to be tasty when spread on any kind of bread or crackers.
- Spread will last for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator.
*Your regular paprika is most likely a "sweet" paprika. But, if you happen to have some Hungarian sweet paprika standing by in your pantry, it will give this spread a touch of extra, authentic flavor.
Easy Game Day Party Ideas with Sunday Supper
It’s that time of year again, and the Sunday Supper crew is sharing their best, easy recipes for those game day parties. Thanks to Coleen of The Redhead Baker for hosting this week’s football party!
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- Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders by Food Done Light
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