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Liptauer – Austrian paprika cheese spread recipe

28 April 2019 | Last Updated: 4 June 2020

Liptauer is a paprika cheese spread that is very popular in Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia.

It’s simple but delicious and well-seasoned. It’s made from cream cheese and seasoned with paprika powder, caraway, garlic powder, mustard, tomato paste and garnished with chopped bell pepper, capers, and cornichons/gherkins. Usually, you eat it on bread, but it’s also great as a dip, you can scoop it with crackers, tortilla chips or toasts.

liptauer spread on a piece of bread, sprinkled with bell pepper, gherkins and capers relish

Where does Liptauer come from:

Liptauer comes from the historical region of Slovakia called Liptov (opens in a new window) (hence the spread’s name), which once belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Currently, it’s one of the most popular Austrian snacks. It’s often served as an appetizer in traditional Austrian wine taverns called Heuriger (opens in a new window). It’s also often included in the Austrian breakfast board (called Brettljause), which usually consists of a selection of charcuteries, pieces of bread, bread spreads/dips, pickles, and vegetables.

liptauer spread on a piece of bread, half the bread, bowl with topping, bowl with the spread

Ingredients:

ingredients needed to prepare Liptauer cheese spread

– Cheese: I used cream cheese, as it’s easy to get, but traditionally a soft sheep’s cheese is being used (it’s called Brimsen). If you have access to this cheese be careful with adding salt, as it’s already very salty. Liptauer made with Brimsen cheese has a stronger taste in comparison to Liptauer made from cow’s milk cheese. Other Austrian recipes I’ve seen use Gervais (a soft cow’s milk cheese with the addition of cream, popular in Switzerland and France), or simply a mixture of Austrian cream cheese (called Topfen) with sour cream/creme fraiche. Topfen/Gervais/Brimsen are not very thick so a lot of traditional recipes call for adding as much as 250g / 9 oz butter along with the same amount of cheese, to make it thicker.

– Butter: as mentioned above, many traditional recipes call for a lot of butter. Since I’m using cream cheese (Frischkäse), which is rather thick, I just added one heaped tablespoon butter, which is enough for the consistency and this also makes the dip taste better. You can omit the butter.

– Seasonings: the most important is sweet paprika powder, you can use just mild powder or add some cayenne pepper to make it a bit more spicy. Caraway seeds and garlic powder are also necessary. Caraway seeds are used a lot in Austrian and Central-European cuisine. I can rarely get ground seeds so I grind them myself using pestle and mortar, but this can also be done in a food processor or in a coffee grinder. I also seasoned the paste with mustard and tomato paste. Some recipes call for adding chopped onion and anchovies.

So, you could just make the basic version of Liptauer, from the ingredients mentioned above and sprinkle it with chives OR:

– Garnish with bell paprika-capers-cornichons-gherkins salad, which elevates the Liptauer to another level! You can mix them with Liptauer or sprinkle them on top of the cheese. I prefer the latter, it tastes and looks better for me.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Whisk the butter with the cream cheese until combined and fluffy (best would be to use a mixer to whisk the butter and cheese).
  2. Mix with the remaining ingredients for Liptauer: mustard, tomato paste, paprika powder, caraway seeds (ground them in pestle and mortar or food processor or coffee grinder), garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Garnish: finely chop the bell pepper, cornichons, and capers, mix together, spoon over the Liptauer.
a bowl with basic version of Liptauer and another bowl with garnish

Tips for making Liptauer:

  • You can spread the cheese over a slice of bread or sourdough toast or scoop with crackers or tortilla chips.
  • You can make this ahead: It tastes the same on the next day.
  • Liptauer can be frozen, but mix the garnish with the cheese dip before freezing.
  • You can omit the butter, but it tastes better with butter (obviously!).
  • Cream cheese can be replaced with soft sheep cheese if you have access to it, traditional recipes call for that kind of cheese. Be careful with adding salt, as this cheese is already very salty.
  • You can make the basic version of Liptauer (more traditional) or garnish it with bell pepper-cornichons-capers mixture – it‘s so much better! You can also mix the garnish with the cheese dip but I prefer when it‘s on top – tastes somehow better and looks better (we eat with our eyes!)

You may also want to try other Austrian recipes like:

Liptauer – Austrian paprika cheese spread recipe

Well-seasoned cream cheese spread, perfect with sourdough toast or as a dip.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 1170kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

Liptauer:

  • 8 oz cream cheese 1 package, 225-250g, or soft sheep’ cheese
  • 1 heaped tablespoon soft butter 30g / 1 oz
  • 1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds need to be grounded*
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

additionally:

  • 1/2 red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 5 cornichons/gherkins
  • 1 teaspoon capers rinsed

Instructions

  • Whisk the butter with the cream cheese until combined and fluffy (best would be to use a mixer to whisk the butter and cheese).
  • Mix with the remaining ingredients for Liptauer: mustard, tomato paste, paprika powder, caraway seeds (ground them in pestle and mortar or food processor or coffee grinder), garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Garnish: finely chop the bell pepper, cornichons, and capers, mix together, spoon over the Liptauer.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • You can make the basic version of Liptauer (more traditional) or garnish it with bell pepper-cornichons-capers mixture – it‘s so much better! You can also mix the garnish with the cheese dip but I prefer when it‘s on top – tastes somehow better and looks better (we eat with our eyes!).
  • You can spread the cheese over a slice of bread or sourdough toast or scoop with crackers or tortilla chips.
  • You can make this ahead: It tastes the same on the next day. Liptauer can be frozen, but mix the garnish with the cheese dip before freezing.
  • You can omit the butter, but it tastes better with butter (obviously!).
  • Cream cheese can be replaced with soft sheep cheese if you have access to it, traditional recipes call for that kind of cheese. Be careful with adding salt, as this cheese is already salty.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine austrian
Keyword liptauer, liptauer recipe, paprika cheese spread, paprika dip

Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!

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