Liptauer "Cheese" Spread
Liptauer is a typical savory Austrian spread that is enjoyed by young and old alike. This Liptauer cheese spread is made without butter and curd cheese and is in no way inferior to the original in terms of authenticity. In this post I will show you how to make the best Liptauer cheese spread yourself in two different vegan variations. Both are easy and quick to make, turn out nice and creamy, and taste just like you would eat it at a Viennese “Heuriger”.
Liptauer spread – an early and long loveMaybe we’ll start with the basics – what is Liptauer cheese? Liptauer is a spread made from curd cheese and paprika, tastes savory and despite the usual addition of butter also quite light and fresh. Everyone in Austria knows Liptauer cheese and, I dare to say, also likes it.
I literally grew up with Liptauer. When I bought a snack at the school buffet during the long break in high school, it was either a bread roll with egg salad (I was a vegetarian back then – today I make vegan egg salad), with cheese, or with Liptauer.
Since I became vegan, Liptauer was out of sight, out of mind – until I spoke with a friend about it. I had to eat it again – a vegan Liptauer spread was urgently needed! It wouldn’t be my first “veganized” Austrian recipe. You might want to give these soft potato dumplings (with red cabbage, if you like) a try. Or how about the famous and very delicious dessert “ Kaiserschmarrn“?
By the way, if you were wondering how to pronounce Liptauer: It’s LIP (just like lips, but without the s) TAU (like “tow”) ER (like you would use it at the beginning of the first name Erica or Erika).
Back to the roots
Liptauer is something that is typically eaten in Austria and is a fixed part of the “Heurigen” (a simple Viennese wine tavern where regional wine and simple dishes are being served). However, it actually has its origins in today’s Slovakia, namely in the “Liptov” region (in German “Liptau”).
Since the origin is in the territory of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Liptauer cheese can also be found in some neighboring countries such as Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia. A German once told me that Liptauer is typically German. It seems everyone wants to claim this delicacy.
Liptauer cheese without cheese
The “base” of Liptauer cheese is usually made out of curd and butter. I am going to show you how to make Liptauer cheese without animal “products”. For a vegan Liptauer cheese spread, use either soy yogurt and vegan butter or, if you want it to be healthy, cashew nuts. Both alternatives are in no way inferior to the original, taste very authentic, and are also thick and creamy.
You can easily make soy yogurt firmer by draining it with a cheesecloth *). And the cashew nuts are soaked and then mixed with water and vinegar (liquid from the pickles) in a powerful mini blender *). It will become like cream cheese.
No matter which variant you choose as a base, the spices remain the same, namely onion, capers, and pickles – all three chopped as finely as possible. Further ingredients of Liptauer are sweet paprika powder, mustard, caraway seeds, salt, and pepper. Simply combine everything in a mixing bowl. If you prefer a hot Liptauer cheese spread, you can add a pinch of chili powder. A pinch of smoked paprika powder also tastes nice with it. As a topping, you can use chives and a bit more paprika powder.
I have seen some English recipes with anchovies. Please – no! That’s never the case here in Austria, even when you are buying or making Liptauer cheese in a non-vegan version. Liptauer is at least always vegetarian.
How to eat Liptauer cheese
We already know that Liptauer is a savory spread. It tastes delicious on a slice of typical Austrian bread, like rye bread. But Liptauer cheese spread is also commonly used as a dip for “ Soletti” *) (salted pretzel sticks). This way I like to offer it when I am making a party for friends, which I like to do for my birthday or New Year’s Eve. I always received the best feedback from my non-vegan friends.
On the day my daughter was born (or the night before we went to the hospital) I wanted to eat the Liptauer I made with baked potatoes. I already had the potatoes in the oven. Why wanted and didn’t have? Because I suddenly went into labor, and we had to go to the hospital.
Perhaps you will think “pfff, Liptauer with potatoes. Typical food for pregnant women at the peak of their heyday”. Then you just don’t know how good this stuff is! I would eat it even now, not being pregnant.
By the way: this homemade vegan Liptauer cheese spread keeps for three days in the fridge if it is kept sealed. I haven’t tried it to keep it any longer.
I wish you happy cooking and bon appétit. I would be very happy if you would let me know how you liked the Liptauer spread by leaving a rating in the recipe box or by commenting below it.
Did you try this recipe?
I would love to see the result. Please do not forget to tag me on Instagram: @plantbased.redhead.cooks
Liptauer "Cheese" Spread
Base - Version 1
- 500 g (17.6 oz or 2 cups) soy yogurt
- 60 g (or 2.1 oz or 1/2 cups or 4 tbsp) vegan butter
Base - version 2
- 200 g (7 oz or ~ 1 1/4 cups) cashew nuts
- 125 ml (4.2 oz or 0.5 cup) cold water
- 2 tbsp liquid from the pickles
Spices - for version 1 or 2
- 1 small onion
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1-2 pickles (about the size of a finger)
- 3 tsp sweet paprika powder
- 1 tsp mustard
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- black pepper
- Optional: A pinch of chilli powder and/or smoked paprika powder, or both combined as hot smoked paprika powder *)
Base version #1
- Place a cheesecloth*) (or something similar, like a tea towel) in a colander, pour in the yogurt and leave to drain in the fridge for at least overnight.
- When the yogurt is drained, take the butter out of the fridge about 15 minutes before you plan to use it to make it easier to mash. Mix the butter with the drained soy yogurt. There shouldn't be any pieces of butter left over.
Base version #2
- Soak cashew nuts, either for about an hour in hot water or for several hours in cold water (placed in the fridge). The main thing is to have them somewhat soaked. Then drain.
- Blend *) the cashews with the water and vinegar (the liquid from the pickles) until you get a smooth cream. It's a bit liquid at first but gets nice and solid again in the fridge.
Spices for either version 1 or 2
- Finely chop the onions, capers, and pickles (the smaller, the better) and add to the drained yogurt and butter (or cashew sour cream).
- Add all spices, that is paprika powder, mustard, cumin, salt, and pepper (and if you wish a pinch of chili and/or smoked paprika powder) and stir.
- Leave to soak in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Usually, Liptov is prepared with much more butter, about twice as much. So, if you're looking for a way to get in some extra calories, roughly double - here it is.