Sauces & Rubs

By Lindsay Hunt | May 9, 2011

Photo: Lindsay Hunt

Last week, when I read about cayenne’s ability to help lose weight, I immediately started sprinkling it on my food, from sauteed greens to salad dressing. Sometimes the spice improved the taste, but its addition was often regrettable.

Instead of trial and error, I wanted to make a sandwich spread or dip that would highlight the spicy flavor of cayenne, but wouldn’t be overpowered by it.

Photo: Lindsay Hunt

Enter liptauer, a spread from Austria and Hungary that pairs amazingly well with crisp radishes. I worked at an Austrian restaurant the summer after college, and small ramekins of liptauer and radishes would appear after a customer ordered, paired with a hearty German-style bread. The combination was foreign to my mostly-American palate. I figured that purveyors of foods like schniztel and spaetzle had to know something, and I soon discovered that liptauer was the incredible Austro-Hungarian answer to plain butter.

Photo: Lindsay Hunt

It’s not just good with radishes and bread, though. This liptauer has starred in many snacks and meals since: whole-grain tortilla with liptauer, arugula, and tomatoes, spread on crackers as a snack, or on sandwiches.

Photo: Lindsay Hunt

Liptauer is usually made with paprika. For a traditional spread, replace the cayenne with sweet paprika. And, beware! This is a spicy spread. For sensitive palates, reduce the cayenne to 1 or 2 teaspoons.

Photo: Lindsay Hunt

Makes about 2 cups

Photo: Lindsay Hunt

Photo: Lindsay Hunt

  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • Radishes, for serving
  • Crackers or hearty bread, for serving


In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and butter. Beat with an electric hand mixer or by hand until fluffy and creamy, about 3 minutes. Fold in the remaining ingredients.

Serve spread on crackers and topped with sliced radishes, or dip radishes into the Liptauer.

More about: ,

You Might Also Like:

Featured Recipe

More Recipes

Meet the Team

About The Team

Whether it’s finding the best goat tacos in LA, spotting a well-worn vintage bag in Sweden, or interviewing the “crab man” selling seafood on a corner in Harlem, we tell stories seen from Chef Marcus Samuelsson‘s point of view. strives to create conversations about food, nutrition, culture, art, and design. We want to find Read More


Streetbird Rotisserie
Marcus’ Bermuda
Eatery Social Taqueria
Red Rooster Harlem
Ginny’s Supper Club
Uptown Brasserie
American Table Cafe and Bar
Kitchen and Table
American Table Brasserie and Bar
Marc Burger