Salmon Mousse Pinwheels

A white cake stand with four spirals of pumpernickel bread, salmon mousse, and smoked salmon

The Ritz London (150 Piccadilly), conceived and founded by hotelier Cesar Ritz, opened its doors on May 24, 1906. The first steel-framed building of any significance in London—with French chateau-style architecture and Louis XVI interiors—the hotel was, according to Ritz, “a small house to which I am proud to see my name attached.” After recently being restored to its original glory, the landmark hotel continues to be one of London’s most fashionable addresses for afternoon tea and the place to enjoy “Putting on The Ritz.” A long-standing recipe for a tea sandwich in the Palm Court is a smoked salmon sandwich served with a whisky-spiked mousse, but these simple, equally delicious salmon mousse pinwheels substitute horseradish and chives for the whisky. You can add a few capers for zing, if you like, and then roll the sandwiches into pinwheels.–Margaret M. Johnson

Salmon Mousse Pinwheels

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 20 M
  • Makes 12 large or 24 mini pinwheels
5/5 - 1 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Tea & Crumpets cookbook

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  • For the salmon mousse
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers (optional)
  • For the pinwheel sandwich
  • 12 slices dark wheat or pumpernickel bread, crusts removed
  • 2 ounces smoked salmon, cut into thin strips


  • Make the salmon mousse
  • 1. Put the cream cheese, butter, chives, horseradish, salmon, lemon juice, and pepper in a food processor and process for 20 to 30 seconds, or until smooth. Stir in the capers, if using. (Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days; bring to room temperature for spreading.)
  • Make the pinwheel sandwiches
  • 2. Roll the bread slices flat with a rolling pin.
  • 3. Spread the salmon mousse on one side of each slice and arrange pieces of smoked salmon on top. Roll up the bread and place it seam side down on a serving plate. Cover with a damp tea towel or paper towels until ready to serve.
  • 4. Serve the salmon pinwheels whole or cut each one in half crosswise and on a diagonal and serve angled side up.


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Recipe Testers Reviews

I chose a more rustic pumpernickel bread for these salmon pinwheels. I’ll choose a more “mainstream” pumpernickel bread that is less likely to crack (hence the yield of less than the author suggested). The longevity of this recipe is testament to its appeal. It has great flavor balance, was easy to prepare, and elegant to serve. I’m now curious about the original, which was prepared with whiskey.

These salmon pinwheels turned out to be one of the finest appetizers I have served in many moons. The taste of the salmon came through loud and clear, likewise the horseradish, lemon, and small amounts of capers used. I went with the suggested Arnold brand of dark wheat bread and will try pumpernickel next time to see if it turns out just as well.

These salmon pinwheels were so simple to make and yet so impressive looking, and the taste was wonderful. I couldn’t stop eating them. Can’t wait for my next party to make these and wow my guests.

I waited until the Home Opener Tailgate to make these salmon pinwheels. I pre-made the spread, brought it to temperature at the gate, and assembled everything on the spot. I (fortunately) brought enough ingredients to make six batches. They flew off the table. People were “ticked” when I ran out. The pinwheels were really easy to make, and they were very good. I used two types of salmon to see the difference. I used thin-cut lox, which I recommend, and I also used some thicker smoked salmon, but that was hard to get into the pinwheels.


  1. These pinwheels were an easy choice, as my husband loves salmon. I already had all the ingredients, so I just whipped it together. Tastes great, easy to make, and looks good. These are a definite winner. But, I would like to try that whiskey version from The Ritz.

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