Kaiserschmarrn is my all-time favorite. Also known as emperor’s mess, it is a fluffy and light, giant pancake, which is torn into bite-size pieces after baking.
The name is composed of the words Kaiser (emperor) and Schmarrn, which refers to a shredded dish in Austria. But be careful: Schmarrn is also a colloquialism to nonsense.
The dish is named after the Austrian emperor Kaiser Franz Joseph I. (1830-1916) who was very fond of sweet treats like this. By the way, Franz Joseph is still a big deal in Austria.
Usually, this traditional Austrian treat is accompanied by plum compote (Zwetschgenröster) or some other fruit compote. Often, you will find some raisins in Kaiserschmarrn, but I prefer this dish without. Feel free to add some, if you like. The traditional way is to soak them in brown rum for a while before adding them to the batter ;-)
By heritage and taste, I am a huge carb-lover. I simply cannot resist anything even remotely related to pancakes. These flour-egg-milk based dishes are my comfort food, be it sweet meals like Palatschinken (crêpes) or Buchteln (sweet, filled yeast buns). I sometimes eat sweet flour-based dishes for lunch, but of course, within reason.
About the recipe
I already posted a recipe for Kaiserschmarrn with elderflowers in my first days of blogging, more than 4 years ago. The method that I used back then was to cook the Kaiserschmarrn on the stove-top only – without later putting it into the oven. I still use this method sometimes, but the tricky part here is to flip the giant pancake while the batter is still runny. If you are not skilled, this can get kind of messy.
If you don’t want to risk a batter scattered kitchen, you might want to try the method below, here the Kaiserschmarrn is baked in the oven for 10 minutes. The Kaiserschmarrn will even be fluffier and since the surface of the pancake is set, flipping it will be an easy task. It doesn’t even take longer to make it with this method, the only difference is preheating the oven to 395 °F (200 °C).
Recipe for shredded pancakes
Beat the egg whites until soft-to-firm peaks form.
Beat the egg whites with salt and sugar until soft-to-firm peaks form.
Mix yolks, milk, salt, vanilla, and flour. Fold in the egg whites.
With a hand whisk, whisk together egg yolks, milk, and 1 tablespoon sugar, then flour. Lighten the batter with one third of the beaten egg whites and fold in the rest of the egg whites.
After folding in the beaten egg whites, you should have a light pancake batter.
Try to keep the volume when folding in the beaten egg whites.
Bake the pancake on in a pan on the stove-top for 1 minute.
Heat clarified butter, oil or regular unsalted butter over medium heat in a large frying pan (at least 10 inch Ø, with ovenproof handle) on the stove-top. Pour the batter into the hot pan, spread evenly, and bake for about 1 minute.
Bake the pancake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Quarter it, then flip each quarter.
Transfer the pan to the preheated oven, middle rack, and let it bake until puffy and golden on top, for about 10-12 minutes. Quarter the pancake with two spatulas and turn each quarter.
Tear the pancake into pieces.
Tear the pancake into small pieces. Voila, this is your Kaiserschmarrn.
Dust the Kaiserschmarrn with powdered sugar and serve with plum compote.
Dust with powdered sugar and serve. Traditionally, Kaiserschmarrn is accompanied by Zwetschgenröster, a fruit compote made with plums. However, you can serve it along with any fresh fruit or compote in season.
I’ve already posted a recipe for plum compote here. In the pictures above, I adapted it slightly: I used small damsons, which I halved, used only 2 cloves, and more water (1/2 cup) to get more sweet plum juice.
Light and Fluffy Shredded Pancake – Kaiserschmarrn
This is a very detailed recipe for emperor’s mess (Kaiserschmarrn) – because I want you to get a perfect result. This version is baked in the oven for 10 minutes for easy handling. This fluffy, giant shredded pancake is simple to make and only needs a few ingredients, so please don’t get scared off by my lengthy instructions.
Recipe: Ursula | lilvienna.com
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (1-3 tablespoons sugar are fine, depending on how sweet you like it)
- 1/2 + 1/3 cup milk (200 ml)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar)
- 1 cup all purpose flour (4.5 oz / 125 g)
- Optional: 2 tbsp raisins (soaked in brown rum)
- 1 tablespoon clarified butter (ghee), neutral-tasting oil or unsalted butter for frying
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- To serve: plum compote (or any compote or fresh fruits)*
- Additional: ovenproof large frying pan (10-inch or larger)
- Preheat the oven to 395 °F (200 °C), top and bottom heat. If using a fan-oven, reduce temperature to 355 °F (180 °C).
- Beat the egg whites with salt and 1 tablespoon sugar until soft-to-firm peaks form. Do not beat until stiff since this will make it harder to fold in stiff beaten egg whites later.
- With a hand whisk, whisk together egg yolks, about half of the milk (1/2 cup), vanilla, and 1 tablespoon sugar.
- Stir in flour until you get a smooth batter. Just now, add the rest of the milk. It is much easier to avoid lumps, if the batter is pretty thick.
- Using the hand whisk, add about one third of the beaten egg whites and stir them in, to lighten the batter. Then, carefully fold in the rest of the beaten egg whites, try to keep the volume.
- Heat clarified butter or oil over medium heat in a large frying pan (at least 10 inch Ø, with ovenproof handle) on the stove-top. If you are using butter, make sure not to overheat it. We want hot but not browned butter. Pour the batter into the hot pan, spread evenly, and bake for about 1 minute. If using raisins, scatter them over the batter.
- Transfer the pan to the preheated oven, middle rack, and let it bake until puffy and golden on top, for about 10-12 minutes. Note: This time depends very much on your oven and the temperature you used to pre-bake this giant pancake on the stove-top. If the top of the Kaiserschmarrn is still pale after 15 minutes in the oven, check the bottom of the batter with a spatula to make sure it doesn’t get too brown or even scorched. You can always flip the pancake when out of the oven and brown the pale side later.
- Remove the pan from the oven and set it on low heat on the stove-top. Quarter the pancake with two spatulas and turn. If the top side was golden already, keep the quartered pancake on low heat and cut them further into pieces with two spatulas (or two forks). If your pancake was rather pale on top turn the heat to medium and let the turned quarters fry until golden. Dial back the heat (or turn it off) and tear the quarters into pieces. Transfer the Kaiserschmarrn to plates and generously dust with powdered sugar through a sieve.
- Traditionally, Kaiserschmarrn is accompanied by Zwetschgenröster, a fruit compote made with plums. However, you can serve it along with any fresh fruit or compote in season.
*I’ve already posted a recipe for plum compote here. In the pictures above, I adapted it slightly: I used small damsons, which I halved, used only 2 cloves, and more water (1/2 cup) to get more sweet plum juice.
Did you follow this recipe? You could share your result here. All you need to do is take a picture with your smartphone and send it to [email protected]