Kaiserschmarrn (Austrian Shredded Pancakes)

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kaiserschmarrn recipe
Christina Holmes/Alpine Cooking

Kaiserschmarrn. Looks delicious, but what is it?, we wondered when a copy of the beautiful new cookbook Alpine Cooking landed on our desk. After a little research, we found out that it’s the light, fluffy, easy-to-make Austrian dessert of our dreams.

“Of all the Austrian dessert classics,” author Meredith Erickson writes, “this imperial one reigns supreme over Alpine menus.” The name translates literally to “shredded pancake,” but it’s also sometimes known as Emperor’s Mess, as it’s said to have been a favorite of 19th-century Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I. (And there’s your fun fact for the day.)

“It is big, it’s easy to make and it’s a whole lotta rustic,” Erickson continues. “Served right from the frying pan it was cooked in, it’s a jumble of buttery shredded pancake generously dusted with confectioners’ sugar.”

That sounds right up our alley.

Reprinted with permission from Alpine Cooking by Meredith Erickson, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Photographs copyright © 2019 by Christina Holmes.


1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour, sifted

1 cup (240ml) whole milk

3 eggs

¼ cup (55g) unsalted butter, melted

Fine sea salt

¼ cup (60ml) grapeseed oil

½ cup (60g) confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons rum (optional)

Apple jam (or compote) or cranberry jam, for serving


1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, milk, eggs, melted butter and a pinch of salt and whisk well to combine into a loose batter. Let rest at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.

2. In a large, well-seasoned frying pan over medium heat, warm the grapeseed oil until it shimmers. Pour in the batter and let it sit in the pan, untouched, so it can start to slightly brown on the bottom. Using a flat spatula or a deft flick of the wrist, flip the pancake and continue to cook until brown on the other side, about 2 minutes.

3. Using two forks and working directly in the pan, coarsely cut the pancake into pieces about 1 to 2 inches in size. Sprinkle liberally with the confectioners’ sugar.

4. If using, splash the rum onto the pancake and set the pan aflame. Let the flames subside and then serve the Kaiserschmarrn warm in its pan, accompanied by apple and/or cranberry jam.

Note: The possibilities for Schmarrn (translated as “shredded or chopped pancake”) variations are endless! To make Apfelschmarrn (apple) or Kirschschmarrn (cherry), simply add a few thin slices of apple or a handful of pitted and halved cherries to the batter before you pour it into the pan. You can also add 2 tablespoons raisins to the batter or stir in the finely grated zest of a lemon.

Nutrition Facts
  • 944 calories

  • 61g fat

  • 82g carbs

  • 18g protein

  • 36g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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