Instead of making the famous pancakes with sugar and lemon that in England are traditionally eaten on Shrove Tuesday ( martedì grasso in Italian) this year I decided to make kaiserschmarrn. Impossible to pronounce, I know, unless you are German. This dish is in fact Austrian and translated it means “the emperor’s mess”. And a mess it certainly looks when cooked, as it is basically a thick pancake brutally torn into pieces, sprinkled with icing sugar and served with plum sauce. I reckon that  it was born a misdemeanour and got later dressed up as a dessert, personally! 😉 Still……I had it for the first time in the famous Café Central in Vienna when I went there at Easter. I confess I found it a bit stodgy and couldn’t even finish it! I then had another lighter version of it in one of the Italian rifugi (mountain huts) in the Dolomites and a different experience it was too!  Much fluffier and nicer (and cheaper to boot!). Anyway, I have done my research. There are several recipes out there. Some of them contain rum and raisins and are therefore richer in taste. But I didn’t have rum nor did I have any raisins so I decided to make a very simple, straightforward version and served it with homemade warmed up blackberry jam. I have seen recipes serving it with apple sauce, strawberry sauce and of course the traditional plum sauce. I thought it was rather nice for a first attempt and different from the usual boring pancakes. Definitely something on the filling side to indulge in if you are in need of comfort food.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

  •  4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 125ml milk
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 125g plain flour
  • grated rind of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • plum sauce to serve it with (or hot jam)


  1. Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks form.  Beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl until smooth; mix in the milk, sugar, salt, flour and grated lemon zest. Fold in the egg whites.
  2. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Pour the batter into the pan and cook until golden brown; flip and cook until set on the other side. Tear the kaiserschmarrn into pieces using two forks and continue cooking until golden brown. Sprinkle with icing sugar to garnish and serve with plum sauce or jam.



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4 Responses to “Kaiserschmarrn”

  • Hi Lucina,
    so you are into German/Austrian cuisine again! If you make the savoury version of Kaiserschmarrn you could have it with sauce hollandaise and (white) asparagus (the season will soon start here). That’s one way of eating asparagus in Baden (the western part of Baden-Württemberg, along the Rhine, including Karlsruhe and Freiburg). They call this savoury Kaiserschmarrn “Kratzete” (“kratzen” means “to scratch”…). Guten Appetit!

  • Basically it’s just the same, just replace sugar with salt, but I’ll try and find a recipe I used to follow.

  • Da provare, belle queste variazioni dolci e salate!! Anch’io ci provo ocn lo strudel :)

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