Kaiserschmarrn (Scrambled Pancake) is an Austrian dessert that’s also very popular in Bavaria! A sweet fluffy pancake made with rum-soaked raisins is torn into bite-sized pieces, caramelized, and served sprinkled with powdered sugar, applesauce, and preserves. This easy dessert recipe also tastes great for brunch and is loved by kids and adults alike!
Kaiserschmarrn (or Kaiserschmarren) is also known as Emperor’s Mess, scrambled pancake, shredded pancake, torn pancake or Emperor’s Pancake. If you’ve ever been to Bavaria or Austria you’ve probably tried this sweet pancake dessert before! It’s one of the best desserts that exist on this planet and after you’ve taken your first bite you will be addicted (in a good way!).
This caramelized pancake dessert is my favorite sweet comfort food! It’s a great treat after a long day of skiing in the Alps. When we go to Austria this is my favorite thing to get at every ski lodge. But like many Austrian dishes, it is also very popular in Bavaria.
At the Oktoberfest (or Wiesn like it’s called in Munich), it is probably the most served dessert but there’s also a tent named after the famous Bavarian pancake dessert, the Café Kaiserschmarrn. But you don’t need to fly to Europe to try it, I’ll show you how easy it is to make it at home completely from scratch!
What is Kaiserschmarrn?
Kaiserschmarrn is best described as scrambled sweet pancakes. The name is a compound of the German words Kaiser which means Emporer and Schmarrn which can be translated as “a scrambled dish”.
This traditional German Pancake dish that originated in Austria during the time of Emporer Franz Joseph I is mainly served for dessert in Bavaria and Austria but it can also be eaten for brunch or lunch because it is quite filling. It is traditionally accompanied by Applesauce (Apfelmuss) and Zwetschgenröster, a fruit compote made from plums.
How to make Kaiserschmarrn
The base for this recipe is a fluffy pancake which you make by dividing the eggs and adding the stiff egg whites after you combined the other ingredients. There’s no baking powder in this pancake the egg whites do all the work. The batter is then baked in butter, torn into bite-sized pieces, and served with powdered sugar on top.
This easy Kaiserschmarrn recipe gets its special flavor from the eggs, the butter, the caramelized sugar but especially from the rum soaked raisins. Even my husband who isn’t the biggest fan of raisins loves them in this dessert! The raisins are soaked in a few tablespoons of rum while you make the batter. When the pancake begins to cook through, you add the drained raisins before turning the pancake.
After you flipped the pancake and it’s getting golden brown underneath, comes the step which makes a special dessert out of a normal pancake. Using two spatulas or forks you tear the pancake into bite-sized pieces which will then be caramelized with butter and sugar.
This authentic Austrian pancake recipe is definitely for days when you want to indulge! It’s a special treat and one pan is enough for up to four people as a dessert served with applesauce. You can also serve it with other fruit compotes, fresh berries, and vanilla ice cream.
When you order this dessert at a Bavarian or Austrian restaurant or at the Oktoberfest it’ll probably be served in a skillet with lots of Confectioners’ sugar on top! I like to do the same at home. And another thing that always happens at the Oktoberfest but also at home: You’re already full but there’s still some room for Kaiserschmarrn in your belly (or at least you think so :-) ). Because who could resist? Definitely not me!!
Looking for more German Recipes?
- Easy German Spaetzle Recipe
- Cheese Spaetzle Recipe
- Vanillekipferl (German Vanilla Crescent Cookies)
- Bavarian Beer Cheese Spread (Obatzda)
- German Apple Cake (Versunkener Apfelkuchen)
Tools used for making this recipe:
Cast-Iron Skillet: I love this skillet! It’s probably my most used one, it’s oven-safe, super affordable and lasts forever.
Stand Mixer: My most used kitchen appliance and it’s so pretty it can sit on the counter as decoration!
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For the rum-soaked raisins:
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 3 Tbsp Rum, or water
For the pancake:
- 3 large eggs, divided
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp Powdered sugar
- 1 cup applesauce
- In a small bowl combine raisins and rum. If you can't use rum, soak the raisins in water but I highly encourage you to use rum because it's an essential part.
- Separate the eggs and set the egg yolks aside for a moment.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment add the three egg whites and beat at high speed about 2.5 minutes until stiff peaks form. Don't overbeat the egg whites! Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Add the three egg yolks, melted butter, vanilla extract, sugar, and a pinch of salt to the (now empty) bowl of your stand mixer, still fitted with the whisk attachment. Combine at medium speed about 2-3 minutes.
- On low speed, alternately add flour and milk, a tablespoon of each at a time, until you used up the milk and the flour. Don't overmix. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Using a metal spoon or rubber spatula, fold in the stiff egg whites until combined and no big egg white lumps remain. You need to be very gentle and light-handed.
- Heat 1 tbsp butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Pour the batter into the skillet and cook for about 6-7 minutes. After 3 minutes sprinkle the drained raisins over the batter. Use a spoon to peak under the pancake to see if it's golden brown underneath.
- When the pancake is golden brown underneath, sprinkle the top with a little bit of sugar. Using a spatula, divide the pancake into quarters and turn the pieces. Add a little bit of butter to the pan while turning the pancake.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes until the quarters are golden brown underneath.
- Using two spatulas or forks, tear the pancake into bite-sized pieces.
- Add 2 tbsp butter and sprinkle 2 tbsp sugar over the pancake pieces. Turn up the heat to medium-high and gently toss the pieces with a spatula for about 3-4 minutes, until the sugar has caramelized.
- Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve in the pan with applesauce on the side.
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What kind of rum is used to soak the raisins? Regular or Spiced?
Julia Foerster says
Regular rum is usually used but you can also use spiced rum.
Lise Aschauer-Robitaille says
Hello Julia, I found your website by chance this morning. I was looking for an apple strudel recipe. Then I searched for the Kaiserschmarren recipe when I discovered you were born in Germany. My husband is from Krems in Austria and I take pride in finding famous European recipes. Thank you: your website is amazing with the tutorial videos and photos for each recipe.
cuantos gramos son de leche y de harina?lascuaharadas de manteuilla para la masa…muy grandes?
volvi de sudtirol hace unos dias… y hecho de menos comer este postre…
Julia Foerster says
Hi Vanesa! You can switch to metric measurements in the recipe card. The amount of butter in the recipe is correct. Hope this helps!
Years ago I tried to reproduce the Kaisersmarrn that always takes me right back to my childhood when my parents took me on loooooong walks in the Austrian alps… I didn’t manage to make a nice Kaisersmarrn and got completely disappointed. Until I took another attempt today! Thanks to your recipe, it was just perfect! Yummie! Thanks a lot for sharing it.
I have made this 6 or 7 times always tastes great but twice while mixing it has separated any idea why ?
Very nice! I think the recipe quantities are good. Three eggs, not for like others shall easily serve 4. Served half for 2 adults, added some of the extra rum from the soaked raisins to some cream to pour over. Extra delicious!
Carrie Feinstein says
Haven’t tried your recipe yet but I had this in Munich and thought I had died and went to heaven. It is possibly the MOST DELICIOUS thing I have ever eaten in my entire life. Can’t wait to make it. I just made a plum compote to ago with it!
Paul Weijers says
I found Kaiserschmarren in a small restaurant in Erding, OBB
When I went there a second time I could not remember what it was called.
I told the waiter I wanted “zerstorte Pfankuche”. Rather embarrassing for my
German wife. Nevertheless, the owner liked it and occasionally used it to
explain to a new customer what a Kaiserschmarren looked like.
Is it possible to use self rising flour for this recipe.
Made this for my kids having got back from Austria 2 weeks back. They absolutely loved this on the slopes.
This recipe is the Real Deal. Exactly as we remembered it.
Thanks for this recipe!
Medium was a bit too hot for my very old stove and I burnt the bottom layer, but that was easy enough to scrape out. I added easily twice as much butter and sugar ( :o ) to the mix during cooking. I added fresh strawberries during cooking. and finished with a splash of lemon juice and powdered sugar.
turned out fabulous!!! I’m missing Bavarian Christmas markets right now :)
How many pans would you recommend for four people (3 adults one 10 year old)?
I want to do this as a main dish for my Canadian host family to show them a bit of my German culture.
Julia Foerster says
I think I would double the recipe if you want to serve it as a main dish for 4 people.
I am going to make this minus the rum for my daughter Austria stall at school. Can I make this the night before and keep it in the fridge as I need to make big quantities. Will it keep in the fridge overnight?
You could make it the night before and store the Kaiserschmarrn in the fridge, then on the next day reheat it in a skillet with a bit of butter before serving. Reheating in the microwave is also possible but I prefer a skillet. It won’t be as fluffy when you refrigerate it but will still taste good.
What are all the ingrediants? You say mix egg whites with other ingredients. What are they? Flour or pancake mix?
If you scroll down you will find the recipe card with all the instructions at the bottom of the post!
how many servings does this recipe give?
This recipe makes 4 servings. It would be perfect for four people as a dessert with berries, applesauce, and preserves on the side. – Julia
Kind of like a skillet bread pudding. YUM.
Yum! Your Kaiserschmarrn looks delicious! I love the photo with the powdered sugar and the photos of Oktoberfest!`
OH MY GOD this looks so good! And I’ll definitely use rum!
There is always room for dessert, right? This dish looks amazing!
I love this traditional Oktoberfest dessert! It sounds amazing!!!
Thank you, Liz! It’s one of my favorite things to eat at the Oktoberfest.
Oh my heavens! Now this brings back memories!