Kaiserschmarrn – Story and recipe

From mishap to traditional dish

The Kaiserschmarrn is one of the most popular dessert in Austria and is also eager to be exported to the kitchens of neighboring countries when the pancakes go wrong. But a few hundred years ago nobody knew this dish. Many genres and legends entwine around the genesis. Which one is correct, is up to the reader. One thing is certain: this split pancake tastes delicious.

austrian sweet dessert called kaiserschmarrn with apple sauce
Kaiserschmarrn © momanuma /

The legend (s) – Kaiserschmarrn

The various genesis stories all agree at least in the opinion that the origin of the Kaiserschmarrns was a mishap. Probably the best-known legend is about a court-kitchen pastry chef who experimented with omelette dough to create a new light dessert for the Empress. But failed the pancake and he turned out of trouble a serving bell about it. A servant thought, therefore, that the dish was ready and served it to the imperial couple, who, quite astonished, looked at the failed creation and asked: “What kind of a joke is that?”. The servant, quick-witted enough, answered in a flash: “That’s a Kaiserschmarrn.”

According to another story, it was a poor farmer’s wife, who was visited by the emperor on the alpine pasture, and then, out of sheer nervousness, ruined the pancakes in the pan. The Emperor, however, enjoyed the meal excellently, even though it served it as a “Schmarrn”. So he baptized it “Kaiserschmarrn”.

Variations of the menu

For which story one ultimately decides remains irrelevant for the wonderful taste of the Kaiserschmarren. This has become so prevalent in the course of the 20th century that it can be found today on almost every menu. It is traditionally served with plum or applesauce. In addition, the pieces are cut into small pieces and served with raisins and powdered sugar. The raisins can also be sprinkled into the dough during roasting. A slightly more elaborate variant contains egg whites, which are whisked under the dough and made it fluffier.

Kaiserschmarrn recipe

In this video, there is a guide, a recipe for how to make a Kaiserschmarrn:

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