Plate to Plate: Kaiserschmarrn

The fifth Plate to Plate challenge features a typical Bavarian and Austrian dish. Coming up with a recipe for this month’s challenge, wasn’t easy. The berries ripen faster than we can eat them or make them into jam and I wanted to showcase them in a sweet dish. Jillian is in the midst of winter and berries aren’t easy for her to come by at the moment. Inspired by our then upcoming trip to Austria, I suggested a dish which could be served with any fruit: Kaiserschmarrn.

Jillian’s photos on the left show her version with stewed apples and mine on the right have blueberries mixed into the batter. The batter is not sweet at all, so either top with powdered sugar before serving or add some more sugar to the batter.

This dish, or meal, is commonly served in Bavaria and Austria for lunch and sometimes dinner. Typically stewed plums, apricots, apple sauce or cranberries are served alongside. The Kaiserschmarrn is a large pancake which is pulled apart after cooking and there are so many legends surrounding the name. “Schmarrn” loosely translates into “nonsense or mess”, and the story I grew up with is Emperor Franz Joseph’s cook messed up when flipping the pancake and spontaneously tore apart the rest of the pancake, served some stewed fruit with it and called it a new creation. I can relate to the pancake tearing apart when being flipped, since mine wanted to do just that. But instead of muttering “Schmarrn!”, a word I like to use, I was happy that the pancake was doing just what it was supposed to do.

Check out Jillian’s post on her blog!
The recipe was taken from Josef Zauner’s “Das grosse Buch der √∂sterreichnischen Mehlspeisen”. It serves four, unless you are into Austrian-/Bavarian-sized portions. Then it serves two.


  • 0.5 liter milk
  • 250g flour
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • butter
  • powdered sugar
  • berries to mix in the batter or stewed fruit to serve

Heat the milk and flour in a saucepan, stirring constantly until a thick paste forms. Remove from the heat and let cool. Add the egg yolks. Whip the egg whites with the sugar until stiff and carefully mix into the flour mixture.

Heat some butter in a skillet and pour in enough batter to cover the bottom. I used about half of the mixture. Cook until the bottom is browned, then flip the pancake and cook on the other side until equally browned. Then carefully tear apart the pancake and top with powdered sugar. Serve with fruit.

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