Home » Kaiserschmarren – Shredded Pancakes

Kaiserschmarren – Shredded Pancakes


Kaiserschmarren (also known as Kaiserschmarrn) is a fluffier version of the German Pancake. It gets shredded at the end and caramelized – yam! 


The recipe for Kaiserschmarrn is originated in Austria and one of the tales about it’s invention goes like this:

The emperor (the German word for it is “Kaiser”) Franz Joseph I. (1830-1916) loved Palatschinken for dessert. Sometimes the cook messed up and the Palatschinken (Pancake) broke or was too thick. It would have been unsuitable to serve this to the emperor, kind of “nonsense” … and the Austrian word for nonsense is “schmarrn”. However, schmarren or schmarrn is also the Austrian word for pulling, so it is unclear how this meal really got its name.

Video: How to make Kaiserschmarrn


The Fluff

Kaiserschmarren is a pancake that is a lot thicker and fluffier than the usual German pancake, which is also sometimes called a crepe because it is so thin. The fluff in the Kaiserschmarrn comes from the beaten egg whites. Other than our German pancakes, Kaiserschmarrn isn’t made with the whole egg at once. Instead, I divide the eggs and beat the egg whites until they are stiff and later add them to the batter with the yolks.


Butter and sugar are used for caramelizing and that is why in the end I add some butter and sugar to the shredded pancake. I let it caramelize in the pan and then serve it right away.


Serving Kaiserschmarrn

Traditionally we serve the Kaiserschmarren with a compote either from sugar plums, cherries, apples or strawberries. We sprinkle it with confectioners sugar or a mix of sugar with some cinnamon. It tastes best fresh but if you have a leftover it is also a delicious snack.

Kaiserschmarrn is a desert but it is very filling and I suggest you eat it as a meal or with some afternoon coffee.

How to make shredded pancakes


Kaiserschmarrn or Kaiserschmarren

Shredded Pancakes, Austrian Recipe
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Austria
Servings 2 Portions


  • 4 Eggs
  • 200 ml milk (a little less than 1 cup)
  • 100 g flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla sugar or some vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1-2 Tbsp. sugar


  • Start with dividing the eggs into yolks and egg whites.
  • Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites then beat them in a clean bowl until they are stiff.
  • In a different bowl, mix the egg yolks with the flour, vanilla sugar and milk.
  • When the batter is mixed nicely, carefully add the egg whites and also carefully use a hand whisker or spatula to mix both together without losing the fluff. 
  • Heat a pan to a little more than medium heat and melt enough butter in it to cover the entire bottom.
  • Add about 3/4 inch thick layer of the batter to the pan and let it fry slowly until the bottom side is golden.
  • Use two forks or two spatulas to divide the pancake crosswise into 4 quarters.
  • Flip each quarter so the upper side is now the bottom side.
  • Fry until the bottom side is lightly golden, then start to pull the quarters apart to create bitesize pancake pieces.
  • Add a little more butter to the pan and sprinkle about 1/2 Tbsp. of sugar on the content of the pan.
  • Stir until it covers each piece and let it caramelize. 
  • Serve immediately with fruit compote from plums, cherries, strawberries or apple! Sprinkle confectioners sugar on top.


Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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4 thoughts on “Kaiserschmarren – Shredded Pancakes”

  1. Doesn’t “Schinken” translate as “ham?” Palatschinken seems like it would translate as Palace Ham. Maybe the Kaiser had his ham as a dessert or maybe the pancake was served with ham. . .?

    1. I can see how you get the idea with the Schinken but palace is Palast in Germany, so slightly different word. Here is how it came to it’s name:
      The Latin word placenta (we all have heard that word before) means cake and in the languages of Rumania and Slawia it became palatinta and palastinka. The Hungarians than made it into palacsinta which then lead to Palatschinken in Austria. It actually just stands for what we call a pancake today but it goes all the way back to the Romans and Greeks and is known for more than 2000 years. Food history can be so interesting, right?

  2. Thank you! Thank you! I have been looking for this recipe for years!

    I have been introducing German cuisine to my new-food-resistant-husband for a while now. I have fun watching him go from “I’m not sure about that” to “Baby, this is so delicious!” every time I use one of your recipes.

    I can’t wait to prepare a plate of Kaiserschmarrn for him.

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