The Emperor’s Pancake


Preparation info

  • Makes

    2 to 4

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafes of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague


By Rick Rodgers

Published 2002

  • About

Kaiserschmarren is probably the most obvious example of Austrian Mehlspeisen (literally, a repast made from flour). This large pancake, torn into pieces to give it an appealing rustic look, is truly a “flour meal”—quickly prepared from basic ingredients, yet hearty enough for supper. The classic accompaniment is Zwetschkenröster, which mysteriously translates as “roasted plums,” even though the plums are stewed. Two Austrians could readily polish off this amount of Kaiserschmarren, but for American tastes and appetites, it would more likely serve four as a hearty breakfast or brunch dish, served with any jam or warm fruit compote, with bacon or sausage on the side.

When making Kaiserschmarren, remember that part of its charm is its imperfect look. Most cooks would question quartering and flipping sections of an almost-raw pancake, but the batter will eventually cook through to make a light, fluffy pancake.