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Recipe: Kaiserschmarrn

Why not try something new this pancake day? Kaiserschmarrn, an Austrian delicacy also well-loved in Bavaria, is a large, fluffy raisin pancake torn into bite-sized pieces and topped with a generous dusting of icing sugar. The dish literally translates as ‘emperor’s mess’, owing to its popularity with the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I.

Kaisserschmarrn with Apfelmus. Photo: RitaE via Pixabay

Kaiserschmarrn (via Delicious Magazine)

Serves 6-8

Total time: 40 minutes


  • 100g raisins

  • 60ml schnapps, kirsch or rum

  • 250g plain flour

  • 6 medium free-range eggs, separated

  • 3 tbsp caster sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Finely grated zest 1 lemon

  • 350-400ml whole milk

  • 50g unsalted butter

  • Icing sugar to dust

  • Plum or raspberry compote to serve


  1. Put the raisins into a small pan with the schnapps/kirsch/rum and heat gently. Take off the heat and set aside for at least 15 minutes to allow the raisins to soften and plump up.

  2. Meanwhile, sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre and add the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest. Stir, adding the milk gradually, until you have a smooth batter, thicker than double cream.

  3. Whisk the egg whites in a separate clean bowl to form stiff peaks, then gently fold them into the batter in a figure-of-eight motion, using a large metal spoon or balloon whisk.

  4. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. Melt the butter in a large, deep, ovenproof non-stick pan (about 30cm in diameter) over a low heat. Pour in the batter (it will be very thick) and, after a couple of minutes, when you can see it starting to set around the edge, scatter the raisins and the alcohol over the top. Once the underside is golden brown and the pancake is cooked halfway through (use a small knife to cut into it), pop it into the oven for 5-7 minutes until golden on top.

  5. Using a knife and fork, cut it into small, thin pieces – don’t worry if it’s still a little soft in the centre. Pop it back in the oven for 4-6 minutes.

  6. Scoop onto a warmed serving plate and dust thickly with icing sugar. Serve immediately with plum or raspberry compote.

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