What fruit condiment belongs with Kaiserschmarrn?

Kaiserschmarrn, a sweet dish of rich, chopped pancakes, is one of Austria’s most famous delicacies. But what accompaniment do diners like best with their Kaiserschmarrn? Cranberry jam, apple sauce or stewed plums, what tastes best?

[Translate to en:] Beilagen zum Kaiserschmarrn

©Dominic Ebenbichler

Created by Gabi Huber

What accompaniment do diners like best with Austria’s most famous sweet dish, Kaiserschmarrn? Cranberry jam, apple sauce or stewed plums, what tastes best? 

Where exactly the does the word “Kaiserschmarrn” (loosely translated as “emperor’s mess”) come from? Apparently, the dish takes its name from Emperor Franz Joseph I. According to Wikipedia, there are a couple of humorous legends which claim to tell the story of how this came about:  

  • One legend tells how Empress Elisabeth, who was very conscious of her slender figure and therefore fond of light desserts, was not impressed when she was served the thick pancake with stewed plums. The Emperor ate it for her, saying “give me that ‘schmarrn’ that our chef Leopold has cobbled together again!”
  • Another fable reports that a cheesemaker cooked the thick batter dish for the Emperor after a hunt. The Emperor is said to have been so thrilled with it, that from then on the dish was named Kaiserschmarrn. 

It is impossible to trace the real origins of the name. However, what I definitely do know is how to cook a good Kaiserschmarrn:  

©Andrea Egger

Ingredients for 3 portions:

  • 40 g butter
  • 30 g sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g flour
  • 300 ml milk
  • 30 g raisins (optional)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Icing sugar to dust


  • Put the egg yolks, milk, salt and sugar in a bowl and mix well to combine. 
  • Add the flour, stirring constantly. You should end up with a gooey batter. If the batter is too thick, add a little more milk. 
  • If you would like to add raisins, do so now. 
  • Finally, carefully fold the stiffly whipped egg whites into the mixture.
  • Cook the batter in a pan with some butter and oil over a medium heat until it is golden brown on both sides 
  • Use a fork to tear the pancake into pieces and cook until all of the pieces are golden brown.
  • Dust the pancake with icing sugar and your Kaiserschmarrn is ready!

Now it only remains to decide what fruit to serve with your Kaiserschmarrn. Usually, the choice is between three condiments: 

  • Cranberry jam („Grantnmarmelade“ in Zillertal dialect)
  • Apple sauce or
  • Stewed plums  

Cranberry jam and apple sauce are well-known to everyone. But how do you make proper stewed plums?