Recipe for Austria’s most famous delicacies

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.

Kaiserschmarrn recipe 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

Kaiserschmarrn with apple sauce


  • 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!

What fruit condiment belongs with Kaiserschmarrn?

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


  • 2 cloves

  • 125 ml water

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 lemon

  • 150 g sugar

  • 1 kg plums


Halve the plums and remove the stones. Put in a pan with all of the other ingredients and bring to the boil. Cover and leave to stew. Let the compote cool and then season with sugar or lemon to taste. 

Couple is having a Kaiserschmarrn on a terrace in the Penken ski resort in the Zillertal

I have tried all three condiments and each of them was absolutely delicious. I can’t decide which is best! I’ll leave it up to you to decide what you prefer to have served with your Kaiserschmarrn. And, if like me you can’t decide, have all three!

Hope you enjoy cooking, and eating (!), this recipe. 

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