Pâtisserie / Recipe


[Austrian scrambled pancakes]

In the embrace of late January, breakfasts are the essence of comfort. Through our kitchen windows, we see acres of treetops covered in snow. A tableau that stretches as far as the eyes can see.

And every weekend morning is the same, almost like a celebration of foreverness. There is the sound of the coffee brewer, a subdued gurgle, akin to a whisper of some sort. There is the crispiness of the icy air through our bedroom window. And the sun that sets before its risen above the hill across the river.

Our breakfast typically revolve around two cherished options: sunny-side-up eggs on golden toast, sometimes served with kimchi-pickled cabbage, and stacks of fluffy hotcakes draped with maple syrup and bacon – pan-fried until almost too crisp. On Sundays, a full English is practically a necessity.

Yet, of late, our plates have welcomed the rekindled presence of an old favourite: Kaiserschmarrn – Austrian scrambled pancakes, something I used to make the first year after Sienna was born and nearly forgot about, not unlike a nostalgic symphony on our morning table.

Austrian scrambled pancakes

Kaiserschmarrn [literally, Emperor's mess] is a quintessential Austrian dish that can be best described as a hybrid between a pancake and a fluffy omelette.
My recipe, adapted from Deb Perelman, has become a true favourite for weekend breakfasts over the years.
The preparation begins with a basic pancake batter made from eggs, flour, milk, and a touch of sugar. What sets Kaiserschmarrn apart is the technique – the batter is initially cooked as a large pancake before being torn into bite-sized pieces. These torn pieces are then further cooked until golden brown on the outside and delightfully soft and airy on the inside.
I used to flip the pancake onto a plate, then shred separately, but lately, I've been doing it all in the pan using a wooden spatula, and it's much less messy, which is always a bonus.
They are traditionally served with a dusting of icing sugar and compote, however I am partial to cottage cheese or fromage blanc, and berries.


On salted butter: After having lived in Sweden for the past nine years or so, I almost exclusively pan-fry and bake using salted butter. And really, I'm not ever going back, EVER. Although I must admit it makes writing recipes harder as the salt content in butter varies greatly across the globe. Here in Sweden it is usually 1.2%.
There is something rather magical about pan-frying pancakes and crêpes in salted butter. You should try!
Author: Fanny Zanotti
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Makes 2 as a main breakfast


For the batter

  • 4 eggs separated
  • 30 g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 120 mL whole milk

To pan-fry

  • 50 g salted butter

To serve

  • berries
  • icing sugar
  • fromage blanc or cottage cheese


  • Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold firm peaks.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, caster sugar, and salt. Add in the milk. Then the flour and baking powder, whisking just until just smooth.
  • Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
  • Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the butter and pour batter into pan, spreading it into a large pancake.
  • Cook for approxiamtely 3 minutes, checking underneath occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn, until it’s a golden brown; reduce the heat if the pancake is browning too quickly.
  • Using a wooden spatula, divide the pancake into 4 and flip each fourth over. Continue cooking until golden underneath on the second side, around 3 minutes.
  • Now, add more butter to the pan, and tear the pancake into smaller pieces. the inside of the pancake will still be runny at this point. Cook, adding more butter if needed, until just cooked through.
  • Serve with a dusting of icing sugar and berries. I'm partial to cottage cheese, but also love a dollop of fromage blanc.

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