Shredded Austrian Pancake (Kaiserschmarrn)

By Michael Zee From the book SymmetryBreakfast: Cook-Love-Share
Shredded Austrian Pancake, or Kaiserschmarrn from Symmetry Breakfast

I first tried the favourite pancakes of Kaiser Franz Josef I of Austria, or ‘The Emperor’s Mess’, after an Austrian friend came to stay. When she left, her thank-you gift to us was a goodie bag of Austrian treats. One item was a ready mix of Dr Oetker Kaiserschmarrn. 

Schmarrn, means to ‘shred’ – it’s a pancake to take your frustrations out on. The batter is half cooked but, rather than it flipping over, you pull it apart with two spoons. The finished chunks of pancake are a wonderful mix of textures – soft and crisp at the same time.

I have no shame in using packets or readymix when I’m cooking (butterscotch Angel Delight being one of the great pinnacles of twentieth-century gastronomy, as far as I’m concerned). Sadly, the Doctor does not deliver his kaiserschmarrn to London but you can order online if you’re prepared to buy in bulk.

Light, fluffy chunks of shredded pancake, with an Alpine avalanche of icing sugar on top is perfect for the person who can’t help but make a mess in the kitchen. I like to use ghee for frying as you still get all the flavour but without the smoke or burn of butter.

For how many? Serves 2


  • 4 eggs (separated)
  • 100g flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 20g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 200ml milk
  • 50g raisins
  • 50g melted ghee or butter
  • Icing sugar (lots)


Separate the eggs and place the yolks in a bowl with the flour, salt, sugar, vanilla, zest, milk and raisins and mix into a batter.

In a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites into soft peaks and gently fold into the batter mix.

Using a frying pan, approx. 30cm across, warm the ghee (or butter) until melted. Pour in the batter and leave to cook, untouched, for about 5 minutes on a medium heat.

Using two spoons, rip apart the pancake into small bite-sized chunks, turning so that they cook fully for another 3 – 5 minutes.

Serve with absolutely loads of icing sugar and side of your favourite jam for dipping

See all recipes »

More by Michael Zee

See all recipes »

Something for the weekend