Oma's Kaiserschmarrn: Austrian Pancake Recipe – German Torn Pancakes

Oma Gerhild

by: Gerhild Fulson  /  Cookbook Author, Blogger, German Oma!

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Kaiserschmarrn, aka Torn or Scrambled Pancakes, are among those homemade pancake recipes that will remind you of Oma's kitchen. This is actually an Austrian dessert, but it's become a traditional German pancake dish. Many serve it as a dessert, while many also enjoy it for Sunday brunch.

It isn't hard to find Kaiserschmarrn around Germany, especially in Bavaria where it is most popular. Look for it particularly at the outdoor vendors during Oktoberfest, but you'll also find it served in restaurants.

Kaiserschmarrn aka. the torn pancake

Above are the Kaiserschmarrn my granddaughter, Lydia, made as she was staying over for a sleepover ... many, many years ago. We had so much fun making these. Watching her creatively decorate them with fresh fruit and teaching her how to dust them with powdered sugar (using a sieve) was almost as much fun as we had devouring them. Precious memories.

More Schmarrn ...

  • There's one made with bread called "Semmelschmarrn"
  • One made with Cream of Wheat called "Grießschmarrn"
  • Being German, of course there's one made with potatoes called "Kartoffelschmarrn"

All these Schmarrn are true comfort food! So perfect for imperfect times, such as these. 

Kaiserschmarrn Fun Facts

Schmarrn is a 16th century German word meaning "to smear" or "to pain". Now-a-days, it means "rubbish". It's difficult to figure out the connection of those meanings with this delectable treat! And "Kaiser" means "emperor". So, the name Kaiserschmarrn means, "Emperor's _?_ ". :)

Kaiserschmarrn first made an appearance during the time just before the 20th century. Another name for this is The dessert of the Emperor. It is also called Emperor’s Mess! I guess one could say it looks like a mess with all those small pieces of pancakes. But, such a delicious mess!

It seems we have a great imperial chef to thank for inventing such a spectacular treat! It was first made and served to the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I. I'll bet his royal chef had no idea this sweet fluffy pancake would become such a hit across his country, and then the world! 

Need that “all’s good with the world” feeling? Comfort food will do that. Get your copy of Oma's German favorites in her Comfort Foods e-Cookbook.

Take a look at Oma’s Comfort Foods eCookbook and enjoy the traditional taste of German cuisine!

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How I discovered Kaiserschmarrn

Since my Mutti was from northern Germany, this dish was unknown to us. Several years ago, one of our readers, Roger, was looking for a recipe for Crostedi. I was finally able to track it down as Kratzeti which is the Austrian name for these pancakes.

Lydia Remembers...

I have so many Wunderbar memories in the kitchen with my Oma, and have had MANY of her most popular and traditional recipes, like this kaiserschmarrn!

Kaiserschmarrn has by far become one of my favorite recipes I've made with Oma, and is one that I certainly don't make enough. 

I remember making this recipe for the first time with Oma at one of our sleepovers, and my favorite part was getting to tear it up, of course. There aren't many recipes where you get to rip it apart into smaller pieces after you make it. It's always, "Don't play with your food, Lydia.".... Well, that's the best part about kaiserschmarrn!

Seeing as I'm not much of a morning person, it's got to be a pretty Wunderbar recipe for me to want to cook so early. ;) This recipe is sooo worth it! Between this one and the German apple pancakeeven the not so early-birds will love this breakfast recipe! But the great thing about kaiserschmarrn is that it can be served anytime! Breakfast, lunch, or dinner! I've certainly had it for all three.

Dusted with a little confectioners' sugar on top of the kaiserschmarrn and my favorite fruits on the side...YUM! You can serve it with whichever fruit you'd like! Or try it with syrup, even whipped cream, and make it a dessert! 

With a recipe so versatile, there are no rights and wrongs, just have fun!

Learn a little bit about me, Lydia, and my kitchen adventures with Oma!

What to serve with Kaiserschmarrn

The traditional side for this is a plum compote. Alternatively, baked plums or plum jam would be delicious. Apple sauce is also often served with this or a side of fruit compote.

I think a scoop of vanilla ice cream would be awesome as well, after all, this isn't just a regular pancake.

Ready to make Kaiserschmarrn?

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Oma's Kaiserschmarrn: Austrian Pancake Recipe – German Torn Pancakes

Kaiserschmarrn, aka Torn or Scrambled Pancakes, are among those homemade pancakes recipes that will remind you of Oma's kitchen. Served at breakfast, lunch, or a light supper, you'll find it a reminder of Oma's kitchen. Yummy, yummy!

This is real traditional German pancake dish that actually stems from Austria, but ... shhhh ... we won't tell. 

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

15 minutes

Total Time

30 minutes


Makes 4 servings


  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • ¾ cup (98 grams) all purpose flour
  • ½ cup (120 milliliter) milk
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons (26 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) raisins
  • 4 tablespoons (56 grams) butter, divided
  • powdered sugar to sprinkle over pancakes


  1. In a large bowl, mix together egg yolks, flour, milk, salt, baking powder and sugar till well mixed. Let batter stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, beat egg whites to stiff peaks.
  3. Gently fold the stiff egg whites into batter.
  4. Gently fold in raisins.
  5. In a large frying pan, melt 2 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Pour in the pancake batter into the hot pan and fry until golden brown on the bottom.
  6. Flip pancake, adding 2 tablespoons of butter, and continue to cook on other side until browned.
  7. Using two forks, tear pancake into bite-size pieces and continue cooking briefly.
  8. Serve, dusted with powdered sugar. Tastes great served with fruit or fruit sauce.


  • You can omit the raisins
  • Or, you can soak those raisins in rum first, then add the drained raisins to the batter.
  • Add 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, if desired
  • Another perfect "pancake" dish for breakfast, lunch, buffets and supper is the German apple pancake that's made in the oven. So goood as well!

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10.07.2021 revision update

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Kaiserschmarrn, aka. Torn Pancake, is a wonderful treat!

Kaiserschmarrn - German Pancake Recipe made Just like Oma

Kaiserschmarrn - German Pancake Recipe made Just like Oma
Kaiserschmarrn are among those homemade pancake recipes that will remind you of Oma's kitchen. A traditional Austrian & German light and fluffy shredded pancake.

Ingredients: eggs, all-purpose flour, baking powder, milk, salt, sugar, raisins, butter, powdered sugar,

For the full recipe, scroll up ...

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