Kaiserschmarrn is a well-known and treasured Austrian dessert that has gained popularity worldwide. Fluffy torn pancakes, rum-soaked raisins, caramelized in butter, dusted with powdered sugar, and served with fruit compote or stewed fruit. This Gluten Free Kaiserschmarrn Recipe is the ultimate comfort food that will leave you feeling satisfied and possibly a little high on sugar.
Unlike American pancakes, Kaiser Schmarrn is not typically something Austrians eat for breakfast. It is a popular choice for lunch or dinner though, particularly after an active day in the mountains. It is typically served family style and eaten straight from the skillet it was cooked in.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Gluten Free Flour: I have tested this Kaiserschmarrn Recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure, Cup4Cup, Bob's Red Mill and my own gluten free flour blend. While all 4 flour blends did work great. It's important to mention that the raw batter made with Cup4Cup appeared to be gummy but cooked up just fine. This recipe for Kaiserschmarrn can be made with 75g “regular” All Purpose flour if a gluten free diet is not required
Raisins: You can use any type of raisins you prefer or have on hand. If you want to follow the traditional recipe, look for dark, seedless raisins. If raisins are not your thing, you can skip them completely or substitute them with dried cranberries or cherries.
Rum (to soak Raisins): Sugarcane, the source of rum, does not contain gluten, making rum generally considered as a gluten-free beverage. Bourbon or whiskey work also great here. To make the Kaiserschmarrn Recipe alcohol-free, substitute the rum with water or apple juice. The raisins should soak in rum for at least 30 minutes.
Sourcream: Sourcream adds tang to the sweet and rich Kaiserschmarrn, providing a nice balance of flavors. Additionally, adding sour cream helps to keep the Kaiserschmarrn moist and tender, preventing it from becoming dry or tough during cooking.
Milk: Any percentage of milk or non-dairy milk works in this Gluten Free Kaiserschmarrn Recipe.
Why is it called Kaiserschmarrn?
The name "Kaiserschmarrn" translates to "Emperor's mess" in English, a fitting title for its interesting origin story. Legend has it that while visiting a remote alpine region, Austria's Emperor Franz Joseph I requested a dessert from the local innkeeper. However, the dish turned out to be a mess, torn into small pieces and not quite what the emperor had in mind. Despite its less-than-perfect presentation, the emperor enjoyed the dish so much that he declared it his favorite and named it after himself. From these humble beginnings, Kaiserschmarrn has become a beloved staple of Austrian cuisine, often served with a side of fruit compote or whipped cream.
Another legend involves a pastry chef in the court kitchen who was tasked with creating a light dessert for the Empress. After experimenting with omelet dough, the royal chef's attempt at making a pancake failed, and in a moment of panic, he rang the serving bell to alert the staff. A quick-thinking servant mistook the ringing bell as a signal that the dish was ready and served the failed creation to the imperial couple. They were surprised by the dish's appearance and asked what kind of dessert it was. The servant, thinking on his feet, replied, "That's a Kaiserschmarrn," and the name has stuck ever since.
How to make Kaiserschmarrn
To make this gluten free kaiserschmarrn recipe, one starts with a light and airy pancake batter. Unlike traditional American pancakes, there's no baking powder added, as the whipped egg whites are responsible for the fluffy texture. The pancake is then baked in the oven, ripped into bite-sized pieces with two forks or wooden spatulas, and dusted with powdered sugar for a delicious finish.
I highly recommend soaking the raisins for at least 30 minutes in Rum before using them. You can gently warm the rum in the microwave since the warm liquid will soften the dried fruit more quicker.
Step 1: Start by preheating the oven to 400F. If you haven't soaked the raisins yet, please make sure to soak them in rum (or water). To speed up the process you can warm the rum (or water).
Step 2: Separate the eggs and place the 2 egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer or mixing bowl. Add the egg yolks to a separate mixing bowl and set aside.
Step 3: In a clean bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or a large clean bowl, whisk the egg whites together with granulated sugar and a pinch of salt for a couple of minutes until they form stiff peaks. They will be glossy and shiny, almost creamy. Overmixed egg whites appear dull and dry, so be careful not to overdo it. Set aside for later use.
Step 4: Retrieve the bowl with the egg yolks. Add the sour cream, milk, and a generous teaspoon vanilla extract. Whisk until fully combined. Add the gluten free flour and kosher salt and whisk until smooth.
Step 5: To the batter, add about ⅓ of the beaten egg whites and fold them in gently. This will help to loosen up the batter. Then, add the remaining egg whites and fold them in carefully until the batter becomes light and airy. It's okay if you can see some streaks of egg whites remaining visible in the batter.
Step 6: After preparing the pancake batter, take an oven-safe skillet and add approximately 2 teaspoons of butter to it. Melt the butter over medium-low heat, and then pour the gluten-free Kaiserschmarrn batter into the skillet.
Step 7: After draining the raisins, sprinkle them over the pancake batter. Remember not to waste any rum, as it would be a shame to let it go down the drain.
Step 8: Cook the Kaiserschmarrn over medium heat for 2 minutes before transferring the skillet to the preheated oven.
Step 9: Bake the Austrian pancake in the oven for about 12 minutes or until it appears to be set and firm. After that, carefully remove the skillet from the oven and place it back on the burner. Using a knife or a spatula, divide the giant pancake into quarters.
Step 10: Carefully flip each quarter over and once down, turn on the heat of the burner to a low heat. Allow the pancake to cook for 1-2 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown. To check, lift one of the quarters and peek underneath.
Step 11: Using two forks or spoons, tear the pancake into bite-sized pieces. If you're concerned about your skillet, you can also use wooden utensils or even your fingers, but be careful not to burn yourself.
Step 12: Sprinkle the schmarrn with the additional sugar and add a few more dabs of butter to the pan. Turn up the heat of the pan. Using a spatula, flip the sugared Kaiserschmarrn pieces allowing them to caramelize. Caramelizing the Kaiserschmarrn adds a delicious flavor and texture to the dish.
Step 13: Once all the sugar is melted (this normally just takes 30 seconds or less), remove the Gluten Free Kaiserschmarrn from the heat.
Step 14: Dust the Kaiserschmarrn with powdered sugar and serve right away.
How to serve Kaiserschmarrn
Kaiserschmarrn tastes best when served warm and fresh. Although you can prepare the batter beforehand, it's not advisable to pre-cook the dish. The delicate and airy texture of the Kaiserschmarrn is best right after cooking.
Serve Kaiserschmarrn with a fruit compote such as apple sauce or plum compote.
Should you happen to have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge? You may reheat them in a skillet with some butter, warm them in the microwave or enjoy them at room temperature. (I don't really know how to rewarm Kaiserschmarrn... I never experienced leftovers). Reheating can make the texture less fluffy and denser.
FAQ - Gluten Free Kaiserschmarrn Recipe
Kaiserschmarrn can be described as sweet scrambled pancakes, with its name derived from the German words Kaiser, meaning "emperor," and Schmarrn, which translates to "scrambled dish."
Kaiserschmarrn is a popular Austrian dessert that originated in the imperial court of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I in the late 19th century.
Baking in grams
I share my recipes in grams and by weight since baking by weight is the most accurate way to bake. Digital Scales are very affordable and easy to use. You can purchase them on Amazon for less than a set of measuring cups. Measuring cups are very inaccurate and can cause significant errors when it comes to gluten-free baking or baking in general. Especially since I bake with gluten-free flours which weigh differently than “regular” flours. I do provide some ingredients like spices and leavening agents in measuring spoons. To learn more about Baking with a digital scale, make sure to check out my post about Baking by weight.
Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
All my recipes are tested and developed with a conventional oven. I always bake my baked goods on the rack placed in the MIDDLE of my oven. This way the heat coming from the bottom will not burn my baked goods.
If you are baking with convection (fan-forced), please adjust the recipes accordingly. Be also prepared that the convection oven can cause your baked goods to dry out quickly and still be raw inside. Be aware that it takes at least 15-20 minutes for a standard American Oven to be fully preheated. I highly recommend investing in an Oven Thermometer.
Substitutions and Modifications
Any dietary or ingredient modifications/substitutions to this recipe may alter the end result in appearance and taste. I test my recipes several times as published in this post and The Gluten Free Austrian Blog is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you find on our website.
More Gluten Free Austrian Recipes to try
Rum Soaked Raisins
- 40 grams dark raisins
- 2 tablespoons rum (or gluten free whiskey/bourbon)
Gluten Free Kaiserschmarrn
- 2 large eggs, can be cold
- 40 grams granulated white sugar
- 115 g sour cream, full fat
- 60 grams milk, any percentage
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 80 grams gluten free multi purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 20 grams unsalted butter, can be cold
For Caramlizing and Serving
- 10 grams granulated sugar
- a bit more butter
- powdered sugar as needed
- Apple Sauce or other fruit compote
Rum Soaked Raisins
- In a small bowl combine the raisins and rum. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes. To speed up the soaking process you may warm the rum slightly. Water or Apple Juice can be used for a non-alcoholic version. Unsoaked raisins tend to burn in the oven and dry out (And no one likes the taste of burnt raisins)
Gluten Free Kaiserschmarrn Batter
- Start by preheating the oven to 400F
- Separate the eggs and place the egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer or mixing bowl. Add the egg yolks to a separate mixing bowl and set aside
- Whisk the egg whites with 40 grams granulated sugar and a pinch of salt for a couple of minutes until they form stiff peaks. They will be glossy and shiny, almost creamy. Set aside
- To the bowl with egg yolks, add sour cream, milk, and a generous teaspoon of vanilla extract. Whisk until fully combined, then add gluten-free flour and kosher salt and whisk until smooth.
- Add about ⅓ of the beaten egg whites to the batter and fold them in gently. This will help to loosen up the batter. Then, add the remaining egg whites and fold them in carefully until the batter becomes light and airy.
- Take an oven-safe skillet and add approximately 2 teaspoons of butter to it. Melt the butter over medium-low heat, and then pour the gluten-free Kaiserschmarrn batter into the skillet.
- Drain the raisins and sprinkle them right away over the pancake batter.
- Cook the Kaiserschmarrn over medium heat for 2 minutes before transferring the skillet to the preheated oven.
- Bake the Austrian pancake in the oven for about 12 minutes or until it appears to be set and firm.
- Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and place it back on the burner. Using a knife or a spatula, divide the giant pancake into quarters.
- Flip each quarter over and once down, turn on the heat of the burner to low heat. Allow the pancake to cook for 1-2 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown.
- Using two forks or spoons, tear the pancake into bite-sized pieces.
- Sprinkle the schmarrn with the additional sugar and add a few more dabs of butter to the pan.
- Turn up the heat of the pan. Using a spatula, flip the sugared Kaiserschmarrn pieces allowing them to caramelize.
- Once all the sugar is melted (this normally just takes 30 seconds or less), remove the Gluten Free Kaiserschmarrn from the heat.
- Dust the Kaiserschmarrn with powdered sugar and serve right away.
Flour: This recipe for Kaiserschmarrn can be made with 75g “regular” All Purpose flour if a gluten free diet is not required
Raisins: If raisins are not your thing, you can skip them completely or substitute them with dried cranberries or cherries.
Make Ahead Batter: Kaiserschmarrn Batter will be the fluffiest and lightest if the batter is cooked right away.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 500
Calories are a guestimate and randomly generated.