Kaiserschmarrn – Császármorzsa

by | Jan 8, 2016 | Desserts

Though Kaiserschmarrn is basically an Austrian dessert, but due to the years our country spent in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy it has been tightly integrated into the Hungarian cuisine, as well. Kaiserschmarrn translates in English as the Emperor’s Mess, it’s actually a shredded pancake, which has its name from the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I, who was fond of this terrific dessert. In Hungary császármorzsa (this is how Kaiserschmarrn is called in Hungarian) isn’t only served as a dessert, but also as a main course, for example after a thick soup.

Kaiserschmarrn can be prepared in different ways. The basic ingredients are sugar, flour, eggs, milk and salt; we Hungarians often use semolina or a mixture of flour and semolina. Egg whites are usually separated from the yolk, beaten until stiff and folded into the batter. The batter can be fried on the stove or baked in the oven. The pancake is torn into small pieces with a fork or wooden spoon while frying. You can vary the recipe at your pleasure, you just have to keep the proportions of dry and moist ingredients as the batter has to be liquid, but viscous.

Kaiserschmarrn – Császármorzsa – photo: zserbo.com


  • 10 tbsp semolina
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 250 ml (~1 cup) milk
  • 1 handful of raisins
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • zest of a lemon
  • 3 tbsp butter for frying
  • fruit jam

Add vanilla to the milk and warm it. Mix semolina, flour, sugar, butter and lemon zest in a bowl. Separate the eggs, add the yolks to the mixture and whisk until incorporated. Pour in the warm (not hot) vanilla milk and whisk to combine. Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat until thoroughly stiff. Finally gently fold the beaten egg whites into the semolina mixture.

Put 3 tablespoons of butter into a frying pan and warm over medium heat until it completely melts. Once the butter has melt and the pan is hot enough, pour in the batter and sprinkle one handful of raisins over it. Fry until the bottom is golden brown, then try to turn the pancake – never mind if it breaks. Tear it into small pieces and fry it properly until golden brown. Serve hot with fruit jam.

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  1. Would you have a recipe for what my parents called “sterc ” (pronounced like shterts I think”?? It’s flour baked until brown in the oven and then you pour boiled cubed salted potatoes with the water on to the hot flour and quickly stir like crazy!??
    I’m 68 and have been searching for the recipe forever! Thanx.

    • Hi Natalia, I need to look up the recipe in my cookbooks. If I have one, I will post it on the website.

  2. Thank you!!

    • Hi Natalia, Here is the sterc recipe https://zserbo.com/noodles/sterc/ . Maybe it’s not exactly what you’ve been looking for, but something similar.

Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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