The Austrian Emperor’s Favorite Dessert — Kaiserschmarrn

This is a classic Hungarian version (called császármorzsa) of a famous dessert that originates from Austrian Emperor, Franz Joseph I. One can find it served at restaurants all over the former Habsburg Empire and especially in Austria.

A classic meal of the Habsburg Monarchy

There’s many legends about how this dish was invented. My favorite tale is that Franz Joseph’s wife was so poor of a cook that she could not flip a pancake, so to hide her failed attempt at a pancake, she scrambled up the dough and served the fluffy, slightly toasted crumbs with jam. To her luck, the meal was an instant success and became the Austrian Emperor’s favorite.

Perhaps the men in our lives will also appreciate this regal dessert. 😉

Time needed:

1 hour to let the milk-soaked semolina sit.
10 minutes to prepare the dough.
20 minutes of frying.

For three servings, the ingredients needed:

100 grams semolina
two tablespoons flour
250 ml. milk
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100 grams sugar
half a lemon’s zest
three tablespoons of butter

Serve with powdered sugar, jam, or raisins soaked in rum. In this version, I left out the raisins and used blackcurrant jam.


1. Mix together the flour with the semolina, then add in the milk and allow this mixture to sit for one hour.

2. After one hour, the semolina will have soaked in much of the milk.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yellows, the vanilla extract and the sugar. Then, add it to the milk-semolina mixture.

4. With an electric mixer, create a hard foam out of the egg-whites and lemon zest. Add this to the other mixture and use a wooden spoon to form a beautiful, thick creamy dough.

5. Take a large pan with high sides and melt three tablespoons of butter in it. Then, pour in the dough and start mixing. Patience is required because it can take 20-30 minutes to reach the final result.

First, you have:


And then, you get:

HERE is a video showing you how the dough slowly turns into crumbs.

6. Once the crumbs are nice and toasted, let them cool for a few minutes.

7. Serve with rum-soaked raisins or any variety of jam and powdered sugar. European royalty approved. 😉



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