Schmarre, breakfast of German Champions – Kaiserschmarrn Recipe

Little Dirndl

Me and Nikki 1990

I’m going to start this blog with a quick story about my bff Nikki. Rewind approx 24 years to when she was in kindergarden and each student had to tell the class what they had for breakfast. It was Nikki’s turn. “Nikki, what did you have for breakfast?” “Schmarre!” she said with a big smile. “What did you eat?” “Schmarre!” “What?” (teacher very confused) “SCHMARRE!” (wondering why the teacher can’t understand/ hear what she’s saying) “Ok… great! Billy what did you have” (teacher quickly moving on…)

That afternoon when Nikki’s mom came to pick her up she asked the teacher, “How was everything today?” the teacher replied, “Great, except Nikki said she ate something very strange for breakfast.” “Oooooooooo…. Ya…… we had schmarre,” “That’s exactly what she said! What the heck is it?!?!”

2009 Detroit Trachtenfest-004

Nikki, Myself and my sister Monika 2009

This is one of favorite stories! But had I had to tell my teacher that I had Kaiserschmarrn for breakfast, I would have pronounced it completely different, like how my Oma used to. More like, Schmorrn. Anyway you say it, it’s delicious. Whether you put raisins and cinnamon, powdered sugar and nuts, or like my mom prefers it, with salt… it’s always a tasty treat. Here is a simple recipe from Quick German

Schmarrn” is a 16th century German word meaning “to smear” or “to pain”. The sweet version of this German pancake recipe is called “Kaiserschmarrn” (Kaiser’s). There’s one made with bread called “Semmelschmarrn” and one with Cream of Wheat called “Grießchmarrn“. Being German, of course there’s one made with potatoes called “Kartoffelschmarrn“.

German Torn Pancakes aka Kaiserschmarrn

Rare Dirndl KaiserschmarrnIngredients:

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 4 oz raisins
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • icing sugar to sprinkle over


  • Mix together egg yolks, flour, milk, salt, baking powder and sugar till well mixed. Let batter stand for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, beat egg whites until stiff.
  • Gently fold egg whites into batter.
  • Gently fold in raisins.
  • In frying pan, melt 2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Pour in batter and fry until cooked on bottom.
  • Flip pancake, adding 2 tbsp butter, and continue to cook on other side until crispy.
  • Using two forks, tear pancake into pieces and continue cooking briefly.
  • Serve, dusted with icing sugar. Tastes great served with fruit or fruit sauce.

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