Vegan Kaiserschmarrn – a classic fluffy dessert from Austria that could be described as shredded pancakes, topped with powdered sugar, and served with a fruit compote. In this vegan but still authentic recipe, Kaiserschmarrn does not contain any eggs at all. Instead, it is prepared with aquafaba, which brings it very close to the original. On the side, there is a strawberry and rhubarb compote. I am happy to share with you my recipe in English and show you how to make a veganized version of delicious Austrian Kaiserschmarrn.
Kaiserschmarrn – what is it?
Kaiserschmarrn is a classic Austrian dessert that is eaten both as a dessert and as a main dish (my preferred route, hehehe). One possible description would be scrambled or shredded pancake. But that’s not entirely true. Kaiserschmarrn usually contains a lot of eggs, I think more than pancakes, and the egg whites are beaten separately to make it fluffy. For vegan Kaiserschmarrn we will beat aquafaba, more about it below.
On the opposite of pancakes, Kaiserschmarrn doesn’t have any baking powder in the dough. Further, the dough is poured into the pan quite thick and gets fried slowly on low to medium heat, sometimes finished in the oven (I skip this part). It is often made with (rum-soaked) raisins and is usually caramelized a bit with some extra sugar until it is nicely golden brown.
Before serving, it is sprinkled with more powdered sugar, and usually served with stewed plums, plum compote (“Zwetschkenröster”) *), or applesauce. But you can eat it with any other compote, like strawberry and rhubarb compote, for which I share the easy and delicious recipe with you in this post.
There are some legends about the history of Kaiserschmarrn. Whatever it is: the namesake is always taken into account. Emperor Franz Joseph should have been very fond of this dish. Emperor, by the way, means Kaiser in German. So if you are wondering of the meaning and want to know what Kaiserschmarrn is in English, it could be translated as “Emperor’s Mess”.
By the way: If you like the Austrian cuisine, be sure to check out the other vegan Austrian recipes I shared so far. And if you were wondering about the origin of Kaiserschmarrn. It is a traditional Austrian dessert and is often connected with Vienna, Tyrol, or Bad Ischl. But it is also known in close by Bavaria, so you might find German Kaiserschmarrn recipes as well.
Thanks to Aquafaba
Let’s get back to the ingredients. I mentioned Aquafaba before and wanted to tell you a little bit more about it: Aquafaba refers to the water in which legumes have been cooked (from Latin: aqua for water and faba for beans). In vegan cuisine, this usually means the water from cooking chickpeas. It is slightly thick and jelly-like, which according to Wikipedia has to do with the proteins that transfered into the water. Therefore, Aquafaba can be whipped up really nice and fluffy – just like egg white. It gets so stiff too! If I hadn’t done it myself, several times, I would hardly believe it. And it doesn’t taste weird like chickpeas or anything.
You can make aquafaba out of the liquid from a chickpea can, or from the cooking water of home-cooked chickpeas, unless you cook them with baking soda (so that the chickpeas soften faster). In this case, it has not worked for me so far (I had 2-3 attempts, now I just let it go).
Aquafaba is definitely one more reason to make hummus yourself.
As mentioned before, Kaiserschmarrn is usually made with raisins, mostly with (rum) soaked raisins. Even if I love raisins, it gets a bit too sweet for me in combination with a compote.
Speaking of the compote: Incidentally, it is a little more than you would need for two to three servings of vegan Kaiserschmarrn. I like to eat the leftover compote just like it is. Or use it as a topping on porridge. Or eat it with plain yogurt… Believe me: you won’t be sad to have a little leftover.
- 140 ml chickpea water (4.7 oz or a bit more than 0.5 cup)
- 1 pinch of salt
- 230 g (8 oz or a tiny bit less than 2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 50 g (1.7 oz or 4 tbsp) sugar
- 330 ml (11 oz or 1.4 cups) vegan milk
- 70 ml (2.4 oz or 5 tbsp) sparkling mineral water
- 5 tbsp (rapeseed) oil or melted vegan butter (3 tbsp of which to bake the Kaiserschmarrn).
- Powdered sugar
- Optional: approx. 2 tbsp raisins
Strawberry and rhubarb compote
- 500 g (18 oz or 3-4 cups) rhubarb
- 5 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla sugar
- 1 tsp starch (such as corn starch)
- 500 g (18 oz or 2.5 cups) strawberries
- For the Aquafaba, beat the chickpea cooking water with a pinch of salt for a few minutes until the jelly-like liquid turns into a white, fluffy, and firm foam that looks and feels like egg whites. It takes about 7 minutes to whip, at least longer than with egg whites. I do this with my food processor with the whisk attachment.
- Mix the remaining ingredients in a separate container: first the flour, sugar, and salt. Then, while stirring, slowly add the liquids so that no lumps form. Then fold in the aquafaba (fold in = gently work in and do not stir wildly).
- Next, fry the batter. With this amount of batter, I do it in two steps. Everything that is described below is listed for each step:
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil or butter in the pan.
- If you are using raisins, add about 1 tablespoon to the pan.
- Now add half of the batter and slowly fry it out.
- After a few minutes, when the downside is brownish, use a spatula to quarter the batter and turn each piece over.
- Now add ½ tbsp oil or vegan butter.
- Continue frying until the second side turns brown too.
- Then tear the pancake-like piece into smaller pieces and let them fry a little more. Stir. Just before serving, sprinkle some icing sugar on top and stir so that the sugar can caramelize.
- Place the pieces onto a plate, sprinkle with icing sugar, and serve with compote, apple sauce, or stewed plums.
Strawberry and rhubarb compote
- Wash, clean and peel the rhubarb (simply peel off the thin outer skin with your fingernails) and cut into pieces approx. 2 cm in size.
- Mix the rhubarb pieces with the sugar and vanilla sugar in a bowl and let them steep for an hour. Some liquid should collect in the process.
- Wash and clean the strawberries and cut them in halves or quarters depending on the size.
- Bring the rhubarb and the liquid (without adding any additional water) to boil in a saucepan and let simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove a little of the liquid (approx. 1-2 tbsp) and mix with the starch.
- Pour this mixture back into the pot, bring to the boil again and stir.
- Then add the strawberries and let everything cool down together.
The strawberry rhubarb compote is a little more than for just two to three servings of vegan Kaiserschmarrn. You can add the rest, for example, to your porridge as a topping, or eat it together with white yogurt, or just spoon it out.
If you want to eat Kaiserschmarrn the original way, you should get yourself some plum compote ("Zwetschkenröster"). *)