Is there a difference between pancakes and Kaiserschmarrn from Austria?

2 Answers 2


There is a wide range of pancake variants.

Kaiserschmarrn are an egg-white leavened pancake often served with fruit and nuts, with the pancake itself being shredded for presentation.

This is different than the most typical pancakes served in the US, which are not egg-white leavened, but baking powder leavened, but it is still a type of pancake.

  • To complete this question and answer, is there a difference between Kaiserschmarn and crepes?
    – Mien
    Feb 27, 2014 at 14:54
  • 2
    @mien Well this is big and puffy and fluffy, not thin and unleavened like the prototypical crepe.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Feb 27, 2014 at 15:04

A couple of years ago, I used 'pancake' to explain the problems of polysemy (words having more than one meaning, but due to divergence over time and not a case of being homonyms).

Kaisersharrn was one of the items used in my display, as I intended it to represent a pancake that was :

  • egg white foam leavened
  • not a breakfast item

... but those weren't the problems that people called out. My sample size wasn't statistically significant, and my methodolgy was pretty sloppy (it was intended more as performance art), but, when we look at why people though kaiserschmarrn was not a pancake:

  • 8 responses : isn't flat
  • 2 responses : wasn't a breakfast item.
  • 1 response : wasn't chemically leavened.

5 people said pancakes had to be fuffy, but didn't specifically call out the type of leavening.

For those that called kaiserscharrn for not being flat, I followed up and asked if they had even cut up pancakes for someone, and if the items that were cut up was still a pancake, but I don't recall any good responses to that line of questioning. (and I didn't record their response yes or no)

I really didn't think this would've been one of the items called out ... people were more accepting of corn tortillas being a pancake (due to shape) than kaiserschmarrn.

  • 2
    IMO, kaiserschmarrn are related to pancakes the same way scrambled eggs are related to omelets: same ingredients, same tools, and there ends the similarity.
    – Marti
    Feb 28, 2014 at 18:46

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