Enjoy a traditional Danish treat when you make Aebleskiver Danish pancakes. Traditionally served at Christmas, Aebleskiver are a special December dessert, often served with powdered sugar and strawberry jam or Raspberry Sauce .
While typically made in an aebleskiver pan, in this post I’ll show you how to make these Danish pancake balls in a cake pop or donut hole maker. Serve them alongside Oslo Kringle for a fun Scandinavian dessert table this season or for a pancake dinner some night.
When I was a kid, one of our regular family outings was a trip to Solvang, California. It’s a little tourist town, originally founded by Danes and its architecture and attractions inspired by Danish culture.
The delectable Danish pancake, the Aebleskiver is commonly found in Solvang restaurants. Baked in a special iron pan atop the stove these are often called Danish pancakes, even though they aren’t actually a breakfast food in Denmark.
Aebleskiver is Danish for “apple slices” and the name has stuck even though modern iterations of Danish pancakes no longer contain apples.
Why Make This
It’s fun! While the Danes may shake their head at our calling these “pancake balls” or serving them for breakfast, aebleskiver are super fun to make and eat, especially with my cake pop maker hack. You will love these Danish pancakes!
Æbleskiver are delicious! The ball-shaped snack is fried in butter with an interior texture, similar to a waffle or Yorkshire pudding. This is one of our family’s favorite recipes; the treats disappear almost as fast as I can make them!
Fun fact: the plural is aebleskiver. Don’t embarrass yourself by saying aebleskivers.
You don’t need much to make homemade Danish pancakes:
eggs – You will separate the eggs, so keep this in mind. You’ll need an extra bowl to get them ready.
buttermilk – Real cultured buttermilk is best for this recipe. Remember that you can freeze leftover buttermilk.
butter – Butter goes in the batter as well as for brushing the pan prior to frying.
vanilla extract – Vanilla is optional, but I like the flavor that it brings to the puffs.
whole wheat pastry flour – I like to use whole wheat pastry flour to add a bit of whole grain heartiness to this recipe, but you can use regular all-purpose flour as well.
sugar – You’ll need both powdered and granulated sugar for your Aebleskiver.
leavenings – You’ll need baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Don’t omit any of them as they work together to puff the “panckes”.
jam – This is traditional for serving with Danish pancakes. In Solvang the jam of choice is raspberry, but in Denmark strawberry is standard. You can also make my homemade Raspberry Sauce pretty quickly while you’re cooking the puffs.
A note about equipment:
While you do need special hardware to make these Danish pancakes, it doesn’t have to be an aebleskiver pan. Ha! If your tween daughter insisted on a cake pop maker when Nerdy Nummies became popular, bust that thing out. A cake pop maker is more than a unitasker.
My two cents: the aebleskiver pan is traditional and I do own one, but making Danish pancakes in the cake pop maker is easier and hands-free.
Here’s how to prepare this Danish aebleskiver recipe:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
- In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg yolks, butter, and vanilla extract.
- Add the dry ingredients mixture to the buttermilk mixture and stir until smooth.
- Fold in the stiff egg whites.
- Heat the cast iron aebleskiver pan over medium heat or turn on the cake pop maker. Brush the cups with melted butter. Fill the cups and cook until golden brown and cooked in the center.
- If you are using a traditional pan to make these Danish pancakes, once the bottoms are cooked, use a skewer, chopstick, or knitting needle to turn them over carefully and continue cooking. They will form a ball-shaped pancake.
- If you are using a cake pop maker, follow the manufacturer’s directions.
Serve aebleskiver or Danish pancakes with powdered sugar and jam.
To freeze aebleskiver: cool them completely on a rack prior to packaging them in an airtight container and storing them in the freezer.
To reheat, you can pop them in the microwave for 30-second intervals or reheat in the oven or toaster oven until warm.
TLDR? Watch the Aebleskiver Recipe, Danish Pancakes web story.
The texture and taste of Danish pancakes is similar to a waffle or popover, crisp on the outside, but soft and a bit eggy in the center.
Typically served for dessert on a special occasion, these “pancake puffs” are traditionally served with powdered sugar and jam alongside a glass of mulled wine.
Once the bottom side of the puff is set, you’ll spin the dough ball slightly in the pan with a skewer. The uncooked batter will fall to the bottom of the round opening and continue cooking. Continue this process until the full ball is cooked. Or use an electric donut hole or cake pop maker for a hands-free prep.
More Holiday Desserts
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- 2 egg separated
- 2 cup whole wheat pastry flour or regular all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cup buttermilk
- 4 tablespoon butter melted, plus additional for brushing pan
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- powdered sugar
- strawberry jam or other favorite jam
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff.2 egg
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.2 cup whole wheat pastry flour, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 2 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon baking soda
- In a large mixing mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg yolks, butter, and vanilla extract. Add the dry mixture to this bowl and stir until smooth. Fold in the stiff egg whites.2 cup buttermilk, 4 tablespoon butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat the aebleskiver pan or cake pop maker. Brush the cups with melted butter. Fill the cups and cook. If you are using an aebleskiver pan, once the bottoms are cooked, use a skewer to turn them over and continue cooking. They will form a ball-shaped pancake.
- If you are using a cake pop maker, follow the manufacturer’s directions. Alternatively, you can bake this batter in a waffle maker. It won’t be an aebleskiver, but it will be delicious.
- Serve aebleskiver with powdered sugar and jam.powdered sugar, strawberry jam
This post was originally published on December 21, 2016. It has been updated for content and clarity.
I need to see if my mom still has the pan we had as a kid. I don’t know who introduced them to my parents, but we ate them for breakfast whenever we wanted. We had no idea how to pronounce the name though!
I’m going to try this recipe. I saw my pan at goodwill store and went home to look it up. Then I drove back the same day to get it. Hoping as I drove there it would still be there. It was and when I took it to check out I found out it had the color of the day sticker so I got it for 1/2 price for $1.59 !! I was trilled.
These are delicious! Amazing! My kids ate them so fast I didn’t get any until I filched them from the third pan before putting them in a serving dish.
Used Bobs Red Mill pastry whole wheat flour and Kodiak Cakes super fruit syrup. No modification to recipe.
So glad you enjoyed them! Yay!
I grew up going to Solvang too. We always looked forward to going there. I love æbleskiver (My mom was Swedish and she spelled it with out the A) I have 2 cast iron pans because they get eaten up quickly in my house. We have powered sugar, strawberry jam or maple syrup with them. Thanks for a “different” recipe. I’m going to try yours. It will be after the new year because we are booked until then. Something for me to look forward to in 2017.
Oh dear, I have a pan; completely forgotten about it ! Thank you for reminding me 🙂 Great breakfast or dessert. Have a happy holidays !
Time to bust out that pan, I guess! 😉
I think it is funny, when I see traditional Danish food made in other countries 🙂 I’m not really THAT crazy about æbleskiver and I don’t own an æbleskivepan, but I am thinking about buying one 😉 Luckily, you can buy æbleskiver frozen and just heat them in the oven, and if you get the organic kind, they are actually quite good!
Æbleskiver are always eaten around Christmastime (served with glögg, which is warm wine with spices, raisins and almonds) and then disappear the rest of the year. December is cold and dark in Denmark, so something warm to eat and drink is appreciated. You can serve them with icing sugar and the jam of your choice, but I have never seen them served without strawberry jam. So if you want to serve them “Danish style”, strawberry jam is a must 🙂
There are a lot of different recipes for æbleskiver, and some include apples, grated or diced. But you are right, most people don’t add apples anymore.
I hope you have a happy Holiday!
Kathy in Denmark
I was thinking about you when I was writing this, Kathy, and wondering what the real story was. LOL! The Danes in Solvang swear by raspberry jam. I wonder how that got tweaked.
Thanks for giving us authentic input! Happy Holidays to you!