Traditional Viennese Desserts: Strudel and Pancake

Apfelstrudel, ©schroettner/flickr©schroettner/flickr

Apfelstrudel or Apple Strudel is the timeless yet traditional Viennese strudel. Unlike those apple strudel which you can find in many other countries, the Austro-Hungarian apple strudel is very special. It is made in a sweet version where this traditional pastry are formed by layers of pastry with apple filling inside. Grated winesap apples which are apples that crack once they have ripened are specially used. It is made together with important ingredients such as sugar, cinnamon, raisins and bread crumbs. This dish even has a handwritten recipe dated back to 1696. This is not just a traditional pastry, it is also the national dish of Austria.

The best way to savour this Austrian cuisine is with tea or coffee. You can even accompany it with a nicely flavoured champagne.


Other dessert specialities are the  Milchrahmstrudel (filled with milk cream) and Topfenstrudel with some special and delicious cheese cream. Both are oven baked and usually served with vanilla sauce so you may imagine how delicious it is… stuffed with all kind of tasty things such as sweet bread and raisin.  Fans of  fromage frais will love these sweeties (literally).


Austrian dessert, kaiserschmarrn


The most popular desserts which you must try is the Kaiserschmarrn (Pancake) which is fluffy, and slightly roasted, and served with applesauce or the stewed plum. The word ‘Kaiser’ means ‘Emperor’. This light caramelized pancake are made from a sweet batter (of flour, sugar, eggs, milk, butter salt). The secret is probably separating the egg whites from the yolk. Then beating it until stiff for flour to be added next. As for the yolks, it is mixed with sugar, sometimes nuts, cherries, plums, apple jam, small dices of apple, caramelized raisins and even chopped almonds. Then finally sprinkled with powdered sugar. They are so delicious when served hot with apple/plum sauce or fruit compotes such as lingonberry or strawberry. You can eat it for lunch at taverns in the Austrian alps if you are visiting there for your ski trip in winter or at one of the mountainside restaurants.


Palatschinken is the other kind of pancakes. It is thin, crepe-like and is filled with marmalade, jam; while the savory versions are with spinach or cheese filling. Some even filled it with meat, mushroom or vegetable stews and topped with sour cream. To make it so thin, a runny dough (from eggs, wheat flour, milk, butter, salt). So, this is eaten for lunch or dinner. In contrast, the American pancakes are thick and are served during breakfast.

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