I have been telling my kids for years about my mom making Aebleskiver (Danish round pancakes) as well as the other Danish crepes (Pandekager) when I was growing up. I remember visiting my grandmother (mormor) in Denmark as a kid and having Aebelskiver in Tivoli Gardens.
So when I opened one of my Christmas gifts this year and found an Aebleskiver pan, I instantly went back to my childhood and couldn't wait to have my kids experience these delightful round pancakes filled with jam and fresh fruit.
My wife whipped up the following recipe that came with the pan and they were delicious. The recipe is for making 40 round pancakes and we decided to cut the recipe in half but what a mistake. They went so fast we regretted not making the whole batch.
The Aebleskiver Pan
The pan from Williams Sonoma is made of heavy cast-aluminum, has a stay cool cast stainless steel handle and seven deep wells for the pancake batter. The Nordic Ware company started making Aebleskiver Pans back in 1950.
This family owned business from Minnesota joined up with Williams-Sonoma to make this updated version with a nonstick coating to help release the pancakes from the pan.
I read on the Solvang Restaurant web site (see below) a little history of the pan. They say the Aebleskiver pan comes from the Viking days when after a long day of battle, the warriors were hungry. They would go back to their viking ships and make a type of pancake using their shields in lieu of pans.
I'm guessing the design of the shields included wells for the batter. This may just be a good story but I like it.
Danish Pancakes In Solvang, CA
I just happen to be in Solvang, California, a small Central Coast community in the San Ynez Valley that was originally founded by a group of Danish educators back in 1911.
The town's architecture has been modeled in a Danish style and you can find restaurants, bakeries and stores selling Scandinavian goods although I was told by one local that there aren't many Danes left in town.
One morning we enjoyed breakfast at the Solvang Restaurant - home of Arne's famous "Aebleskiver" on Copenhagen Drive. The restaurant was bright and decorated for Christmas and the servers were friendly.
We could tell the locals were in there early like we were because when the tourists arrived in town around 10 am, you couldn't get near the place.
We all ordered three of Arne's Aebleskiver served with raspberry jam and powdered sugar. I was thinking they wouldn't be enough after watching my kids devour 20 Aebleskiver at home on Christmas morning. However, these were much bigger and in my opinion a little too "doughy".
My wife's Aebleskiver following the recipe below were much better. They were moister and had a richer flavor perhaps because of the fillings. But maybe from the higher egg to flour ratio.
If there are any Danes out there reading this blog, please post your recipe for homemade Aebleskiver in the comments below.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 eggs separated (yolks and whites)
- 2 cups milk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, plus more for cooking
Fillings for the Aebleskiver
- jams fresh fruit, chocolate
- In a bowl big enough to hold all the above ingredients with room to whisk, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the milk and 4 tablespoons of the melted butter. Add this mixture into the flour mixture until blended together. Don't worry if the batter looks lumpy.
- Using a hand held electric mixer, beat the egg whites on the highest speed until they become stiff but you do not want dry peaks to form. This should take about 3 minutes. Then fold the egg whites back into the flour mixture.
- Getting the Pan Ready for cooking
- Put the pan over medium heat, add ¼ teaspoon of butter to each well in the pan and heat until the butter begins to bubble. Add 1 tablespoon of batter to each well of the pan, then 1 teaspoon of filling and top with 1 tablespoon more of batter.
- You cook until the bottoms of the round pancakes are golden brown and a little crispy. This should take about 4 minutes. Using a coupe of wooden skewers, flip the pancakes over and cook until the other side is golden brown.
- Remove the 7 Aebleskiver and repeat with the remaining batter until all the batter is cooked. Serve with maple syrup and powdered sugar.
- If you don't want to add filling, that's fine. Just serve them with jam or syrup on the side.
The traditional Danish Ã¦bleskive recipe I have from my family is as follows (metric measures):
5 dl. all-purpose flour (~300 g)
0,5 teasp. salt (~2,5 g)
2 teasp. white sugar (~9 g)
1 teasp. cardamon
1 teasp. baking soda (Natron)
0,5 orange (100g)
3 eggs (~150 g)
4 dl. buttermilk (~400 g)
3 tsp. Raps oil or other non-tasting oil (~41 g)
4 tsp. Flormelis (~31,2 g)
Mix flour, salt, sugar, cardamon, natron, and grated orange peel in a bowl.
Whisk eggyolks and buttermilk together and mix with flour. Add oil and the juice from the orange.
Let the dough rest for at least Â½hour.
Whisk the eggwhites until almost stiff and gently mix in the dough.
Heat the aebleskive pan and add a bit of oil (og butter) to each well. You only need to add oil/butter the first couple of times.
Fill each well with 3/4 of dough. when it starts to become stiff, you turn the dough such that the last part of the fluid dough runs down in the the well and creates the second half of the "dough ball". the aebleskive is ready when no dough stick to a toothpick when you stick it through the aebleskive.
In old days a piece of apple would be dipped in the dough and then fried in hot fat (kinda like deepfrying battered things). This is the traditional way of making aebleskiver and is actually the reason for this "cake" to be named aebleskive and "aeble" translates to "apple" and "skive" roughly translates to "piece" og "slice".
The aebleskive pan was "invented" around the beginning of 1700 but the traditional way of "deepfrying" them is known to be commonly done all the way back to around year 1200. The story about the vikings is, as far as I know, just a good story.
After the aebleskive pan was invented and people started pan-frying the aebleskive, the piece of apple was added to the middle of the dough ball just before it was turned. This way the piece of apple would be placed in the middle of the aebleskive.
Just as my Grandmother made them!!! Thank you for sharing!!
Can these be made with wheat flour? Due to dietary restrictions, my husband can't have regular flour. Thanks!
Hi--wheat flour is generally considered regular flour. If your husband is gluten intolerant, you might try this, from a Gluten-free blog: http://glutenagogo.blogspot.com/2008/01/aebleskiver-apple-stuffed-pancakes.html
Hope they turn out well; they sound like a Very Yummy Treat!
Having grown up in Solvang, We love aebleskive!! I have had a LOOK pan, made in Iceland for eons. I purchased it at the Solvang Restaurant. Thanks for the blog! I guess I'll have to go make some now for when the kids get home...
My Mom's recipe (she was born in Vordingborg, Denmark) differs only that instead of regular milk, it calls for buttermilk...if I don't have any, a little vinegar in the milk is almost as good, but the best aebelskiver is made with buttermilk.
i am not danish but grew up in santa ynez and solvang my grandma used to have a store on copenhagen and ate at arnes all the time and your recipe reminds me of there as i dont live there anymore thanks for the memories
I just made these awesome pancake balls using a Williams-Sonoma brand Evelskiver mix. they were wonderful, but I want to make from scratch (at $10 a 1# can you can see why), so this site has been very helpful. Thank you!
We have used the Williams-Sonoma Evelskiver mix and it is convenient but you can see making it from scratch isn't that difficult. Glad you enjoyed the pancakes.
Sounds like a great alternative to use buttermilk instead of regular milk. Should give them a little extra tangy flavor.
Thanks so much for this article. I am of Norwegian decent and here in Tucson AZ there is a "Nordic Fest" (Scandinavian Festival) in town where they serve these delicious little round pancakes. The women would stand and make them in the little pans and I woulkd sit and watch as it seems quite difficult, but they are sooo good! I wonder if there is a sugar-free recipe...
When is the festival in Tucson?
We have traveled to the Hostfest in Minot, ND....they have aebelsivers there also and a very authenic feast that chefs from Norway come to prepare...it is great!
Thanks so much everyone. I just purchased the pan from WS.... Here's my question:
At the store, they mention meat filling - how can the meat get cooked in so little time?
They mention cream cheese - wouldn't that melt?
Where do you suggest going for a full range of recipes?
Thanks so much!
Hi Dihjet, personally I have only used my ebelskiver pan for making Danish pancakes but I'm sure there are lot's of other great recipes you can prepare with it. As for the meat fillings, I'm guessing that the meat is already precooked like bacon or sausages before adding it to the dough.
I would do a search on the Internet for Ebelskiver recipes and I'm sure you will find some.
Good day to you, I would love to have a ebelskiver pan, but it seems, that the USA, is the only place that sells them. I live on a small island called Guernsey in the Channel islands. We are part of the Britain UK. Does anyone know where i could buy one this side of the Atlantic? ps i have looked into buying one from the USA, but postage is astronomical, almost the same as the pan itself.
I live in Malta and purchased my pan through Amazon.co.uk. Hopefully they will still have some. Good luck.
Oh, I'm so grateful to have found your blog... I am Danish and was raised in the Santa Ynez Valley, living in Solvang as a kid. I don't have my Great Grandma Fannie's recipe readily accessible, but I can say that your recipe looks quite a bit easier to make than her's....I think she called for 8 eggs!! I believe she also used buttermilk....will try to hunt that up and post later.....
One thing I personally love to do is use bacon grease in the pan when I'm frying them, and I use a knitting needle to turn them.....Now I'm REALLY missing good old Solvang...I'm almost 50 now so it's been a loooong time [sniff sniff]......It's wonderful to remember it all again, thanks!
Hi Terrie, I introduced Ebleskiver to my kids just so they would know what my mom and grandmother used to make once in a while but they want them every Saturday morning now and my wife makes them better than I do. I will try and post some of my other favorite Danish recipes from my childhood like Frikadeller. Did you see my post on agurke salat - RG
My mother is Scandinavian and as a child my family lived in a two family house with her parents on one side and us on the other. There was a lot of things that we had that were less common than that of my peers. The Viking Baker came to the house every week, we ate a fruit soup made from any and all fruits called (please excuse the spelling) Sisup, hot cross buns, pancakes that were very close to crepes that you caught with at the edge and rolled to eat and ableskivers. We ate they the way we would pancakes. As with the others that told of the way they were made my grandmother did not use buttermilk and as I remember there were an enormous number of eggs used. I was looking for a recipe so I could make them for a brunch we are having at work for the holidays. I think I'll try both before the party and decide from there. Thanks for the info.
Hi Janet, you are welcome and thank you for sharing your childhood food memories. It's amazing how powerful our food experiences are. - RG
I lived in Solvang for many many years & loved it! I was there from 6th grade past my high school years. I am now 55. Just wonder if I know any of you or if you would know one of my two brothers. Interesting. This is making me miss Solvang. I am making ebleskivers tomorrow for my husbands birthday.
Hi Carrie, I did not live in Solvang, we were visiting on vacation although it is a beautiful part of the country to grow up. After I introduced ebleskivers to my wife and kids, they have become a regular Sunday morning staple. My MorMor would be proud. - RG
Wonderful article! I love all the variations introduced by commentators - and learning about the piece of apple!! We just had our very first aebleskive in La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico at a little B&B called Casa Tuscany. Wow! What a revelation. I believe the cook added a bit of cardamom to these perfectly round little balls of goodness. Now it's time to make out own - which I"ll be able to do once my pan arrives!!
Thanks for posting this article - great blog, BTW. Cheers! - Jeff
Thanks Jeff for your kind words and I hope you enjoy your aebleskive. - RG
you can buy these pans in the UK at Lakeland
First had these when I was in Solvang. It took me forever to find a pan. Found one this summer and now I can't wait to make them.
Don't wait. Make them soon. You are going to enjoy them. - RG
Your pan looks very familiar. I have a Vietnamese friend that brought a dish called Banh khot to a pot luck at work. This dish is a shrimp and mung bean paste pastery that is made in a cast iron pan that has the same seven little sections as the pan you use for the Ebleskiver I bought one at a Vietnamese market.
We love the little danish pancakes, but wanted to make them traditionally from scratch for Christmas. Thanks for posting the recipe. Lokking forward to eating them!
In the past I have found the ebleskiver cast iron pans in antique stores for around $30.00. Happy hunting.
My great grandparents (father's side) immigrated to Kansas to farm, then brought their parents over later,
One of my dad's earliest memories was asking his grandmother what she was doing one morning and he remembers clearly that she said she was making ebleskivers.
We found a cast iron ebleskiver pan amongst the accumulated debris of our family home when preparing to move our dad to an apartment.
My younger brother has that heirloom, so I bought the WS pan for myself. Just made my first batch and am enjoying them with a berry compote filling.
WS has a small book about ebleskiver and has several variations on the recipe and different fillings.
Thanks for sharing this Eric - RG
I live just outside of Junction City, OR where every August they hold a Scandanavian Festival. My grandmother would work in one of the boothes during the festival. I remeber it well, because throughout the year she would sew together some of the scandanavian costumes they would sell in the booth. The thing I remember most, and is still that way to this day, is how the line for the aebleskiver booth was the longest at the festival. They have always been and continue to be my favorite.
Best recipe ever for Ebelskivers! I will only use this recipe from now on.
Ruthann Trebino Curley
Thank you for sharing this recipe. I inherited a cast iron version of this pan but did not have any recipe!
I have a very easy recipe passed down from my Danish relatives.
1 cup milk
2 cups bisquick
We traditionally make these at Christmas which is what my fathers' family who immigrated from Denmark did. My nephew did a report on Denmark and they are traditionally a holiday treat. Up until this past year I used the cast iron pan past down to me but I have now evolved to an electric pan. So much easier to regulate. I actually took it in and made some for my work mates and they LOVED them.
I too lived near Solvang as my husband was stationed at Vandenberg AFB for 4 years.
The Reluctant Gourmet
Thanks Carey for sharing your recipe and memories.
Is there a recipe anyone has that doesn't use any eggs? I can't eat eggs, but I really want to try aebelskivers.
I haven't personally tried this recipe yet, but it looks promising 🙂
I've just found these wonderful puffs of heaven and look forward to making them from scratch!
Thank you for the recipes and stories 🙂
My husband and I lived in Vojens, Denmark for three years while on an exchange tour with the Royal Danish Air Force. What a delightful experience. I was taught many things----one of which was how to make Ableskiver. Love them. I just sprinkle powdered sugar on them while they are still hot. I am a retired school teacher and I used to make them for my 5th and 6th graders at Christmas time. They are so delicious that all the teachers would drop by for their sample share. Thank you for your recipe. Mine has metric measures and I have lost some of my metric kitchenware. Can't wait to try your recipe.
G. Stephen Jones
Hi Terry, you are very welcome. Please let me know how your Ableskiver turn out.
There are some Amazing Cookbooks on Amazon for Aebelskivers. "150 Best Aebelskiver Recipes" is just one. All kinds of Sweet and Savory Aebelskivers in there!! One of my Favorites is Proscuitto and Feta Cheese Aebleskivers served with Fig/Orange Jam.. I just made them the other day!!
Great Article!!! Thanks for sharing!!