These Danish aebleskiver (pancake balls) are so delicious, and the perfect special occasion breakfast!
One of the first things I learned about my husband’s family when we started dating is that they are very proud of their Danish ancestry. I’ve never thought all that much about my own family’s ancestry (I’m a mix of English, Welsh, and German), but it’s definitely an important part of his family’s lore. They can trace their Danish roots to a single ancestor who immigrated to the United States in the mid nineteenth century, and gave them their somewhat unusual last name (Skousen). My husband loves Scandinavian culture and traditions, and is also obsessed with all things viking-related. As one of our friends (also a proud Dane) loves to say, “You can always tell a Dane, but you can’t tell him much.” I’m not sure whether it’s fair to apply that saying to a whole country of people I’ve never met, but it’s definitely true of my husband. 🙂
When we moved to Portland last year, we were delighted to find that we live near a delicious Nordic restaurant called Broder. They are my husband’s first choice for breakfast and brunch whenever we have a free morning, and although I was a little skeptical at first as to whether I would like the food, it is totally amazing! I always have a hard time deciding what to order because everything is delicious, but their aebleskiver are definitely one of my top favorites. They’re crisp on the outside, light and fluffy in the middle, and lightly sweetened with powdered sugar. They come with jam and lemon curd on the side, and make for an amazingly delicious breakfast!
I actually made aebleskiver at home a few years ago, but I had forgotten how delicious they are! Since we’ve been visiting Broder pretty regularly in the last year and a half (and it’s beginning to affect our wallets a little too much), I decided it was time to pull out my aebleskiver pan and get cooking again. They were actually much easier to make than I remembered them being, and they turned out so delicious! They are like heavenly, airy little bites of pancake, with a crisp outer shell and a soft and fluffy middle. They’re perfect sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with jam on the side. This time, we tried them with some cinnamon apple butter on the side too, and they were amazing together!
The only thing that’s tricky about making them is that you have to keep turning the batter in the pan so it forms a ball. The way I’ve found that works best for me is to scoop the batter into the pan, let it cook for a minute or two, then use a fork to gently pull up on the edge of the cooked batter, and turn the ball a quarter turn. Wait a minute or so, then turn it again. Keep rotating until all sides of the ball are cooked and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. In my experience, it’s easier to make the first two turns with a fork, then use a chopstick or a knitting needle to push the balls the rest of the way. If you’re more skilled than I am, you can definitely use a chopstick for the whole process. It may sound a little complicated, but it’s pretty easy once you get in the groove. Be careful also to keep your pan at a consistent medium heat so the pancake balls don’t cook too fast and get burned on the outside.
These aebleskiver are definitely going to be on the menu for special occasions at our house from now on!
Danish AebleskiverPrint Recipe
- 2 eggs separated
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- Beat the egg whites until stiff, and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients, then gently fold in egg whites. Heat the aebleskiver pan over medium heat. Add a few drops of oil to the bottom of each well of the pan, then add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter to each well (I used a cookie scoop to make things easier). When they start to get bubbly around the edges, use a fork or a knitting needle to rotate them about a 1/4 turn in the pan. (This part can be tricky and a little frustrating, but keep at it!) Continue to rotate the aebleskivers until they are cooked all the way around and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the pan and serve hot, sprinkled with powdered sugar, with jam on the side.
For more delicious special occasion breakfasts, be sure to check out some of my favorites below: