Aebleskiver (or Ebelskiver) are puffy Danish pancake balls and a traditional Danish dessert most often served during the Christmas season. Enjoy them year-round as a delicious breakfast treat!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so be sure to also check out our Easy Belgian Waffles, German Pancakes, and BEST French Toast!

Aebleskivers on a plate topped with a light dusting of powdered sugar

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Whether you refer to them as aebleskiver or ebelskiver (same pronunciation, different spelling), the actual word in Danish is Æbleskiver and it means "apple slices" because traditionally these were made by putting a small slice of apple in the center while cooking them. But from what I've read, the tradition of putting apple slices in the center of aebleskiver has waned in Denmark and that's no longer a common practice.

Danish aebleskiver (or ebelskiver) dusted with powdered sugar, drizzled with honey, and served on a plate with a rasher of bacon.

Even though they are light and fluffy, aebleskiver aren't hollow in the center like you might think. The batter puffs as it cooks in a special aebleskiver pan, and you turn the pancake balls with a knitting needle (the traditional tool used by Danes for turning aebleskiver), chopstick or wooden skewer.

The resulting golden brown sphere is something like a delicious cross between a pancake and a donut, although they are slightly airier and lighter than either of those.

Cooked aebleskiver get dusted with powdered sugar before being served with honey or jam.

While I'm part Danish, I didn't actually grow up with aebleskiver and the first time I ever tried them was in Solvang, California. Solvang is a charming and quaint little town known for being one of the most authentic European villages in the USA, along with Frankenmuth, MI, Helen, GA, Vail, CO, and Leavenworth, WA.

Sign for Danish Mill Bakery & Coffee Shop in Solvang, CA.

We did a weekend trip to Solvang with our girls this past January and loved exploring the beautiful shops, admiring the art and architecture that reminded us of our travels through Europe, and enjoying the delicious pastries and other Danish food like these aebleskiver.

There are a few restaurants known for aebleskiver there and you can even watch the cooks turning row after row of these doughy spheres to cook them before they are brought to your table piping hot with jam for dipping.

But really you could serve them with anything you can think of from maple syrup to Nutella to caramel sauce. We enjoyed a fun and delicious breakfast of these authentic Danish aebleskiver there!

Family eating breakfast of aebleskivers at a Danish bakery & restaurant in Solvang, CA.
Dad and two daughters seated in a booth in a charming Danish bakery & restaurant in Solvang, CA.

Needless to say, we didn't leave Solvang without buying a cast-iron aebleskiver pan so I could make them back at home.

Incidentally, my favorite topping for aebleskiver is Miller's Cinnamon Creamy Honey, which you can see in the pictures in this post.

This post isn't sponsored in any way by Miller's Honey but we just happen to be good friends with the Miller family and totally support them and their family-run beekeeping business! We've even been able to suit up in bee suits and go check out the hives with Jason Miller, who is taking over the family business from his dad.

I haven't ever seen their cinnamon creamy honey in stores, even though you can get their regular creamy honey at many major grocery stores in the western U.S. (which if you've never tried creamy honey, you absolutely need to!), but you can buy the cinnamon version from the Miller's Honey online store and a few other places I found online and have it shipped to you (again, this post isn't sponsored and I'm not an affiliate for Miller's Honey or their products - this is just a product I love and want to share with you!).

Honey drizzled over Danish puff pancakes (ebelskivers) with two slices of bacon.

This Danish aebleskiver recipe is really easy and will look familiar if you have ever made waffles or pancakes from scratch. It uses staples like flour with some baking powder and baking soda for leavening, along with a little bit of sugar for a hint of sweetness.

Egg whites beaten to stiff peaks and ready to be folded into danish pancake ball (aebleskiver) batter.

Then egg yolks, melted butter, and buttermilk are stirred in just until everything is combined before folding in stiffly beaten egg whites.

abelskiver batter in bowl with egg white being folded in

The trickiest part is learning to cook them, but even that isn't difficult as long as you have the right tools at hand.

Equipment Needed for Making Aebleskiver (or Ebelskiver)

Aebleskiver Pan

You can purchase an aebleskiver pan at local kitchen stores or sometimes places that carry cast-iron pans like outdoor or sporting goods stores, but the easiest way is probably to just order one online like this one from Amazon.

I have limited kitchen storage and I don't like having extra pans or appliances that don't get used often, but this is totally a worthy purchase because aebleskivers are part of our regular breakfast rotation, right along with buttermilk pancakes, waffles, french toast, and macaroni & eggs with biscuits.

They are just so easy and fun to make, not to mention delicious and a favorite for our girls. And there are lots of other aebleskiver variations that you can make with different fillings or flavors for even more breakfast or dessert options.

You will want to make sure the pan isn't too hot, especially if your aebleskiver pan is a heavy cast iron one like mine that retains heat really well. Medium or medium-low heat works well for me but it might take you a batch to figure out what works best for you on your stove and with your pan.

Just remember that if the heat is too high, the aebleskiver will cook unevenly and you might have trouble getting them cooked all the way through.

When you are ready to cook, you will fill each cup almost to the top, then let the aebleskiver cook until bubbles start to appear around the edges on top. Then you will use a sharp tool to rotate the partially cooked balls of dough around in their individual cups until they form spheres and are cooked through.

Pastry Brush

You will also need a pastry brush to brush melted butter into the cups of your aebleskiver pan before adding the batter. It will help prevent the batter from sticking, as well as add flavor and texture to these danish pancake balls.

Sharp Tool for Turning

The last tool that will come in handy is a knitting needle, chopstick, wooden skewer, or other poky implement that you can use to turn the aebleskiver as they cook. I like using a wooden skewer or chopstick, mostly because I don't knit so I don't own a knitting needle! But if you want to be really authentic, that's what you should use.

plate of abelskivers with topping in background

Start a new tradition this Christmas season with your family by making these tasty Danish Aebleskiver for a special breakfast or tasty dessert and talk about Christmas traditions around the world! Bonus points if you, like me, have Danish heritage that you want to learn more about!

Do you have favorite family Christmas traditions that remind you of your heritage? I would love to hear about them in the comments below!

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Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

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Aebleskiver | Danish Pancakes

4.94 from 44 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine European
Servings 8 servings
Aebleskiver (or ebelskivers) are puffy Danish pancake balls and a traditional Danish dessert most often served during the Christmas season.  Enjoy them year-round as a delicious breakfast treat!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 eggs whites and yolks separated
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons butter melted, plus extra for the pan
  • 2 cups buttermilk

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
  • In a separate, large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and sugar.  Stir well, then add the egg yolks, melted butter and buttermilk and mix just until combined.
  • Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter.  Batter will be fairly thick.   
  • Heat your aebleskiver pan over medium heat until hot.  Brush each cup with a little melted butter using a pastry brush, then fill each cup with about 2 tablespoons of batter until almost full.  
  • As soon as the aebleskivers begin to bubble around the edges, use a wooden skewer, chopstick, knitting needle, or fork to flip them over half way, letting the batter slide around to fill in the bottom of the cup. 
  • Continue cooking, turning the aebleskiver again to let the batter fill in the remainder of the sphere and continuing to turn until golden brown all the way around and cooked through.
  • Transfer to a serving plate and dust with powdered sugar, then serve with jam (traditional), honey, cinnamon honey (my favorite!), or even just syrup.

Notes

Adapted from All Recipes.

Nutrition

Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 449mg | Potassium: 132mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 333IU | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

If you enjoy baking and recreating authentic European recipes, you should definitely check out these Belgian Liège Waffles that are my other favorite dessert/breakfast indulgence! Especially when topped with cookie butter, freshly whipped cream, and strawberries & raspberries, just like the Red Wonder at Waffle Love in Utah!

These Copycat Waffle Love Liège Waffles are made from a rich, yeast-based brioche dough with Belgian pearl sugar kneaded into it to create a crunchy, caramelized sweetness around the individual pockets and ridges of each waffle. Top them with Biscoff cookie butter, a big scoop of freshly whipped cream, raspberries and sliced strawberries for an incredible dessert or a super decadent breakfast!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I love Danish dessert and those aebleskiver look delicious and I hope I will never have to pronounce them. I will try this honey, sounds like a perfect match

  2. 5 stars
    I love Æbleskiver! Yours look so light and fluffy. Makes me want to pull out my pan this morning. I especially enjoy them filled with Nutella.

  3. These look fantastic! I've always been curious about Danish pancakes as I've come across them often editing the pancakes feed for the FeedFeed so I am so glad to see this recipe - thanks so much for sharing!

  4. 5 stars
    These little Danish pancakes look amazing! I love how versatile this sort of batter is, and how the egg whites are beaten first to make them so light.

    1. I am so grateful for the recipe. My Italian Aunt Ang who was married to a Dane would have us over on a holiday and make them for us. It brings back GREAT memories.

  5. 5 stars
    How fun are these!!! And it's such a unique method for making the batter. I wish I could try some before buying a pan! Not a big Danish population here in Charleston!

    Our Christmas tradition is making these Italian fried donuts (zeppole) for Christmas breakfast and eating them while opening gifts. https://www.pinchmeimeating.com/zeppole/ I don't fry stuff a lot but it's worth it for these!

    1. That is such a fun tradition Caroline! I love zeppole but haven't had them in ages! When I lived in New Jersey there was a little corner pizza place that served them in small paper bags full of powdered sugar that you would shake yourself and they were like heaven!

  6. Thnx for the recipe. We go to Solvang often. Our neighbors used to make them. Our son talked me into the pan. I'll have to make them again. It's been a while.

  7. Let me start by saying, I’m an ebelskiver novice. Never saw one before, much less ate one, so to do this, I had to buy a pan. I found a decently-priced cast iron pan and spent the evening before I made my first batch of ebelskiver seasoning the new pan. To my shock and awe, the evelskiver did not stick at all. So, Tip One: use a well-seasoned pan. But turning them takes practice. I won’t say every ebelskiver in the first batch was a disaster, but batter went everywhere. Tip Two: don’t overfill the cups. Since I was by myself, and trying this out before I served it to anyone else, I cut the recipe in half. One reason I picked this particular recipe was that halving it was dead easy. I also added a bit of powered cardamom, just because. I can easily serve 4 people with half the recipe. Otherwise, I didn’t change the recipe at all. They were wonderful! So light and airy! By the second and third batches, I was turning ebelskiver like a pro. This is an ideal recipe for company, because you can turn out a lot of them quickly. If I had any trouble at all, it was judging when they were cooked through. Many of them had very creamy insides, although they weren’t exactly raw batter either. I’ll be working on that next time.

    One further note—I loved the idea of cinnamon honey, so I made some. 1 tsp cinnamon to 2 TBL of creamed honey was perfect. Thanks, both for the recipe and for the idea of cinnamon honey. A+++

    1. Thank you so much for such a wonderful, thorough comment! I'm so glad that you tried them and loved them as much as we do. I love the idea of adding cardamom to the batter!

  8. Thanks so much for your aebelskiver recipe. I make them every year at Christmas time and the family looks forward to them. One of the tweaks that I have evolved is to pop a canned pitted cherry in the middle of each one, Cherries grow well in the Pacific Northwest. There are always too many at harvest time. They can well. So this works out to produce a nummy variation on the Danish original.

  9. Recipe looks great. I grew up with Ebelskivers and have decided it's time to teach my daughter how to make them. My only difference from this recipe is a tiny dollop of Lingonberry Jam in the middle. I madethem that way once for my wife and now apparently that's tradition to my non-Scandinavian wife now. Great recipe, thanks for posting.

  10. I'm really excited to add this treat to my family's tradition of lefse and Krumkake for the holidays. But, I should start early to master them before December 😉 Thanks for the recipe and tips!

  11. These were very yummy and turned out rather well for my first time. The only thing I would change is adding the dry ingredients to the mixed wet ingredients rather than the other way around. Even though I tried to make sure it was mixed well, it was too lumpy at the bottom of the bowl.

  12. This is the only Ebelskiver recipe you will need. And Amy’s recommendation for the traditional round bottom cast iron pan- if followed - means you will never buy another. You will be making restaurant quality Danish Pancakes. Thank you Amy! 

    1. Yes, that Amazon pan looks like a good one. If you buy one from elsewhere, be sure it has that skirt around the outer edge. I bought one at an "As Seen On TV" store some time back and it did not have the skirt around the edge - and does not hold the heat as well, so it doesn't cook as evenly. I have since bought a proper pan.

  13. Good structure. They don't fall and some batters do. The only think I would change is either sub the butter for oil, or unsalted butter. These were a bit salty with the salted butter in the batter and then a buttered pan. 

  14. I love making these for my wife and kids every 3 to 4 weeks, they love them. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I add chocolate, raspberries, my personal favorite is caramel chips

  15. Im Danish and i Can aprove of this...except, Ive never seen anyone use honey on æbleskiver. Traditionelle we use powdered sugar and some sort of jam (i prefer strawberry, but others work as Well) so when you dip the æbleskive in the jam and then the powdered sugar it sticks better.

    1. I think they've been overtaken by the American sweet tooth. I grew up using pancake syrup or various jellies, including Mom's homemade elderberry jelly.
      At the Danish Table restaurant in Elk Horn , Iowa, they are available with ligonberry jam, which is also not so sweet as American-ized recipes

  16. Hi,

    Its interesting to look at that Ableskiver pan. In India, its is called Paddu Pan . Paddu is made from 4 hrs soaked rice, urad lentils and ground to smooth paste. Fermented for another 5-8 hours (more time for colder regions) . Add chopped onions, little green chillies . pour oil in the pan - pour the batter. using a skever turn them around and voila Indian variety of Ableskiver. completely vegan

  17. The first time I had Aebleskivers was 38 years ago this Christmas when I met my Mother-in-law. She had been making them for ages and I fell in love. I have eaten them many years over the years as they became a tradition for Christmas. When Hope died my youngest daughter received her Aebleskriver pan and carried on the tradition. I got my own pan a few months ago and have been looking for Hope's recipe. Thankfully I finally found it! The only thing that she did differently is sometimes she added smashed bananas to the batter. This post brought back many great memories. Our family will be enjoying this recipe on Christmas morning. Thank you so much!

  18. Yay! I just finished making them and they were so good! They are really fluffy. Since it was my first time making them, I started by messing up a whole pan (They tasted fine, they just looked funny), but by the third pan they were coming out great! The third and fourth pans I would do 1 tablespoon batter, a bit of jam (I used the orange marlemalade from aldi), and then the second tablespoon, (Which often ended up being more like 1/2 a tablespoon). Advice for people making this, heat up your pan really hot, use a butter knife to loosen the pancakes if they are sticking when you try to flip them. Flip them when their is still a lot of uncooked batter! I thought it needed to be cooked more, but you should still have uncooked batter by the last flip. Don't give up! You'll figure it out 🙂

  19. WHen would you put chocolate in the middle.  AFTER WHICH turn second turn or third
    I plan on making these tomorrow

  20. I used to make aebleskivers frequently when my children were young, I actually have two aebleskiver pans, one cast iron, and one non-stick. The recipe I used suggested putting a dab of jam in the middle or a slice of apple. When we went to Solvang I had to try them to see how mine compared and mine were pretty similar.
    Neither my husband nor I have any Danish heritage but then don't many people cook Italian food and Mexican food who are not Italian or Mexican?

  21. 5 stars
    Fantastic Danish creation! I prefer turning them with a fork and serving them with butter, raspberry jam and powdered sugar!

  22. 5 stars
    This was an easy to follow recipe that turned out fantastic! I had never had one before but just bought a pan and went with this recipe. I too added a little cardamom and a bit of freshly grated nutmeg as I’m testing recipes for the holidays. This is a WINNER! Can’t wait to share Aebleskiver with the family this Christmas. Thank you so much!

  23. I'm half Danish and have grown up with these. Every Christmas morning. I've carried the tradition on into my adulthood with my family. I have the pan my mom used. LOVE them!

  24. I'm going to have to try this recipe. My Grandparents were both from Denmark, so I'm a true Dane. My Nanny (what we called our Grandmother) made Aebleskiver (we all called them Elsque though) Not sure if it was a Danish thing but she started them the night before, but I think its because she "stewed prunes" to put in the center. I never wanted mine with them so she'd make about half with and half without. She'd sift powdered sugar over the top and serve in a one of her fine China bowls. When we put several on our plates, we would give them one good "smush" to kinda flatten with a fork and then put fruit preserves on them. My favorite preserve is Olalaberry kind from the Avila Barn, in Avila Beach, CA just a few miles north of me, with Solvang to the south, about 30 minutes from me. The Aebleskivers in Solvang at the Danish Restaurant are denser than the airy fluffy ones my Nanny made. Hers were always perfectly round. Always. My first attempt they came out looking like footballs. Lol. Our trips to Morro Bay to visit my Nanny and Papa in the 60's and 70's were always filled with wonderful home cooked meals made with love.