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!

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


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!

What is an Aebleskiver?

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!

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.

Danish Pancakes are so fun and easy to make

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.

Favorite way to serve Ebelskivers

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

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

What you'll need for this Ebelskiver Recipe

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
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda for leavening
  • Sugar for a hint of sweetness
  • Egg yolks
  • Egg Whites
  • Melted butter
  • Buttermilk

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.

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.

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

How to make Ebelskivers

  1. Beat egg whites. Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks into two bowls. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, then set aside.
  2. Combine ingredients. In another large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and sugar. Add the egg yolks, melted butter and buttermilk and mix just until combined until it looks like a thick pancake batter.
abelskiver batter in bowl with egg white being folded in
  1. Fold in egg whites. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter. Batter will be fairly thick.
  2. Fill wells. 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.
  3. Flip. 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.
  4. Finish & top. Transfer to a serving plate and dust with powdered sugar, then serve with jam (traditional), honey, cinnamon honey (my favorite!), or even just syrup.

Aebleskiver Recipe tips & tricks

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.

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!

Aebleskiver FAQs

How do you fill an Ebelskiver?

If you want to make filled ebleskivers, all you have to do is add a teaspoon or so of your favorite filling to the center of each ebleskiver before turning them in the pan. I fill the well for each ebleskiver first, then fill all of the ebleskivers, then usually they are about ready to be turned since they don’t take very long to cook. Popular filling choices are applesauce or sliced apples, but Nutella is another popular choice and our family’s personal favorite. You can also use jam or your favorite pie filling, like apple pie filling, blueberry pie filling, or cherry pie filling.

Aebleskiver Pronunciation

I’m not a native Danish speaker, but from my understanding the correct pronunciation of aebleskiver is “ay-bluh-skee-ver”. Think “ay” as in day or a Canadian “eh”, “bluh” almost gets swallowed and is a quick sound, “skee” like the English word “ski”, and “ver” rhyming with “fur”.

What do you eat with ebelskivers?

As far as topping your ebelskiver goes, popular choices include powdered sugar, jam, whipped cream, maple syrup, lingonberry sauce, or vanilla sauce. While not traditional at all, our family likes topping them with Nutella or honey (my personal favorite).
We also like to serve them with some savory protein options like scrambled eggs, sausages, or bacon to round out our meal.

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Danish Pancakes

4.91 from 75 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
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 large eggs, whites and yolks separated
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (242g)
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter, melted + 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
    Nice, eggy batter that makes them come out perfect! One thing, though, you need more butter in the hole than just a casual swipe -- add more so there is a little pool of butter to ensure they don't stick. If you're working with a gas stove the middle hole may be a bit hotter -- simply trade out the ones from the sides with the middle one to ensure uniform results. A tasty tip from my cousin, Nikki -- crumble up crispy bacon and add it to the batter -- super yummy! Thanks for this reliable recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    My grandparents immigrated from Denmark to Racine, Wisconsin in the early 1900s. I was taught to pronounce this as ay-buhl-skew'-ah, but have heard it pronounced the way you indicate here in North Central Iowa.
    This recipe is similar to what I find in my mother's Danish cookbooks.