Emperors Crumbs Revisited

Emperor’s Crumbs or császármorzsa or smarni or Kaiserschmarrn was our first recipe on this blog. I felt like revisiting it for three reasons: first, it is our name and signature recipe, so we should try it with American ingredients. Second, we are delighted to mention that we’re featured on The Hungarian Girl’s website and I don’t want to risk any mistakes! Most importantly, my mother-in-law had a birthday recently, and a decadent breakfast reminiscent of fancy Austro-Hungarian weekends was a perfect way to celebrate it. So I remade the recipe to serve 5-6 instead of the original 2. I also made it more “California compliant” and used less eggs and almost no fat, while keeping its outstanding flavor. It still tastes rich and delicious. If you want to know the background of emperor’s crumbs then check back to our first post and the old recipe.

Emperors Crumbs

Original recipe tripled, reduced eggs. We have been able to find semolina without any trouble here, both packaged (Bob’s Red Mill is one brand) and in the bulk bins. We love the bulk bins these days!

Makes 5-6 portions

  • 2¼ cup/300 g semolina
  • 3 cups/750 ml milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • pinch salt
  • 1½ cups/300 g sugar
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 50 g butter for sauteing
  • powdered sugar, compote or jam or all three as topping


  • Mix together the semolina, flour and milk. Let it sit for an hour or so to let the semolina absorb the milk.
  • Mix the egg yolks together with sugar and stir it into the milk mixture.
  • Whip the egg whites and a pinch of salt into firm peaks and fold it into the milk/egg mixture.
  • Melt the butter and add the batter. Stir the batter with a spatula or wooden spoon until it starts to form little clumps – crumbs. Depending on the size of the pan this can take up to 30 minutes.
  • Serve hot with powdered sugar or with jam, or with compote or drizzle with some syrup.


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