Ebelskiver (Danish Pancake Balls)

Have you ever tried Ebelskiver?  The are Danish pancake balls that are solid like a pancake but fluffy and eggy inside like a popover.  You can make them sweet or savory, filled or not.

They are so much fun!  Who doesn't like eating little finger foods? Bonus if they are warm and dipped in cinnamon and sugar.  Of course, someone has to stand over the stove and turn these, but if your family is eating in the kitchen keeping you company, it really isn't too bad.  Plus you get to munch on the hot little pancake balls as you cook them!  They are definitely not low in fat because you have to cook them in butter, so they may be best as part of a special occasion or holiday.

My mom used to make these when I was little and I recently acquired my very own Ebelskiver pan on a one-day sale from Williams-Sonoma. They even sell a little tool to turn the ebelskiver in the pan, but honestly I think I had the best luck with long bamboo skewers that are $1.50 for 100.  Chopsticks would also work.  They have some nice recipes on the site as well, for both sweet filled ones and savory ones.  This recipe is a basic one.

My grandmother on my mom's side is 100% Danish. Her grandparents came to the United States in the very early 1900s and settled with a group of Danes in Nebraska.  They had their own little Denmark, much like other groups of settlers made neighborhoods in the cities, these people settled somewhere together where they could farm the land.  My grandmother was born in 1927, and her first language was Danish.  She didn't actually learn English until she started to go to school.  Over time, she forgot how to speak it.  My mom says that when she was young, her mother and grandmother would talk to each other in Danish, but time and non-use cleared most of it out of her mind.

I love how food can elicit so many feelings and memories.  This particular recipe isn't one that has been passed down through the generations or anything, but the feeling of connecting a little with your ancestors is a powerful one.  I hope you enjoy making them for your family, Danish heritage or not!


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 TB sugar

4 eggs, separated
2 cups milk
4 TB unsalted butter, melted, plus more for cooking

Optional: Fillings, such at jam, peanut butter, chocolate ganache, chocolate chips, pie filling or fruit

For serving: Maple syrup, whipped cream, jam or cinnamon sugar for dipping.


In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks, then whisk in the milk and 4 TB melted butter.  Whisk the yolk mixture into the flour mixture until well combined. The batter will be lumpy.

In another bowl, using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry peaks form, 2-3 minutes.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whites into the batter in two additions.  Here is my batter and some of the apple pie filling I used to fill. I also made some with raspberry jam and some unfilled.

Put 1/4 tsp butter in each well of the ebelskiver pan.  Set over medium heat and heat until the butter begins to bubble.  Pour 1 TB of batter into each well. If filling, put 1 tsp filling in the center of each pancake, and top with another TB of batter.

Cook until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy, 3-5 minutes. (They go faster once the pan really heats up.) Using two wooden skewers, flip the pancakes over and cook until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes more.  This is the tricky part, but you will get it after a few turns.  It worked for me to kind of snag one side of the pancake with the skewer and push it downward to the other side while using the other skewer to pull the far side over.  That way you get a smooth, fast flip.

 When they are done cooking, transfer them to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve immediately with syrup or your chosen dip.  Makes about 40.

I love dipping them in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar, but you can top them with whatever you like, or eat them plain!  Here are some pictures of half eaten ones that I took just to show the fillings.

Filled with apple pie filling:

Filled with raspberry jam (do you like my awesome zebra print fuzzy pants? lol):