The aebleskiver pan is crucial to the process. A centuries-old tool that is said to have originated in Denmark, it helps turn the light batter into fluffy little balls. Traditional recipes suggest separating the egg, so the trick at home in order to avoid a deflated ball is to serve them straight out of the pan (many of the restaurants in Solvang, California, tend to use a premixed batter that doesn’t require separating the eggs so that the dish lasts longer on shelves).
This recipe comes from the Solvang Restaurant and its former owner Arne Hansen, who since retiring from the restaurant has spent his life dedicated to these pancake balls. Affectionately known as “Mr. Aebleskiver,” Hansen sells aebleskiver pans, batter mixes, and jams online. Jeff Paaske took over operations from Hansen more than three decades ago, but the original aebleskiver recipe—and Hansen’s own cast-iron aebleskiver pan—hasn’t changed.
- Separate the eggs.
- Mix together the buttermilk, flour, egg yolks, salt, baking soda, sugar, and melted butter, and beat until smooth.
- Allow batter to set for 30 minutes.
- Beat the whites stiff and fold into the rest of the batter.
- Heat aebleskiver pan over medium heat.
- Put 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in each hole and fill completely with batter (Wesson Oil is used during Danish Days).
- Fill each hole with batter and bake until slightly crusty on the bottom.
- Turn slightly with a knitting needle or skewer.
- Keep turning the ball every few seconds to keep it from burning, until the knitting needle comes out clean when stuck in the center.
- Serve aebleskiver hot with powdered sugar, jam, and jelly.
Meaghan Clark Tiernan is a San Francisco Bay Area-based food, travel, and lifestyle writer. Her work has appeared in Munchies, Extra Crispy, Atlas Obscura, and Racked.