Single-purpose specialized kitchen tools are more often than not a waste of kitchen space, and hardly ever used. While don’t have a big kitchen with a lot of space for extra tools, but I do have a cast iron aebelskiver pan. I blame my irrational love for all things cast iron, but in reality, there are a lot of different things you can cook in an aebelskiver pan.
Cultures around the world have their own version of aebelskiver, many savory, and some exotic versions stuffed with things as crazy as a pickled octopus. Just about all of them are cooked on a pan that’s pretty much identical to a Danish aebelskiver pan. Beyond that, I’ve found that the little divots are convenient for a number of staple foods we cook all the time, from cornbread to baked doughnut holes.
So starting with the obvious, learn how to properly make aebelskivers. The traditional method involves slowly turning the dough around in a well-greased divot using a knitting needle, but a bamboo skewer works just as well. In the end, the traditional version is pillowy and delicious.
Here are detailed directions for how to make aeblskivers if you’re still wondering how on earth you flip them without making an unholy mess.
Even if you’re just making aebelskivers, they don’t have to be the same every time. Try any of these creative variations:
- Cherry Pie Aebelskivers
- Aebleskivers with Raspberry Sauce
- Chocolate Stuffed Aebleskivers
- Savory Potato Aebleskivers
Japan’s version of a round puffed snack, takoyaki are savory instead of sweet. They’re stuffed with all manner of traditional fillings including diced octopus, pickled ginger and scallions. The batter contains wheat flour and savory seasonings such as seafood stock and soy sauce and doesn’t include buttermilk like aebleskivers.
A home Takoyaki pan looks a bit different because it’s square around the edges instead of round like an aebleskiver pan, but they make the same shaped food in the end. There’s a simple takoyaki mix available here if you’re curious. For serving, takoyaki are topped with a special sauce called takoyaki sauce which is similar to Worcestershire sauce.
Here’s a simple recipe for traditional Japanese takoyaki to try in your new pan. You can also move a bit away from the traditional savory recipe and try these nutella filled takoyaki.
A traditional dutch recipe, Poffertjes are a bit different than aebleskiver. They’re leavened with yeast instead of baking soda and whipped egg whites, and they’re often made with buckwheat flour (instead of plain white flour).
Poffertjes don’t get as fluffy or round as aebleskiver, and they come out more disk-shaped in the end. Here’s a basic poffertjes recipe to try in your pan.
Also called Indonesian Pinch Cake, Kue Cubit is a sweet cake made with white flour, milk and sugar. There are no whipped egg whites or buttermilk, so the cakes are more cake-like than Aebleskiver.
They’re commonly sold by street vendors near schools since they’re popular with children.
Here’s a basic Kue Cubit Recipe.
Serabi or Khanom khrok
Made throughout southeast Asia, many different countries have their own variation of these sweet coconut and rice pancakes. In Thailand, they’re known as Khanom khrock and in Indonesia, they’re called Serabi.
They’re all made with some combination of rice flour and coconut milk or shredded coconut, and sometimes topped with a coconut sugar based syrup. Here’s a recipe for the Thai Version Khanom Khrok.
Similar to the Serabi made in Indonesia, Neyyappam are made with rice flour and coconut. While Sarabi uses coconut milk, these use pieces of coconut fried in ghee (clarified butter).
Sometimes a banana is mashed into the batter, and that variation is called Unni appam or Guri appam. This recipe for Neyyappam looks particularly delicious.
This Indian dish is made on the same type of pan as aebleskivers, but that’s where the similarity ends. The batter is made from rice and lentils rather than flour, and they’re dipped in a savory dipping sauce made from yogurt, onions and herbs.
These have a lot of local names, and are also known as paddu, appe, guliappa, gulittu, yeriyappa, gundponglu or ponganalu. The various names make it hard to really pin down a single recipe, but here’s a paddu recipe to get you started.
Mini Dutch Baby Pancakes
The little depressions in an aebleskiver pan make perfect teeny tiny dutch baby pancakes. A dutch baby is a puffy egg-based pancake that’s baked in the oven in a cast-iron pan.
A large cast-iron makes huge dutch babies that need to be cut to be served for breakfast. We’ve taken to making them in small 4” cast iron pans for single servings, but I love the idea of using an aebleskiver pan to make pop in your mouth-sized dutch babies.
Here’s my dutch baby pancake recipe that I generally make with an extra-large cast iron that I keep just for that purpose. It’ll make several batches of mini dutch babies in an Aebleskiver pan. They cook faster in the mini version, about 8-12 minutes depending on how much batter you put in.
Anything I’ve missed? Leave your ideas in the comments.
This was a super neat post – thank you! We love our pan and I’d like to try some of these ideas.
Thanks Tessa! I’m glad you found it helpful. I love your site by the way, and I made your dandelion candies this past spring =)
where is the dutch babies recipe? all the rest were in this article and this was the one I wanted….
Oops, I forgot to put that link in. Here it is: Dutch Baby Pancakes
Just bought this pan to make Vietnamese Banh Khot. I never knew there was a name for this pan! It was perfect for the recipie.
Fun article Ashley, thanks. My Mom was from Denmark and my ableskiver pan i one of only two single use gadgets I have in my kitchen. Mine is non-stick so I can’t put it in the oven. Have you ever tried popover dough in yours? I would try it with a cube of gruyere in the center. Just a thought
Ooo…that is a good idea!
I use mine to sear scallops. Perfect every time.
Vietnamese savory Bánh khọt can be made with the Appam and Aebleskiver pans too!
I make Lummur, an Icelandic oatmeal pancake, using leftover porridge. My Grandkids love them! And easy to make a lot ahead of their visits!!!
Yum! I love Lummur too and have a recipe for it on my food blog, Anamant Kitchen: https://adamantkitchen.com/lummur-icelandic-oatmeal-pancakes/
In Kerala, southern India, Unniyappam is made in a similar utensil.
Dutch once traded with Kerala and tried to control Kerala. Defeated in Kulachal war against King Marthanda Varma of Travancore in 1741. This is the Danish connection of Kerala.
Unniyappam has banana as ingredient whereas Neyyapam doesn’t have it.
My mom received one at her wedding . She is Jewish and she uses it for “party size” sufganyot at Hanukkah
How wonderful, I’d never even heard of those! Something else to add to my “to try” list, thank you so much!
I use my pan for making Indian corn balls. Recipe below:
• 1&1/2 cups frozen sweet corn kernels, thawed & drained
• ½ cup grated zucchini
1 onion, thinly sliced
• 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
• 3-4 green chilies [as liked]
• 1 teaspoon grated ginger root
• 2 Cloves garlic, crushed
• 1Tsp Cumin Powder
1/2 Tsp Garam Masala Powder
• 3 tablespoons corn flour [or gram flour/rice flour]
• Salt to taste
1. In a mixing bowl, add chopped onions and sweet corn.
Add grated zucchini, chopped cilantro leaves, crushed ginger garlic and chopped green chilies. Mix well and set aside for 5 minutes.
2. Add 3 tablespoons corn flour, cumin and garam masala and salt to taste. Mix well.
3. Heat an Ebelskiver pan and add few drops of oil in each mold.
4. Spoon in the prepared batter and cook on medium for 3-4 minutes.
Flip and cook the other side. Flip again and cook till golden brown. Repeat the same with remaining batter. Serve corn fritters hot with chilli dipping sauce.
1. You can deep fry or shallow fry the fritters too..
2. You can grate veggies like carrot, cabbage too.
These make a great addition to Indian feast.
Wonderful thank you!
Bake or fry your meatballs in them, or mini meat loaves.
This is a great suggestion. Thanks for sharing.
These pans are also similar to ones that are used to make Vitumbua in EAST Africa. Coconut milk is used with flour, sugar and cardamom
Wonderful! I just looked those up and they look delicious, I’ll have to add them to my list!
Great and Love your recipe as always
Thank you for all of the interesting recipes, and thank you to other commenters for sharing recipes, as well. My mother-in-law is from Japan and has a takoyaki pan of her own. Last year for Thanksgiving, my chef brother-in-law used the pan to make “turkey-yaki” for dinner and then “brownie-yaki” for dessert the next day. The “turkey-yaki” had stuffing and chunks of turkey folded into the batter, while the brownies were just a standard brownie recipe from scratch, but baked in that fun round shape and served with ice cream.
You’re very welcome. It sounds like you had a very unique Thanksgiving celebration. How fun!
I’m really interested in trying all of these ideas! I’ve considered using my Pan for baking similar to a muffin Pan, and I’m also interested in trying to make egg bites in my pan. This was incredibly inspiring. I have had my pan for so long and almost de-cluttered it, but I hoard cast iron. 🙂 now, I see so many ideas that my family would LOVE! Thank you.
Mofo gasy can be made in this pan as well! They are rice/flour puffs from Madagascar. Traditional ones are only rice flour and flour but they can have jams, coconut and other additives. My favorite are mofo sira but I’ve not found a recipe for those yet. Thanks for the post I’m looking to buy this pan and was looking for things to make aside from mofo gasy!
Wow! I’ve never heard of those, thanks so much for letting me know, now I have to try them!
My most frequent use is for, falafel, skip the deep fry at home.