Gluten Free Aebleskiver

A gluten free version of traditional Aebleskiver, the popular Danish pancake balls that are enjoyed for breakfast, at tea time, on special occasions, or whenever your sweet tooth has a craving!  These gluten free aebleskiver have a delicately crispy exterior and a light and fluffy interior and flavored with the traditional ingredients of cardamom and lemon zest.

For more traditional Danish desserts be sure to try our original Aebleskiver and Risalamande, the most delicious rice pudding in the world!

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What are Aebleskiver?

Correctly pronounced “ay-blskew-er“, with aebleskive being singular, they are also sometimes spelled as ebelskivers.  They are sphere-shaped pastry balls with a texture that is something like a cross between pancakes and donuts.  They are made in a special pan with deep indentations for pouring the batter and forming them into balls as they fry resulting in a crispy exterior and light and fluffy interior.  In Denmark today they are usually made without any fillings though historically they included pieces of apple.  Instead they are now eaten dipped in powdered sugar and jam.  Cardamom and lemon zest are very traditional flavors that are included in the aebleskiver batter.  For more information about the history of aebleskiver see my original aebleskiver recipe post.

Pro Tips for Making Gluten Free Aebleskiver

There is a small learning curve to making aebleskiver, specifically the technique of “rolling” the batter into the shape of a ball as it cooks.  But once you get the hang of it, it’s easy and it’s FUN!  Here are a few tips for making aebleskiver successfully:

  • Make sure you are using a well-seasoned aebleskiver pan because without that no amount of greasing will prevent the batter from sticking.  There are non-stick options out there but cast iron is traditional.
  • Pre-heat the pan before adding the batter.  Test it by flicking a few drops of water on it; if the water sputters as soon as it hits the pan, it’s ready.
  • Make sure the pan isn’t too hot or it will burn the outside before the inside is cooked.  Keep the heat at a steady medium-low to medium heat and always test one aebleskiver first.
  • Always add butter or oil to the moulds (butter is best for flavor).  Even though the pan may be nonstick, adding butter oil will give your aebleskiver that delicious crispy exterior.
  • Add the batter almost to the very top.  This will ensure that there’s enough batter to fill the interior of the spheres as you’re turning them, otherwise the interior will be hollow.
  • When you attempt to turn the ebelskivers, if they’re ready they will turn very easily.  If they don’t they either need to cook a bit longer or the pan isn’t seasoned well enough (if using cast iron), or you need a little more butter or or oil in mould.
  • Turn, turn, turn!  To get those those perfectly round balls turn the aeblesiver 3-4 times.
  • If you’re struggling with aeblesiver that aren’t sealed all the way around, you can implement a common trick the Danes use and pipe or spoon some extra batter into the interior just before the last turn.  That will seal the final portion shut.

gluten free aebleskiver recipe post gf ebelskivers danish donut balls easy best traditional authentic

How to Serve Aebleskiver

Aebleskiver themselves are not sweet and so they are served with powdered sugar and jam for dipping.  Traditionally they are piled in bowl or on a platter at the center of the table with everyone given their own plates, each with a small pile of powdered sugar and some jam.  Everyone helps themselves to the aebleskiver, placing three at a time on their plates, and use their fingers to pick them up and dip them first in jam and then the powdered sugar (the jam helps the sugar to stick).  Have extra powdered sugar and jam at the table for refills.

Common jams in Denmark include strawberry, raspberry, cherry, plum, and lingonberry.  For some yummy homemade options try our Plum JamBlackberry JamGooseberry JamBlack Currant JamRed Currant Jelly, Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, and Blueberry Lemon Apricot Jam.

gluten free aebleskiver recipe post gf ebelskivers danish donut balls easy best traditional authentic

Gluten Free Aeblesiver Recipe

Let’s get started!

Start heating your aebleskiver pan over medium-low to medium heat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum, ground cardamom and salt.

Add the egg yolks, lemon zest, vanilla, and buttermilk and mix until smooth.

combining all ingredients in a mixing bowl

Add the melted butter and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff.

adding butter and beating egg whites

Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

It’s fine if a few small lumps remain.

folding egg whites into batter

Place a little butter or oil into each of the wells of the pan.  (For the best flavor use butter.)

Once hot (medium-low to medium heat) pour the batter into each well, filling them nearly full.  I always recommend doing a test run with one aebleskiver first to ensure the correct temperature of the pan.

pouring batter into aebleskiver plan

Let the batter cook until it begins to bubble around the edges, then use a skewer to push against the side of each well and gently turn the aebleskiver 90 degrees.  As you do this the batter will spill into the bottom of the well.

how to make aebleskiver

Wait for the batter to start bubbling around the edges again and then give them another 90 degree turn.

Repeat this process, giving the aebleskiver a third turn.

how to make aebleskiver

Now give the aebleskiver the fourth and final turn to complete the full sphere.

You can continue to rotate the aebleskiver until they are browned to your liking.

how to make aebleskiver

Serve immediately while hot with jam and powdered sugar for dipping.


gluten free aebleskiver recipe post gf ebelskivers danish donut balls easy best traditional authentic

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