Kid-friendly Delicious Danish Apple "Æbleskiver" Popovers Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Delicious Danish Apple "Æbleskiver" Popovers

Recipe: Delicious Danish Apple "Æbleskiver" Popovers

Delicious Danish Apple "Æbleskiver" Popovers

by Erin Fletter
Photo by I and S Walker/
prep time
40 minutes
cook time
25 minutes
6-12 servings

Fun Food Story

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Delicious Danish Apple "Æbleskiver" Popovers

This is another classic recipe from the beginning days of Sticky Fingers. We’ve updated it only slightly. When Chef Jacqui first tried æbleskiver, she was at her best friend’s family cabin in Northern Minnesota. Her friend’s mom wanted to show them her latest vintage store find: a sturdy, cast-iron pan, unlike anything they had ever seen. This pan had perfectly spherical indentations distributed throughout the bottom, and it was HEAVY. She said, “It’s for æbleskiver!” Whatever those were! Then she said, “Let’s make some!” It took a lot of patience to turn them just right in the pan with a long stick (like the Danish do) so that they would form into perfectly round spheres. (They were probably more like flying saucers.) They were pillowy and light, like a popover, but also similar to a pancake. Our SFC Æbleskiver don’t take quite as much time or patience, but they’re just as tasty, especially when slathered with homemade Rich Apple Butter. We hope you love making them with your kids, too.

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • fold :

    to gently and slowly mix a light ingredient into a heavier ingredient so as not to lose air and to keep the mixture tender, such as incorporating whipped egg whites into a cake batter or folding blueberries into pancake batter; folding is a gentler action than mixing or whisking.

  • grate :

    to reduce food, like a carrot, to very small shreds or pieces of the same size by rubbing it on a tool with an outside surface that has holes with cutting edges (a grater).

  • knife skills :

    Bear Claw (growl), Pinch, Plank, and Bridge (look out for trolls)

  • whip :

    to beat food with a whisk or mixer to incorporate air and produce volume.

Equipment Checklist

  • Oven
  • Muffin pan
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Grater
  • Measuring spoons
  • Skillet
  • Dry measuring cup
  • Whisk
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Liquid measuring cup


Delicious Danish Apple "Æbleskiver" Popovers

  • butter or oil for greasing pan
  • 3/4 lb apples
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 pinches ground cinnamon (omit if allergic)
  • 2 pinches ground cardamom
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 1 C all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free flour)**
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 egg **(for EGG ALLERGY sub 1 T ground flaxseed mixed with 3 T warm water—more info below**
  • 1 C buttermilk (or 1 C milk or dairy-free/nut-free milk + 1 squeeze lemon or 1 tsp vinegar)

Food Allergen Substitutions

Delicious Danish Apple "Æbleskiver" Popovers

  • Cinnamon: Omit if allergic.
  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free flour.
  • Egg: For 1 egg, soak 1 T of ground flaxseed in 3 T of warm water for 5 minutes or until fully absorbed and thickened.
  • Dairy: For 1 C of buttermilk, substitute dairy-free/nut-free milk + 1 squeeze of lemon or 1 tsp of vinegar.


Delicious Danish Apple "Æbleskiver" Popovers

preheat + chop + grate

Preheat the oven to 375 F and grease a muffin pan with butter. Chop 3/4 pounds of apples into tiny pieces and add to a mixing bowl. Grate 1 carrot and set aside. (If also making the Rich Apple Butter (see recipe), chop and sauté 1 1/2 pounds of apples and divide the sautéed apples in half, setting aside half for the apple butter.)

sprinkle + measure + sauté

Sprinkle 2 pinches of cinnamon and 2 pinches of cardamom on top of the chopped apples. Add 1 pinch of salt. Measure 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and add to the apples. Then sauté in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally so the apples don't burn, until they are soft and caramelized (about 10 minutes).

measure + whisk + whip + mix

Measure and add 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 5 teaspoons sugar** to a bowl. Whisk together. Next, crack 1 egg in a separate bowl and whip until the egg is light and fluffy. Add 1 cup of buttermilk and whip again. Then add the whipped egg and buttermilk to the flour bowl and mix.

fold + bake + cool

Fold in the grated carrot and sautéed apples to the æbleskiver batter. Drop tablespoons of batter into your greased muffin pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the pastries from the pan and bake the second batch. Let cool just slightly before slathering with Rich Apple Butter (see recipe) or any fruit jam!

Surprise Ingredient: Apples!

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Photo by Bozhin Karaivanov on Unsplash

Hi! I'm Apple!

"I'm delighted to be part of your recipe! Not only does "an apple a day keep the doctor away," but I'm also versatile and delicious in both sweet and savory dishes, like pies, cakes, breads, salads, and casseroles, and added to vegetables and roasted meats. Not to brag, but I have a fabulous, round(ish) figure and come in several colors and varieties of sweet and tart flavors!"


  • Here's a story about the Granny Smith apple that is long but cute: In the year 1868, near Sydney, Australia, a grandma named Marie Smith had been testing different types of French crabapples for cooking, and she ended up throwing the used apple cores out her window as she worked. Granny Smith saw that a new apple tree (or cultivar) had sprung up below her kitchen windowsill. She cultivated the tree and found that the apples it produced were good for cooking and eating. They were tart, sweet, and crisp. Grandma Marie Smith took a stall at a farmer's market in Sydney, where her apples stored exceptionally well and became very popular. She sold her apples once a week and called them Granny Smith's Apples. Smart (and enterprising) fruit merchants in the 1890s and 1900s experimented with methods to transport the Granny Smith apples overseas in cold storage. Because of its excellent shelf life, they could export the Granny Smith apple long distances and most times of the year. Since growing fruit from the seeds of the Granny Smith apple produces trees with fruit that isn't as good as the original, grafting or cuttings are required instead. All Granny Smith apples grown today are from grafts of Grandma Marie Smith's original tree in Sydney.
  • Apple trees were domesticated thousands of years ago. A wild apple native to the mountains of southern Kazakhstan in Central Asia is considered the ancestor of most domestic apple varieties.
  • Worldwide, 7,500 varieties of apples are grown! If just 12 kids were growing that many, each of them would end up with 625 different kinds! 
  • Apples are victims of (or blessed by, depending on how you look at it) their own genetic creativity. An apple from a tree grown from a seed will be nothing like its parents. And because of this, historically, thousands upon thousands of varieties of apples have come into existence. Apples have evolved to adapt to all environments. They can be grown all over the world. Now, the number of apple varieties is much more narrow due to farming practices and consumers' desire for the "perfect red apple." The only way to ensure genetic repeats of apples is to "graft" the trees.
  • Grafting apple trees involves combining a bottom rootstock of one tree to the scion, or budding branch, of another tree to grow a new successful apple tree.

Anatomy & Etymology

  • Apples come in all shades of reds, greens, and yellows. They are members of the Rose family. Other members include strawberries, pears, plums, peaches, and raspberries.
  • Every spring, apple trees bloom or flower. At the bottom and inside each blossom is an ovule. Inside the ovule are the seeds that will eventually turn into an apple! It takes about 4 to 5 months from the time the blossoms are pollinated for the apples to be ready to pick.
  • New apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit!
  • A raw apple can contain 86 percent water! 
  • If you put an apple in water, do you think it will sink or float? It will float! That's because about 25 percent of an apple's volume is air. And that's why you can play a game of "bobbing for apples" at Halloween parties!
  • An apple tree can grow to more than forty feet and live over a hundred years!
  • A Japanese farmer picked the heaviest apple on record in 2005. It weighed 4.1 pounds! 
  • The word "apple" came from the Old English "æppel," which is Germanic in origin. Until the 17th century, "apple" could refer generically to any nut or fruit other than berries. 

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • August marks the beginning of apple season. Apple season peaks in September—some of the most delicious apple varieties are available then: the Honeycrisp (our fave!), Cortland, Macintosh, and Gala. October apples are perfect for baking. 
  • Apples are picked by hand when it's time to harvest them. Choose apples that have smooth skin and are free from blemishes. They should feel heavy for their size and feel firm. Then, give it a sniff—fresh apples smell almost floral-like and super pleasant.
  • It is so fun to go to an orchard in the fall and pick apples for yourself. Of course, apples are available year-round in most grocery stores and are most affordable during the months when they're in season (August through October).
  • Farmers often use honeybees to pollinate apple trees.
  • You can eat apples in so many ways. Try dicing half an apple and adding it to a spinach salad with walnuts or pecans, red onion, and goat cheese. Stuff and bake them for a cozy autumn treat. You can juice, blend, or grind apples to make juice, cider, or smoothies. Slice, chop, or mash them and add them to a variety of apple treats: pie, strudel, cake, donuts, tortes, turnovers, dumplings, galettes, fritters, muffins, and crisps or crumbles. You can thinly slice and dehydrate apples to make chips or cook and mash them to make applesauce, adding a dash of cinnamon for extra flavor. Apple marries beautifully with a ton of different sweet AND savory foods like fennel, cheddar, caramel, cinnamon, butternut squash, rooibos, sauerkraut, and sausage.    


  • "An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away." This saying originated because people believed fruits were important to a nutritious diet. A 2015 study found that people who ate an apple a day took fewer prescriptions. 
  • Red Delicious and Fuji apples contain the most polyphenols, micronutrients found naturally in plants with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They can help prevent heart disease, control blood sugar, lower cancer risk, and help your immune system function properly. More polyphenols are found in an apple's peel than its flesh, so be sure to eat the peel, which will also add to your fiber intake!
  • Isn't it amazing to think that our bodies are hard at work keeping us strong and healthy while we go about our daily activities? Think of it: just now, your body is pumping blood through your veins and arteries, delivering nutrients to your cells to create energy, building proteins to protect you from getting sick, and so much more. That's why it's so important to eat nutritious foods, like apples!


History of Æbleskiver and Popovers!

Photo by HexCreate/
  • Æbleskiver is a Danish pastry commonly eaten at Christmas. It could be considered a combination of a round pancake and a popover. They are usually fried in a traditional æbleskiver pan that is made of cast-iron and has circular wells.
  • "Æbleskiver" is a Danish word meaning "apple slices." Modern recipes generally don't include apples as they did originally. However, you'll find apples in our Sticky Fingers recipe!
  • One origin story says that these little pancakes were invented by Vikings when, after a battle, they made them over a fire and cooked them in their dented helmets!
  • Popovers are light and fluffy rolls made from egg batter baked in a muffin pan or a special popover pan. For a sweet snack or dessert you can eat them with fruit and whipped cream; have them for breakfast with butter and jam; or add meat to them for lunch or dinner.
  • Popovers have been around since the 1850s. They are an American version of England's Yorkshire pudding.

Let's Learn About Denmark!

Photo by Sven Hansche/ (Nyhavn waterfront in Copenhagen)
  • People from Denmark are called "Danes." Anything related to Denmark is "Danish."
  • Denmark has a ton of islands! There are 443 with names, but Danes live on just 70 of these islands. The islands are located in the North Sea. 
  • Around 65 percent of Denmark is farmland and 11 percent woods. There are also beautiful beaches along Denmark's coastline.
  • Denmark has a queen who has ruled since 1972, Queen Margrethe II. Denmark is a constitutional monarchy. This means a prime minister and parliament govern the country, and the queen's role is representing her country in various official and ceremonial duties.
  • Denmark produces barley, wheat, potatoes, sugar beets, dairy products, fish, and pork.
  • Denmark was the first to have both onshore and offshore wind power. Windmills throughout the country produce almost 30 percent of their electricity.
  • Over 50 percent of Danes ride their bicycles to work! Copenhagen, Denmark's capital city, has twice as many bikes as cars!
  • "Hygge" is popular in Denmark and has recently become known in the United States, too. It's a Danish word that doesn't have an exact equivalent in English but is used to describe a cozy feeling of togetherness, and a relaxing, comfortable, and enjoyable environment or way of life. 
  • Danish schools require students to take swimming lessons, so nearly everyone knows how to swim. Could this be because so much water surrounds Denmark? No place in Denmark is more than 30 miles from the sea. 
  • We're not sure about the origin of the word "Viking," but it may have come from the Old Norse word "vik" (creek) and could mean "man of the water" or "sea warrior." The Danes were known to have raided Britain and the French coast. Vikings traveled around the coast of Spain into the Mediterranean, and others went to the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, and North America. 
  • One popular food eaten in Denmark is smørrebrød (pronounced SMUHR-brod), an open-faced sandwich typically eaten for lunch. Other foods are pickled herring, salty licorice, sausages, pastries, meatballs, and Æbleskiver! 
  • Legos were invented in Denmark in 1932. "Lego" is derived from two Danish words: "leg godt," which mean "play well." 
  • The stories "The Little Mermaid" and "The Ugly Duckling" were written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen.
  • Higher education and health care are free for every Danish citizen. Although people pay high taxes for these benefits, this means everyone, regardless of income, can go to college and the doctor or hospital when needed.
  • The Danish language has no exact translation for the English word "please." Instead, Danes will use other polite words, depending on the situation. For example, instead of "please," they may add the Swedish word "tack" to the end of a request, which means "thanks." Or, they might begin a request with "Skulle jag kunna få" ("Could I get)." 

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Denmark?

  • Danish parents encourage kids to be self-reliant and curious in their play and adventures, especially outdoors. Of course, they like to play with Legos, too. The three most popular sports are football (soccer), swimming, and gymnastics. 
  • When you meet a kid in Denmark, they might say Hi! to you, but they could be speaking Danish, not English, since their word for "Hi" or "Hello" is "Hej," and it's pronounced the same as our English "Hi."
  • A typical school lunch consists of "Leverpostej og Rugbrød" (liver paté spread on a slice of rye bread), along with a fruit and vegetable, like an apple and carrot. 
  • In December, children and their families celebrate Danish Christmas, or "Jul," beginning with Advent or the first of December and ending with the meal on Christmas Eve.
  • Kids in Denmark can go to the oldest amusement park in the world, called Bakken. It's located just ten minutes outside of Copenhagen in the middle of the woods. It opened in 1583! It is the second most popular amusement park after Tivoli Gardens. Admission to the park is totally free!
  • Tivoli Gardens, the third-oldest amusement park and garden in the world, is the most popular amusement park in Denmark. It opened in 1843 in Copenhagen, Denmark's capital city, and it has one of the oldest wooden roller coasters anywhere, built in 1914.

That's Berry Funny

What did the apple tree say to the hungry caterpillar? 

"Leaf me alone!"

THYME for a Laugh

What reads and lives in an apple? 

A bookworm.

Lettuce Joke Around

What kind of apple has a short temper? 

A crab apple!

The Yolk's On You

Why did the apple cry? 

Its peelings were hurt!

The Yolk's On You

What can a whole apple do that half an apple can't do? 

It can look round.

That's Berry Funny

What do you get if you cross an apple with a shellfish? 

A crab apple!

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