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Salzburger Nockerl | © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
If you haven’t completely reduced your diet to “low carb”, this sweet temptation is definitely worth succumbing to. Enjoy now and forgive yourself later, since this is beyond a doubt THE culinary landmark of our city. Something you simply have to try at least once during your stay!
The fascination of Austrian cooking
Schnitzel, cheese noodles, dumplings, Kaiserschmarrn, Sacher Torte, Salzburger Nockerl. Our local classics have been tantalizing taste buds at home and abroad for decades, if not centuries in some cases. But what makes Austrian cooking so special? One reason is undoubtedly the fact that “Austrian” cuisine is actually an amalgamation of a range of cultural influences from the so-called “Crown Lands”: those countries ruled by the Habsburg monarchy many years ago. You see, many of our traditional specialties are actually rooted outside of Austria: For example, our much-loved Kolatsche pastries are from Hungary and our Knödel dumplings come from Bohemia.
Tradition since 1663 – the Bärenwirt
Gasthaus Bärenwirt has long been dedicated to nurturing the iconic culture and cuisine of the traditional Austrian inn. Although the Bärenwirt justifiably lays claim to the best fried chicken in all of Austria, their kitchen team woos guests with many other classics, including Salzburger Nockerl, one of the big hits on their menu. They are traditionally served in the shape of three peaked mounds, which are said to represent the three local mountains here in Salzburg City (the Mönchsberg, Kapuzinerberg and, depending on who you are talking to, either the Rainberg or the Gaisberg).
But returning to the mouthwatering part of our story: The Bärenwirt serves this local delicacy prepared with relatively few ingredients, one of which is always an abundance of love. So that they taste “as tender as a kiss”, they should never be baked all the way through on the inside. They also come in many variations, refined in different ways. The Bärenwirt typically serves them with a layer of lingonberry jam, giving the entire dish an additional sweet touch. Other traditional Salzburg eateries, such as the Sternbräu, top the dish off with whipped cream, while Restaurant Imlauer prefers to go with red currants.
Unique in every regard
As we have said, Salzburger Nockerl are visually unique. Which means, the second they are placed on your table, you are guaranteed to become the center of attention. Astonished diners at nearby tables will likely want to snap a few photos, no doubt wishing they could grab a spoon and sit down right there next to you. Hardly surprising, especially since this dessert tastes every bit as good as it looks.
After almost 22 years, I finally got around to eating Salzburger Nockerl. And I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed. Surprised, even, since you wouldn’t necessarily expect you could generate so much flavor from so few ingredients. A lot of that has to do with the enormous sweetness of the dish, of course. But it represents the definition of a “feast for the eyes” as well.
As with any dish, you encounter several different variations – with berries, with whipped cream or without. Regardless of the precise form, size or refinements given to this traditional dish, it should definitely be added to your Salzburg to-do list. Unique, over-the-top, very sweet, indulgent – and absolutely beyond compare.
Genuine Salzburger Nockerl – the recipe
If you would prefer to prepare this traditional dish at home, here’s an original recipe for Salzburger Nockerl to jot down:
Ingredients (enough for one Nockerl):
2 egg whites
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla pudding powder
1 teaspoon flour
Whisk egg white until stiff, add sugar and whisk until incorporated. Then, carefully fold in the egg yolk, pudding powder and flour. Grease your baking pan with butter and add lingonberries. Shape the individual Nockerl (mounds) and place them in the pan, then bake for approximately 12 minutes in a ca. 180°C oven. The Nockerl shouldn’t be completely baked through, ensuring they remain moist on the inside.