Sacher torte is a typical dessert of the Viennese cuisine

Sacher torte is a specific type of chocolate cake, or torte, invented by Austrian Franz Sacher in 1832 for Prince Wenzel von Metternich in Vienna, Austria. It is one of the most famous Viennese culinary specialties. The 5th of December is National Sachertorte Day.

Sacher torte

The Original Sacher Torte has been the most famous cake in the world since 1832. Only the Original Sacher-Torte is produced according to this original recipe. The basis of the entire confection is a chocolate cake, thinly coated by hand with best-quality apricot jam. The chocolate icing on top of it is the crowning glory. It tastes best with a portion of unsweetened whipped cream.

History of Sacher torte

Already at the beginning of the 18th century can be found predecessors Sacher torte cake in cookbooks with recipes Viennese and Austrian cuisine, later books have begun to mention the chocolate cakes, frosting drenched.

Like many historic stories — Archimedes' Eureka moment, Newton’s discovery of gravity — the Sacher-Torte was conceived through serendipity when renowned statesman Prince Metternich was hosting a dinner party in 1832. The story goes that he wanted a fabulous dessert for his guests but that his chef was ill.

Instead, the 16-year-old chef’s apprentice was given the task. His name was Franz Sacher and that evening he served up his Sacher Torte — a soft, fluffy chocolate cake with apricot jam beneath the icing — to the approval of Metternich’s guests.

Sacher completed his training as a chef and afterward spent time in Bratislava (Pressburg) and Budapest, ultimately settling in his hometown of Vienna, where he opened a specialty delicatessen and wine shop.

Sacher’s eldest son Eduard carried on his father’s culinary legacy, completing his own training in Vienna with the Royal and Imperial Pastry Chef at the Demel bakery and chocolatier, during which time he perfected his father’s recipe and developed the torte into its current form.

The cake was first served at the Demel and later at the Hotel Sacher, established by Eduard in 1876. Since then, the cake remains among the most famous of Vienna’s culinary specialties.

Legal issues

In the early decades of the twentieth century, a legal battle over the use of the label «The Original Sacher Torte» developed between the Hotel Sacher and the Demel bakery. Eduard Sacher completed his recipe for Sacher Torte while working at Demel, which was the first establishment to offer the «Original Sachertorte «cake.

Following the death of Eduard’s widow Anna in 1930 and the bankruptcy of the Hotel Sacher in 1934, Eduard Sacher’s son (also named Eduard Sacher) found employment at Demel and brought to the bakery the sole distribution right for an Eduard-Sacher-Torte.

The first differences of opinion arose in 1938, when the new owners of the Hotel Sacher began to sell Sacher Tortes from vendor carts under the trademarked name «The Original Sacher Torte».

Sacher Torte

After interruptions brought about by the Second World War and the ensuing Allied occupation, the hotel owners sued Demel in 1954, with the hotel asserting its trademark rights and the bakery claiming it had bought the rights to the name «Original Sacher Torte».

Over the next seven years, both parties waged an intense legal war over several of the dessert’s specific characteristics, including the change of the name, the second layer of jam in the middle of the cake, and the substitution of margarine for butter in the baking of the cake.

The author Friedrich Torberg, who was a frequent guest at both establishments, served as a witness during this process and testified that, during the lifetime of Anna Sacher, the cake was never covered with marmalade or cut through the middle.

In 1963 both parties agreed on an out of court settlement that gave the Hotel Sacher the rights to the phrase «The Original Sachertorte» and gave the Demel the rights to decorate its tortes with a triangular seal that reads Eduard-Sacher-Torte.

About Sacher torte

Chocolate cakes are included in the Austrian gourmet guides from 1719, in the same century were first mentioned chocolate cakes, the surface of which was filled with a chocolate frosting. Such frosting and a layer of marmalade under it is a distinctive feature of the present Sacher-cake.

It is possible that young Franz was inspired by a similar cake, known in his time, but apricot marmalade glaze under his personal discovery. Although this ingredient is often found in contemporary French books on pastry skills.

The cake recipe was never a secret. According to cookbook 1913, «present the recipe was kindly provided to us by Frau Anna Sacher. It may seem that the world-famous mystery cake by posting the recipe will be revealed, but any connoisseur and a true gourmet should never doubt that choosing the right chocolate, the right flour, the best marmalade, the appropriate temperature baking, etc. play a crucial role and determine the quality of the cake, so many years of practical experience specially trained personnel Sacher pastry house provides a guarantee of the highest quality unique products.»

The first lawsuit over the cake happened in 1934. In the severe war years, one of the grandsons of Franz Sacher, deprived of a share in the inheritance, avenged his family by selling the original recipe and details technology the oldest and most prestigious Viennese pastry chef to Demelo.

Since then, the cake wore chocolate coin inscription «Edward Sacher. Vienna», while the family business had signed his medal «Hotel Sacher Wien». From a legal point of view the situation was far from simple. First, Demel has acquired the rights to produce cake Sacher member of the family.

Secondly, the original recipe is at the end of the first world war has undergone significant change: now at the patisserie Sacher cake was cut horizontally and had missed the marmalade to make it more juicy, while the original cake Franz Sacher had not had this additional layer, and the marmalade was placed only on the surface of the cake before glazing.

This gave Demelo known advantage. However, once the war had postponed the trial, and the trial resumed years later. Demelo was ordered to replace the medal round chocolate cake on the triangle, but was still not handed down a final verdict who has the right the inscription «Original Sacher cake».

In 1992, after a long lull, the new owner of the pastry shop Demel resumed bickering. He argued that the bakery Sacher replaces one-sixth of the oil in the cake composition of the conventional margarine.

As answered this is the other side, «that we, the owners, determine how prepared the original cake. Food habits over time have changed, and we are looking for opportunities to make our cake more digestible. We’re suing».

By the way, it is also interesting that released in 1975, «the Big cookbook Sacher» publishes the one-piece variant of the cake with marmalade only abricotine cake, that is, in fact, a variant of Sacher cake on Gamely.

Sacher Torte

Lovers of chocolate products can for themselves decide which of the cakes from Demel or Sacher — is in their eyes a more «real». Following the saying «Where mail is delivered, there will be cakes Sacher» both houses of confectionery annually distribute all corners of the world many tens of thousands of branded boxes with your cakes, covered with a shiny glaze and decorated with distinctive chocolate medals.

So the annual production of confectionery Sacher is 270 000 cakes in four sizes (12 to 22 cm in diameter), baked from 1 million eggs, 70 tons of sugar, 35 tons of apricot marmalade, 25 tons of oil and 30 tons of flour.

Production and sale of the «Original Sacher Torte»

Hotel Sacher’s «Original Sacher Torte» is sold at the Vienna and Salzburg locations of the Hotel Sacher, at Cafe Sacher branches in Innsbruck and Graz, at the Sacher Shop in Bolzano, in the Duty Free area of Vienna airport and via the Hotel Sacher’s online shop.

The recipe of the Hotel Sacher’s version of the cake is a closely guarded secret. Those privy to it claim that the secret to the Sacher Torte’s desirability lies not in the ingredients of the cake itself, but rather those of the chocolate icing.

According to widely available information, the icing consists of three special types of chocolate, which are produced exclusively by different manufacturers for this sole purpose. The hotel obtains these products from Lübeck in Germany and from Belgium.

Order a Sacher torte

The original Sacher Torte

Vienna claims to be the «coffee house capital of the world». A strong tradition of coffee houses created an environment where both residents and visitors could meet, share ideas, and leisurely discuss the events of the day.

The coffee house status in Vienna would become central to its culture and tradition with the cornerstone of each fine coffee house being its freshly-baked cakes. These classic tortes were to become highly regarded works of art and intense rivalries developed as to who could create the finest masterpiece.

Today, the Original Sacher Torte is one of the most recognized cakes in the world and even helped establish the five star Hotel Sacher in Vienna founded in 1876 by Franz Sacher’s son, Eduard Sacher. The Original Sacher Torte is still made almost entirely by hand using Franz Sacher’s recipe and is a closely guarded secret.

The Original Sacher Torte

More than 360,000 cakes a year are made in Vienna by its 41 employees, many of which are shipped all over the world allowing a «taste of Vienna» to be delivered to many far away places. The most popular destinations for its cakes are Germany, Italy, France, The US, and many countries in Asia.

The Original Sacher Torte is a combination of two layers of soft and light chocolate cake separated by apricot jam and coated with a chocolate icing, often accompanied with unsweetened whipped cream.

Recipe of the Sacher torte


8−10 servings


  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate (65−70% cocoa solids, broken tiles)
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter
  • 4 yolks
  • 1 ounce sugar, plus 3 ounces sugar
  • 5 protein
  • one-quarter teaspoon salt
  • one-third cup of sifted flour

Apricot filling:

  • one-half Cup apricot jam or thick jam
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon apricot brandy or cognac


  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate (65−70% cocoa solids, broken tiles)
  • 1 ounce unsalted butter
  • 2 oz heavy cream

Whipped cream

How to Cook:

Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit. The form for the cake 2 inches deep and 9 inches in diameter, brush with butter and sprinkle with flour.


  1. In a water bath melt the chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth.
  2. Cool beat with a mixer egg yolks with 1 ounce sugar until light yellow color. Carefully, piece by piece, combine with chocolate and mix thoroughly.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with salt until a soft peak.
  4. Continuing to whisk, add portions of the remaining 3 oz of sugar. Parts enter the flour. Mix one third of the protein mass chocolate mass. Carefully add the remaining protein mass.
  5. Put the dough in a prepared form. Bake for about 40 minutes. To check the readiness to puncture the center of the cake with a thin knife — dough should not stick. Cool the cake on wire rack.
  6. The filling is apricot jam or jam through a sieve and add the brandy.
  7. Long sharp and thin knife to cut the cake into three (PTS. delicate procedure).
  8. Sprinkle the shortcakes with 1 tablespoon brandy. Lubricate apricot filling the lower crust, cover with second, greased the remaining filling.
  9. Cover third Korzh. Allow to cool at least half an hour.


  1. Melt chocolate with butter in a water bath.
  2. In a separate saucepan bring the cream to a boil (do not boil).
  3. Mix with melted chocolate.
  4. Cool and glaze the cake.
  5. Allow to cool another half hour.

If you have the patience and willpower — overnight in the refrigerator (usually no patience for it). Serve with whipped cream (the secret to perfect whipped cream — Cup heavy cream, cold whisk, cold dishes chilled with a mixer, and even better on ice, adding during the process of whisking a tablespoon of powdered sugar)

Watch this video cooking Sacher-torte
How to make Austrian Sacher cake, part 1:

How to make Austrian Sacher cake, part 2:

How to make Austrian Sacher cake, part 3:

How to make Austrian Sacher cake, part 4:

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