The 7 Iconic Austrian Desserts To Expand Your Global Palate
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Austria first captured the hearts and imaginations of global audiences through its picturesque rolling hills, as showcased in the acclaimed musical, The Sound of Music. Also renowned as the birthplace of the illustrious composer Mozart, it is safe to say that Austria is a cultural behemoth. The country’s cultural heritage is further enriched by its culinary prowess. Local Austrian specialties include the delectable Vienna sausage as well as a unique open sandwich dish known locally as “Belegte Brote.”

Beyond these savoury delicacies, Austrian cuisine possesses numerous intricate and mouthwatering desserts. These desserts reflect the country’s abundant local produce, with ingredients like apple, plum, and apricot being fixtures in Austrian sweet treats. Many of these dishes also draw influences from the neighbouring countries of Germany and Hungary, as a nod not only to Austria’s complex history with these countries but also as a testament to the power of food to transcend borders.

Check out the seven most esteemed Austrian desserts.


The sachertorte is a moist and decadent chocolate cake that was invented in the Austrian capital, Vienna, in 1832. To craft this classic dessert, thick chocolate genoise sponge is layered with creamy apricot jam and varnished in a dark chocolate glaze. These ingredients blend wonderfully to imbue the cake with complex flavours and textures. Although several variations of the cake have been innovated worldwide, it is speculated that the original and most authentic version of the cake can only be enjoyed at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna.

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Austrian Linzer Cookies

Originating in the city of Linz, Austria, after which they are named, Austrian Linzer cookies are relished for their nutty flavour and appealing presentation. Traditionally, as a holiday treat, the filling for these cookies is made from fruit preserves. The dough is crafted from almonds, flour, sugar, and heaps of butter, forming a luxurious shortbread base. Sometimes, spices are also incorporated in the dough to elevate the cookies’ taste. The top half of the cookies are usually sprinkled with powdered sugar to enhance their appearance.

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This timeless beauty is essentially an apple strudel with an Austrian twist. The treat comprises an airy and crumbly crust that encloses a sweet apple filling. However, it is the dough that takes this dessert to the next level; when baked, this dough shapes into numerous slim layers that resemble paper. As a result, the pastry becomes incredibly crispy while the filling of the cake remains soft and goopy, creating a symphony of flavours and textures. The dish is typically garnished with dry fruits and powdered sugar.


Krapfens are a type of donut that is pumped with a juicy jam or custard filling. In terms of texture, they are quite similar to the apfelstrudel, comprising a crispy exterior and a mushy and pillowy interior, creating a melt-in-the-mouth sensation when bitten into. These airy delights are prepared by deep-frying a yeast-based dough till it assumes a striking golden brown colour. As a finishing touch, they are garnished with powdered sugar. Apart from Austria, krapfens are also enjoyed in Germany and other areas of central Europe.

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This is a quintessential Austrian specialty that is filled with a sumptuous curd-like dairy product called topfen. Similar to ricotta, topfen typically has an airier texture and a tangier flavour. To prepare the dessert, the cheese is combined with sugar, eggs, and vanilla or lemon zest. Subsequently, the topfen filling is loaded into intricate phyllo or puff pastry to create a deeply indulgent and satisfying sweet treat. The warmth of the buttery pastry mingles with the zest of the filling to form a texturally rich and soulful dessert.


Marillenkuchen is basically a traditional Austrian apricot jam cake. A simple yet elegant cake is usually crafted by blending fresh apricots or apricot jam with a vanilla cake. The choice of cake can be customised per the preference of the baker or the consumer. It is recommended to use eggs while making this cake instead of baking powder or soda. That’s because the eggs enable the sponge to rise in a gradual manner, holding the fruit filling in place and preventing it from sinking to the bottom.

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Kaiserschmarrn is a type of scrambled pancake that is a big hit with kids across Austria. Because of its jagged presentation, this sweet treat is also known as “torn pancake.” It is relatively easy to whip up this dish. Once the pancakes have been prepared as usual, they are gently picked apart using wooden spatulas. Subsequently, butter and sugar are added to the pancakes and the pieces are fried till they assume a distinctive golden brown colour. This sweet dish is savoured as a breakfast item across Austria.