The Sachertorte: Tracing The Origins Of The Famed Viennese Cake
Image Credit: By Antonio Campoy from Madrid, España - Tarta Sacher, CC BY 2.0/Wikimedia Commons

Originating in the European nation of Austria, the Sachertorte is a delightfully creamy and indulgent cake. Comprised of layers of decadent dark chocolate sponge plus juicy apricot jam, the appeal of this treat lies in the secrecy surrounding its original recipe. This recipe is strongly guarded by the inventors of the cake; however, culinary experts and bakers have been able to devise alternative recipes that come close to replicating the original cake. 

The Sachertorte also a rich history and origin story attached to it; this undoubtedly makes it a fascinating case study for culinary historians as well as people with a curious bent of mind. Not only will this article attempt to shed light on the regal history of the cake, but it will also strive to celebrate the Sachertorte’s esteemed legacy. Decades later, this cake still remains one of the crown jewels of Austrian cuisine, cementing its status as a timeless classic.

Dig into the origin story of the Sachertorte, here.

The Sachertorte: Where And How Did It Originate?

Let’s journey back to 1832 Vienna, Austria, to understand the origins of the Sachertorte. Prince Klemens von Metternich had commanded his royal bakers to craft a fresh dessert for an upcoming grand banquet. However, the head baker fell ill, and thus, this responsibility fell on the shoulders of a 16-year-old novice pastry chef, Franz Sacher. Brimming with a passion for chocolate, Sacher layered apricot jam between chocolate sponge, and coated the entire cake in chocolate glaze. The guests were instantly won over by the cake’s richness and simplicity.

The cake was such a hit that it began making waves throughout Vienna, ultimately becoming the most legendary and renowned cake of Austria. However, the Sachertorte’s claim to fame wasn’t without controversies. A major controversy associated with the cake occurred when Swiss confectioner Daniel Peter, who is credited with inventing milk chocolate, claimed that the Sachertorte was his invention. Sacher and Peter were locked in a legal deadlock for years, which ended only in 1875, when Sacher was recognised as the inventor of the cake.

Image Credits: Freepik

The celebrated Hotel Sacher, which is believed to be the only establishment that serves authentic Sachertorte was opened in 1876. Subsequently, Franz Sacher Jr, the grandson of the creator Franz Sacher Sr, shockingly sold the original cake’s recipe to a popular Vienna patisserie known as Demel’s. Thus, for years, both Hotel Sacher as well as Demel’s asserted to craft the original Sachertorte cake. Present-day culinary experts and historians tend to side with the Hotel Sacher when it comes to this debate.

Image Credits: By Hellokitty893112 at en.wikipedia, CC BY 2.5/Wikimedia Commons

Now, check out a simple recipe for the Sachertorte and give it a try at home.

The Sachertorte: A Recipe


1 vanilla pod

6 eggs

100 grams icing sugar

130 grams softened butter

140 grams plain wheat flour

150 grams dark chocolate

200 grams apricot jam

250 grams castor sugar

Whipped cream (for garnish)

Fat and flour for greasing purposes


Step 1: Preheat the oven to 170°C, and line the base of a springform pan with baking paper; grease the sides, and dust with flour.

Step 2: Melt the dark chocolate over boiling water and set the mixture aside for cooling purposes. In the meantime, slice the vanilla pod in half, and remove the seeds.

Step 3: With the help of a mixer, whisk the softened butter, icing sugar, and newly extracted vanilla seeds till the concoction becomes soft and airy.

Step 4: One by one, incorporate the egg yolks in the butter mixture; add the now cooled melted chocolate to this concoction.

Step 5: In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with castor sugar till it forms stiff peaks. Alongside flour, meld this concoction with the butter mixture.

Step 6: Pour out this batter in a baking pan and bake for approximately 15 minutes with the door slightly open; then let the baking continue for about 50 minutes with the door completely shut.

Step 7: Let the cake cool for about 20 minutes before retrieving it from the pan. Set the cake on a wire rack to let it cool completely.

Step 8: Slice the cake into two horizontal halves, and heat the apricot jam. Coat both halves of the cake with the jam and sandwich them together.

Step 9: Boil castor sugar and water for about 15 minutes to prepare the glaze. Let it cool and then combine it with dark chocolate to form a dense and shiny glaze.

Step 10: Generously pour the glaze over the cake and spread it equitably. Refrigerate the cake for a few hours to make it serve-ready.

Step 11: Lay out the cake on a tasteful plate alongside a dollop of whipped cream, just like the original evergreen Sachertorte recipe.