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Sachertorte is a kind of chocolate cake that had been created in 1832 in honor of the Austrian politician and diplomat Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich. The recipe for the cake was invented by Franz Sacher, an Austrian of Jewish origin. It is considered to be a specialty of Viennese cuisine even today.

The cake consists of two layers of semi sweet chocolate cakes held together by apricot jam spread between them. Chocolate icing covers the top as well as the sides of the cake which is served along with unsweetened whipped cream in Austria. The people of Vienna consider the cake to be too dry to be consumed by itself.

There have been intense legal battles over the rights to the name which went on for seven years. The conflict ended with an out of court settlement and Hotel Sacher was given the rights to use the term ‘The Original Sachertorte’ which is only baked in Salzburg and Vienna at present. A variation of the ‘Original Sacher Torte’ incorporates a second layer of orange marmalade in the middle of the cake. It is sold at the Sacher shop located at Bolzano/Bozen in Italy apart from Austria.

The original recipe remains a secret with various sources insisting that the chocolate icing is created from three different kinds of chocolates obtained from different manufacturers who make the product exclusively for the cake. The hotel buys the products from Belgium and Lubek.

History of Sachertorte

Recipes which bear resemblance to the cake baked by Sacher had already been published in various cook books of Austria since the early 18th century. Franz Sacher invented the recognized recipe in 1832 when he was an apprentice in the kitchen of Prince Metternich.

The son of Franz Sacher, Eduard, himself a pastry chef took forward his father’s legacy and the dessert was served at the Demel bakery and Hotel Sacher which he established in 1876.

The legal differences between the two establishments arose over the selling of the cake in 1938 and the new owners of the Hotel Sacher got the rights to use the name eventually. Demel obtained the right to use a triangular stamp on its confectionary which read, “Eduard-Sacher-Torte”.

Sachertorte Recipe: Ingredients and Preparation Overview

The actual recipe has never been published but variations abound and the recipe that is considered to be closest to the original cake requires dark chocolate, eggs and butter along with flour and vanilla extracts for preparing it. Castor sugar is preferred over ordinary sugar and the icing is created by combining glycerine, dark chocolate and heavy cream.

The cake is baked in two layers and warmed apricot jam is used to sandwich the layers together. The chocolate icing is poured over the entire cake which is allowed to cool until the icing sets properly.

It is usually served with unsweetened whipped cream and a cup of Austrian coffee.

Sachertorte Variations

  • Duramecho version- This is a moister version and makes use of golden syrup instead of glycerin in preparing the glaze.
  • Apricot Brandy filling- This variation uses the brandy instead of jam and is very popular during Christmas.
  • Sacher-Masoch-Torte –It contains red currant jam and marzipan instead of the usual apricot jam.


December 5th is celebrated across the United States as the National Sachertorte Day.