Sachertorte Austrian Chocolate Cake

Sachertorte is an Austrian chocolate cake with a thin apricot jam filling and a rich chocolate glaze on the top and sides. It is Vienna’s signature cake, with Hotel Sacher keeping the original recipe a tight secret. But all recipes can be replicated, right? So let’s make this Viennese classic at home then!

Sacher is definitely an unmissable Old World chocolate cake recipe. If you haven’t tried Sachertorte yet, you are missing out. But don’t worry – this Viennese cake can be replicated in your kitchen. If you want to serve your guests a special cake for dessert or just want to indulge on a rich chocolate cake with a hint of apricot, Sacher cake is what you need.

Sacher torte sliced on a plate.

Sachertorte was originally created for a Viennese prince. It was 1832, the times of the Austrian Empire, and this rich chocolate cake with its light jam flavour and decadent chocolate frosting prefectly represents the splendour and elegance of the times.

About the original Sachertorte recipe

Hotel Sacher in Vienna proudly owns the original Sachertorte recipe from 1832 and keeps it like a state secret. Being the original recipe strictly confidential, all other recipes out there (including mine) are imitations. Quite interestingly, an “approximate recipe” appears even on the Hotel Sacher website.

My mom used to make Sachertorte after a recipe she had in her recipe notebook that looked pretty much like the “approximate” one Hotel Sacher offers. But when we visited Vienna and Hotel Sacher in 2012 we noticed that the cake we tasted there was richer and somewhat more moist. We came to the conclusion that the secret ingredient must have been almond meal.

Now, I’m pretty sure that an ingredient like almond meal, being almonds a common allergen, could not go undeclared, so I still wonder whether my mom and I guessed it right. But when we came back from our trip and tried subbing part of the flour in her recipe with almond meal the cake tasted just like the one in Vienna.

All Sachertorte recipes are approximates and unofficial, so here’s mine. To this day I find it the closest I could get to replicating the original. I’m not claiming this is the real Sacher, but it surely is closely inspired by the Viennese classic and it is a delicious chocolate cake with apricot filling. Let’s get baking!

The ingredients

The ingredients needed to make Sachertorte.

For detailed quantities please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Read on for recipe method with step by step photos.

How to make Sacher torte

  • Melt the chocolate and let cool to room temperature. See notes below.
  • Separate yolks from egg whites and beat the whites until firm, then add about 1/4 of the sugar and keep mixing until dissolved. Set the fluffy meringue aside.
  • In another bowl combine the butter and rest of the sugar and mix at medium speed until creamy. Always mixing, incorporate the yolks one at a time, followed by the melted chocolate. Set the mixer aside.
  • In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients: almond meal, flour and baking powder.
  • With a rubber spatula fold half of the egg whites in to the butter mixture. Next, incorporate the flour mixture. Lastly, fold in the rest of the egg whites.
  • Divide cake batter among two 20-cm (8 inches) cake pans and bake them in the preheated oven at 175°C (350°F) for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

As the cakes bake, warm up the heavy cream and remove from the heat just before it reaches boiling temperature. Add the chocolate in pieces and stir until melted. Set aside and let cool – the ganache will thicken as it cools. To try if the ganache is ready to use dip a spoon in it: it should coat the spoon quite thick but still be runny enough to pour so don’t let it harden too much.

Filling and glazing

  • The top of the baked cakes might turn out a little crusty, brownie-like. When the cakes have cooled down, slice a thin layer off from the top of both cakes to level them and remove the crunchier outer part. Spread some apricot jam over of one of the cakes, then stack the next one on top.
  • Spread apricot jam over the top layer as well as the sides. Keep adding more jam as it gets sucked into the sponge cake and use it all up. Let rest until the ganache has reached the right texture (see notes below).
  • Place the cake over a rack and set over a large plate. Pour the ganache in one continuous stream over the cake, starting from the centre and moving outwards as it expands. Make sure to let the ganache drizzle down the sides to coat the whole cake evenly, and pour some more to make a properly thick coating everywhere.

For the classic lettering finish, save a small quantity of the ganache in a piping bag and put it in the fridge for about 15 minutes. When firm enough so that it does not drizzle out of the piping bag, cut a small circular opening in the piping bag and write the word Sacher (the name of the person who invented the cake) across the top of the cake.

Sachertorte covered in ganache showing the classic

Sachertorte recipe tips

Sachertorte is made with dark chocolate, so aim for a minimum of 55% cocoa. Supposedly the secret ingredient that makes original Sachertorte special is the chocolate. For best results I recommend a 55% cocoa chocolate in the cake batter and a darker bitter 70% chocolate in the ganache.

Using the microwave for melting chocolate can be tricky so for best results melt the chocolate over a double boiler. If melting the chocolate in the microwave, work in 30-second intervals and stir between each go. This applies to the chocolate that needs to be used in the batter. As for the ganache, it melts by contact with the hot cream, so you can go ahead and warm the cream in the microwave.

The perfect glazing ganache should be runny enough to pour in a continuous stream, but thick enough to coat the cake. If you are working in a cold environment, room temperature ganache could be too firm to pour, so you may want to use it before it cools down completely. In a hot environment you may instead need to place it in the fridge but stir from time to time to make the cooling homogeneous.

The ganache recipe is generous to allow for a good coating, so keep pouring over more ganache until you have used it all up. You will have a lot of ganache leftovers, hence the need to place the cake over a rack over a large plate, rather than just on its serving plate.

If your apricot jam has fruit bits, pour it through a mesh sieve before use so you will be spreading a smooth jam without fruit bits onto the cake. If it’s more jelly-like and quite solid, microwave a few seconds for easier spreading.

You may also like

How do you think my Sachertorte recipe compares to the Viennese original? Let me know in the comments. Pin the recipe to Pinterest if you want to save this recipe for later!

Let’s stay in touch! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on Instagram and Pinterest. Thank you!

This recipe was originally published in August 2016 and has been updated in January 2022 with new photos, better wording and a recipe card.

Sacher Chocolate Cake

A decadent chocolate cake from Austria, Sachertorte is filled with apricot jam and covered in a thick chocolate coating.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Austrian
Keyword austrian chocolate cake, sacher torte, viennese cake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 8 people
Calories 889 kcal
Author Eva | Electric Blue Food

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 150 g butter room temperature
  • 150 g dark chocolate min 55% cocoa
  • 200 g sugar
  • 6 eggs room temperature
  • 100 g almond meal
  • 50 g flour
  • 8 g baking powder
  • 150 g apricot jam

For the ganache

  • 250 g dark chocolate min 70% cocoa
  • 400 ml cream

Instructions

How to make the cake

  1. Melt the chocolate and let cool to room temperature. If using the microwave, do 30-second intervals and stir in between.

  2. Separate the yolks from egg whites and beat the whites until firm, then add about 1/4 of the sugar and keep mixing until dissolved.

  3. In another bowl cream the butter and rest of the sugar. Always mixing, incorporate the yolks one at a time, followed by the melted chocolate. Set the mixer aside.

  4. In a separate bowl combine almond meal, flour and baking powder. With a rubber spatula fold half of the egg whites into the butter mixture. Next, incorporate the flour mixture. Lastly, fold in the rest of the egg whites.

  5. Divide cake batter among two 20-cm (8 inches) cake pans and bake them in the preheated oven at 175°C (350°F) for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

How to make the ganache

  1. As the cakes bake, warm up the heavy cream and remove from the heat (or microwave) just before it reaches boiling temperature. Add the chocolate in pieces and stir until melted. Set aside and let cool - the ganache will thicken as it cools.

How to fill and coat

  1. When the cakes have cooled down, slice a thin layer off from the top of both cakes to level them and remove the crunchier outer part. The top of the baked cakes might turn out a little crusty, brownie-like, and we want to expose the softer inside before spreading the apricot jam.

  2. Spread some apricot jam over one of the cakes, then stack the next one on top. Spread apricot jam over the top layer as well as the sides. Keep adding more jam as it gets sucked into the sponge cake and use it all up. Let rest until the ganache has reached the right texture.

  3. To try if the ganache is ready to use dip a spoon in it: it should coat the spoon quite thick but still be runny enough to pour so don't let it harden too much.

  4. Place the cake over a rack and set over a large plate. Pour the ganache in one continuous stream over the cake, starting from the centre and moving outwards as it expands. Make sure to let the ganache drizzle down the sides to coat the whole cake evenly, and pour some more to make a properly thick coating everywhere until you have used it all up.

  5. For the classic lettering finish, save a small quantity of the ganache in a piping bag and put it in the fridge for about 15 minutes. When firm enough so that it does not drizzle out of the piping bag, cut a small circular opening in the piping bag and write the word Sacher across the top of the cake. 

Recipe Notes

  • For best results I recommend a 55% cocoa chocolate in the cake batter and a darker bitter 70% chocolate in the ganache. If you don't have 2 different types of chocolate, use 55% for the whole cake.

  • The ganache recipe has a generous yield to allow for a good coating, so keep pouring more ganache until you have used it all up. You will have a lot of ganache leftovers, hence the need to place the cake over a rack over a large plate, rather than just on its serving plate.

  • If your apricot jam has fruit bits, pour it through a mesh sieve before use so you will be spreading a smooth jam without fruit bits onto the cake. If it's more jelly-like and quite solid, microwave a few seconds for easier spreading.

Please notice that the nutritional information is made by an online calculator and meant to be used as a guideline only.

Nutrition Facts
Sacher Chocolate Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 889 Calories from Fat 576
% Daily Value*
Fat 64g98%
Saturated Fat 35g219%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 233mg78%
Sodium 324mg14%
Potassium 467mg13%
Carbohydrates 69g23%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 46g51%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 1440IU29%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 182mg18%
Iron 8mg44%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
(Visited 1,084 times, 4 visits today)

11 Comments

  1. Mani (A New Life Wandering) August 19, 2016 at 18:26

    Looks amazing.

    Reply
    1. Eva August 19, 2016 at 22:55

      Thank you Mani!!

      Reply
  2. Profusion of Eccentricities August 19, 2016 at 23:51

    Your photo compositions are great, I love all the accessories and the depth of field. I also really like how you mix memory with recipes, food is such a powerful way to remember a place.

    Reply
    1. Eva August 20, 2016 at 10:30

      In this post I really wanted to have a little bit of a mix between food and travel, I’m happy that it was so well received. And thank you for your comment about the photo composition, sometimes that takes even longer than the baking part but is equally rewarding!

      Reply
  3. Christina August 21, 2016 at 17:46

    It looks so delicious! and Sachertorte is my favourite cake!
    I have to admit though that I kind of don’t like the original Sacher torte from the Café Sacher, I’ve had so many better versions of the cake in other (way cheaper) cafés 😀

    Reply
    1. Eva August 22, 2016 at 18:19

      Really? I didn’t have it many times besides that time at Hotel Sacher so i cannot really compare. You should try my recipe and let me know what you think!!

      Reply
      1. Christina August 23, 2016 at 16:57

        🙂 I’ll try it and let you know how it turns out 🙂

        Reply
        1. Christina May 2, 2018 at 22:08

          I just saw this post again and had to reply – I actually did try your recipe back then. and I must say – it was delicious!

          Reply
          1. Eva May 2, 2018 at 22:13

            Uuuh that’s great!!! This kind of feedback makes me happy. Now my recipe is officially Austrian-approved 😀 Thank you so much for taking the time to try it out and letting me know you liked it!!

  4. David Scott Allen January 10, 2022 at 17:03

    Who doesn’t love a perfect Sachertorte? I definitely look forward to trying to soon, and really appreciate the work you put into creating the perfect texture!

    Reply
    1. Eva January 12, 2022 at 12:52

      Thanks David! I’m really happy with our final recipe so I hope you get to give it a try!

      Reply

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating