Cakes

Classic Austrian Sacher Torte Recipe

4.50 from 6 votes
Try our Classic Austrian Sacher Torte Recipe to savor tender, moist cake, decadent chocolate, and fruity apricot jam in each exquisite bite.
Classic Austrian Sacher Torte is placed on a round golden rim platter. It shows the silky smooth, shinny glaze.

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: Classic Austrian Sacher Torte is world-famous and beloved by millions because it is outrageously delicious! Chocolate sponge cake (a torte is a rich cake) is layered with apricot jam and enrobed in a lusciously thick chocolate-butter glaze. This is a grown-up chocolate cake: rich and boldly chocolatey but not gooey or overly sweet (with a prep time of only 40 minutes!)

  • Apricot and chocolate, a traditional Eastern European pairing, play off each other superbly—the sweet-tart fruit taste accents the rich, slightly bitter chocolate flavor.
  • Don’t let its imposing look fool you. Sacher torte has a surprisingly light texture. That’s partly because the eggs are separated in this recipe. While the yolks give the cake richness, whipped whites make the cake beautifully tender.

Doubling down on chocolate always makes a dessert seem more special! If you’re a Bold Baker who can never get enough cocoa, check out Best-Ever Chocolate Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache, Chocolate Bundt Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate Glaze, and Luxurious 24-Layer Chocolate Cake.

Table of Contents

Classic Austrian Sacher Torte is placed on a round golden rim platter. A slice is cut and served on a white dessert plate. It shows the moist, fine crumb of the chocolate sponge cake and the silky smooth, shinny glaze.

What is Classic Austrian Sacher Torte?

  • Classic Austrian Sacher Torte (Sachertorte) is a traditional Austrian chocolate layer cake with apricot filling and chocolate glaze. This iconic dessert is the pride of Austria, where there is even a postage stamp featuring the country’s favorite cake!
  • Apricot jam is traditional in this cake, but you can use another flavor of jam if you prefer. Raspberry jam or marmalade (check out my recipe for easy homemade orange marmalade!) works well.
  • Sacher torte was created in 1832 by Franz Sacher, an apprentice chef (who was only 16!) working for Prince von Metternich of Austria. When the head chef was ill, Sacher stepped up to create a special dessert for the Prince’s guests. The original recipe has remained a secret for almost 200 years, but you’ll agree that our version is absolutely decadent and gorgeous.

Tools You Need

Key Ingredients and Why

  • Bittersweet chocolate

    • Bittersweet chocolate (63 – 72 % cocoa solids) is darker and more profound than semisweet or milk chocolate and has the perfect balance of bitter and sweet.
    • Check out our Ultimate Guide to the Different Types of Chocolate to know more about when and how to use different types of chocolate.
  • Eggs

    • Egg whites are whipped to add air bubbles to the batter, giving the Sacher Torte a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
    • The fat in egg yolks adds moisture and richness, contributing to the cake’s tender crumb.
    • Unless specified, eggs should always be at room temperature. The yolks will blend more easily with the other ingredients, and the whites will whip up better.
  • Butter

    • The fat in butter coats the flour and inhibits gluten formation. This contributes to the torte’s delectable texture.
    • In the glaze, the butter melts with chocolate to make a silky, glossy mixture.
  • Granulated sugar

    • The sugar sweetens the cake and contributes to its moist texture.
  • Cake flour

    • Cake flour is very finely milled from soft winter wheat. It has a protein content of 6 to 8%, giving the Sacher Torte a refined and tender crumb.
    • If you don’t have cake flour, use our simple DIY Cake Flour Substitute.
  • Apricot jam

    • Apricot jam adds a sweet-tart bright flavor to the dessert.
    • The jam also gives the cake moisture.
  • Rum

    • Rum adds a sophisticated depth of flavor to the Sacher Torte. Rum’s warmth and subtle spiciness balance the jam’s sweetness.
    • Use any type, but dark rum is best here
  • Whipped cream

    • The clean dairy flavor is the perfect counterpoint to this rich Sacher Torte, and the creamy white color sets off the dark cake wonderfully.

How to Make Classic Austrian Sacher Torte

  • Prepare to bake: 
    • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C), butter a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan, and line with parchment paper.
    • Melt 1 cup (6 oz/170 g) chopped chocolate in a double boiler or gently in the microwave and set aside to cool.
  • Start the cake batter: 
    • In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the butter and ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about three minutes.
    • Whip in the vanilla and then the egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in the melted chocolate until incorporated (make sure your machine is on low speed so it doesn’t splatter!). Transfer the mixture to another large bowl and wash and dry the mixer bowl and whisk.
  • Whip the egg whites and complete batter:
    • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form, about three minutes. Gradually add the remaining ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) sugar and whip to stiff, glossy peaks, about three to four minutes.
    • With a metal spoon, gently fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Follow with the remaining whites.
    • Fold in the cake flour in two additions until just combined.
  • Bake the cake:
    • Spread batter into prepared pan, and bake for 50-55 minutes until cake tester comes out clean.
    • Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before releasing the pan and letting the cake cool completely.
  • Make the filling:
    • Combine the jam and rum in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly for two minutes, until runny. Press through a fine mesh strainer and discard solids.
    • Place the cake on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking dish. Level the cake if domed, and split it in half with a serrated knife.
    • Spread half the jam on the bottom layer. Top with the remaining layer and brush the top and sides with the remaining jam. Let it set for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  • Make the glaze:
    • Combine 1 1/3 cups (8 oz/225 g) chopped chocolate and butter in a saucepan and, stirring constantly, warm over low heat until melted.
    • Starting at the center of the cake, pour the glaze over the cake in a circular motion. Tilt the rack a bit to make sure the glaze spreads evenly. Use an offset spatula on the sides if needed. Let the glaze set until dry, about an hour.
  • Finish the Sacher Torte:
    • Place the cake on a serving plate.
    • If you’re piping “Sacher” onto the cake, take the glaze that has dripped down into the baking pan and gently reheat it.
    • Place the glaze in a piping bag, and write or add any designs you like to the top of the cake.

Classic Austrian Sacher Torte is placed on a round golden rim platter. It shows the silky smooth, shinny glaze.

Can I Make Austrian Sacher Torte in Advance?

Yes, you can make Austrian Sacher Torte in advance.

  • Make and assemble the Sacher Torte ahead of time: Prepare the Sacher Tore as directed and keep the cake covered at room temperature for up to three days.
  • Prepare cake components ahead of time and store them separately before assembling.
    • Cake: Bake the cake, cool, and slice it into layers. Wrap well in cling wrap.
      • Store at room temperature: The wrapped cake layers will keep for up to three days.
      • Freeze: For longer storage, place wrapped cake layers in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to three weeks.
        • Defrost the layers overnight in the fridge when ready to assemble the Sacher Torte.
    • Filling:
      • Make the filling and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four weeks.
      • Warm the filling before using so that it’s easier to spread.
    • Glaze:
      • Let the glaze cool to room temperature and put in an airtight container.
        • Store at room temperature: The glaze will keep for up to three days.
        • Store in the fridge: Keep the glaze in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
        • Gently reheat the glaze in a double boiler or the microwave before using.

How to Store Leftovers

Store leftovers covered at room temperature for up to three days.

FAQs

  • Can I make this cake gluten-free?

    • Yes, you can make this Sacher Torte gluten-free. Use a 1:1 gluten-free cake flour blend or all-purpose flour blend (both usually contain xanthan gum as a binding agent) for the cake flour.
    • Note that the result will differ in taste and texture from a torte made from the original recipe.
  • Can I make this Sacher Torte without egg?

    • Because eggs, both the yolk and whipped egg whites, are essential to the flavor and texture of this traditional recipe, I wouldn’t recommend making Sacher Torte without eggs.
    • For a chocolate cake with no eggs, a moist texture, and great flavor, please give our Vegan Chocolate Cake a go! I think you’ll love it.
  • How do I make sure my Sacher Torte isn’t dry?

    • Be sure not to over-mix the batter.
    • Make sure to brush the jam evenly all over the cake, including the sides.
    • Take care not to overbake the cake. Keep a close eye on the time and remove it from the oven when it’s just done and a cake tester comes out clean.
  • Can I make this cake if I don’t have a springform pan?

    • Yes, you make this cake without a springform pan. It makes it easier to remove the cake, but it isn’t necessary. Use a 9-inch (23 cm) cake pan, butter it well,  and line it with parchment paper. Run a knife around the edge before removing the cake.

Classic Austrian Sacher Torte is placed on a round golden rim platter. A case-up shot at the slice on a white dessert plate shows the moist, fine crumb of the chocolate sponge cake and the silky smooth, shinny glaze.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips

  • Make sure to strain your apricot jam so it is lump-free and will spread smoothly.
  • For best results, use a thin metal spoon to fold the egg whites into your yolk mixture to keep the whites from deflating.
  • If you don’t have cake flour, here’s how to make your own.
  • Instead of using a double boiler, you can melt chocolate in the microwave: place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until it is melted.
  • When pouring on the glaze, for the smoothest results, try not to use a spatula to spread it. If you absolutely need to, use an offset to smooth the glaze over the side, and do so just after you pour it while the glaze is still warm.
  • This cake traditionally has “Sacher” written on top, but if you are nervous about writing on the cake or adding decorations, there is no need to. This cake is beautiful and elegant, just as it is.

More Classic European Dessert Recipes

Watch The Recipe Video!

Classic Austrian Sacher Torte Recipe

4.50 from 6 votes
Try our Classic Austrian Sacher Torte Recipe to savor tender, moist cake, decadent chocolate, and fruity apricot jam in each exquisite bite.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 servings
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Chill for 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Try our Classic Austrian Sacher Torte Recipe to savor tender, moist cake, decadent chocolate, and fruity apricot jam in each exquisite bite.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 1 cup (6 oz/170 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 7 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) plus ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (6 oz/170 g) butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (5 oz/142 g) cake flour

For the Filling

  • 1 ⅔ cups (17½ oz/496 g) apricot jam, strained
  • ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) rum

For the Glaze

  • 1 ⅓ cups (8 oz/225 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) butter, softened
  • Whipped cream, for serving

Instructions

To Make the Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and butter and line with parchment a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan. Set aside.
  • Melt the chocolate either in the top of a double boiler over simmering water or gently in the microwave. Set aside to let cool.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the butter, salt and ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) sugar on medium-high until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Whip in the vanilla extract and then the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl every now and then to ensure even mixing. Stir in the melted chocolate until combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large, clean bowl and thoroughly wash and dry the mixer bowl and whisk.
  • Reattach the whisk and add the egg whites to the clean mixer bowl. Whip on high until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Gradually add the remaining ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) sugar and continue to beat to stiff, glossy peaks, a further 3-4 minutes.
  • With a metal spoon, gently fold in ⅓ of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten the batter before folding in the remaining whites.
  • Lastly add the cake flour in 2 additions, mixing just until combined.
  • Spread the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes before releasing the sides and let cool completely.

To Make the Filling

  • Combine the jam and rum in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes, until the jam is runny. Press through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids.
  • Transfer the cake to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking dish. Level the top if it is domed, then split the cake in half.
  • Spread ½ of the jam on the bottom half of the cake then place on the top layer. Brush the top and sides of the cake all over with the remaining jam and let this set and dry, about 30 minutes.

To Make the Glaze

  • Place the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat and warm, stirring frequently, until the butter and chocolate is melted and smooth.
  • Starting in the center of the cake, pour the chocolate in a circular motion over the top of the cake and let it drip down the sides. Tilt the wire rack a bit to encourage even spreading. If needed, use an offset spatula to smooth the sides. Let the glaze set until dry, for about 1 hour.
  • Using an offset spatula, gently loosen the cake from the wire rack and transfer to a serving dish.
  • If you wish to add decorations or the word ‘Sacher’ to the top of the cake, scrape the collected glaze from the pan below the rack into a small pan and warm until softened enough to pipe. Strain to remove any cake crumbs, then place the glaze in a small piping bag fitted with a small round tip and write ‘Sacher’ over the top of the cake (or add whatever designs you wish). Allow to set before serving.
  • Serve slices of cake with freshly whipped cream. Store the leftover cake covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Recipe Notes

  • Make sure to strain your apricot jam so it is lump-free and will spread smoothly.
  • For best results, use a thin metal spoon to fold the egg whites into your yolk mixture to keep the whites from deflating.
  • If you don’t have cake flour, here's how to make your own.
  • Instead of using a double boiler, you can melt chocolate in the microwave: place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until it is melted.
  • When pouring on the glaze, for the smoothest results, try not to use a spatula to spread it. If you absolutely need to, use an offset to smooth the glaze over the side, and do so just after you pour it while the glaze is still warm.
  • This cake traditionally has "Sacher" written on top, but if you are nervous about writing on the cake or adding decorations, there is no need to. This cake is beautiful and elegant, just as it is.
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Cloighi Doyle
18 days ago

This was amazing! My friends loved it too. This was my first time making a cake and then turning it into a torte. I had a lot of fun putting it together too.

Nina
Nina
1 month ago

I am excited to try this recipe! What non-alcohol ingredient can I use to replace the rum?

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

Weeknight Family Favorites Chapter from the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook