Best Sacher Torte in Vienna

On my Danube river cruise, I went on a mission to find the best Sacher Torte in Vienna. The Sacher Torte is synonymous with the Austrian capital, which is also famous for its imperial sights and classical composers.

In this post, I explain how to find the best place to eat Sacher Torte in Vienna and how you can recreate this Austrian speciality at home.

Hofburg Palace Vienna
Hofburg Palace in Vienna

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which help to keep the website going and in turn, helps me to continue sharing useful content to fellow cruisers. If you decide to use any of these links I’d like to thank you for your support. I was invited by AmaWaterways to take a Danube river cruise.

What is Sacher Torte?

Sacher Torte is a rich chocolate layer cake with apricot jam from Vienna, Austria. It was named after its creator, Franz Sacher, who invented the cake in 1832. Franz Sacher stepped in for a sick chef to make dessert for Prince Metternich at short notice, only using ingredients he could find in the kitchen. It is one of the most famous cakes in the world.

Original Sacher Torte in Vienna
The original Sacher Torte
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Where’s the best Sacher Torte in Vienna?

In Vienna, most cafes and restaurants will serve Sacher Torte but to enjoy this chocolate cake properly, I would highly recommend seeking out Cafe Sacher. Cafe Sacher can be found at Hotel Sacher on Philharmonikerstraße, which is in walking distance of St Stephen’s Cathedral. Vienna is a very flat city with much of the main streets pedestrianised. If you only have one day in Vienna, it’s important to make the most of your visit.

St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna
St Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna

Reservations can be made in advance at Cafe Sacher but are not required. The cafe has seating inside and outside. We were fortunate to spot a table outside but there was a long queue for inside seating. The menu is the same regardless of where you choose to sit. Cafe Sacher is understandably busy so don’t expect the service to be fast but this does force you to take a moment to enjoy the atmosphere and the Sacher Torte!

Cafe Sacher

The decor inside the cafe is very opulent and so I can understand people’s reasons for queuing. I did manage to take a look at the indoor cafe area when I took a trip to the bathroom. Upstairs has plush velvet booth seating, rich red wallpaper and a huge chandelier that spans two floors. Downstairs is a shop area and some seating.

I didn’t mind sitting outside – I was there for one thing only – to try the original Sacher Torte in Vienna!

What is Sacher Torte like?

There is no escaping the richness of this cake. For me, one slice was plenty! You can taste the apricot jam layer and the whipped cream on the side helped to breakdown the sweetness of the cake. Each slice has a chocolate Hotel Sacher seal.

Sacher Torte in Vienna

It’s recommended that you order a slice of Sacher Torte with a liqueur coffee, so I took that advice and enjoyed it how it was intended. Austrians are known for having a sweet-tooth so it makes sense that the Sacher Torte is so popular.

liquer coffee from Cafe Sacher Vienna
A liqueur coffee is the perfect accompaniment

How much is a Sacher Torte?

A slice from Cafe Sacher is €7.90. You can take a look at the cafe’s menu. I chose to accompany mine with a Sacher Kaffee (€8.90), which is a single espresso with Original Sacher liqueur and whipped cream.

You can purchase a whole Sacher Torte from the cafe’s shop for €58.90 and it will typically last for 7 days.

Sacher Torte Recipe

You can recreate the most famous cake in the world from the comfort of your kitchen. The Sacher Hotel won’t reveal its top secret recipe but it offers an approximate guide.

Ingredients

CAKE

OTHER

  • 200g Apricot jam
  • 200g Castor sugar
  • 150g Dark couverture chocolate (see above)
  • Unsweetened whipped cream to accompany

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Line the base of a springform with baking paper, grease the sides, and dust with a little flour. Melt couverture over boiling water. Let cool slightly.
  2. Slit vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out seeds. Using a hand mixer with whisks, beat the softened butter with the icing sugar and vanilla seeds until bubbles appear.
  3. Separate the eggs. Whisk the egg yolks into the butter mixture one by one. Now gradually add melted couverture chocolate. Beat the egg whites with the castor sugar until stiff and then place on top of the butter and chocolate mixture. Sift the flour over the mixture and fold in the flour and beaten egg whites.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the springform, smooth the top, and bake in the oven (middle rack) for 10–15 minutes, leaving the oven door a finger’s width ajar. Then close the oven and bake for approximately 50 minutes. (The cake is done when it yields slightly to the touch.)
  5. Remove the cake from the oven and loosen the sides of the springform. Carefully tip the cake onto a cake rack lined with baking paper and let cool for approximately 20 minutes. Then pull off the baking paper, turn the cake over, and leave on rack to cool completely.
  6. Cut the cake in half horizontally. Warm the jam and stir until smooth. Brush the top of both cake halves with the jam and place one on top of the other. Brush the sides with the jam as well.
  7. To make the glaze, put the castor sugar into a saucepan with 125 ml water and boil over high heat for approximately 5 minutes. Take the sugar syrup off the stove and leave to cool a little. Coarsely chop the couverture and gradually adding it to the syrup. Stir until it forms a thick liquid. To test that the glaze is the right consistency, let a little of the glaze run over a wooden spoon. It should now be covered by a layer of glaze approximately 4 mm thick. If the glaze is too thick, add a few drops of sugar syrup to dilute it (to do so, loosen any remaining sugar in the saucepan with a little hot water). Make sure the glaze does not get too hot because it will be dull when cooked and not glossy.
Where to find the best Sacher Torte in Vienna
Where to find the best Sacher Torte in Vienna

15 thoughts on “Best Sacher Torte in Vienna

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    1. I visited in July so I would really like to return near Christmas to see a whole different perspective of Vienna.

  1. We visited Vienna last summer and tried the legendary Sacher Torte. Your post made me want to start traveling again. I miss rumbling the streets of Vienna.

  2. Great post! I appreciated reading about the history of Sacher Torte. It’s hard to believe that a recipe a man came up with with what he had in the kitchen would become one of the most famous desserts in the world. I must admit, I have never had the pleasure of trying it, but after reading your post I must! Maybe I will try my hand at baking some during this quarantine, thanks for sharing the recipe.

  3. I have so many fond memories of Sacher Torte in Vienna. Hubby is a chocoholic so we absolutely had to search out this treat. We too made sure we visited Cafe Sacher to find an original version. Thanks for providing the recipe. But this is one of those things I save for eating out!

  4. This looks so yummy.Love reading about Sacher Torte of Vienna.Love reading about the history of Sacher Torte, looks a treat.I would definitely try recipe as you give in post.

  5. I made a brief visit to Vienna many decades ago and like you, we had to seek out Sacher Torte. It looks like the price has risen since my visit but the taste is just as wonderful! Thank you for sharing more history of this delicious treat!

  6. Oooh the Sacher torte is one of my favourite cakes! I had a slice at the famous Café Sacher during my trip to Vienna a couple of years ago. I had to wait in line for a while in order to get a table, I didn’t know we could book in advance, good tip! And thank you for the recipe, I might try making it 🙂

  7. He stepped in when another chef was sick and created this? Wow, he was destined!
    We were planning to visit Vienna this year but with Covid, I doubt if we’ll make it this year.
    I can see how decadent it is! Ofcourse one slice is enough! I don’t think I can even finish 1 slice!

    1. Yes it’s quite a good back story behind the Sachertorte. Despite having basic ingredients it tastes very decadent.

  8. Loved this post for two reasons. One that you made me nostalgic about the Danube River Cruise that we undertook only last summer while in Vienna and the other was our having Sacher Torte all the three days we were there. It was just yummy.

  9. I have book marked this for the recipe. That cake just looks yummy and am gonna make this once I have the right ingredients (lockdown has affected the supply). Very interesting to know how this became famous. A total opportunity that the substitute chef took on. I haven’t been to vienna as yet but when I do, I am going to look up that cafe for the authentic taste of this piece.

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