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The Original Recipe for Sacher Torte

By Ippolita Douglas Scotti:

Hotel Sacher, Vienna, 1890

I adore Sacher Torte! I even went to the Hotel Sacher in Vienna and tasted the original version. Obviously, I tried to replicate it at home, doing my best to recreate the recipe from the fabulous hotel. It was fantastic!

This sweet and sumptuous masterpiece has an interesting story. When you taste a bite of Sacher Torte, you taste a slice of 1800s Vienna history.

In1832, the court of Prince Metternich requested a dessert for a special occasion. But the chef was ill at the time, so a young apprentice named Franz Sacher took his place. He was only 16 years old and was already a patisserie genius. The cake he created was a simple yet indulgent recipe of chocolate cake with a thin layer of apricot jam.

In 1876, Franz’s son, Eduard Sacher, opened a luxury café in the hotel and decided that the cake created by his father should become the trademark of the hotel, sharing the family name of Sacher.

Here is the original recipe! Enjoy your Sacher Torte with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream . . . and dream of Vienna!

Sacher Torte

4 oz (130 g) dark chocolate (the original recipe calls for dark couverture chocolate (min. 55% cocoa content)

1 vanilla pod

5 oz (150 g) softened butter

3.5 oz (100 g) icing sugar

6 eggs

5 oz (140 g) flour

3.5 oz (100 g) apricot jam

7 oz (200 g) castor sugar

5 oz (150 g) dark chocolate for the glaze

Unsweetened whipped cream to garnish

Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C).

Use a springform pan lined with parchment paper. Grease the sides with a smear of butter, followed by a light dusting of flour.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over boiling water. Let cool slightly.

Slit the vanilla pod lengthwise to scrape out the seeds. In a mixing bowl, beat the softened butter with sugar and vanilla seeds. When bubbles appear, it is ready.

Separate the eggs. One at a time, whisk the egg yolks into the butter mixture. Gradually add melted chocolate.

Beat the egg whites with the castor sugar until stiff. Gently spoon on top of the butter and chocolate mixture.

Sift the flour directly over the mixture, then carefully fold in the flour and beaten egg whites. Don't overwork it!

Fill the springform with the mixture, smoothing the top. Bake for 50 minutes on the middle rack of the oven.

Remove the cake from the oven. Carefully loosen the sides of the springform pan. Gently invert the cake onto a parchment lined cake cooling rack. Let cool for 20 minutes. Peel off the baking paper. Turn the cake over and leave the cake to cool completely.

Cut the cake in half horizontally. Warm the jam in a saucepan, stirring it until smooth. Brush the top of both cake halves with the jam and replace one on top of the other.

Now it's time to make a glaze by combining the sugar and 4 oz (125 ml) water in a saucepan. Boil over high heat for approximately 5 minutes until it turns into a syrup. When it is done, remove from the stove and let it cool a bit.

Coarsely chop the remaining chocolate and gradually add to the syrup. Stir until smooth and thick.

Pour the glaze over the top of the cake and let it set for at least two hours.


Contessa Ippolita Douglas Scotti di Vigileno is a true Italian—born in Florence, Italy, from a long line of eccentric Italian aristocrats, she has traveled the world in search of adventure, romance, and magical, mouth-watering recipes. "Ippo" loves Italian history, especially as it relates to food. Author of There's a Beatle in My Soup, Curcuma e Zenzero (Ginger & Tumeric), 101 Perche Sulla Storia di Firenze (101 questions on Florence History), The Grimore, The Magic of the Moon, and Magic Herbs (all published by Newton Compton Publishers).

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