Classic Sachertorte (Austria)

READY IN: 2hrs 45mins
SERVES: 12-16
YIELD: 1 cake




  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and position the rack to the center of the oven.
  • Lightly butter a 7-inch springform pan and line with parchment: dust the sides with flour and tap out an excess.
  • In a double-boiler, melt the chocolate over simmering water; remover from heat and stir until cooled.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter using medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Switch to low speed, beat in the powdered sugar, then return to medium-high, and beat until fluffy and lighter in color and texture, about 2 minutes.
  • Beat in the egg yolks first, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl; beat in the chocolate and the vanilla.
  • In another large bowl, beat the egg whites with the castor sugar, using high speed, until they form soft, shiny peaks.
  • Stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining, leaving some strips of white showing.
  • Sift half the flour over the sugar, then fold in; repeat with remaining flour.
  • Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the sides of the springform pan and invert the cake onto the rack, remove the paper and re-invert to turn right side up and let cool completely.
  • Use a serrated knife to trim the top of the cake to make it level; cut the cake horizontally to make two even layers.
  • Place the bottom layer on an 8-inch cardboard cake round; brush the top of the layer with half the warm apricot glaze.
  • Place the second layer on top, then brush with the remaining glaze; transfer the cake to a wire rack that has been set over a jellyroll pan (to catch drips) and let the glaze set.
  • Pour the warm chocolate glaze over top and use an offset spatula to gently spread the glaze all over, including the sides, so that the cake is completely covered; use any glaze that drips to patch missed spots.
  • Once glaze has begun to set, place cake on a serving platter and cool completely in the refrigerator at least an hour; let the cake stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.
  • If desired, serve with a saucer of unsweetened whipped cream for dipping.
  • For the apricot glaze: In a small saucepan, bring the preserves and rum (or water) to a boil over medium heat, stirring often; cook, stirring, until very sticky and does not easily leave the spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Strain through a wire sieve, pressing on the solids. Use warm.
  • For the chocolate glaze: In another small saucepan, heat the sugar, water, and chocolate to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, stirring, until it reaches 234 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 5 minutes. Remover from heat and stir to cool for about 1 minute. Use immediately and do not scrape the pan (the chocolate that clings to the saucepan will not be a glaze, it is too thick).


“This is Vienna's "Pride and Glory." This recipe is adapted from Rick Rodgers' "Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafes of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague."”