Sacher Torte Recipe

The classic Sacher Torte is made with chocolate cake layers, apricot preserves and a shiny chocolate-glaze finish. It’s a lovely cake fit for any occasion.

a sacher torte on a glass cake plate

For my first job fresh out of pastry school, I worked for a well known Austrian pastry chef at his wholesale bakery. The guy was old-school with very strict standards and he maintained a pretty intense work environment.

Though he was a harsh task master, the recipes I got from the Austrian pastry chef are rock solid. More than 25 years later I still use them.  Sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to translate one of those recipes for home baking.

I’ve had the classic Sachertorte recipe on my list of post ideas for quite some time. I finally looked up the recipe in my old book so I could share it with you.

After baking, decorating, slicing and photographing the cake I took a taste. It seemed a little dry to me. This is a different kind of cake from the usual rich butter cakes filled with buttercream. But still, I wasn’t happy with it and knew it could be better.

I waited a day and tasted the cake again. It was a little better. I think the preserves had a chance to absorb into the cake, making it a little softer. But I still wasn’t satisfied. The basic ingredients wouldn’t change, but it did need some tweaking.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Cake flour 
  • Baking powder
  • Table salt
  • Unsalted butter 
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs 
  • Vanilla extract
  • Semi sweet chocolate 
  • Apricot preserves 
  • Dark rum 
  • Corn syrup

How to make Sacher Torte

A bowl of batter and a bowl of melted chocolate. A bowl of whipped egg whites and a bowl of chocolate batter.
  • Make the cake batter base. Fold some of the batter into the melted chocolate to lighten it, then fold that back into the batter.
  • In three batches, fold the whipped whites into the chocolate cake batter.
a chocolate cake before and after baking.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the center of the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Allow the cake to cool completely.
  • Slice the crust off the top of the cake then “torte” the cake into 2 even layers.
Apricot preserves spreading on a chocolate cake. Apricot preserves in a strainer.
  • Spread apricot preserves over the bottom layer of the cake. Top with the other layer.
  • Strain the preserves to remove the large chunks of fruit.
  • Ice the cake with the strained apricot preserves and let the cake air dry for at least 1 hour.
  • Pour the chocolate glaze over the cake and let the glaze set before decorating.

How to Get the Right Texture for Your Sacher Torte

As we learned in the Science of Cake Batter Series, a cake batter has structure builders and tenderizers. Since the cake was a little dry, I needed to up the tenderizers and reduce the structure builders.

Sugar is a tenderizer, so I increased the sugar from 3/4 cup in the original recipe to a full cup. I reduced the eggs (structure builder) from 9 to 8 and reduced the other structure builder (flour) from 1 1/4 cups to 1 cup.

That did the trick. This cake still has the classic taste and texture of a true Sachertorte, but is a little softer. I do like the cake better after a day or two when the preserves have had time to absorb into the cake. Which means, of course, that this is a great recipe to make ahead.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • For the cake batter, melt the chocolate and allow it to cool enough that it’s still liquid, but it won’t melt the butter when you add it to the batter.
  • Make sure the mixing bowl is perfectly clean for whipping the egg whites.
  • I prefer to bake 1 cake and split it into two layers for a softer crumb. If you’re not comfortable splitting (torting) a cake you can bake the cake in 2 pans.
  • Make sure to let the apricot coating set before glazing the cake with the chocolate. You’ll get a nicer finish if the apricot isn’t runny when you glaze the cake.
  • To glaze the cake, pour all the glaze on the top of the cake. Use a small offset spatula to push the glaze over the sides of the cake and to fill in any holes before the glaze sets.
  • Once the glaze sets, slide a spatula under the cake to detach it from the rack. Lift the cake onto a serving plate.

Recipe FAQs

What is Sacher Torte?

Sacher torte was invented by Austrian Chef Franz Sacher. A classic Sachertorte is made up of chocolate cake layers filled with apricot preserves and covered in dark chocolate glaze. It is often served with unsweetened whipped cream. The “original” cake is still sold at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna.

What’s the difference between gateaux, cake and torte?

Gateaux is plural for “gateau” which is the French word for cake. Torte is a German word for cake and usually refers to a cake with multiple layers.

Is a Sachertorte harder to make than a soufflé? Why or why not?

Sachertorte is easier to make than a souffle. Although you have to whip egg whites as you do for a souffle, a sacher torte batter has flour that stabilizes the mixture so it can not “fall” like a souffle.

a slice of sacher torte on a white plate
sacher torte

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sacher torte
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4.60 from 232 reviews

Classic Sacher Torte Recipe

This recipe for the classic Sacher Torte is one I learned to make when I worked for a well-known Austrian pastry chef.
Prep Time1 hour
Bake Time45 minutes
Drying & Setting Time2 hours
Total Time3 hours 45 minutes
12 servings
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  • 4 ½ ounces cake flour (1 cup, see note)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter (1 cup, room temperature)
  • 8 ounces granulated sugar (1 cup, divided in half)
  • 8 large eggs (separated, room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 6 ounces semi sweet chocolate (melted)


  • 18 ounces apricot preserves (1 ½ cups)
  • 2 ounces dark rum (¼ cup)
  • 8 ounces semi sweet chocolate (chopped)
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter (½ cup)
  • 1 ½ ounces corn syrup (2 tablespoons)



  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line the bottom of a 9"x3" cake pan with parchment paper or butter and flour the bottom of the pan. You don't need to butter/flour the sides of the pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
    4 ½ ounces cake flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • Cream the butter and ½ the granulated sugar until light and aerated, about 1-2 minutes. Add the egg yolks and vanilla, mix until combined. Mix in the sifted dry ingredients, don't over mix. Whisk the melted chocolate into the batter.
    8 ounces unsalted butter, 8 ounces granulated sugar, 8 large eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 6 ounces semi sweet chocolate
  • Whip the egg whites to soft peak. Slowly add the remaining sugar and whip to full peak. Fold the egg whites into the batter in 3rds, mixing just until there are no streaks of egg white visible.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spread to an even level and bake until the middle of the cake springs back when pressed or a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes.
  • Cool for 10 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a cooling rack until completely cooled (see note).


  • Stir the rum into the apricot preserves.
    18 ounces apricot preserves, 2 ounces dark rum
  • Using a serrated knife, trim the top of the cake so it's flat. Split the cake horizontally into 2 layers. Place the bottom layer onto an 8" cardboard cake round (it makes handling the cake easier). Spread ⅓ of the apricot mixture onto the bottom layer and place the top layer onto the cake.
  • Warm the remaining apricot preserves in the microwave for 30 seconds. Strain the preserves into a clean bowl to remove the chunky bits of fruit. Ice the top and sides of the cake with the strained apricot preserves. Place the cake onto a cooling rack set over a clean sheet pan. Allow the cake to air-dry for at least an hour.
  • Microwave the the chocolate with the butter in 30 second increments until both are melted. Add the corn syrup to the chocolate/butter mixture. Pour the warm glaze over the cake, using a small spatula to fill in any gaps. Allow the glaze to set before moving to a serving platter.
    8 ounces semi sweet chocolate, 4 ounces unsalted butter, 1 ½ ounces corn syrup
  • For the traditional design, pipe the word "Sacher" onto the cake using melted chocolate. You can use any extra glaze to pipe a border on the cake. Store and serve at room temperature.
  • The assembled cake will improve for a day or two after being iced as the apricot preserves absorb into the cake.

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If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.
The cake can be baked a day or two before assembly, or can be made several weeks ahead and frozen.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 627kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 172mg | Sodium: 117mg | Potassium: 276mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 884IU | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 3mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. If you don’t have a 9 x 3 round, what can you use? I have an 8 x 3 spring form pan and a 9 x2 round cake pan, but no 9 x 3.

  2. 5 stars
    This is the best Sacher Torte recipe I’ve found! It was so easy to make and came out perfectly. Will definitely make it again – probably before the first one is finished 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe is what I remembered, when I first made Sacher Torte. The first taste. I had of the cake was in Vienna, one of my memorable experiences! Thank you❤️

  4. Made it the other day. It was fabulous!it does not look as good as yours, but it was delicious!

  5. This sounds like a great recipe, but I’m confused. The instructions say to use a 9”x3” pan, but then you’re to use an 8” cake board? How does that work?

    1. Using a cake board isn’t strictly necessary, but a board on the bottom makes it easier to handle the cake. Cake boards generally come in evenly numbered 2″ increments. You can use an 8″ or 10″. I find using a slightly smaller size is easier so the board isn’t wider than the cake. You can leave the board under the cake when you glaze it and then it’s easy to lift the glazed cake and transfer it to a pretty cake stand or plate. You can also use a 10″ cardboard and trim it to the size of the cake.

  6. Great recipe! One of the BEST recipes found on internet which I didn’t have to adjust it with anything. Thank you so much for sharing it with us! Even my son who doesn’t like chocolate has eaten this cake, the whole slice, which is a first!

  7. The Torte was delishous. My rating was supposed to be 5 stars. I was careful to mix the dry and ingredients but my cake deflated. How can I avoid it or is it normal? I was able to cut it in half. I am making it again next week for work and thought I ask.

    1. You can see in the photos the top of my cake was crackled. The top does tend to puff up (from the whipped whites) and then “settle” as it cools.

  8. Can I ask how long baking time would be, approximately, if baked in two tins? Just put mine in haha, will check at 30!

  9. Honestly, the cake was horrible. I made it exactly as the recipe said and it was so eggy, didn’t have a good structure at all and the texture was really. The icing was the only thing that was good about this cake. Definitely wouldn’t make again.

  10. I’ve been reading and reading from Wayne glissen pastry book and he recommends Krishna,but I saw a substitute would amaretto. Do you think that would be a good substitute for kirsch?

    1. I use rum because I love rum and chocolate together and that’s how I was taught by the Austrian pastry chef I worked for. You can use your favorite liquor of choice.

  11. Hello. Would agave nectar work as a substitute for corn syrup? Or is it better to leave it out of the glaze entirely? Thank you.

    1. The corn syrup is in there to give the glaze a little shine. I don’t use agave nectar much so can’t say for sure. If it has a thick consistency like corn syrup it should be ok. You can just leave it out altogether too.

    1. This cake can stay at room temperature for several days since the only filling is the apricot preserves. Just place a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper over the cut end to keep it from drying out. You can also wrap and freeze individual slices for longer term keeping.

  12. Hello. I see that some chefs use almond paste or even almond flour to maker Sacher cake. Would you consider this? Can one add almond flour to the recipe without compromising the texture?

    1. It’s possible, but it will change the texture of the cake. Use the butter for creaming as specified in the recipe. I would use 3 oz of oil to replace the 4 oz of butter. Otherwise, the batter might get too loose. Add the oil after the eggs then continue with the recipe as written. Let me know how it turns out. If you don’t mind me asking, why do you want to replace the butter? I only ask because if I know why I might be able to give other options.

  13. Im a little confused. The recipe calls for 1 cup of flour (4oz), 1 cup butter (8oz), and 1 1/2 cup apricot preserves (18oz). I’m thinking 1 cup is equal to 8oz, which would make 8oz flour and 12oz preserves, or am I missing something? Many thanks in advance for the clarification.

    1. The weight of a cup will depend on the density of the ingredient being weighed. Butter is denser than flour so a cup of butter weighs more than a cup of flour. Apricot preserves are more dense than both flour and butter so a cup of preserves weighs more than a cup of those ingredients.

  14. I’m excited to make this cake for a friend who loves this cake. Is there a substitution for the run in the apricot filling? Thank you.

    1. Yes, you can just leave the rum out if you don’t do alcohol. If you don’t mind the alcohol but are worried about the flavor, the rum isn’t super strong tasting.

  15. Hi Eileen,

    I am really looking forward to making your Sacher Torte, but would you please advise the reason for not buttering the pan? Thank you.

    1. Hi Lorraine, thanks for pointing that out. It was poorly worded in the recipe and I’ve edited it for clarity. After running a bunch of tests (and after 10 years of having a cake business) I found that there is no need to butter/flour the sides of a round cake pan. I always use a parchment round for cakes, but even if you are buttering and flouring the pan just do the bottom. I found that the cakes rise slightly better when they can grip the sides of the pan. To release the cake, run a paring knife or small spatula around the sides. Let me know how the cake works out.

  16. Could you be a little more soecific as to which chocolate is best for this cake? I have Guittard and Ghiradeli on hand on they have different percentages.

    1. Hi Lorraine, I used a 62% Callebaut for this recipe. I think any good semi or bittersweet chocolate would work well.