One of my favorite restaurants in NYC serves the most beautiful Austrian desserts in an old time-y, wood paneled room that feels like a time capsule that sends you straight to Inter-war Europe.  My favorite dessert there, the “Sachertorte” apparently derived its name from a famous hotel in Vienna called the “Hotel Sacher” where this dessert was first made.


According to the cookbook this recipe derived from, this cake was invented by a sixteen-year-old pastry apprentice named “Franz Sacher” for Prince Klemens von Metternich.  In 1876, his son Eduard opened the now famous “Hotel Sacher” where this is still served today.  After having tried this famous dessert on both sides of the pond, I still think the one from NYC is better, and so I was over the moon when the chef published a cookbook and included the recipe for this dessert!


  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup cake flour, sifted
  • All-purpose flour for dusting

Rum Syrup and Jam

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp dark rum
  • 1.5 cup smooth raspberry (or apricot) jam (Don’t get preserves; while the cake will taste just as good, it will look a little lumpy as mine does below because of all the fruit chunks)


  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped ( 1cup)
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter


  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Brush a 9″ round cake pan with butter and dust lightly with flour.
  2. In a double boiler, heat the chocolate until just melted.  Remove from the heat and stir until smooth.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside for now.
  4. In a large bowl, using a hand-held (or standing) mixer, beat the butter with the confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition until smooth.  Add the melted chocolate and beat until just combined.
  6. In another large bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites at medium speed until slightly thickened and foamy, about 2minutes.  Gradually add the granulated sugar, and beat until the whites hold a soft peak.  Using a rubber spatula, stir one-third of the beaten egg whites into the yolk mixutre to lighten it.  Gently fold this mixture into the remaining egg whites until just smooth.  Fold in the cake flour.
  7. Using a spatula, spread the batter into the prepared pan.  Transfer to the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, 35-45 minutes.  Remove the cake from the oven and carefully flip it onto the prepared baking sheet.  Let the cake cool for about 20 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, make the rum syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with the water and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.  Stir in the rum, remove from heat, and let it cool.
  9. Generously brush the cake all over with some of the rum syrup, reserve the remaining syrup.  Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  10. Cut the cake horizontally in half.  Brush each cut side generously with the rum syrup.  Spread 1/2 cup of the jam evenly over the bottom of the cake.  Set the other half on top.  Spread the remaining 1 cup of jam evenly over the top and sides of the cake.  Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
  11. Make the glaze: In a double boiler, melt the chocolate with the butter until melted.  Remove from the heat, stir until smooth and let cool only slightly (too cool and the mixture will harden).  Remove the cake from the refrigerator.
  12. Pour the glaze over the top and sides of the cake, and then spread it evenly over the cake.  I like to put my cake on a cooling rack, put foil or something else below it, and then drizzle the chocolate so that it falls smoothly on the sides.  Refrigerate the cake until the glaze is set (yes, another 5-10 minutes of waiting before eating!) before serving.
  13. Transfer the cake to a cake plate, and serve (with whipped cream it is even more decadent!)


From Neue Cuisine: The Elegant Tastes of Vienna by Kurt Gutenbrunner

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