Sacher Torte

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Yield: One 9" layer cake

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According to the Sacher Hotel website, the story of the legendary chocolate cake filled with apricot jam began in 1832 in Vienna. Franz Sacher was a 16-year old apprentice at the court of Prince Metternich when he was asked to create an especially delicious dessert for distinguished guests. The guests loved it, and it became known as the Sacher-Torte.

This classic chocolate cake is both light and rich at the same time, with an airy cake, a simple apricot jam filling and a decadent bittersweet glaze. As the cake sits to allow the glaze to set, the jam becomes absorbed into the cake and forms a slightly sweet moist layer in the center, an exquisite finish to any holiday or special occasion.

Sacher Torte

star rating (7) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: One 9" layer cake
Published: 12/11/2010


Sacher Cake

Chocolate Glaze

  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate discs, such as Belcolade
  • 1 cup boiling water

Tips from our bakers

  • A traditional decoration for Sacher Torte is to pipe the word Sacher on top with melted chocolate once the glaze is set. If you prefer you can pipe simple swirls on top, or leave the cake plain. It will still taste just as good!


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1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray one 9" by 2" round cake pan with cooking spray and line with parchment. Spritz the parchment lightly as well. If your pan isn't at least 2" deep, use two pans instead of one.

2) Over low heat or in the microwave melt the chocolate slowly, stirring well.

3) In a small bowl, lightly beat the 8 egg yolks. Add the melted chocolate, melted butter, and vanilla. Blend until smooth and satiny, with no lumps or unincorporated yolks.

4) In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the 8 egg whites with a pinch of salt until they begin to foam. Slowly add the sugar, then beat on high speed until the whites hold a stiff peak but are still glossy.

5) Using a wide rubber spatula, mix about 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate/yolk mixture to lighten it. Now, pour the lightened chocolate mixture over the rest of the whites in the bowl. Fold gently, using about 20 to 30 strokes.

6) Sprinkle the cake flour over the chocolate batter and continue to fold gently until there are no traces of egg white remaining.

7) Pour the batter into the pan(s). Bake until the cake is puffed and dry looking on top, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean: 40 to 45 minutes for a single pan, 20 to 25 minutes for two pans. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan(s) for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Be sure to peel off the parchment circle while the cake is still warm.

8) While the cake is cooling, strain the apricot jam through a fine sieve to remove any bits of fruit and make a smooth filling.

9) Filling the cake: If you used one cake pan, you will need to split the layer before filling. Use a long, sharp serrated knife to split the cake into two even layers. If you used two pans, simply spread the apricot jam between the layers, leaving 1/2 inch around the border so that the jam does not squeeze out over the sides of the cake.

10) For the chocolate water glaze: Place the filled cake on a wire rack over a parchment lined baking sheet. Melt the chocolate in a deep, heat safe bowl in the microwave. As soon as it is melted and no lumps remain, vigorously stir in the boiling water. If you go too slowly the chocolate may seize, so incorporate the two ingredients quickly.

11) As soon as the glaze is smooth, immediately pour over the cake. The excess glaze will drip off of the cake onto the parchment paper. You can scoop up the excess glaze to cover any bare spots on the cake. Use a flexible spatula to help spread the glaze on the top and sides of the cake, but do not overwork the glaze or it will not remain smooth and sleek.

12) Allow the glaze to set up at room temperature for a few hours before serving. This cake is best served the day it's made. Store any leftovers at room temperature for 1 day.

Yield: one 9" cake.


  • star rating 04/10/2015
  • Misty from Baltimore
  • I loved the cake part of this recipe, light, gently sweet, moist and easy to make. Based on the reviews I went with a different ganache/chocolate drizzle and it set hard, but that was my own fault, the ratio of liquid to chocolate was off. I baked my cake in 2 9" pans and it would have been better to bake it in one deep pan and cut cake in half because my two rounds didn't stack perfectly. I also didn't strain apricot preserves, I like different textural experience it provides. Cake has been getting great comments from co-workers all day.

    Be sure to use a quality melting chocolate (wafers are best) when making the chocolate ganache. To ensure you have the right ratio of liquid to chocolate, you can weigh your ingredients using a scale (about 6 ounces of chocolate) and 8 ounces of boiling water. We're so glad your co-workers loved this recipe as much we do! Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  • star rating 02/17/2015
  • Lailabakes from New Jersey
  • Easy cake.....A better glaze is to make a 2:1 simple syrup with 200g Sugar ( 1 Cup) with 100 ml water, simmer for a few minutes and pour that on 6 or 7 ounces chocolate instead of boiling water, cool a few minutes before using on cake.
  • star rating 05/25/2014
  • neomi from virginia
  • The cake itself was beautiful, but the glaze was a mess! As others wrote, the water/chocolate ratio must be off. Unfortunately, I read the review only after I glazed my cake. It did look very watery, but I never made water glaze before, and KAF recipes (which I use for years, from both cookbooks and the website) always work, so I went ahead. Well, most off the glaze went to waste, and the cake was not the beautiful shiny Sacher pictured at the website. I covered ugly glaze with fruit, and the flavor was still very good. My 5 year old, who requested this for his birthday, didn't notice the problem with the glaze, and liked the cake, so it was fine, but KAF, please correct the glaze recipe. Thanks!
    I put in a question about this recipe to Bakersresource because there have been several comments about the glaze having too much water in it. Waiting for a response. Barb@KAF
  • star rating 04/07/2012
  • ronnieviv from KAF Community
  • Delicious and a lovely presentation. Best to eat on day of baking or next day. Icing: definitely, only 1/4 cup boiling water needed for 1 cup Belcolade chocolate discs; be sure to wisk water in gradually and quickly. I used Sarabeth's peach/apricot preserves but did not strain.
  • star rating 01/03/2011
  • DegaBaker from KAF Community
  • This was a big hit at Christmas dinner. I baked the cakes in 2 separate 8" pie pans to save from having to slice it. Since I couldn't find the good chocolate in town, I used Bakers Semi-Sweet squares, 6 for the cake and 6 for the icing. It took a long time for the icing to set, but did not negatively affect it.
  • star rating 12/25/2010
  • Courtney from Paris. TX
  • Cake is very good, but lighter chocolate than other Sacher tortes I've had (in Europe). The glaze definitely needs adjusting; there's way too much water, as rfalstad pointed out. I had to add about 22 oz. of chocolate to make it workable, and that made way too much glaze for this cake. I think the recipe should probably read 1/4 c. water.
  • star rating 12/14/2010
  • rfalstad from KAF Community
  • This was delicious -- once I fixed the glaze. Pretty sure the proportions are off on the glaze. Mixing 6 oz chocolate with 8 oz water just gets you brown water -- not a glaze. Added lots more chocolate, & it was just right. Truly one of the most delicious chocolate cakes I've tasted.

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