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Sacher Torte

Author: MaryJane Robbins

Sacher Torte Recipe

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.
Thanks to reader feedback, the glaze recipe has been updated as of 03/15/17 to make a thicker, but still glossy topping

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At a glance

Prep
Bake
Total
Yield
One 9" layer cake

Ingredients

Choose your measure:

Sacher Cake

  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate discs, such as Belcolade
  • 8 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar, superfine prefered
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam

Chocolate Glaze

  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate discs, such as Belcolade
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup sugar

Instructions

  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 glaze: Place the filled cake on a wire rack over a parchment lined baking sheet. Place the chocolate, water and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently until the glaze is smooth, shiny and slightly thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  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.
  13. Yield: one 9" cake.