Why Was Vienna’s Chocolate Cake An Accident?

Why Was Vienna’s Chocolate Cake An Accident?

Have you ever considered some of the foods you love were made accidental? We’ve all heard some of the most bizarre food inventions that made us laugh or entertained, however when it comes to impressing a Prince it’s either a life or death situation (Okay I joke, it wasn’t that serious). This was how the famous Sachertorte was born and how it became a traditional icon in Vienna (and across the globe).


Let’s Look At Vienna’s Famous Accidental Chocolate Cake…



Sachertorte was invented by Austrian confectioner Franz Sacher in 1832. During the court of Prince Metternich he ordered his court’s kitchen to create a special dessert for his high ranking guests without shame. The head chef was taken ill and the task was left to a young apprentice. You guessed it, Franz Sacher. The verdict? A success. Metternich’s guests were delighted with the cake. After Franz’s training was completed he opened a delicatessen and wine shop. And the chocolate cake?

In 1876, Eduard Sacher (Franz’s son) decided to continue his father’s legacy by opening a luxurious hotel in Vienna’s city centre. Sachertorte will be the trademark of the hotel while keeping the family cake recipe a secret.




The cake is simply a chocolate base coated in a thin layer of chocolate icing. Inside the layers of the cake is covered with a high quality apricot jam. Lastly a thick cream is served to complement the cake’s dense texture.




The long dispute between Hotel Sacher and Demel on who was the true holder of ‘The Original Sachertorte’ recipe. Eduard Sacher originally wrote the recipe while working as a chef in Demel after Hotel Sacher went bankrupt in 1934. In 1938, the new owners of Hotel Sacher sold Sachertortes under the title ‘The Original Sorte Torte’ and then sued Demel in 1954 for claiming the trademark rights.

After a court settlement in 1963. Both agreed that the phrase for ‘The Original Sachertore’ went to Hotel Sacher and the triangular seals which was used to decorate the tortes which read ‘Eduard-Sacher-Torte’ went to Demel. Thus ending the battle after seven years.

Demel is one of the top bakeries in the world. You can view the bakers in action in the viewing area.




Personally it’s nothing amazing, but that doesn’t mean it was a disappointing experience. It’s just simply chocolate cake with a secret recipe. Although most chocolate cakes we see today are fully loaded with heavy ingredients such as cream, buttermilk.etc. Sachertorte was quite light and not too rich. Every piece you bit into was somewhat dry, but when you combine it with the thick cream it gave a moist texture. It’s quite refreshing to find a cake that isn’t overloaded with sugar so I was quite pleased.

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to go to both places so I ended up choosing Demel. I can’t judge Hotel Sacher’s cake as I haven’t tried it yet, but after researching I’ve found that compared to Demel’s cake, Hotel Sacher contains more layers and prepared differently. Sachertorte is a well known dessert which is one of the most popular tourist visits in Vienna. You can find different copies of them around the world but only two places serve the original recipe.. so you might as well try it out for yourself and review on what you think about it.



Source : austria.info





  1. August 23, 2018 / 8:55 am

    Even though I’m not the greatest fan of chocolate based desserts, I found this post really interesting in terms of the history. I have tried teh torte previously, I found it to be quite a rich decadent kind of treat. Great read Sarah.

    • Sarah
      September 22, 2018 / 6:16 pm

      Thanks for commenting Bejal! I totally agree I’m not really a chocolate person when it comes to cakes or ice cream, but I couldn’t resist trying Vienna’s most arguable cake haha. I think all the other torte I’ve tried were quite rich and heavy so maybe this is why I was quite surprised. Thank you for popping by Bejal.

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