Home to one of the world’s most famous cakes – the Sachertorte, Vienna, Austria boasts a wide selection of sweet treats that you must try on your trip to the capital. From a high-end patisserie to a small corner bakery or the Naschmarkt known as ‘snack market’, a tempting array of pastries and cakes in Vienna will satisfy even the sweetest of teeth.
As the most well-known Viennese pastry in Austria, the simple and unpretentious apple strudel (Apfelstrudel) is a must-try dessert when exploring the capital of Austria. With its meaning of ‘strudel’ in Germany as ‘whirlpool’, this pastry includes layers of flaky pastry rolled up to encase the filling. Traditionally, Strudel is served in thin slices in order to reveal the delectable pattern created by its mouthwatering layers of pastry and baked apple. Tart-cooked apples, sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and breadcrumbs make up the filling. The flaky exterior layers of pastry contrast beautifully with the somewhat stodgy middle, which combines a sticky-sweet filling with the crisp bite of thinly sliced apples.
Coming from the Waldviertel region of Austria which is the northwest of Lower Austria and borders the Czech Republic, the little pastry called Mohnzelten is made up of a poppy seed paste that is enveloped in a potato pastry and baked into small domes. The slightly salty pastry with a texture similar to shortcrust offsets the sweetness of the filling. Aside from the original poppy seed version, you can also enjoy Mohnzelten with the filling of strawberries or nuts. Take a tour around Vienna and you can easily find the savoury pastries that will treat your tastebuds.
Invented by Franz Sacher in 1832, Sachertorte is an iconic cake that used to be served as a special dessert to Prince Wenzel von Metternich and several important guests of the Metternich. Two layers of dense chocolate sponge encasing a thin slice of apricot jam, all topped in chocolate ganache, make up the Sachertorte pastry. In order to get a true Vienna taste, you can enjoy Sachertorte with a dollop of whipped cream. In Austria, there is even a day to celebrate this dessert which is knowns as National Sachertorte Day taking place on 5 December when Austrians are encouraged to enjoy their chocolatey national heritage.
PUNSCHKRAPFEN – ONE OF THE MOST EYE-CATCHING PASTRIES
Attracting foodies with its hot-pink icing topped by a glacé cherry or fancy chocolate piping, Punschkrapfen (punch cake) is a pastry that you will not want to miss. The small cuboid pastries consist of layers of cake crumbs, nougat, chocolate, and apricot jam. The whole is generously soaked in rum that is the thick, pink icing that coats the outside, known as Punschglasur. While this treatment may be smaller in size than the other cakes, the colour of the icing warns and its sweetness will definitely have you falling in love.
Named after the classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who came from Salzburg in Austria, the unique pastry is a must for those who have sweet tooth. This cake is inspired by Mozartkugeln with nougat balls with a soft, truffle-like consistency and pistachio marzipan, topped with chocolate. Another version of Mozart Torte at popular traditional Viennese patisserie Aida is two layers of chocolate sponge with a thin layer of bright-green pistachio marzipan in between, covered in chocolate ganache and topped with a small chocolate disc with Mozart’s little face on. If you are planning to travel to Vienna, Austria, drop by a small corner bakery to relish one of the unique sweet treats.
The mouth-watering cake of Esterhazytorte is named after Prince Paul III Anton Esterházy de Galántha, a 19th-century diplomat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Invented in Budapest in the late 19th century, the classic pastry soon found a place in Viennese patisseries with an array of variations.
The buttercream infused with liqueur that is sandwiched between beautifully thin layers of almond or hazelnut meringue dough and topped with a white fondant icing with a distinctive chocolate pattern on top creates the eye-catching cake of Esterhazytorte. The sides of the cake are covered in nuts, usually flaked almonds, creating a creative interplay of textures. Light sponge, soft buttercream, chewy fondant icing, and crunchy almonds all come together to create a harmonic, inventive treat.