The Great Sachertorte Debate: is Sacher or Demel the best?

The Sachertorte rivalry between Hotel Sacher and Demel in Vienna is legendary. But who exactly invented the original recipe?


Vienna is food heaven.

If you have been there, then you surely must have tried a couple of Vienna’s classic foods: Wiener Schnitzel, Tafelspitz, Fiakergulasch, Apfelstrüdel and Kaiserschmarrn just to name a few.

And what about the famous Sachertorte?

Have you tasted it before?

Ah, the age-old question that has haunted Vienna for over two centuries: who makes the best Sachertorte?

Sacher or Demel?

This classic Viennese dessert has been the subject of passionate debate since it was first created in 1832. And with good reason. Sachertorte is an indulgent, chocolatey delight that has delighted Viennese palates for almost two centuries.

So, who makes the best one?

Let’s find out more about this decades old dispute.

Franz Sacher

The Sachertorte is a popular dessert that originated in Vienna, Austria in 1832.

It is a chocolate cake filled with apricot jam and covered with chocolate icing.

The original Sachertorte was created by Franz Sacher, a 16-year-old apprentice party chef who was working at the court of Prince Metternich in Vienna, Austria. Rumor goes that head chef Chambellier fell ill the day the prince wanted his kitchen staff to come up with a totally new cake for a special event.

Franz Sacher created a dense chocolate cake made with butter, sugar, eggs, flour and chocolate, filled with apricot jam and covered with a smooth chocolate glaze. The cake had a distinctive texture and taste, with a rich chocolate flavor and a slightly fruity tang from the apricot jam.

It became an instant success.

Even today, Sachertorte remains a very popular dessert not only in Austria but also in many other parts of the world.

Demel Bakery

Demel was founded in 1786 and still holds the status of Imperial and Royal Court Confectioner to this day.

Franz Sacher’s son Eduard was an apprentice at the Viennese Demel bakery and perfected his father’s recipe to the version we still know today. Some time after that he opened Hotel Sacher in 1876 where he served his father’s famous Sachertorte for his guests.

In the late 19th century Demel began producing their own version of the Sachertorte and claimed to be the original creators of the cake. This led to a rivalry between the two establishments that continues to this day.

Despite the long-standing rivalry, both the Sacher and Demel cakes remain popular throughout Vienna. While the two cakes have their differences, both contain the core ingredients of chocolate cake, apricot jam and chocolate icing.


The Sacher Hotel has been using the same recipe since 1832, keeping it a closely guarded secret. The original recipe is still kept in a safe at the hotel.

Since an out of court settlement in 1963 over the copyright, Hotel Sacher has exclusive rights to name their cake ‘the Original Sachertorte’.

Demel calls his Sachertorte the ‘Eduard Sachertorte’.

But what’s the difference?

The ingredients are the same and both recipes are very similar.

However you can tell the difference by its look: the Original Sachertorte has 2 layers of apricot jam, while Demel’s version only has one layer.

Also on Demel’s cake is chocolate triangular label that says: ‘Eduard Sacher Torte, Erzeugnis Ch. Demel’s Söhne’ or Sachertorte made by Demel’s Sons.

Sacher’s chocolate label is circular and says plain and simple: ‘Original Sacher Torte’.

The best Sachertorte

The battle over who makes the best Sachertorte has been a hotly contested debate for generations.

Proponents of the original Sachertorte claim that its unique recipe sets it apart from the Demel version, while supporters of Demel argue that their cake offers a deeper and darker chocolate flavor. Both have their own devoted fanbase.

The debate between Sacher and Demel is still an ongoing thing.

What do the locals prefer?

For many Austrians, the answer is simple: they prefer Sachertorte from Sacher, the original sweet treat. This is partially thanks to the Sacher elite’s careful promotion of their renowned dessert.

Demel’s rendition of the classic dessert has its own loyal following.


The debate over who makes the best Sachertorte between Sacher and Demel is likely to continue for many years. Both bakeries are heralded for their unique recipes, creating equally delicious cakes.

One might prefer the more traditional recipe from Sacher, while another might lean towards the lighter version from Demel.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.

How about you?

Have you tasted Sachertorte before?

Do you have a favorite?

Leave a comment in the comment box below and let us know.

We’d love to hear from you!


Philharmoniker Strasse 4
1010 Vienna

Kohlmarkt 14
1010 Vienna

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Irene Mcnamara
Irene Mcnamara

We went to Vienna last year in October. We ate the scrumptious Sacher Torte. I never heard of the Demel Torte before today.

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