13 Most Popular Austrian Desserts with Recipes (2024)

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If you’re looking to bring plenty of European sweetness, richness, and decadence into your kitchen, these popular Austrian dessert recipes have so much to get excited about.

Some of Europe’s most iconic desserts originate from the Austro-Hungarian era and are still loved and enjoyed in restaurants, bakeries, and households across Europe to this day.

So let’s dive into a world of sweet and savory delights and explore 13 of Austria’s most beautiful, beloved, and delicious desserts.

Austrian Dessert Recipes

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13 Most Popular Austrian Desserts with Recipes (1)

1. Austrian Chocolate Cake (Sachertorte)

When it comes to Austrian desserts, Sachertorte is one of the country’s darling culinary delights. Popular throughout the country, you simply have to try this dish in its birthplace of Vienna.

Created by the famous Austrian chef Franz Sacher, Sachertorte is a rich, indulgent chocolate tort. It is assembled in two circular halves, held together with a sweet, thin layer of apricot jam.

Once the sponge cake halves are assembled, the entirety of the top and sides are smothered in a thick, deep coating of chocolate icing. The coating is smooth and glistens against the light.

A cake of pure indulgence, the density of the chocolate, texture of the base, and sweet injections of the jam will have your eyes rolling back into your head with every bite.

2. Viennese Apple Strudel (Apfelstrudel)

This is one of the most iconic desserts to come from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. You simply cannot talk about Austrian desserts without mentioning the Viennese apple strudel, or Apfelstrudel.

Strudel pastry is renowned for its flaky texture, comprising of many thin layers. Kneaded by smacking the dough against a hard surface, assembling strudel pastry is one of the most technically difficult dishes to master.

But with great challenge comes great reward. Once the pastry is ready, it is filled with a tart, aromatic filling of apples, cinnamon, breadcrumbs, and sugar.

The combination of the flaky, buttery pastry with the sharpness of the apples and the sweetness of the filling makes the Viennese apple strudel one of the most mouthwatering desserts.

A staple at Viennese cafes, strudel is best enjoyed with a dollop of whipped cream or soaking in custard, along with a piping hot tea or coffee.

3. Linzer Cake (Linzer Torte)

An Austrian dessert as decadent as it is delicious, Linzer torte is a fruit pastry dessert hailing from the beautiful city of Linz.

Contrary to traditional tort making, Linzer torte comprises of a pie-like single layer short pastry, as buttery as it is crumbly.

The pastry, filled with ground and chopped nuts, has hints of lemon and cinnamon, and in the center sits a sharp, fruity filling of jam, often redcurrant or apricot. It is topped with a beautiful lattice or decorative pastry design.

Traditionally a festive dessert made for holidays and Christmas, you can also find Linzer tort in smaller tart or cookie forms. It is an Austrian dessert full of flavor and delight.

4. Apricot Cake (Marillenkuchen)

Austrian apricot cake, or Marillenkuchen, is the perfect choice at any Austrian bakery if you’re looking for a dessert that’s a little lighter but still packed with flavor.

This sponge cake has a light, lemon-infused base, which provides the perfect balance to the tartness of the glazed apricots that adorn the top of the cake.

Marillenkuchen is the perfect grab-and-go dessert from any Austrian bakery. It’s simple to make at home and great to eat with your afternoon tea or coffee.

5. Bundt Cake (Gugelhupf)

Named after the cake pan in which it is baked, the bundt pan is what gives Bundt cake, or Gugelhupf, wildly popular across Central and Eastern Europe, its tall, beautiful donut-like shape.

Simple and super fun to make, baking the dough in the pan gives the cake its mesmerizing ridged pattern, depending on the type of bundt pan you use.

It is a fluffy cake, with undertones of lemon and vanilla, and traditionally filled with raisins. Topped with a dusting of icing sugar, Gugelhupf is a glorious reminder of how often ‘less is more’ when it comes to baking.

6. Scrambled Pancakes (Kaiserschmarrn)

Named after former Emperor Franz Joseph I, an avid lover of this dessert, Kaiserscharrn is a delicately sweet and light scrambled pancake made from a simple and sweet batter that’s split when frying in the pan.

Traditionally, rum-soaked raisins were added to the batter to add depth and tartness to the pancakes. Today, however, the recipe has evolved to include a range of ingredients, including plums, apples, caramelized raisins, and nuts, among others.

Dusted with sugar before serving, Kaiserschmarrn gives you the beloved lightness and texture of crepes or pancakes, with a deeper, mature sweetness, courtesy of the rum, raisins, and nuts.

Commonly served with a fruit compote or apple sauce, scrambled pancakes are ideal as both a dessert or a light lunch. They pair perfectly with hot tea or coffee.

7. Austrian Crepes (Palatschinken)

Crepes are one of Europe’s most beloved desserts, and Austria prides itself on its versatile, fluffy, and delicious crepes.

Palatschinken are very similar to French crepes, but a little thicker. They are super simple to make and can be enjoyed in so many ways.

Austrians love their palatschinken with jams, apple cinnamon, and plenty of other sweet fillings, topped with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Palatschinken also make for a great savory snack. You can enjoy these crepes with spinach, meat, and many different cheeses. Austrians even enjoy them with soup.

8. Austrian Topfen Dumplings (Topfenknödel)

If you prefer your desserts to have more mature, savory flavor, you should look to whip up a batch of Topfenknodel, or Austrian curd dumplings, in your humble home kitchen.

Topfenknodel have a soft texture and rich flavor. Once cooked, the dumplings are rolled in toasted breadcrumbs and topped with a generous dusting of icing sugar.

With a similar taste and texture to a doughnut, topfen dumplings are commonly served with jams, sour cream, and various fruits. They are wholesome, packed with texture, and utterly delicious.

9. Jam Donuts (Krapfen)

Austrian Krapfen are donuts defined by their curved top, with no hole through the middle. Made from fried dough, these sugar-coated delights come in all shapes and flavors.

Traditionally, a jam filling, commonly apricot in Austria, is nestled between the delicious doughy walls of this beloved dessert.

However, many variations of the Austrian doughnut exist. You can find savory versions in bakeries throughout the country and even eye-catching flavors such as mocha or champagne.

Whether you make them at home or pick up a warm bag of them at an Austrian bakery, there are bundles of joy and flavor in every bite.

10. Vanilla Crescent Cookies (Vanillekipferl)

A firm favorite in Viennese coffee shops, vanilla crescent cookies, or Vanillekipferl, are rich and buttery shortbread cookies with a fascinating history.

First prepared as a symbol of the victory against the Ottoman Empire several centuries ago, today Vanillekipferl can be found across Austria and many other European countries.

Made without egg, the soft, buttery pastry is so delicate, it practically melts in the mouth. Various nuts are added to the cookies, and the crescents are finished with a powdering of sugar.

11. Linzer Cookies

Made in the same way as Linzer cake, mentioned above, Linzer cookies are mini versions of this delicious tort, cut and shaped into an array of beautiful designs.

Linzer cookies came about as something as an afterthought. The first cookies were made using the crusts of Linzer cake, as bakers wanted a smaller, more decadent version of the beloved cake to put in their shop fronts to entice people in.

Linzer cookies are defined by their cut-outs, known as linzer eyes. From stars to hearts, you can find linzer cookies in a whole mannor of fun shapes and sizes.

12. Pull-Apart Rolls (Buchteln)

Buchteln are one of Austria’s sweetest and most-loved desserts. These rolls are aptly named, as they’re made of dough so soft, you can literally pull apart the fluffy rolls from each other.

Traditionally, Buchteln are filled with a sweet fruit plum jam, known as Powidl. But cast eagle eyes over many Austrian bakeries, and you’ll find pull-apart rolls with jam fillings, poppy seeds, and many other fillings.

Buchteln are very filling, and are sometimes eaten as a meal in Austria. They are incredibly fun to bake, and best served warm, dusted with sugar or vanilla.

Pull-apart rolls are an ideal sharing dessert for gatherings, dinner parties, and celebratory occasions.

13. Austrian Apricot Dumplings (Marillenknödel)

During apricot season in Austria, you won’t have to search far to find Marillenknodel. These dainty, fluffy dumplings are one of the most delicious ways to enjoy the country’s fresh apricots, in all their glory.

Apricot dumplings are made from a quark or potato dough, providing the ideal savory balance against the sharp, tart taste of the apricot.

A perfect grab-and-go food, Marillenknodel are often eaten as a snack or lunch, not just a sweet dessert after a hearty meal.

Topped with breadcrumbs, each dumpling entices you in with its crumbly outer layer and fluffy texture, before exploding with the tartness and sweetness of apricot.

Austrian apricot dumplings are one of the country’s most popular desserts. They are easy to make at home and great to serve for all occasions.

Austrian Dessert Recipes Summary

From dense, wholesome cakes, to fluffy, fruity pastries, there’s a world of splendor, aroma, and flavor when it comes to Austrian desserts.

And, as these amazing recipes show, Austrian desserts are largely not complex or highly specialized.

With some fresh ingredients, a little practice, and plenty of love, you can make an array of these beloved desserts in your home kitchen, for you, friends, and family to enjoy, all year round.

As they say in Austria: ‘gut essen’; eat well!

You Might Also Like to Read:

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13 Most Popular Austrian Desserts with Recipes (2)

Author: Dale Johnson is a content writer, designer, and a passionate foodie traveler who has lived in and visited over 30 countries to date.

  • Nomad Paradise

    Hey there! We are Dale and Doina, the founders of Nomad Paradise. We traveled full-time for over three years, and while we now have a home base in the U.K., continue to take trips abroad to visit new places and try new cuisines and foods. Our food guides are curated with the guidance of local foodies, and their contribution is indicated under each article. We also cook the foods we try abroad, and you can discover how to make them in our 'recipes from around the world' category.

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13 Most Popular Austrian Desserts with Recipes (2024)

FAQs

What is Austria's most popular dessert? ›

The original Sacher-Torte is the most famous Austrian cake. It is a classic, layered chocolate sponge cake that is thinly coated with high-quality apricot jam and topped with chocolate icing. Sacher-Torte is said to taste the best when accompanied by a small cloud of unsweetened whipped cream on the side.

What is the most popular pastry in Austria? ›

Apfelstrudel. Ah, right up the top of your list of desserts associated with Austria and Vienna is likely Apfelstrudel (apple strudel).

What is the national pastry of Austria? ›

It's that of the Sachertorte, Vienna's most celebrated confection, a chocolate sponge cake with two layers of apricot jam and a dark chocolate topping. It was invented in 1832 by 16-year-old Franz Sacher, apprentice to the court of Prince Metternich.

What is Vienna favorite dessert? ›

Sachertorte: This chocolate cake is one of the most famous Viennese desserts. It was created in 1832 by Franz Sacher, and it is made of two layers of chocolate cake filled with apricot jam and topped with a layer of chocolate icing.

What is the Austrian king dessert? ›

Kaiserschmarrn (German pronunciation: [ˈkaɪ̯zɐˌʃmaʁn]) or Kaiserschmarren ( German: [ˈkaɪ̯zɐˌʃmaʁən]) (Emperor's Mess) is a lightly sweetened pancake that takes its name from the Austrian emperor (Kaiser) Franz Joseph I, who was fond of this fluffy shredded pancake.

What cake is famous in Austria? ›

Sachertorte (UK: /ˈzæxərtɔːrtə/ ZAKH-ər-tor-tə, US: /ˈsɑːkərtɔːrt/ SAH-kər-tort; German: [ˈzaxɐˌtɔʁtə]) is a chocolate cake, or torte, of Austrian origin, invented by Franz Sacher, supposedly in 1832 for Prince Metternich in Vienna. It is one of the most famous Viennese culinary specialties.

What desserts is Austria known for? ›

  • Apple strudel. The simple and unpretentious apple strudel (Apfelstrudel) is probably the best-known Viennese pastry outside of Austria. ...
  • Mohnzelten. ...
  • Sachertorte. ...
  • Kardinalschnitte. ...
  • Punschkrapfen. ...
  • Mozart Torte. ...
  • Esterhazytorte.
Aug 8, 2022

What is the national dessert of Vienna? ›

Sachertorte. Notable for its layer(s) of jam (usually apricot) and the thickish veneer of soft chocolate glaze on top. A culinary treasure famously created in the home of Prince Metternich in the early 19th century. The Sachertorte is probably Vienna's entry in the global Cake Hall of Fame.

What is the national cake of Vienna? ›

This world famous chocolate cake was created in 1832. When 16-year-old apprentice chef Franz Sacher created the Sachertorte cake at the court of Prince Metternich in 1832, little did he know the impact his cake would have on chocolate lovers worldwide.

What is the delicacy of Austria? ›

Traditional Austrian Food and Drink You Simply Must Try
  • Tiroler Gröstl | Wiener Schnitzel | Erdäpfelsalat | Tafelspitz | Speckknödel | Spinatknödel | Beuschel| Kasspatzln.
  • Martinigansl | Vienna Sausage | Brettljause | Kaspressknödel | Schlutzkrapfen | Zillertaler Krapfen |

What is the famous tart in Austria? ›

The Linzer torte is a traditional Austrian pastry, a form of shortbread topped with fruit preserves and sliced nuts with a lattice design on top. It is named after the city of Linz, Austria.

What thin pastry dessert from Austria with a sweet filling? ›

Apple strudel (German: Apfelstrudel; Czech: štrúdl; Yiddish: שטרודל) is a traditional Viennese strudel, a popular pastry in Austria, Bavaria, the Czech Republic, Northern Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, and other countries in Europe that once belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867–1918).

What is the must eat cake in Vienna? ›

Vienna is home to one of the world's most famous cakes, the Sachertorte, a treat that holds such importance in Austria that it has been rewarded a day of celebration, National Sachertorte Day.

What sweet pastry was invented in Austria? ›

The strudel is baked in an oven and served warm with hot vanilla sauce. Although the first written recipe for a milk-cream strudel dates back to 1696, many ascribe the invention of this dessert to a 19th-century restaurant located just outside Vienna.

What is the special cake of Vienna? ›

A Slice of Vienna History

The Original Sacher-Torte is still hand-made using Franz Sacher's original recipe to this day, and is best enjoyed with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream. (Chocolate) dreams do come true!

What is Austria most popular food? ›

Wiener Schnitzel, which translates to 'Viennese cutlet' in German, is one of Austria's most important national dishes. In fact, it is so synonymous with the country that its name is protected by law; it can only be called Wiener Schnitzel when made with veal.

What is the most famous food from Austria? ›

Iconic Austrian Dishes
  • Wiener Schnitzel. Wiener Schnitzel is a traditional Austrian dish made with veal or pork. ...
  • Tafelspitz. Tafelspitz is a boiled beef dish that is popular in Austria. ...
  • Käsespätzle. ...
  • Apfelstrudel. ...
  • Mondseer. ...
  • Goulash. ...
  • Tiroler Gröstl. ...
  • Erdäpfelsalat.
Dec 20, 2023

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