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Esterházy Torte

This originally Hungarian cream cake, named after Paul III Anton, Prince Esterházy, a wealthy prince and diplomat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is made of fine sponge cake and marvelous butter cream, covered with a white sugar icing. Due to its unique taste, it has become one of the most famous cakes in Europe.
Esterhazy Palace Eisenstadt © Esterhazy / Roland WimmerEsterhazy Palace Eisenstadt © Esterhazy / Roland Wimmer


  • 8 egg whites
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • rind from 1 lemon, grated
  • a pinch of powdered cinnamon
  • 150 h almonds, grated finely with skin
  • 40 g flour, fine
  • 300 ml milk
  • 150 g sugar
  • pulp from 1 vanilla pod
  • 40 g vanilla custard powder
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 cl cherry brandy
  • 300 g butter
  • 80 g apricot jam
  • 2 cl rum
  • 300 g fondant (thick, white sugar glaze)
  • cocoa
  • 2-3 Tbsps shaved almonds, roasted

How to make it:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F / 180 °C.
  • Whisk the egg white with 2/3 of the icing sugar until half stiff, then add lemon rind, cinnamon and the rest of the sugar, and keep whisking until the mass is stiff and glossy. Carefully fold in the almonds and the sifted flour.
  • Draw 6 circles about 24 cm of diameter on baking paper.
  • Spread each of them thinly with the cake mixture.
  • In batches, bake each one light brown in a hot oven with the door partially open for 8-10 minutes.
  • Loosen the bottom of each cake from the paper with a spatula and then allow to cool.
  • For the cream filling, beat the butter until creamy.
  • Heat about 2/3 of the milk with the sugar and vanilla pulp.
  • Use the rest of the milk to mix with the custard powder, egg yolks and cherry brandy.
  • Stir until smooth, then combine with the milk mixture. Allow to cool.
  • Spoon the cooled custard into the creamy butter mixture, and stir until it becomes a smooth butter cream.
  • Spread the cream over five of the cake layers and place them on top of each other, keeping some cream for the end.
  • Put the 6th layer upside down on a bench surface.
  • Heat the jam and rum and spread over the bottom.
  • Warm the fondant to body temperature (no hotter than 100 °F / 40 °C) and pour, slightly cooled, over the layer spread with jam (6th layer), keeping about 2-3 tablespoons for the decorative pattern.
  • Quickly smooth over with a spatula.
  • Place this layer on top of the cake and spread the sides of the cake with the rest of the butter cream.
  • Apply the shaved almonds to the sides of the cake.
  • For the typical Esterházy decorative pattern, stir some cocoa into the fondant and fill into the pastry bag.
  • At a distance of about 2 cm, squeeze out semi circles and quickly take the back of the knife and pull it across perpendicularly from alternate sides.
  • Allow to stand for a while before cutting.
Baking time: 8-10 minutes
Oven temperature: 350 °F or 180 °C

Recipe is taken from The new Sacher cookbook - Favorite Austrian dishes.
Find out more about the famous Sacher Cafe.

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