Austria has a long – and delicious – tradition of patisseries that spread all over the world the last few centuries. Austrian sweets were influenced by Central European cuisine under the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Many believe that the proximity to the Ottoman Empire, with its unfailing sweet tooth, is what gave the Austrian Empire such a craving for desserts. When the Turks were driven out of Hungary, they left behind a local population that had mastered the art of desserts and the best of them were employed by the aristocracy.
So you’re sure to find a wide selection of sweet treats in the Austrian cuisine and many of the dessert recipes date back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Austria’s sugary delicacies are typically complex and difficult to bake. Another characteristic of Austrian patisserie is the use of fruits and cream in most recipes.
Since Austrian classics like the Sacher Torte– a chocolate cake made with a thin layer of apricot jam and rich chocolate icing– and the Linzer Torte– considered the oldest known cake in the world and baked with a shortcrust pastry made with ground nuts, redcurrant or plum jam filling and a decorative dough lattice pattern on top– can be found in virtually any random bakery or café in Berlin, let’s focus on a few lesser-known Austrian specialties!
The Marie-Therèse cake at Kaffeehaus Morgenrot:
This sophisticated chocolate cake, with its very fine chocolate cream filling, should be tempting enough for you to make make the trip north of Berlin. Located on Hohen Neuendorf in Villa Hundeshagen, this Viennese coffee house serves mouthwatering cakes, as well as coffee specialties, like the so-called Kaffee Verkehrt, an Austrian style latte macchiato with just a little coffee and lots of creamy, foamy milk.
The Marillen-Mohn-Topfen-Kuchen at Franz-Karl Kuchenkultur:
Created by Austrian pastry chef Franz-Karl Kaufmann, this poppy seeds and apricot cake, made with Quark, a kind of curd cheese, is to die for! Topped with buttery crumbs, the apricot combines perfectly with the thick layer of poppy seed dough. Once you’ve tried this cake, you’ll dream about it having again and again!
The Apfelstrudel at Café Einstein Stammhaus:
Apple strudel is the most famous of the Austrian pastries and it’s made with layers of puffy dough surrounding a filling of apple cubes, cinnamon and raisins. Served warm with a perfect vanilla sauce, this dessert will take you to paradise as you savor it at a charming café located inside a 19th century Neo-Renaissance villa.
Do you have any other favorite Austrian cakes in Berlin? Let us know in the comments below!