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What Is A Torte? What’s Special About The Dessert?

What Is A Torte? What’s Special About The Dessert?

Are you wondering about what torte is? Learn essential and interesting information about the European’s all-time favorite treat, from its difference from cakes to its sought-after types.

Have you ever watched The Great British Baking Show or Sweet Genius? 

If you’re into these baking reality shows, then you’ve probably heard about torte, but you may not be sure what it is.  

Torte has taken the baking world by storm, thanks to its visually appealing and elegant presentation as well as its creamy, dreamy indulgence. 

This FAQ guide covers all the bases when it comes to what torte is, its differences to cake, and some popular types of tortes around the world. 

Torte is a type of sweet and rich cake that’s most often multilayer and made from ground nuts or breadcrumbs, eggs, and sugar. 

The decadent treat uses a minimal amount of flour (but other bakers may not use flour at all) and features fillings that are usually consisting of whipped cream, buttercreams, mousses, jams, or fruits.

The origin of torte is unclear but some experts believe that it originated in Central Europe and is traditionally made from sugar, eggs, nuts, and flavorings. 

The basic idea of creating a torte is mixing the ingredients (except the filling) to form a smooth batter, baking the mixture, spreading the flavored cream in every layer. 

Some of the many well-known varieties of torte are Dobos torte (Hungary), sacher torte (Austria), esterházy torte (Hungary), Kyiv torte (Ukraine), and Napoleon torte (Russia)

What does torte mean?

The word itself comes from the German word, which means cake and it’s believed that the German word “torte” derives from an Italian word “torta,” which signifies round-shaped bread or cake.

Is a torte always flourless?

No, tortes aren’t always flourless. There are cases that other pastry chefs use a small amount of flour to give the goodie a little bit of heavy consistency. 

Nonetheless, torte commonly consists of sugar, eggs, fillings, and nuts, which serve as a replacement for self-raising flour.

Cake vs torte

You might wonder if torte and cake are the same things, unfortunately, they aren’t. In this section, I’m going to tackle the difference between the two scrumptious desserts.


The main ingredient of traditional cake is sugar, butter, and flour. Meanwhile, a torte features little to no flour and uses nuts or breadcrumbs as a substitute instead.


Due to the absence or lack of flour, torte is somewhat heavier than cake when it comes to texture and taste. Cakes, however, are much lighter and fluffier than the former. 


When it comes to height, cakes are the victor. 

They have an average height of 4 inches, even without layers. This is because of the self-rising flour added to the mixture of the cakes. 

Meanwhile, multi-layer tortes are shorter and have an average height of two to four inches.  

A torte vs a pie

Torte is a kind of cake that has a soft textural nuance and a few layers of cream on it. 

Whereas, pie is a baked good made from a pastry shell filled with a filling of fruit or lemon curd. 

Don’t be confused with the two desserts as they can be easily differentiated by just looking at their appearance and ingredients.

Popular types of tortes

1. Dobos torte (Hungary)

Dobos torte, also known as Dobosh, drum torte, or Dobos torta, is a sponge cake originated in Hungary. 

The torte cake is made from layers of thin cake filled with chocolate buttercream and finished caramel.

2. Sacher torte (Austria)

Both light and rich at the same time, sacher torte is formed by assembling airy chocolate cake layers, simple apricot jam fillings, and luscious bittersweet glaze. 

The chocolate cake was invented by 16-year-old Franz Sacher in 1832 in Vienna, Austria. 

Today, it’s enjoyed by many during holidays and special occasions.

3. Esterházy torte (Hungary)

Also dubbed as Hungarian Esterházy Torte, esterházy torte is a tasty treat consisting of buttercream filling squeezed between layers of decadent sponge cake. 

The torte dessert is named after Prince Paul III Anton Esterházy de Galántha of Hungary.

The bottom line

Pastry chefs throughout the globe have their version of torte. 

Some include chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, fresh fruits, and even lemon in their recipes. 

But whatever you put, the multi-layered cake is inevitably bound to surprise.

Now that you already know everything about torte, you might be tempted to make the delectable dessert and eat it all by yourself.

In case you’re planning to make your torte at home, check out this top-notch chocolate torte recipe from Bless This Mess Please.

How to store a torte

How to store a torte

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Making a torte and storing it in advance is quite simple to do


  • 1 torte
  • Plastic wrap


  1. Place the torte on a serving plate
  2. Gently and completely wrap the torte in plastic wrap. 
  3. Place it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


Don’t place anything on top of the torte as to keep from smushing or damaging it. It is best if you place it in a cake keeper to help protect it from damage. 

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