There are few places on earth as sweet as Austria. Many of the most famous desserts in history have Austrian roots. Every day in Austria feels like a sweet dream full of scenic mountains and generous people. Take a walk on the sweet side and see all that makes Austrian desserts so legendary!
What Is Special About Austrian Desserts
Austria was once a monarch and many of their desserts are positively royal; literally, many Austrian desserts were drafted as treats for royalty, so every bite should make you feel like a monarch.
Even when Austrian chefs work with humble ingredients they are able to charm them into sweet dishes that will blow you away. Here both flavor and beauty are essential to a great dessert.
Austria has a love affair with cream. It is a common inclusion in Austrian cakes, pastries, and more. Apricots are another locally loved flavor used in dessert making. Other preserved fruits and jams are common, as well as fresh berries, citrus, and nuts.
What makes Austrian dessert flavors stand out is how they are able to bring together unexpected combinations to make irresistible sweets. It is a big part of traditional Austrian food and cuisine.
Most Famous Austrian Desserts
Sachertorte (Chocolate Cake)
This luxurious Austrian dessert is a picture of sweet perfection. The Sacher torte is a classic cake that has captured hearts and stomachs for over a century with its luscious chocolatey flavor.
Sachertorte was originally created for a prince and with one bite of this rich Austrian dessert, you too will feel like royalty.
Sachertorte is a chocolate lover’s dream. It is composed of two layers of soft chocolate sponge cake sandwiched with a sweet and tart apricot jam. The exterior of these Austrian cakes is coated in a decadent dark chocolate ganache.
Beautiful Sachertortes have graced bakery cases worldwide but nothing beats an authentic Sachertorte directly from the source!
Traditional Austrian Desserts
Salzburger Nockerl (Vanilla Souffle Dumplings)
This sweet dessert in Austria immediately brings to mind the beautiful image of Austrian mountain peaks. Salzburger nockerl is a traditional dessert that tastes like biting into a sugary cloud.
Some consider this Austrian dessert to be dumplings while others would call it a souffle but by any name this treat is delicious. The sweet, peaked souffle hides a filling of fruity local jams that cannot be missed.
Try this Alpine treat after a long day exploring Austria’s famous landmarks.
Vanillekipferl (Vanilla Butter Cookie)
Around the holidays, it is impossible to miss these sweet treats in Austria. Vanillekipferl is a type of Austrian butter cookie made into a crescent shape. These crumbly and creamy cookies are flavored with vanilla or occasionally citrus and topped with a heavy dusting of powdered sugar.
This is the kind of cookie that makes a celebration but be careful because it is nearly impossible to eat just one of these little Austrian desserts.
Marillenknödel (Apricot Dumplings)
The apricot is a favorite of Austrian bakers and pastry chefs and they can be found in many forms in many different desserts. Marillenknödel is one of the most delicious Austrian desserts to feature the apricot.
This sweet dumpling uses a dough that is enriched with cheese to enrobe this tart fruit. A breadcrumb coat makes these dumplings crunchy on the outside with the pleasant surprise of the famous Austrian apricot hidden deliciously inside.
Linzer Cookies (Jam-Filled Cookies)
This well-known dessert takes inspiration from the classic Austrian pastry – the Linzer torte. These small sweet treats are internationally loved cookies with the perfect balance between baked treats and fruity snacks.
Linzer cookies are traditionally composed of two buttery shortbread cookies sandwiching a sweet jam. The top cookie always has a decorative cutout to showcase the fruity filling, sometimes the cutouts are hearts, snowflakes, stars, or just simple circles. These treats are perfect with an afternoon coffee.
Mozartkugeln (Pistachio-Filled Chocolates)
If Austria had a national candy this treat would be it. The original Mozartkugeln combines a pistachio center, covers it in marzipan and nougat, then coats the entire candy in a chocolate shell.
These Austrian candies have been made by the Fürst candy company in Salzburg for over one hundred years, but imitators are everywhere. If you have a chance to try the original, nothing beats this uniquely harmonious dessert in Austria.
Locals in Austria enjoy eating sweet crêpes as a light dessert. Crêpes are very thin, eggy, pancakes that are represented in many different cultures’ cuisines. People have been putting their own tasty spin on this treat for years.
Often Austrian dessert chefs add local flair by filling the palatschinken with lush Austrian fillings, like apricot jam. The best part of these Austrian sweets is that they also make a beautiful breakfast in Austria!
Heidesand (Brown Butter Cookies)
Austria and Germany have a long and intertwined history, so many of their desserts cross borders. One delicious dessert to try in Austria that has German roots is heidesand. These Austrian sweets are luscious butter cookies made with browned butter to develop a more complex flavor than your average butter cookie.
These treats are sandy, toasty, and perfectly sweet. Heidesand are perfect for an afternoon tea or in a cookie assortment to share with loved ones.
Esterhazy Torte (Nut and Cream Layered Cake)
This royal treat is a real gem in the crown of desserts in Austria. Esterhazy torta are classic Austrian cakes originally made to honor a prominent member of the Austro-Hungarian ruling family, which fits because the flavors are absolutely regal.
This cake has thin layers of almond meringue stacked with cognac-infused buttercream. The decoration is commonly a mirror glaze with a chocolatey feathered pattern. It is an Austrian dessert that is as nice to behold as it is to bite into!
Gugelhupf (Ring Cake)
These festive Austrian cakes are found in abundance around the holidays, and it’s clear why.
Gugelhupf is a joyous celebration on a plate that makes the holiday season complete in Austria! This classic dessert is baked in a swirled ring pan that gives it its distinct shape. That is not the only thing that sets this cake apart from other holiday cakes.
Gugelhupf is leavened with yeast, giving it a matured and complex flavor that compliments the sweetness of the cake. Traditional flavors include cocoa, vanilla, lemon, and these cakes usually also feature dried fruits. Sweeten your holiday season with this delicious bite of Austrian dessert!
Marillenkuchen (Apricot Cake)
These Austrian cakes are positively breathtaking to look at. They feature local apricots baked into the top of the cake so it has an appearance similar to an upside-down cake.
This is the perfect Austria dessert to celebrate the apricot season. It has a wonderfully moist yet dense texture that makes this dessert so satisfying. Try marillenkuchen with a hot coffee for a morning treat or an afternoon pick-me-up!
Kirschkuchen (Cherry Cake)
This light cake dessert brings on nostalgic feelings for many locals because kirschkuchen is a popular treat to serve to children. These lovely Austrian cakes are moist and delicious dense cakes that are lightly seasoned with citrus and then polka-dotted with gorgeous red cherries.
It’s a jubilant-looking dessert that is fun for kids of all ages. The bright cherry flavor will bring a smile to your face and help you see what is so special about Austrian desserts.
Mozart Torte (Chocolate Layered Cake)
This opulent Austrian dessert is a real stunner; this cake is a delight from the moment you first lay your eyes on it. If you are a chocolate lover this dessert has you covered. This cake brings together the interesting flavors found in the classic Mozartkugeln, but in cake form.
This beautiful cake layers together chocolate sponge, nougat, pistachios, and marzipan. These wild flavors all work in perfect harmony to create a symphony of authentically beautiful Austrian dessert flavors and textures.
Kardinalschnitte (Cream Cake)
This cream cake has a name that is a nod to the Catholic church because the colors of this dessert resemble the church’s signature gold and white hues. These colors come from the tasty layers of yellow genoise sponge cake and airy white meringue.
The sponge and meringue create a luxurious flavor on their own but then the cake is topped with fresh raspberry jam or bright fresh fruits. It is the perfect marriage of flavors and texture and a true testament to the skills of Austrian dessert makers.
Austrian Desserts: Austrian Pastry
Cremeschnitte (Custard Filled Pastry Cake)
This treat is a custardy dream. Cremeschnitte is a traditional Austrian dessert that is part cake, part pastry, part cream, and pure decadence. This beautiful Austrian pastry is made from layers of puff pastry dough sandwiching a light and smooth custard filling.
The dessert is often made in a tray and then sliced to reveal the beautiful cream in the center. Try these Austrian treats with fresh fruit and a hot cup of coffee.
Topfenstrudel (Cheese Strudel)
Apple strudel gets a lot of attention, rightly so, but it is not the only delicious strudel in Austria! If you want an Austrian dessert that is truly over-the-top with creamy flavor and technical skill, then you must try topfenstrudel.
This rich dessert is composed of a buttery wheat pastry shell that is filled with a mixture of local quark cheese, eggs, dairy, and sometimes a little citrus.
The quark cheese used to fill this pastry is a local wonder. It is a traditional European soft cheese with a curdy texture and a light and tangy flavor. There is no better way to try this Austrian specialty than in an irresistible topfenstrudel.
Linzer Torte is an icon among Austrian desserts. This classic treat has been crafted by Austrian pastry chefs for centuries and it’s a true bite of local culture.
Linzer torte is loved for its simple but delicious flavors. It is made from a pastry shell and a filling of nuts and preserves. The most common choices for the nut element are either almonds or walnuts, and the preserves range from raspberry to apricot.
You won’t miss out on this Austrian dessert as it is instantly recognizable from its delicate lattice top.
Krapfen (Filled Donut)
This fried dessert in Austria may seem familiar to anyone who loves jelly donuts. Krapfen are flavorful treats made from an airy fried dough that is filled with jam.
Austria has a long Christian history and residents here participate in the European carnival season that includes Mardi Gras. These Austrian treats are served in celebration of “Fat Tuesday.”
Some bakers will even add a little rum to the jam filling to make this Austrian dessert into a real party!
Schaumrollen (Cream-Filled Pastry)
There is no shortage of delightful cream-filled desserts in Austria, but Schaumrollen is a true classic. This simple treat is made from a pastry log that is filled with luscious whipped cream.
To make these traditional Austrian pastries, chefs pipe puff pastries around a cylinder and then bake them into beautifully airy shells. Whipped cream is the typical filling but some choose meringue instead. These Austrian treats are beautiful at breakfast or delicious after dinner!
Kletzenbrot (Fruit Rolls)
Holiday time in Austria is not complete without these dense fruity desserts. Kletzenbrot is a traditional Austrian dessert consisting of a thick, sweet bread dough sweetened with dried fruits and studded with nuts. This dessert is a texture bomb of sweet and nutty goodness! These rolls are beautiful at holiday celebrations and great for sharing with loved ones.
Discovering Traditional Austrian Desserts
Austria is a storied country that feels like it is out of a children’s book, maybe because everything here is so sweet! The desserts in Austria are historic and trendsetting but without any pretension. Every sugary bite of Austrian dessert feels like a warm welcome to this charming country. Get your taste buds ready for a sweet ride through the Alpine region!