Elegant European Tortes

By Sharon Hudgins
Photographs Courtesy Sharon Hudgins

German, Austrian, and Swiss pastry shops (Konditoreien) offer a wide variety of freshly baked, beautifully decorated cakes and tortes to tempt even the most jaded palates. Some are seasonal, such as the light-and-fruity berry tortes in summer and the heavier, rum-spiked, dried-fruit-and-marzipan cakes in winter. And some are year-round favorites such as Käsekuchen (cheesecake); Blechkuchen (flat sheet-cakes with many different toppings); Bienenstich (cream-filled layer cake with a caramelized honey-and-almond topping); Gugelhupf (a tall, no-frills cake baked in a special mold shaped like a Turk’s turban); Sachertorte (a rich chocolate two-layer cake with apricot jam between the layers and a smooth chocolate glaze on top); and Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (chocolate layer cake with Kirschwasser-flavored whipped cream, morello cherries, and chocolate curls).

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