Linz, Austria – Legendary Linzer Torte Deliciousness

A golden lattice crust, stuffed with currant jams, and baked with the nutty goodness of hazelnuts or almonds and fragrant spices—the Linzer Torte is one of Austria’s most intoxicating pleasures.

Surely, one of the sweetest ways to travel through Europe is by enjoying its many incredible delicacies—and for those with a sweet tooth, no visit to Austria could be complete without a serving (or two or three) of the iconic Linzer Torte. Believed to be the oldest cake in the world (though luckily, you can enjoy the freshly made varieties), the cake can trace its origins back to the city of Linz (hence the cake’s name) and a recipe found from 1653. This of course means that Linzer Torte has been around since before the printing press even the United States! (#themoreyouknow!)

Traditionally multi-layered and filled with currant jam and chock full of yummy cinnamon, lemon zest, butter, and ground nuts, this doughy but crumbly pastry has been pleasing dessert enthusiasts for centuries. Some modern bakers have substituted the traditional filling with raspberry, apricot, plum or other flavored jams in lieu of the red currants—so it can be a fun outing to decide which bakery has the best Linzer Torte.

From the oldest bakery in town, the k.u.k.Hofbäckeri (which is located near the main square), to the only bakery allowed to feature the official Linz coat of arm on its boxes, the Café Jindruk (also known for winning a 1999 Guinness World Record for world’s largest Linzer Torte) to the popular Café Glockenspiel to restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs and even newer bakeries springing up that promise all organic baked goods—taste testing Linzer Tortes throughout Linz would be quite the delicious way to spend some time.

Of course, by enjoying a cake with this much backstory, one can’t help but ingest a bit of history as well. The city is so well-known for being the birthplace of the famous Austrian cake that it is even represented in the Linz-Genesis Museum, which features Linzer torte boxes from the early 1900s. When the cake was first created, it was only for the wealthy citizens as the spices and ground nuts required were considered a luxury.

If you’re from the Midwest, you know it’s long been popular in the United States. Why? Well, it’s claimed that an Austrian traveler first brought the cake back to Milwaukee in the 1850s and from there, straight into America’s hearts.

Nevertheless, there is no sweeter place to enjoy a bite than in the cake’s hometown of Linz. And while the cake is one of the desserts classically served during the Christmas holidays, it is equally enjoyed year-round—so be sure to indulge when in town!

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