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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"sweet cake, tart," 1748, from German Torte; earlier sense of "round cake, round bread" (1550s) is from Middle French torte; both are from Late Latin torta "flat cake," also "round loaf of bread" (also source of Italian torte, Spanish torta), probably related to tart (n.1). Not considered to be from the source of tort.


n. A rich, dense cake, typically made with many eggs and relatively little flour (as opposed to a sponge cake or gâteau).


n. rich cake usually covered with cream and fruit or nuts; originated in Austria


A torte or (from Italiantorta) is a rich, usually multilayered, cake that is filled with whipped cream, buttercreams, mousses, jams, or fruits.

Ordinarily, the cooled torte is glazed and garnished.

Tortes are commonly baked in a springform pan. A torte may be made with bizcochuelo base or with little to no flour, but instead with ground nuts or breadcrumbs, as well as sugar, eggs, and flavorings. It can be covered with meringue and almonds.

Usage examples of "torte".

Inroads had been made on the Italian shrimp salad with oranges and herbed orzo, but the chocolate-walnut torte had only one bite taken from it.

Cal replied, manfully tucking into the torte, which was even bigger than the first slice.

He, for one, wanted to reap full enjoyment out of the incredibly rich torte the waiter Charles had just set before him.

Inwardly, he mourned that local etiquette forbade the requesting of a second helping of the torte to go with it.

These were replaced by, in rapidly accelerating order, wedges of fudge cake, linzer torte, falafel, three steaming bowls of chop suey, blacktop sundaes, and a dismembered, smoked turkey.

When everybody who was going to had signed up with M & M Enterprises, Fine Fruits and Produce, Milo created a wholly owned subsidiary, M & M Fancy Pastry, and obtained more airplanes and more money from the mess funds for scones and crumpets from the British Isles, prune and cheese Danish from Copenhagen, ‚clairs, cream puffs, Napoleons and petits fours from Paris, Reims and Grenoble, Kugelhopf, pumpernickel and Pfefferkuchen from Berlin, Linzer and Dobos Torten from Vienna, Strudel from Hungary and baklava from Ankara.

Rather laboriously I transported home a Dobos torte from a very fine Viennese bakery in New York.

Kate didn't show her feelings, though, and dutifully protested as the tight-lipped cook scraped the fallen souffle into the garbage and reassured her that carrot soup, chewy multigrain rolls, a cold marinated vegetable salad, and raspberry-walnut torte were quite enough to keep them from starvation.

We finished the night playing Monopoly on the floor and eating a terrific sacher torte ordered from room service.

He apparently had decided that food was a safe topic, and began to entertain them with anecdotes about a clambake in Maine, snake meat in Hong Kong, and Sacher torte at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna.

By late afternoon she had baked a Sacher torte of dangerous richness and was chopping the vegetables for the daube that was to be the main course.