Who makes Switzerland’s best Easter cakes?

April 15, 2011, 2 Comments

You might think that Easter in Switzerland is all about chocolate. This is, after all, the birthplace of milk chocolate – it was invented in Vevey by Daniel Peter in 1875. For sure, chocolate is everywhere now; as I showed in my previous Easter post, the shops are full of chocolate bunnies of all shapes, sizes and colours. But even at this most chocolatey time of year, there’s more to Swiss life than that. There are also the Osterchüechli, or delicious little cakes made specially for Easter. Yummy.

But who sells the best Osterchüechli? This is such an important for some Swiss that Kassensturz investigated just that topic. Kassensturz is the weekly consumer affairs programme on the main Swiss TV channel SF1, and it regularly exposes frauds and scams, as well as having a weekly consumer test. Last week it was 11 Easter cakes from the main supermarkets and local bakeries, all taste-tested by a panel of experts. Tough job, I know! You can see the Kassensturz cake segment here. And the winner was:

The cakes in Migros, Switzerland’s biggest supermarket. Not only did they triumph but they were the cheapest ones on offer at 1.30 franc per cake. Far more expensive ones were criticised for being too dry, too sweet, too dull or even just too many sultanas. No surprise to see that my local Migros now has a sign over the cakes in question, saying ‘Winner of the Kassensturz Test’ (though obviously in German). And purely so that I could tell you what they are like, I bought a Migros Osterchüechli and taste-tested it myself. Well, two actually, because I had to be sure that the first wasn’t a one-off.

My verdict? They’re good (and pictured above). Just the right balance of all the ingredients – eggs, milk, sugar, ground almonds, sultanas, pudding rice, vanilla all baked in a sweet pastry case and dusted with icing sugar. But I must confess that it wasn’t nearly as good as my favourite Easter cake, the one made by my friend Beat. That is divine. Sadly, it wasn’t part of the Kassensturz test and you can’t buy it anywhere, so you’ll just have to trust me on that.

Regular readers of this blog might by now have noticed that Switzerland seems to have a cake for every occasion. The year starts with the Three Kings’ cake at Epiphany, and recently we had the Fasnachtschüechli for Carnival season. Now it’s my favourite, the Osterchüechli. And when there’s no seasonal reason to have a cake, the Swiss keep regional ones on hand at all times. So there are, among others, the Bündner Nusstorte (caramelised walnuts in a sweet pastry), the Appenzeller Biberli (a small round gingerbread-style cake filled with marzipan) and the Berner Honiglebkuchen (a honeyed gingerbread that’s decorated with sugar pictures).

And if you tire of cake, you can always resort to chocolate. Nothing better than biting the head off a Lindt bunny. Just as well there are plenty around at the moment.

2 Comments on "Who makes Switzerland’s best Easter cakes?"

  1. Anneliese Friday April 15th, 2011 at 09:51 PM · Reply

    I think the ones at the Glatz bakery in Bern are the best, especially compared to the ones at the Migros!

  2. Lisa Sunday April 17th, 2011 at 08:49 PM · Reply

    Although I make a pretty tasty Osterfladen myself, nothing beats Steinmann of Thun!! With raisons or without.

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