5 Traditional Apple Desserts from Switzerland

If you’re looking for a recipe with apples, here are five tasty Swiss apple desserts to choose from. Apples represent Switzerland’s most popular fruit. You’ll find them in many different kinds of dishes. A few of these desserts have strong regional connections, while others can be found throughout the country.


1. Apfelwähe / Tarte aux pommes

Swiss apple tarts come in many variations. A classic Apfelwähe (German) / Tarte aux pommes (French) traditionally has no lid, unlike the American version of apple pie. Sometimes the apples are grated and perhaps the baker will add some raisins. For the pastry, you typically use a pâte brisée, but pâte feuilletée is also an option. Under the layer of apples on the pastry, many recipes call for a thin sprinkling of ground nuts, such as almonds or hazelnuts. Before it goes into the oven, you pour over a custard mixture that sets while baking.

Apfelwähe / Tarte aux pommes

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2. Apfelrösti

Switzerland has lots of recipes for using up old bread, and Apfelrösti falls under the sweet category of these dishes. Bite-sized pieces of bread are fried in butter with apple slices. Raisins are often added to the mix, and perhaps a dash of cinnamon. The last time I made it, I used leftover Zopf tinged with saffron and Rubinette apples. I sprinkled the dish with dried cranberries and toasted walnuts.

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3. Öpfelchüechli / Apfelküchlein

Imagine sliced apple rings dipped in a doughnut-like batter and deep fried, and you have the Swiss dessert known as Öpfelchüechli (Swiss German). These irresistible apple fritters are often served with a vanilla sauce. They have a slightly crisp texture on the outside and a soft, sweet apple on the inside. Like the dessert that’s next on this list, I prefer Öpfelchüechli when they’re still a bit warm.

Öpfelchüechli at the Jugendstil-Hotel Paxmontana. Photo credit: Sylvie Rochat

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4. Äpfel im Schlafrock

The German name of this dish, Äpfel im Schlafrock, literally means “apple in a dressing gown.” To make it, you peel and core the apple. After that, the center of the apple receives a sweet filling with ingredients such as ground almonds, marzipan and/or raisins. Then, they get wrapped up in puff pastry and baked. Before serving, you can dust them with some powdered sugar. Similar to the Öpfelchüechli, these baked apples can also be served with a vanilla sauce. I like them best when they’re still a bit warm.

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5. Thurgauer Apfelkuchen

With sunken apples, the Thurgauer Apfelkuchen has an eye-catching appearance. This special apple cake, as its name indicates, comes from the Swiss canton of Thurgau. While not a traditional ingredient, I make this cake with olive oil. To give it more of a shiny top, I brush it with a mixture of warmed honey and water after it comes of out the oven. You can also sprinkle it with some powdered sugar before serving.

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What are some of your favorite Swiss apple desserts? Please share them by leaving a comment below or sending me an email. Thanks!

Updated: December 17, 2020

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