A Cupcake Affair (in Zurich)
Melanie Studer, originally from Basel, just opened the very first cupcake shop in the German part of Switzerland. (You can get your fix in the French part here or here.) Despite having to spell out the word c-u-p-c-a-k-e and explain what it is each time someone calls her, she can’t seem to bake enough. 800 cupcakes left her small, pink shop in Zürich’s old town on opening day. Having spent several years in the UK with her British boyfriend, tasting the treats at Primrose Bakery and a small, glittery bakery in Covent Gardens, she fell in love with these little cakes and especially their bright colors and fun decorations.
I’ll admit I was a bit wary, expecting a dry cake and either overly sweet – or worse, bland – icing on top. 0 for 2. I had my eye on the Caramel and Sea Salt mini, Melanie’s favorite, and it was a fresh, light and moist cake (made with chai tea powder), with caramel and fleur de sel in the topping. The day I was there, the other mini’s on offer were passionfruit and chocolate/rum. All toppings are made with mascarpone, different for us Americans, who are used to sugary buttercream frosting, like on the East Coast at Magnolia Bakery or on the West Coast at Sprinkles (soon on the East Coast too!). Because of that, the cupcakes are kept cool, which was quite refreshing, even on a cold, November day.
There is a roster of rotating flavors of regular cupcakes too, the most popular so far being the dark chocolate cupcake with raspberry topping (named Marilyn Monroe). There’s also Romeo & Juliet (vanilla cake with chocolate) and Casanova (vanilla cake with passionfruit). That’s Melanie below holding the “Affair of the Month,” apple cinnamon cake with vanilla topping. Keep your eyes out for a banana creation soon too…
So why the special names? When I asked Melanie, she pointed to the shop’s name, Cupcake Affair, and said ever so simply, “you’re having an affair with your cupcake. It’s exciting. They are tiny, colorful, sweet treats. Go ahead, give in to temptation and enjoy.”
So I did.
Monday to Friday: 11am to 7pm, Saturday: 10am to 5pm
(Opened November 13, 2010)