“How do you make this cake so moist?”
My friend and I were nestled at the back of the cafe, each with a rich, dark piece of chocolate zucchini cake half-demolished on our plates. It was a quiet day, just a few other customers chatting over coffee, and my friend reached out as the cook passed us on his way out back to ask the fateful question.
“It’s the zucchini!” He said proudly. “We shred it up thin and whisk it together with the oil.”
The idea was an interesting one. I’d always loved zucchini bread and it always seems to run moist, so perhaps it’s the vegetable itself that lends the bread its moisture.
Then again, maybe the Velo Cafe just has a lot of cake-perfecting tricks up its sleeve. I tried all three of their current signature cakes and every single one was moist and spongy, the kind of cake that clings to the fork.
My favorite was the apple crumb cake, a light and lightly sweet slice of apple cake topped with a crunchy cinnamon crumble. The chocolate zucchini cake was the richest of the three, too rich for me to finish in one sitting (though I devoured the leftovers with a big glass of cold milk a few hours later). And the carrot cake was the perfect blend of sweet and tart with cream cheese frosting and bits of shredded carrot visible throughout the crumb.
For me, the cakes were, by far, the star of the show at this little cafe. But they also (of course) serve coffee and other drinks and they also serve food. In fact, in Switzerland – a country known for its cheese and potato dishes – it’s rare to find lighter fare and vegetarian or vegan options. But you’ll find all that here. Veggie pies. Falafel wraps. And every dish served with an enormous salad (so don’t worry if whatever you choose looks like a smallish portion).
For me, the food didn’t quite live up to the cakes, but it’s there if you need it to justify a slice of chocolate cake the size of your head.
Address: Uniongasse 10, Interlaken
Hours: Open daily 9:00 to 22:00.
Price range: Coffee drinks run around 5 CHF. A slice of cake runs about 6.50 CHF.
What (else) to do in Interlaken
Visit the castle ruins along the shores of Lake Thun and the organic farmers market in town.
Treat yourself to a very luxe spa day at Victoria Jungfrau (and perhaps have lunch there; the cafe is reasonably good).
Or make your way to nearby Lauterbrunnen for incredible hiking for all fitness levels. For something easy and beautiful, take the valley floor path from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg. There are 72 waterfalls along the valley and you can detour over to one of the most famous (Trümmelbach) if you’re intrigued. For more difficult hiking, take the trail from Lauterbrunnen to Mürren or hike to Kleine Scheidegg.