Sugar coated, roasted almonds (gebrannte Mandeln)

Slowly it’s time to say goodbye to summer here in Zurich and prepare for autumn. Besides the wonderfully coloured trees and cooler temperatures, autumn also means Chilbis (aka village fêtes/funfairs), and of course, all the treats that come with it. I’m on a mission to publish recipes for the most loved sweet treats that can be bought at the Swiss Chilbis. The first are the wonderful gebrannte Mandeln – half caramelised, sugar coated roasted almonds. They’re very easy to make and make for an impressive home-made present, if you manage not to gobble them all up instantly, that is. Because, they are so delicious! You could use different nuts for this recipe too but in Switzerland and its funfairs it must be almonds.



  • 1dl water
  • 1/2 sachet Vanillepulver (vanilla sugar) or 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g whole almonds, unpeeled


In a medium sized saucepan, bring the water, vanilla and sugar to the boil.

Add the almonds and cook them in the sugar water at medium heat (the water should still be boiling and bubbling, but not excessively).

After around 10 minutes the liquid will be gone and you’re left with  almonds plus dry, brown sugar that looks like sand.

Keep stirring for another 5-10 minutes until the sugar starts melting again. At that point watch your almonds closely and keep stirring and let nearly half of the sugar melt again. The almonds should look like the below final picture – half of the sugar will be melted again, half still in the dry, sand like consistency. At this point remove the pan from the heat and spread the almonds onto a baking tray covered in baking parchment to cool down.


If in doubt, check out the below photo gallery with the step by step photos.



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