Cheese Fondue

How to make a classic Cheese Fondue using Gruyère, Vacherin Fribourgeois and Camembert. This classic fondue recipe from Switzerland is perfect for sharing with friends. Recipe with step-by-step photos.

cheese fondue in black pot

Cheese Fondue

Cheese melted in white wine … could there be anything more delicious?? In Switzerland, cheese fondue is hugely popular, and this is hardly surprising given that the country is a proud and world-famous producer of many excellent varieties of cheese.

Cheese fondue is traditionally an alpine dish, something you would eat after a long day of hiking or skiing in the mountains. But its popularity extends to the cities as well and, in Zurich, many temporary (but stunning) wooden chalets are erected each winter to serve cheese fondue to city-slickers in an alpine-chic setting.

While the German-speaking regions of Switzerland only serve fondue in winter, this dish is popular year-round in the French and Italian parts of the country.

bread dipped in cheese fondue

Which Cheese is Best for Fondue?

I love to make my cheese fondue from scratch, mainly because I like my fondue to be mildly-flavoured and not too overpowering.

A classic Swiss cheese fondue mix calls for half Gruyère and half Vacherin Fribourgeois, also called moitié-moitié.

Gruyère is a popular hard Swiss cheese which is strong tasting, often compared to cheddar in other countries (although I think the flavours are completely different).

Vacherin Fribourgeois is a semi-hard mild cow’s cheese, also from Switzerland, which helps to make the fondue really creamy.

Personally, I also love to add Camembert to my cheese fondue. It is a really mild soft cheese which is good for melting, and it makes for a less over-powering fondue than if you were to use just Gruyère and Vacherin Fribourgeois. Camembert is, originally, a French cheese produced with unpasteurised milk, but I quite often buy a variety made in Switzerland using pasteurised milk.

Cheese Fondue Recipe

Once you start making your own fondue at home, it’s easy to start experimenting with other combinations of cheese, especially with varieties which are local to you.

There have been a few occasions where I have made fondue from leftover cheeses from a large cheese platter served to guests the evening before – sometimes it is the quickest and easiest way to eat leftover cheese!

Like most classic fondue recipes, the basic ingredients you need are:

  • cheese (of course!)
  • white wine
  • cornflour (US: cornstarch)
cheese fondue with slices of bread and new potatoes

How to Make Cheese Fondue

Step 1

Start by chopping or grating all of the cheese. Make sure you remove any rind, otherwise you won’t have a smooth fondue.

chopped cheese on white plate for cheese fondue

Step 2

Heat the white wine in a large fondue pot, preferably made of cast iron.

wine simmering in fondue pot

Step 3

Once the white wine has come to a simmer, add the cheese and use a whisk to help the cheese and wine combine.

melting cheese into wine in fondue pot

Step 4

Mix the cornflour (cornstarch) and Kirsch in a small bowl, and whisk this mixture into the cheese fondue to emulsify the mixture.

The cheese fondue mixture should be thick and smooth, but thin enough to only lightly cover the cubes of bread. If the fondue is too thick, it will taste too heavy.

cheese fondue in cast iron pot with whisk

How to Eat Cheese Fondue

For me, no cheese fondue is complete without the following accompaniments:

Fresh Bread

Find a good loaf of bread with a nice crust and soft interior, and slice them into large bite-sized cubes.

I like to use a mix of white and wholemeal bread, just to give a bit of variety at the table. Most cheese fondue recipes will often tell you to use slightly stale bread – and this is what the Swiss would have used when the dish was first created – but my personal preference is for fresh bread (we never seem to have any stale bread at home anyway!).

In countries where fondue is very popular (especially Switzerland, France and Austria), some bakeries and supermarkets also sell bread loaves especially made for fondue, where small cubes of bread can be broken off like mini bread rolls.

Boiled New Potatoes

Potatoes make the fondue more of a meal and they should be served piping hot. We keep our boiled potatoes in a special calico bag which is lined with a layer of cherry seeds; the bag needs to be placed in the oven so that the cherry seeds can be warmed through, and they will keep your potatoes nice and hot throughout the meal.

New potatoes are commonly served with fondue, but varieties such as Kipfler, fingerling and even purple potatoes, are also great with melted cheese.

New potatoes are probably favoured because you don’t have to peel them, but there exists special little prongs which are used to hold hot potatoes if you wish to peel them at the table.

The potatoes should be eaten from your plate, but it is not uncommon to see people dip their potatoes into the fondue.


Cornichons are pickled mini gherkins, and which are very popular in France and its surrounding countries.

My preference is for really teeny-tiny cornichons (1 inch long) which are extra tart and crunchy. My favourite brand is Maille, but any good quality cornichon (preferably made in France) would be ideal.

The sourness of the cornichons helps to cut through the richness of the cheese and somehow lightens the meal.

We are always disappointed when restaurants don’t serve cornichons with their fondue, and even more dismayed when they serve pickled gherkins instead, i.e. like the pickles you find in sandwiches. I find the latter to be too sweet to be served with fondue, and definitely too soft in texture.

Pickled Baby Corn

I’m not sure if these are commonly available outside of Switzerland, but I grew up eating pickled baby corn with fondue and raclette and, for me, leaving out the picked baby corn is almost like omitting the bread.

cheese fondue with boiled potatoes

Fondue Ideas

In many Swiss restaurants, a cheese fondue is comprised simply of a pot of melted cheese and a bottomless basket of bread cubes. You won’t always find the option to order potatoes or even pickles to eat alongside.

But at home, I think it is sometimes fun to deviate a little from the traditional recipe. To make your cheese fondue truly special, I would offer some of the following to make it a more substantial meal:

Sliced Green Apples

These work a bit like the cornichons and pickled baby corn by lending some tartness to offset the richness of the cheese. I don’t dip the apples into the fondue, but I eat them alongside, almost like a palette-cleanser.


Any meatlover would appreciate some slices of crispy bacon with their melted cheese. At home, we simply serve a plate of cooked, crispy bacon to eat from our plate (and this also keeps the vegetarians happy).

But some restaurants offer a small bowl of bacon bits which you can mix directly into the fondue; the bacon will flavour the cheese and stick to the pieces of bread … heavenly!


I might be denied Swiss citizenship for serving pineapple with my cheese fondue, but who doesn’t love pineapple with melted cheese??

Green Salad

The Swiss eat salad with absolutely everything, and it is actually not a bad idea to offer a simple green salad to add a healthy component to the meal. I like to make a spikey vinaigrette to dress the salad which, like the pickles, balances the flavours in the meal.

cheese fondue in black cast iron fondue pot

Equipment for Cheese Fondue

As for the equipment, I like to use a heavy cast-iron fondue pot as it retains the heat very well. I make everything first on the stove before transferring to the table to serve on a fondue stand. At a push, you could use any saucepan you like.

There are many different types of stands and burners available. I actually use a set which is more common for a Chinese-style fondue; in Switzerland, they call it a fondue chinoise, but it is really a Swiss version of a Chinese steamboat where finely sliced meat is dipped into a pot of simmering stock. Perhaps this is an idea for a later blog post 😉

Which Wine to Use for Cheese Fondue?

As the other major component of a cheese fondue is the white wine used to bring the different cheeses together, make sure you use a good quality dry white wine. To make things easy for myself, I simply use the same wine which we also serve during the meal.

Others like to drink schnapps or grappa instead.

The recommended non-alcoholic drink to serve with a cheese fondue is hot black tea and never cold water; it is believed that any cold beverage might lead to some digestive difficulties, but this small research seems to dispell that myth.

cheese fondue with cornichons

Tips for Making Cheese Fondue

  1. Make the fondue first on the stove. Use a large stainless steel saucepan to make the fondue on the stove, which will give you more room to whisk the mixture without it spilling everywhere. When you are ready to serve, transfer the cheese fondue mixture to a cast iron fondue pot.
  2. Make the fondue ahead of time. You can make the cheese fondue up to 2-3 days ahead of time, and reheat it before serving. I generally make it just before our guests arrive.


How to thin a cheese fondue?

If your cheese fondue is too thick, simply thin it with some more white wine.

What to do with leftover cheese fondue?

Leftover cheese fondue can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days. Upon reheating, you may need to thin the mixture with some more white wine.

Can you reheat cheese fondue?

Yes, you can reheat cheese fondue on low-medium heat until it gently simmers. Whisk continuously to emulsify the mixture again.

Where to eat cheese fondue in Zurich?

A very popular spot to eat cheese fondue outdoors and overlooking the Limmat River is at Zunfthaus zur Zimmerleuten. But a truly special experience is at the specially built Chalet Züriberg, part of the Sorell Hotel, which will make your fondue experience like that in the mountains.


Cheese Fondue

5 from 8 reviews

  • Author: Thanh | Eat, Little Bird
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3-6
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Swiss

How to make a classic Cheese Fondue using Gruyère, Vacherin Fribourgeois and Camembert. This classic fondue recipe from Switzerland is perfect for sharing with friends. Recipe with step-by-step photos.


For the cheese fondue

To serve

  • 1 loaf of crusty bread (white or brown bread, or a mix), cut into bite-sized cubes
  • boiled small new potatoes
  • cornichons
  • pickled corn and/or pickled onions


  1. Remove the rind from the Camembert and chop the soft cheese into small cubes.
  2. Cut the Gruyère and Vacherin Fribourgeois into small cubes.
  3. Heat the wine in a large fondue pot until it starts to simmer.
  4. Add the cheese and use a large whisk to slowly melt the cheese into the wine.
  5. Meanwhile, mix together the cornflour (US: cornstarch) and Kirsch in a small bowl.
  6. Once the cheese has fully melted into the wine, slowly whisk in some of the cornflour (US: cornstarch) mixture. You may not need all of it – use enough until you have a thick consistency, but still light enough to easily coat a piece of bread. If your fondue is too thick, simply thin it with some more white wine.
  7. Add the garlic cloves and season with some pepper.
  8. Serve the fondue immediately on a stand over a medium flame.
  9. The fondue needs to be stirred constantly so that it remains emulsified. So as you are dipping your bread into the cheese, swirl it around the pot to give the cheese a good mix, and also to coat your bread nicely.
  10. Once you get to the bottom of the pot, you will find that a lovely layer of golden cheese will have formed. In our home, this is considered to be the prize of the meal and everyone always fights for a piece.

Kitchen Notes

A classic Swiss cheese fondue uses half Gruyère and half Vacherin Fribourgeois. You can experiment with different types of cheese by substituting one or all of the varieties specified in this recipe. Note that Gruyère can range from mild to strong-tasting (I like to use mild Gruyère for fondue). I would suggest only 2 to 3 different cheeses for a fondue, and preferably of French or Swiss origin. Some good varieties include: Comté, Emmental and Beaufort. A good substitute for Camembert is Brie. 

I use a dry white wine in this recipe, which also happens to be the wine we like to serve alongside the fondue. As the wine is one of the major flavours in this dish, you definitely need to use a good quality wine which you would be happy to drink; the wine does not need to be expensive, but it needs to taste good.

Kirsch a strong cherry brandy. You can substitute it with grappa, or even whisky is a delicious alternative.

If you don’t like the flavour of alcohol in your fondue, you can try to cook off some of the alcohol in the white wine by letting it simmer for 3-5 minutes before adding the cheese. You could also omit the Kirsch.

The garlic cloves gently flavour the cheese during the meal. If you don’t want to use whole garlic cloves, the more traditional method is to simply rub one garlic clove all over the inside of the pot before starting this recipe.

All recipes on this website have been tested on an induction stove and/or with a conventional oven (i.e. an oven without fan). All recipes on this website use temperatures for a conventional oven, unless otherwise mentioned. Convection ovens (i.e. fan-forced ovens) are typically 20°C/70°F hotter than conventional ovens, but please check your manufacturer’s handbook.

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.


  • Serving Size: Serves 3 to 6
  • Calories: 1096
  • Sugar: 1.2g
  • Sodium: 2215.4mg
  • Fat: 79.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.1g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Protein: 69.6g
  • Cholesterol: 254.7mg

Did you make this recipe?

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This recipe was first published on 30 September 2017. It has been updated with new photos and more comprehensive recipe notes.

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  1. KTINKA 30 September 2017

    This looks absolutely lovely. I think this winter I truly do have to try making Fondue from scratch.

    • Eat, Little Bird 1 October 2017

      Thank you! Making fondue from scratch is easier than you think, plus it is so so delicious 🙂

  2. Trang 1 October 2017

    I absolutely LOVE cheese! This sounds like a fun way to enjoy a quick afternoon get together with some girlfriends. 😉

    • Eat, Little Bird 1 October 2017

      Fondue is such a fun meal to share with friends. It’s one of the reasons why I love it so much 🙂

  3. Brandi Crawford 2 October 2017

    I’ve never made my own fondue. That needs to change now with this recipe!

    • Eat, Little Bird 2 October 2017

      It’s pretty easy to make it from scratch, plus you get to make it with the cheeses that you like!

  4. Kristine 2 October 2017

    Oh I love fondue! …and I’m not quite sure why I’ve never made this myself! I cannot wait to try this recipe!

  5. Ginny 2 October 2017

    Your cheese combination sounds really nice and it turned out so smooth with just the right texture. Scratch is absolutely the way to go.

    • Eat, Little Bird 2 October 2017

      Thanks, Ginny! I like my fondue to be slightly on the thin side, knowing that it will thicken during the meal. While there is a time and a place for fondue from pre-prepared cheeses, I like to make it from scratch too.

  6. Marie 2 October 2017

    This cheese fondue looks perfectly creamy and so delicious! Lovely combination of cheese and great dipping options too. I would have never thought of using pickled baby corn!

    • Eat, Little Bird 2 October 2017

      Pickled baby corn is really popular in Switzerland alongside the cornichons. We always have a jar in our fridge – I also eat it whenever we have smoked salmon 🙂

  7. Dani 4 October 2017

    This reminds me of visiting my Uncle in Switzerland 10 years ago! All of our clothes smelt like cheese fondue for days 🙂

    • Eat, Little Bird 8 October 2017

      LOL!! During the winter months, there is a special fondue tram in Zurich which does a loop around the city while guests feast on a fondue inside the tram. It’s such a fun way to eat fondue and to take in the sights of Zurich at the same time. But after more than an hour of being confined inside the tram with maybe 20 or more fondues going at the same time, you can also imagine how everyone must smell once they get off! 😉

      • Nadine 8 November 2017

        I guess as a Swiss I tend to use the pickles with raclette rather than fondue. Personally I’m a fondue purist and stick with gruyere and vacherin and bread only (no salad either, nothing healthy goes with fondue) also i use lots more wine so that it only thickens more and more as you eat it. That way you don’t get full too quickly and don’t end up with a blob of lumpy stuff in the end.

  8. Bethany 8 November 2017

    Cheese is my favorite food, so this looks absolutely perfect to me! Yum!

  9. Julia 16 April 2018

    Ohhh I can’t WAIT to try this! Thank you for this great recipe! So YUMMY!!!

  10. Jessica Fourie 13 February 2020

    I think that preparing a good cheese fondue requires a good deal of skill to apart from the recipe. I had tried preparing the cheese fondue at home but failed miserably. It is nice to see a recipe alongwith images so that readers can be inspired to try. I still lack confidence and feel I will burn the whole thing up.

    • Eat, Little Bird 28 February 2020

      Hi Jessica,
      I hope this fondue recipe will help! I think the “trickiest” part about making a fondue is just getting the right consistency, but this is really easy to adjust. If it’s too thin, add more cornflour (cornstarch) slurry. If it’s too thick, add more white wine 🙂

  11. Samaira Reddy 9 March 2020

    Cheese fondues are very filling and yummy. However, I have never prepared these at home. We usually have cheese fondue at the nearby multi-cuisine restaurant. Thank you for sharing the recipe for cheese fondue here. Now I can prepare this delectable recipe at my home. The image you have shared is nice.

  12. James 29 September 2021

    Delicious recipe and great tips. I made this cheese fondue over the weekend and it was a hit. Making it again soon.

  13. Celine 15 April 2022

    I was curious to try your fondue recipe with camembert and it definitely adds a nice taste to the fondue, compared to the usual moitié-moitié. I used a very ripe camembert which had been in my fridge for far too long, but I really liked it in the fondue. You have made me curious to experiment with different cheeses in fondue now!

  14. Marie 30 December 2022

    Very delicious fondue recipe!

  15. Anne 2 February 2023

    Love your website and look forward to new recipes.
    Please send us a recipe for Aligot. It is my favorite after skiing dish.


    • Eat, Little Bird 5 February 2023

      Thank you, Anne! Ooh I tried Aligot only once – it was very rich but very delicious. Thank you for the recipe idea!