Holiday Desserts Around the World

By Jessica Russo


Ahh, the holidays. 'Tis the season of cute cookie cutters, sprinkles all over the floor, laughter-filled flour fights, and the warm smell of sugary goodness baking in the oven.

Just like holiday cookies are a tradition in the US, many other sweet treats are traditional in countries across the world. Roll up your sleeves, tie up your apron, and try these scrumptious desserts that sweeten the spirits of people around the globe. Merry baking!

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Buche de Noel - France

This traditional chocolatey "Yule log" cake is a feast for the eyes and your tastebuds. While it's traditionally made with sponge cake, you can really make this one your own. Why not make a flourless chocolate cake with hazelnut mousse? Up to yule!

Click here for a recipe!


Aebleskiver - Denmark

These Danish "pancake puffs," also called "appleskives," are as traditional as they are delicious! Make them as a dessert or a sweet holiday breakfast.

Try your best! Here's a recipe.


Pan de Pascua - Chile

Although "Pascua" usually refers to "Easter" in Spanish, this yummy cake is a Chilean Christmas tradition. Similar to a fruitcake, it's packed with honey, candied fruits, and nuts!

Ready, set, bake!


Joulutorttu - Finland

Ricotta pastry filled with sweet prune jam? Yes please. These cute little Finnish Christmas tarts are crafted in the shapes of stars or pinwheels.

Start baking!


Kutya - Ukraine, Russia, & Poland

Eastern Europeans always look forward to this sweet cereal dish on Christmas Eve. Spoon up a scoop of this delish' tradish'!

This recipe is so good it's almost cer-real.


Lebkuchen – Germany

German gingerbread! This subtly spiced, fragrant treat can be made all sorts of ways: covered in lemon or vanilla glaze, dipped in chocolate, cut into cute little holiday shapes - you name it! For the real traditional look, make your Lebkuchen round and place three blanched almond halves on top.

Go ahead, impress your family and friends.


Struffoli- Italy

These bite-sized pastry poppers are fried up and sweetened with honey, sugar, and nonpareil sprinkles! While Struffoli originated as a Neapolitan dish, it's wildly popular among Sicilians. Enjoy them with family or wrap them up with cellophane and a bow - they make the perfect "little-something" gift!

Get the ball rollin'!


Sufganiyot - Israel

It doesn't feel like Hanukkah in Israel without sufganiyot! One bite of these light, jelly-filled doughnuts will make you smile brighter than a menorah.

Go (dough)nuts for these bundles of joy.


Fruitcake – England

Nothin' like a good old English Christmas fruitcake! This delightful medley of candied fruit, spicy cinnamon, and nutty goodness is as traditional as it gets.

Come on, admit it. You've always wanted to make one.


Galette des Rois "King Cake" - France

This delicious puff pastry pie is traditionally shared during the holiday of Epiphany, January 6th, when the Three Kings visited Baby Jesus; hence the nickname "King Cake!" Traditionally, a hidden fava bean is baked inside the pie, and whoever receives the piece with the bean is crowned king or queen!

Try your hand at royalty!


Makowiec/Beigli - Poland & Hungary

These soft poppy seed rolls are a true treat around the holidays! While some people keep with the traditional poppy seed filling, others use walnuts and/or raisins for a little extra flavor.

Bring tradition to life with this recipe!


Melomakarona - Greece

These egg-shaped beauties boast an irresistable blend of orange, honey, and cinnamon that leaves everybody wanting more. Deck the halls with these delicious little balls!

Make enough to share!


Buñuelos - Mexico & Colombia

Depending on the country, buñuelos are either spherical fried cheese balls (Colombia) or flat, tortilla-like, and covered in sugar (Mexico). Why not try both? Go ahead, and dip 'em in some hot chocolate while you're at it.

Start with the Colombian recipe...
...then try the Mexican version!

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