11 Delicious Holiday Desserts From Around the World

I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert.

Jason Love

Frosting the spice cake makes you a happy soul. With a cream filling and a yummy taste and a full belly of noms.

Frosting the spice cake is a wintry tale, they say, it was made of yum but everyone knows it took someone all day.

There must have been some magic in that yummy cake they ate. For when they placed their forks in mouths they began to dance around.

O, frosting the spice cake was as great as it could be and the diners said they eat all day just don’t tell their nutritionist.

That’s all I got, friends. If you didn’t sing along to that in the tune of Frosty the Snowman… please go back and treat yourself. In case you haven’t guessed, this week’s post is all about desserts eaten or devoured around the holiday season all over the world. Don’t worry. It’s not like a food blog where they tell you their life story and you have to scroll for a decade before you get to the good stuff. You already got past the song, so go ahead and enjoy these desserts!

As an extra holiday treat, click the title for eat treat and it will take you to a delicious recipe for you to try your hand at baking these treats.

Mince Pies

Country: England

Delicious Details: With 500 years of baking history behind this dish, it’s pretty safe to say this is an English tradition. You might be thinking of the savory version of these pies, but there are sweet versions. Around Christmas time you will typically see pies filled with minced meat, dried fruit, spices, and brandy encased in a buttery, flakey crust.


Photo from friends eat.com

Country: Mexico

Delicious Details: King’s cake (rosca de reyes) is a traditional cake served on King’s Day in Mexico, but it is enjoyed throughout the holiday season. Sweet dough is deep-fried and covered with cinnamon and sugar. It’s super easy to make and requires very few ingredients. Pair it with Mexican hot chocolate and you will have a very happy snack or meal. That’s the beauty of the holidays. Your dessert can be a whole meal!


Photo from livitaly.com

Country: Italy

Delicious Details: Originally conceived in Milan in the 1500s, this sweet treat is ultra popular around the holidays all over Italy. It’s a cake-like bread in the shape of cylinder (think muffin-like) that is packed with raisins, other candied fruits, and lemon zest. You can even make a savory version if you wanted a panettone Christmas meal instead of just dessert. My personal favorite is the chocolate orange panettone.

Gingerbread Cookies and Houses

Country: USA

Delicious Details: Greece holds the record for the earliest gingerbread recipe (2400 BCE), China’s recipe dates back to the 10th century, and the Europeans were baking this sweet treat in the Middle Ages. However, Americans cannot get enough of gingerbread and gingerbread houses during the holiday season, so I’m claiming it for the purpose of this post. The wonderful thing about gingerbread is that it can take nearly any shape you imagine. Build the Eiffel Tower or simply make it into tree-shaped cookies. Then you can go full creative zen mode on the decorations with icing. The possibilities are endless! **Disclaimer** Please don’t maim your family over who wins the decorating contest. Please.


Photo from lurpak.com

Region: Middle East

Delicious Details: At the end of Ramadan comes the “Festival of Breaking the Fast” aka Eid al-Fitr. Ma’amoul is synonymous with this time of year and is often served during the festivities and celebrations. These shortbread cookies are filled with dates and look so perfect you almost (almost) don’t want to take a bite. If dates aren’t you’re favorite you can always switch it up with any kind of fruit!

Chocolate Bûche de Noël

Photo from bakefromscratch.com

Country: France

Delicious Details: These yule logs are used in holiday celebrations throughout Europe, but they originated in France where the tradition still continues today. The cake is flourless, buttercream-filled (or whipped cream) log is a chocolate lover’s dream. It might look simple, but it does take considerable skill to make. While it requires technical skills, you can customize the flavors of the cake, cream, and toppings to give it a personal touch.


Photo from verporrten.de

Country: Germany

Delicious Details: Stollen dates back over 5 centuries and has become a traditional German bread. Christstollen is a holiday sweet bread filled with dried fruits, candied fruits, and nuts. While the bread itself is relatively heavy it allows you to fill it with virtually any fillings you love and hold up under the pressure. Want it even sweeter? Top it with powdered sugar or icing for an extra sweet version.

Om Ali

Photo from in.musafir.com

Country: Egypt

Delicious Details: Say hello to the national dessert of Egypt. Om Ali is basically a bread pudding and consists of nearly everything you could want in a dessert. After all, less is not more where desserts are involved. It contains puff pastry or flat bread, nuts, fruits, milk, sugar, spices, and topped with whipped cream. You can literally add anything you want and it will still taste amazing. If you love bread pudding, give your taste buds a leveled-up version with Om Ali.


Photo from blog.amigofoods.com

Country: Spain

Delicious Details: Originally perfected by Spanish nuns over 600 years ago, the treat dates back to Roman and Greek civilizations. These nougat candies look just like bars of fudge but are made with honey, sugar, and egg whites. They are also relatively simple to make with just a few ingredients. What’s even better about these delicious desserts? You can make any flavor combination you dream up.


Photo from kosher.com

Country: Israel

Delicious Details: This jelly-donut-like pastry is a traditional Hanukkah dessert that is expertly crafted from start to finish. They are made and eaten as a way to remember the miracle of the temple oil. These sweet pastries date back to the 1500s and have become a staple in Israel during the holidays. These fluffy treats are small balls of dough that are fried to perfection and then stuffed with jam or custard and topped with powdered sugar. That’s a huge yes, please from me.

Ci Ba

Photo from fodors.com

Country: China

Delicious Details: Celebrating the Lunar New Year just wouldn’t be the same without Ci Ba which represent family reunion and good luck. These desserts are sticky rice cakes molded into balls or rectangle and is often fried before being served. One of the most popular variations is the brown sugar ci ba which incorporates a brown sugar syrup (or it can be a dip) to add sweetness to the dish.

3 thoughts on “11 Delicious Holiday Desserts From Around the World

  1. I made a Buche de Noel once. It wasn’t easy and wouldn’t have won any competitions for looks, but it tasted good. I should recreate that for the Travel-Inspired Baking section of my blog. Hmmm… it’s Dec. 20 today. Maybe next year.


  2. They definitely look good enough to eat (ALL of them!) Loved the spectacular images, details, and history. Did I hear you say, “chocolate orange”??????!


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