Worldwide Holiday Desserts


Sarah Loiselle, Head of Media

There are so many different holiday desserts from so many different places that it would only be fair to list some of them!



Bûche de Noël 

This French dessert originated in the 19th century and is eaten around Christmas time. It is also sometimes called a “log cake” because of its tube-like shape and consists of a base of sponge cake covered in dark or milk chocolate. 


Pan de Pascua

This Chilean dessert, typically enjoyed around Thanksgiving/Christmas time, is a fruitcake, but instead of using fresh fruit, it is made with candied fruits and is filled with rum and nuts. 



Joulutorttu are Finnish cookies that are shaped in either pinwheels or stars. They are made of ricotta pastry and are usually filled with prune, grape, or raspberry jam. They are usually eaten during Christmas time or during the spring season. 



Lebkuchen is German gingerbread that can be decorated in lots of ways. The traditional way to decorate Lebkuchen is by making it round like a cookie and dipping it in either chocolate, lemon glaze, or vanilla glaze with three almond halves on top. 



This Italian dessert looks more like popcorn than dessert, but believe it or not it is a dessert! Struffoli are mini pastry poppers coated with honey, glaze, or chocolate and are usually fried with sprinkles on top! 



This Israeli/Jewish dessert is eaten around the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Sufganiyot are donuts that are sprinkled with powdered sugar and are filled with jelly inside. The jelly is usually either strawberry or raspberry flavored. 



This dessert originates from Poland and Hungary and is a poppy seed roll that can also be filled with walnuts or raisins. This bread is eaten amongst Eastern Europeans during either Easter or Christmas time. 



This dessert is eaten in Mexico and Colombia, but there are different versions of this dessert depending on where you live. In Mexico, Buñuelos are flat tortillas that are covered in cinnamon sugar and are deep-fried. In Colombia, however, Buñuelos are spherical balls of bread that are filled with any type of cheese. They are then deep-fried and are served with Colombian custard (Natilla). 


Tortell de Reis

Tortell de Reis is a ring-shaped cake that is eaten on Epiphany and is from Spain’s Catalonia region. The cake is usually filled with marzipan, whipped cream, and/or jam and contains a golden crown in the middle. It can also have candied fruit and nuts and is topped with powdered sugar. 



This last dessert is eaten in Australia and New Zealand and is named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova who invented it. Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert that contains whipped cream and either fresh or dry fruit. Pavlova has a marshmallow-like texture and usually is crispy and thick. 


I hope that by reading this list of desserts from different countries, you can be inspired now to try something new!