Delicous Christmas Sweets and Desserts from Around the World
Hilary Stockton

My Award Booking Service helps travelers book first class and business class with miles and points. As an independent affiliate of Cadence, I also have access to Virtuoso, Four Seasons Preferred Partner, Peninsula Hotels PenClub, Dorchester Diamond Club, Ritz-Carlton STARS, Starwood Luxury Privileges, Rocco Forte and other 5-star hotel partners, so I can book, for no extra cost, your perfect luxury hotel or luxury cruise with VIP amenities not available anywhere else. Become a client and upgrade your stay!

Have a travel question we haven't covered yet? Want to share your secrets for traveling well for less?

Do you have a sweet tooth, especially around the holidays? Curious what's on holiday tables around the world, instead of pumpkin pie and gingerbread? We were, so in addition to well known favorites such as panettone and Buche de Noel we've rounded up some other delectable Christmas treats to try (or make yourself, if you can't find a local source):


1. Panettone (Italy)

Panettone, a fruit-studded sweet bread, originated in Milan, Italy but is now enjoyed throughout Italy, Malta, Switzerland and Latin America. Look for a version made with butter rather than margarine, which makes for a better taste to complement the bread's delicate lemon and citron flavor and delicate texture. If you have leftovers (a big if!) they make decadent french toast.



2. Bûche de Noël (France)

Bûche de Noël is a traditional Christmas dessert in France, Quebec, Belgium, and other francophone communities. The sponge cake base is filled with buttercream then rolled up to look like a log ready for the fireplace, frosted with more chocolate buttercream or rich dark chocolate ganache, and sometimes adorned with holly leaves or marzipan mushrooms. 

Buche de Noel


3. Stollen (Germany)

One of my very favorite sweet breads is German Stollen, a dense sweet bread made with brandy-soaked raisins, currants and cherries, and sometimes filled with almond paste. If you can't get to Germany but are in New York, call ahead to Bouchon Bakery and pre-order one. Delectable!



Glogg and Pepperkakor

4. Gløgg and Pepperkakor (Norway and Scandinavia)

Gløgg (Norwegian, Danish) or glögg (Swedish) is mulled, spiced wine enjoyed throughout Scandinavia and the Baltics. Fruit juice can be mixed in with the wine, and the drink is infused with cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, cloves and orange zest. Wonderful with homemade pepperkakor (gingersnaps)!






5. Truchas de Navidad (Canary Islands)

If pumpkin desserts are your favorite during the holiday season, these flaky turnovers with a sweet potato filling are a must-try. 

Truchas de Navidad


6. Banketstaaf (Netherlands) 

Deceptively simple but addicting, Dutch Banketstaaf is marzipan wrapped in puff pastry and baked until golden brown, then brushed with apricot jam.

Banketstaaf, Netherlands


7. Buñuelos (Mexico, Latin America) 

Originally from Spain, buñuelos, or fritters, are popular in Mexico, Colombia and many other Latin American countries for Christmas. They're typically made with a yeast dough, fried until crisp, then drenched in syrup or honey or dusted with sugar.



8. Christopsomo (Greece) 

Greece's Christmas fruit bread has its own distinctive flavor from mahleb, made from ground cherry pits, and mastic, a dried pine resin. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and cardamom round out the fragrant spices, and raisins, dried cherries and toasted walnuts enrich the bread. Traditionally the round loaf is decorated with a Christian cross with ends that curl outwards.



9. Brunsli (Switzerland) 

Swiss brunsli are often likened to brownies, but they're actually made without flour (perfect for anyone on a gluten-free diet) of bittersweet chocolate and almonds that have been finely pulsed together, then bound with egg whites and baked . A touch of cinnamon and cloves add the perfect holiday aroma.

Brunsli, Switzerland


10. Christmas Plum Pudding (United Kingdom) 

This dessert will delight foodies and pyromaniacs alike, with its showy presentation: right before serving, a little brandy is poured over the warm pudding then lit, resulting in blue flames dancing over the pudding. Once they've subsided, the pudding is cut into wedges and served with custard sauce. A rich, decadent reason to save room for dessert  . . .

Christmas Pudding and Custard Sauce, UK


11. Stained Glass Gingerbread Cookies (United States) 

Ok, so this isn't as well known a dessert as pumpkin pie or pecan pie--but kids and adults alike love making and eating these stained glass gingerbread cookies with melted candies as centers, and they also make spectacular Christmas tree ornaments.

Delicious Christmas Sweets and Desserts from Around the World


Check out and apply for the Best Travel Credit Cards.

If you enjoyed this, please follow TravelSort on Twitter or  like us on Facebook to be alerted to new posts. 

Become a Member to find your perfect luxury or boutique hotel at up to 50% off: TravelSort Hotels

  • |
  • Print
    print |
Related Articles
  A new Guess the Place Puzzle, and Happy Thanksgiving to my U.S. readers! I'm currently in a country in the Pacific Ocean, and just did a site inspection at a gorgeous property. There's no sign to this luxurious place,...
  The Chase United VIP Lounge will be open for holiday shoppers at The Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey and at The Westfield San Francisco Centre, November 27-December 24, 2015. If you’re near to either of these malls,...
Picture?type=large Graham W. commented 11 Dec 2011

Hi Hilary,

What a delicious post - please send me some samples , when you've made them ?

I think you must be more than ready for Christmas, as your blog is dated December 18 and not December 11


Happy holidays


Leave a Comment
Get Free Email Blog Updates
Popular Articles
  The 2016 NYC Michelin Star Restaurants have been announced, and the 3 Michelin Star restaurants have remained the same: Eleven Madison Park, Per Se, Jean-Georges, Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, Le Bernadin and Masa. Likewise there hasn't been much...
Current New York Restaurant Deals include an AMEX See Your City $10 statement credit on $50 of dining at a participating restaurant, which can be combined with BlackboardEats. Here's how to take advantage of both: AMEX See Your City Eats...
  This Review of L'Europe Restaurant and Dining at Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg, Russia is part of a trip report including Vienna and luxury hotels and dining in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. Visiting Russia? See all our posts tagged Russia....
  This Cafe Khachapuri Moscow Review is part of a trip report including Vienna and luxury hotels and dining in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. Visiting Moscow? See all our posts tagged Moscow. For the previous posts please see: Review: Sofitel Vienna...
  This Labstelle Wien Vienna Restaurant Review is part of a trip report including Vienna and luxury hotels and dining in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. For the previous post, please see Review: Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom. Labstelle Wien Location Labstelle Wien...
This Clinton St. Baking Company Restaurant Review is one of our many NYC Restaurant Reviews. Visiting New York? See all of our posts tagged NYC. I've avoided Clinton St. Baking Company for years, after waiting way too long for brunch one weekend....
  This Review of Volkonsky Bakery and Cafe (Пекарни «Волконский») in St. Petersburg, Russia is part of a trip report including Vienna and luxury hotels and dining in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. Volkonsky, also sometimes tranliterated as Volkonskiy and Wolkonsky, is...
  This Four Seasons St. Petersburg Breakfast and Dining Review is part of a trip report including Vienna and luxury hotels and dining in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. Four Seasons Preferred Partner guests enjoy a complimentary delicious breakfast buffet daily for up...
  This Review of Cat Cafe in St. Petersburg, Russia is part of a trip report including Vienna and luxury hotels and dining in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. Cat Cafe serves delicious Georgian cuisine in the center of St. Petersburg, close...
Danny Meyer is eliminating tipping at The Modern, Gramercy Tavern, Maialino and his other NYC restaurants. While Danny Meyer isn't the first--restaurants from Thomas Keller's Per Se to Tom Colicchio's Craft, which has eliminated tipping for its lunch service, to...