Explore 11 Festive and Delicious Christmas Treats from Across the Globe

Christmas is a time when people come together to celebrate with their families, and special Christmas food is a big part of that. For most people, the best part of these seasonal treats is the many delicious Christmas sweets that they get to enjoy during this season. Puddings, cakes, candies, and fruits all make an appearance on the table each Christmas season. And, just like Christmas traditions, most regions have their own favorites. So, here are some of the most delicious traditional Christmas sweets that are enjoyed around the world.

Our pick of the 11 mouth-watering Christmas sweets from around the world is here to make your Christmas celebrations even sweeter. Bring these international flavors to your home this season, for it’s the best way to spoil your family and friends on Christmas Day.

Bûche de Noël, France

Christmas sweets
Traditional Christmas Yule Log cake decorated with marzipan mushrooms and holly.

The burning of a yule log dates back to medieval times, though in more recent years this has undergone an edible twist in France. The yule log cake (or Bûche de Noël) is a popular Christmas dessert that is usually made of sponge cake frosted to look like a bark-covered log and decorated with marzipan and powdered sugar.

Pan de Pasaca, Chile

sweets for christmas
Popular Christmas sweet in Chile

While Pan de Pasaca literally means “Easter Bread” in Spanish, it is a popular Christmas sweet in Chile. It is a sponge cake made with honey and ginger, along with almonds, walnuts, candied fruits, and raisins, and was brought to Chile by German immigrants. The cake is similar to two other Christmas desserts, the German Stollen, and Italian panettone.

Christmas Pudding, UK

recipes for christmas sweets
Christmas pudding with holly and mince pies in the background and a white and gold table

Much like the yule log, Christmas puddings date back to medieval times, though it was initially a savory dish. It is also known as plum pudding, though it doesn’t actually contain plums, instead has raisins (which were known as ‘plums’ pre-Victorian England). Christmas pudding as we enjoy it today became popular during Victorian times and is traditionally made from suet, eggs, treacle, spices, and fruits.

Turrón, Spain

christmas sweets recipes
Delicious Christmas treats

These popular Christmas sweets come from Spain, though they can be found in many Spanish-influenced countries, including places in Latin America. It is a nougat-like treat that is made with sugar, egg whites, honey, and almonds. You can also find differently flavored turrón such as bars filled with candied fruit, peanuts or walnuts.

Lebkuchen, Germany

christmas sweets list
Heart-shaped yummy treats.

These gingerbread-like cookies are traditional sweet recipes that are a treat in Germany. They come in various shapes and sizes and can range from spicy to sweet treats, though they usually contain honey, spices, ginger, candied fruits, and nuts. These cookies are said to have been invented by monks in the 13th century, and can now be seen at Christmas markets across the country.

Bibingka, Philippines

traditional christmas sweets
traditional bibingka with cheese on top

Bibingka is a popular Christmas dessert in the Philippines. This spongy rice cake is made with rice flour and coconut milk and can have a variety of toppings. It is often eaten for breakfast during the Christmas season. Versions of this cake can also be found in Indonesia, and in South India, especially in the state of Goa.

Pavlova, New Zealand

sweets during christmas
Berry Pavlova Cake with fresh strawberries, raspberries, mint leaves and whipped cream.

Though this light dessert comes from New Zealand, it is named after a Russian ballet dancer, Anna Pavlova who visited the country in the 1920s. As the holiday seasons fall during the summer months, this light meringue-based cake with a gooey center and a crisp crust that is topped with whipped cream and fruit make the perfect recipe for Christmas sweets.

Vaniljekranse, Denmark

christmas sweets recipes
Box of butter cookies

These delicious cookies are a Christmas staple in Denmark. Literally meaning ‘vanilla wreaths,’ the vanilla-flavored butter cookies are often garnished with chopped almonds. Many countries around the world have also adopted these tasty cookies as part of the Christmas season.

Szaloncukor, Hungary

sweets recipes
Decoupage box full of traditional Hungarian parlour candies. A beautifully decorated Christmas tree, gift bags under it, and a Santa Claus puppet are in a blurry background.

Szaloncukor is a popular Hungarian Christmas dessert that is often found hung as a decoration on Christmas trees. It is a chocolate-covered fondant candy that comes in brightly wrapped paper, and in a variety of flavors, such as vanilla, strawberry, hazelnut, and coconut. Children are expected to finish all of these festive treats from the tree before the holiday season is over.

Speculoos, Belgium and The Netherlands

christmas sweet list
Traditional dutch Christmas cookies and their ingredients

The Belgians and the Dutch share one of the most delicious Christmas sweets. Speculoos (or Speculaas) are thin, crunchy shortbread cookies flavored with spices that are associated with St. Nicholas or ‘Sinterklaas’. These cookies are often baked into festive shapes, and their appearance in markets signals the arrival of the holiday season.

Oliebollen, The Netherlands

Christmas sweets
‘Oliebollen’, a traditional Dutch pastry for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

While the name translates to ‘oil balls,’ these deep-fried sweets for Christmas are actually quite heavenly. Oliebollen is a doughnut-like dumpling that is dusted with powdered sugar and sold during the cold winter months, and during the holiday season, hundreds of street vendors can be found selling these tasty treats.

Suggested Reads: Here’s What 12 Christmas Dinners Look Like Around The World

Which sweets are a must for Christmas?

Gingerbread, Yule Log, candy canes, figgy pudding, and sugar plums are just a few of the many delicious Christmas sweets.

What is the most popular Christmas dessert?

No Christmas celebration is complete without Cakes, puddings, and cookies.

What are Santa’s favorite snacks?

To make Santa happy, offer him a plate of cookies and some flavored milk.

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