Seasons Eatings: Christmas Desserts From Around the Globe

Besides New Years, Christmas is the widest celebrated holiday in the world, with countless meals being shared on December 25th. One of the beauties of the season is seeing how different countries adapt their national cuisines to make their own signature holiday dishes and desserts are no exception. Here are a few of our favorites.

Æbleskiver

Warm, sugar-coated, danish pastries? Sign us up. Similar to an American donut hole,  Æbleskiver (literally “apple slices”) is a heavyweight dessert in Scandinavia throughout the Christmas season, where it’s often paired with fresh jams and powdered sugar. If you really want to spotlight Scandinavian flavors try using lingonberry jam!

  • Pro Tip: To avoid an overly greasy finished product, use butter instead of oil when baking.

Fruitcake

American fruitcake gets a bad wrap, but that doesn’t mean it’s inherently a bad dish. When prepared properly, fruitcake transcends its reputation and offers a rich flavor that only gets better with age. Visit here to learn how to bake a fruitcake your customers won’t want to regift.

Panforte

Translated as “strong bread” from its native Italian, panforte mixes a variety of dried fruits, nuts, and holiday spices into one multi-layered dish. Mediterranean favorites like figs, prunes, and raisins are well at home here, bringing flavors that aren’t often seen in American desserts. Traditionally, Italian panfortes add some extra spice by using black pepper or ginger, but you may want to omit it based on your audience. 

Pavlova

Named after famed Russian Ballerina Anna Pavlova, this dessert is appropriately elegant. Originally created in New Zealand in her honor, pavlova mixes a creamy layer of meringue with a variety of sweet fruits. Traditionally, pavlova uses fresh kiwi slices, but most berries make excellent toppings in this dish as well.

Volteado de Pina

Known as pineapple upside down cake stateside, this Mexican dish utilizes the classic pairing of cherries and pineapple for a tasty, nostalgic dessert. We enjoy modernizing the dish by transferring our recipe into cupcake form, making them more appealing to customers that are looking for a light snack. 

Rum Cake

This Caribbean favorite is dense, buttery, and soaked in Caribbean rum. What’s not to love? Although it’s utterly delicious on its own, chefs looking to add to the rich flavor profile should consider adding dried fruit to the batter or topping with rum marinated cherries. If you decide to go with the latter, be sure to use spiced rum, as the extra spices will permeate the fruit better.