‘Tis the sweetest of seasons when Christmas time comes. Apart from time spent with family, one of the best things about the holiday season are the sweet indulgences. Cookies, cakes and delicious desserts are everywhere, and if you are lucky enough to be travelling during the Christmas season, you may even indulge in the different desserts that are special to different countries in the world. For the passionate travellers that will be on a journey, Opodo has compiled a tasty tour of ten of Europe’s traditional Christmas desserts. Keep them in mind and be sure to try them.
Zimtsterne – Germany
Sugar and spice and so nice! These bite-size cinnamon stars are a staple ingredient for a truly German Christmas. The principle ingredients are almonds, cinnamon, and a sugary white icing.
Why not giving zimsterne a try in Germany?
Turron – Spain
Ask any Spaniard about turron and they will speak to you in length of the dessert’s greatness. This traditional treat is light, sweet and made with honey, egg whites and almonds. You can find all different types of turron if you are visiting Spain during the holiday season, but the most common ones consists of a crunchy white brittle or a soft-creamy nougat bar. Today there are many types of turron, but experts all agree there are only two true turrons: turron duro (hard) and turron blando (soft).
Indulge in turron and decide which kind is your favorite while you are exploring Spain.
Panettone – Italy
Panettone is a sweet bread loaf that originated in Milan, but today is a favourite dessert across Italy during the Christmas season. The bread forms a cupula shape and contains candied orange, citron, lemon zest, and raisins on the inside.
You are already aware of the amazing options and cuisine in Italy. Indulge in Panettone and make it a sweet experience on your holiday to Italy.
Buche de Noel – France
Buche de Noel translates to “Yule Log” in English, and is a sponge cake that is filled and baked in a cylindrical form to resemble a log, hence the name. Though there are many varieties on the filling, chocolate buttercream is a traditional favourite.
Sing in yuletide carols and try the chocolaty Buche de Noel the next time you visit France.
Cozonac – Romania
Cozonac is a sweet bread that is typically consumed in Romania during the winter holidays. It is made with flour, milk, butter, eggs, sugar and salt. Depending on the region of Romania, the filling can contain different ingredients like raisins and rum flavouring or cocoa powder rolled into the dough to create a pinwheel design inside.
Have a hearty slice of this dessert while enjoying a merry Christmas in Romania.
Lussekatt – Sweden
The delicious Lussekatt, also known as saffron bun, is a sweet bun flavoured with saffron, cinnamon, and currants. Though there are many shapes for the lussekatt, the most traditional is the “S” shape.
Can’t imagine what saffron, cinnamon, and currants taste like together? Try it for yourself while on holiday in Sweden.
Pepperkake – Norway
Pepperkake cookies (also known as gingerbread cookies in English) are very popular in many countries around the world, but the Norwegian version of the cut-out cookie is extra special. This version has pepper added in the list of ingredients, giving it an extra spicy kick.
You have not tried a gingerbread cookie like this. Try this peppery version and go on holiday to Norway.
Kutia – Poland
In Poland, Christmas isn’t complete without a bowl of kutia, sweet grain pudding. Kutia is a popular dessert in other countries like Ukraine and Belarus, but in Poland the dish is made with honey, almonds, figs, walnuts, chocolate, raisins…
Kutia is best enjoyed in Poland. Take a trip and try this very different version of Christmas pudding.
Banketstaaf – Netherlands
Banketstaaf, also called letterbanket, are sweet pastries formed by rolling dough over almond paste. They are called banketstaaf if the form is a stick (staaf) or log-like, and banketletter if the forms are shaped into letters. The letters are traditionally used to spell out Christmas wishes.
Get your fill of this classic Dutch almond pastry while enjoying a Christmas in the Netherlands. Whatever shape they may be, we are sure you will find they are delicious.
Bolo Rei – Portugal
Taste one of the more traditional delights of Portugal and indulge in the bolo rei, or king’s cake. This sweet white cake is filled with raisins and nuts and covered with crystallised fruit. Traditionally there were two items hidden inside the cake, a fava (bean) and a small prize. Whoever found the fava bean would have to pay for the cake the next Christmas.
Try this sweet cake fit for a king in Portugal.
Which Christmas dessert is your favourite? Share your sweet craving with us in the comments below.