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Opodo Travel Blog
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‘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

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.

Turron – Spain

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).

Panettone – Italy

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.

Buche de Noel – France

Buche de Noel in France
Photo by Caitlin Childs via Flickr

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.

Cozonac – Romania

Cozonac from Romania
Photo by gorgeoux via Flickr

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.

Lussekatt – Sweden

Lussekatt from Sweden
Photo by Erik Forsberg via Flickr

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.

Pepperkake – Norway

Pepperkake from Norway
Photo by Magnus Akselvoll via Flickr

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.

Kutia – Poland

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…

Banketstaaf – Netherlands


Banketstaaf from the Netherlands
Photo by Gerard Stolk via Flickr

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.

Bolo Rei – Portugal


Bolo Rei from Portugal
Photo by SantiMB via Flickr

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.

Which Christmas dessert is your favourite? Share your sweet craving with us in the comments below.

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