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yule drool

PHOTOS: 20 incredibly delicious Christmas desserts from across the world

How many of these have you tried?

IRELAND’S UNIQUE CONTRIBUTION is undoubtedly trifle, but elsewhere in the world, typical Christmas desserts look a lot different.

From an 18-layered ring cake in Norway to a boozy rum-filled fruit cake in Jamaica, this is what festive treats look like in 20 countries around the world.


australia-many-australians-opt-for-a-light-pavlova--or-berry-dessert--after-dinner-instead-of-a-heavy-christmas-pudding-or-cake-pavlova-is-similar-to-a-large-meringue-that-has-been-topped-with-fresh-cream-and-be Asah Yogandandan Asah Yogandandan

Many Australians opt for a light pavlova — or berry dessert — after dinner, instead of a heavy Christmas pudding or cake.

Pavlova is similar to a large meringue that has been topped with fresh cream and berries.


austria-little-vanilla-crescent-cookies-called-vanillekipferl-adorn-bakeshop-windows-and-family-kitchens-throughout-the-holiday-season-in-austria-theyre-similar-to-a-shortbread-cookie-and-are-made-with-vanilla-and-nuts Chasing Daisy Chasing Daisy

Little vanilla crescent biscuits called vanillekipferl adorn bakeshop windows and family kitchens throughout the holiday season in Austria.

They’re similar to shortbread, and are made with vanilla and nuts.

Belgium and the Netherlands

belgium-speculaas-is-a-thin-crunchy-cookie-typically-eaten-before-st-nicholas-feast-in-the-netherlands-the-cookies-are-created-using-intricate-wood-molds-and-are-similar-in-taste-to-gingerbread-cookies-except-that-they Turku Gingerbread Turku Gingerbread

Speculaas is a thin, crunchy biscuit typically eaten before St. Nicholas’ feast in the Netherlands and Belgium.

They are created using intricate wood moulds and are similar in taste to gingerbread, but more subtly spiced.


brazil-rabanada-is-a-brazilian-version-of-french-toast-served-around-christmastime-instead-of-maple-syrup-rabanada-is-topped-with-a-syrup-made-from-spiced-port-wine Rie H. Rie H.

Rabanada is a Brazilian-style fried toast served around Christmastime, and topped with a syrup made from spiced port wine.


canada-chicken-bones-a-spicy-cinnamon-hard-candy-filled-with-bittersweet-chocolate-is-a-holiday-favorite-in-canada-chicken-bones-are-a-polarizing-candy--a-lot-of-canadians-either-love-them-or-hate-them Ganong Ganong

Chicken Bones, a spicy cinnamon sweet filled with bittersweet chocolate, are a polarising Christmas tradition in Canada – you either love them or hate them.


colombia-many-colombians-serve-arroz-con-leche-or-rice-pudding-for-dessert-on-christmas-every-family-has-their-own-recipe-but-its-typically-made-from-milk-spices-raisins-and-rice M Martin Vicente M Martin Vicente

Many Colombians serve arroz con leche, or rice pudding, for dessert on Christmas. Every family has their own recipe, but it’s typically made from milk, spices, raisins and rice.


croatia-you-can-expect-to-find-a-bowl-of-fritule-sitting-out-in-every-croatian-household-during-the-holiday-season-fritule-are-mini-fried-doughnuts-similar-to-a-beignet-except-theyre-made-with-rum-citrus-zest-and-raisi kennejima kennejima

You can expect to find a bowl of fritule sitting out in every Croatian household during the Christmas period.

Fritule are mini fried doughnuts, similar to a beignet, except they’re made with rum, citrus zest, and raisins, and topped with powdered sugar.

Czech Republic

czech-republic-wander-around-any-holiday-market-in-prague-and-youll-be-sure-to-find-a-stand-that-sells-trdelnik-or-chimney-cakes-dough-strips-are-covered-with-sugar-cinnamon-and-nuts-and-baked-wrapped-around-a-cylinder erix erix

Wander around any Christmas market in Prague, and you’ll be sure to find a stand that sells trdelnik, or chimney cakes.

Dough strips are covered with sugar, cinnamon, and nuts and baked wrapped around a cylinder.


france-calissons-are-a-smooth-chewy-almond-flavored-candy-made-with-candied-fruit-and-ground-almonds-then-topped-with-a-thin-layer-of-white-icing Jean-Louis Zimmerman Jean-Louis Zimmerman

Calissons are a smooth, chewy, almond-flavoured sweet made with candied fruit and ground almonds, then topped with a thin layer of white icing.


greece-a-greek-christmas-wouldnt-be-complete-without-a-fresh-batch-of-melomakarona-or-honey-walnut-spiced-cookies-these-cake-like-cookies-are-made-with-ingredients-that-are-native-to-mediterranean-cuisine-like-honey-ol Alexander Baxevanis Alexander Baxevanis

A Greek Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a fresh batch of melomakarona, or honey walnut-spiced cookies.

These cake-like biscuits are made with ingredients that are native to Mediterranean cuisine, like honey, olive oil, and nuts.


germany-lebkuchen-is-a-soft-cakey-cookie-that-dates-back-to-the-1300s-the-cookie-is-heavily-spiced-and-gets-its-sweetness-from-the-added-honey-and-layer-of-icing-on-top TheBitternWord TheBitternWord

Lebkuchen is a soft, cakey biscuit that dates back to the 1300s. They’re heavily spiced and get their sweetness from the added honey and layer of icing on top.


hungary-beigli-is-a-pastry-roll-traditionally-filled-with-a-walnut-or-poppy-seed-paste-which-is-then-baked-it-is-by-far-the-most-popular-holiday-treat-at-christmastime-in-hungary Ann T Ann T

Beigli is a pastry roll traditionally filled with a walnut or poppy seed paste, which is then baked. It is by far the most popular holiday treat at Christmastime in Hungary.


iceland-laufabrau-or-leaf-bread-is-literally-as-thin-as-a-leaf-during-the-holiday-season-families-gather-to-make-these-crispy-thin-pattern-adorned-flatbreads BrianSuda BrianSuda

Laufabrauð, or leaf bread, is literally as thin as a leaf. During the Christmas period, families gather to make these crispy, thin, patterned flatbreads.


italy-panettone-literally-means-big-bread-and-it-wouldnt-be-considered-christmas-in-italy-without-it-panettone-can-come-in-lots-of-different-flavors-but-the-traditional-panettone-is-a-sweet-bread-that-has-candied-orang Linda since 1972 Linda since 1972

Panettone literally means “big bread,” and it wouldn’t be considered Christmas in Italy without it.

Panettone can come in lots of different flavours, but the traditional one is a sweet bread that has candied oranges, lemon zest and raisins in it. This fluffy bread takes at least 12 hours to rise, but when it’s finally ready to eat, the whole family enjoys it.


jamaica-no-christmas-on-the-island-would-be-complete-without-a-slice-of-boozy-jamaican-christmas-cake-its-filled-with-a-mixture-of-dried-fruit-and-lots-of-rum Lachlann Hardy Lachlann Hardy

No Christmas on the island would be complete without a slice of boozy Jamaican Christmas cake. It’s filled with a mixture of dried fruit and lots of rum.


mexico-buuelos-can-be-found-throughout-mexico-and-like-a-lot-of-foods-they-vary-by-region-in-oaxaca-where-they-are-particularly-popular-during-christmastime-they-look-like-discs-of-fried-dough-that-have-been-dusted-wit Baptiste Poris Baptiste Poris

Buñuelos can be found throughout Mexico, and like a lot of foods, they vary by region. In Oaxaca, where they are particularly popular during Christmas, they look like discs of fried dough that have been dusted with sugar.

When Oaxacans finish eating their buñuelos, it’s tradition to smash their plate on the ground and make a wish.


norway-an-almond-ring-cake-called-kransekake-is-popular-for-all-big-occasions-christmas-included-a-traditional-cake-consists-of-18-wreaths-that-are-decorated-with-mini-norwegian-flags-and-decrease-in-size-as-they-go-up gcbb gcbb

An almond ring cake called kransekake is popular for all big occasions, Christmas included. A traditional cake consists of 18 wreaths that are decorated with mini Norwegian flags and decrease in size as they go up.


poland-kolaczki-are-jam-filled-holiday-cookies-that-are-especially-popular-after-the-big-polish-christmas-eve-dinner-called-the-wigilia kurmanstaff kurmanstaff

Kolaczki are jam-filled holiday biscuits that are especially popular after the big Polish Christmas Eve dinner called the Wigilia.


spain-in-the-weeks-leading-up-to-christmas-spanish-supermarkets-will-be-lined-with-varieties-of-turrn-a-spanish-nougat-that-is-especially-popular-during-the-holiday-season-there-are-two-types-turrn-de-alicante-hard-nou Pincas Pincas

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Spanish supermarkets will be lined with varieties of turrón, a Spanish nougat that is especially popular during the holiday season.

There are two types: turrón de Alicante (hard nougat), and turrón di jijona (a soft variety).


sweden-the-day-of-st-lucia-kicks-off-the-holiday-season-in-sweden-and-to-help-celebrate-saffron-buns-are-traditionally-served-these-rolls-get-their-beautiful-golden-color-from-the-the-saffron-infused-dough Eric Forsberg Eric Forsberg

The day of St. Lucia kicks off the Christmas season in Sweden, and to help celebrate, saffron buns are traditionally served.

These rolls get their beautiful golden colour from saffron-infused dough.

Column: What was Christmas food like in medieval Ireland?>

Read: Here’s what happens to your stomach when you eat too much>

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