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6 Traditional Holiday Desserts Around the World

1. Pan de Pascua
6 Traditional Holiday Desserts Around the World
Holiday celebrations take different forms in different countries, but they all seem to have several things in common: No matter which holiday you’re celebrating, no matter whether you’re in France or the Philippines, the holidays are a time to indulge in gift-giving, in appreciation, and (of course) in eating delicious sweets. Scroll through the slideshow to check out six traditional holiday desserts from around the globe.
By Sarah Buder, AFAR Staff
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    1. Pan de Pascua
    1. Pan de Pascua
    Although “Pascua” literally means “Easter” in Spanish, this cake is traditionally eaten in Chile around Christmastime. The sweet dessert, which was originally introduced to Chile by German immigrants, is similar in texture to sponge cake and usually contains candied fruits, raisins, and nuts. Our recommendation for a true Chilean holiday experience? Sip on a pisco sour while eating homemade pan de Pascua—that is, if your sweet tooth can handle it.
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    2. Christmas Pudding
    2. Christmas Pudding
    In the United Kingdom, Christmas pudding is traditionally served as part of the Christmas dinner. Puddings are made four to five weeks before Christmas on “Stir Up Sunday”—the last Sunday before the season of Advent—and each family member takes a stir of the pot while making a wish. The dessert is aged for weeks (a high alcohol content prevents it from spoiling) and is later decorated with holly, doused in brandy or rum, flamed, and then served.

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    3. Bûche de Noël
    3. Bûche de Noël
    Bûche de Noël, the French Christmas cake, is made to resemble a Yule log. The flourless chocolate dessert is rolled in chocolate whipped cream and decorated with powdered sugar or white frosting to imitate the look of snow on the log. You’ll need to serve this at your Christmas meal if you want to throw a quintessentially French dinner party.
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    4. Bibingka
    4. Bibingka
    Bibingka is a type of rice cake from the Philippines usually eaten during the Christmas season. Traditionally, the dessert—made from rice flour, coconut milk, and eggs—is cooked over hot coals in clay pots lined with banana leaves. Eating these unique delicacies during the holidays is just one way to have an authentic food experience in the Philippines.

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    5. Rum Cake
    5. Rum Cake
    If you’ve ever spent the winter holidays in the Caribbean, you’ve most likely tried a rum cake—the traditional dessert for which the islands are well-known. The pastry—blending almond flour, eggs, vanilla, and rum—gvies you a delicious taste (literally) of what the real Caribbean has to offer.
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    6. Vaniljekranse
    6. Vaniljekranse
    Vaniljekranse, which translates directly to “vanilla wreaths,” is definitely a Danish word you should know this holiday season. More commonly known outside of Denmark as Danish butter cookies, these traditional (and extremely popular) treats are just as satisfying as they look. 
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    Photo Courtesy of Pixabay