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Every country has its own Christmas traditions. Have you ever seen a Christmas card featuring a young girl wearing a wreath with candles on it around her head? That’s a Swedish Christmas tradition based on the story of St. Lucia, a young girl who would bring food to the persecuted Roman Christians who hid in the catacombs. She would wear candles on her head so that her arms were free to carry necessities. That’s just one example. At One Green Planet, the tradition we’re most excited about is (you guessed it) the food — particularly dessert. There are so many different kinds of Christmas desserts across the world, and we kind of want to try them all. The traditional recipes may contain products like eggs and dairy, but that’s never a problem because we can easily make them vegan!
Are you ready? We are! Here are 15 Christmas desserts from around the world on our Food Monster App that’ll sweeten your holiday dessert spread.
1. Tropical Christmas Fruit Cake
Source: Tropical Christmas Fruit Cake
Somehow, fruit cake has become a dreaded Christmas dessert of sorts — but nobody will shy away from grabbing a slice of Karen Kitto‘s fabulous Tropical Christmas Fruit Cake. Packed with mangos, coconut, pineapple, and other dried fruit, this cake is made from almond meal, so it’s flourless. The gorgeous cashew frosting on top makes it picture-perfect, but you might have trouble snapping photos before your guests try to grab a slice.
2. Dark Chocolate Marzipan Nougat
Source: Dark Chocolate Marzipan Nougat
Inspired by Spanish Christmas sweets, this delicious Dark Chocolate Marzipan Nougat by Gemma Gonzalez will get everyone talking. This amazing candy will melt in your mouth with a rich, sweet nutty flavor. Customize it with whatever toppings you prefer to make your own version! Surprisingly simple to make, this dessert is sure to be a hit at your holiday dinner.
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3. Raw Three Kings Cake
Source: Raw Three Kings Cake
The king cake is a sweet dough cake traditionally served at celebrations like Christmas in Europe, celebrating the gift of the Magi to baby Jesus. Carlota Cassou‘s Raw Three Kings Cake is made from almonds and cashews, filled with hazelnut butter, and garnished with candied fruit. It typically has a small baby Jesus figurine hidden inside and whoever finds it gains special privileges.
4. Flourless Bishop’s Cake
Source: Flourless Bishop’s Cake
A bishop’s cake is a traditional British Christmas recipe. It’s a fruit cake speckled with glacéed fruit, which is allegedly where it gets its name because the colorful fruits make it look like stained glass. In Karen Kitto‘s Flourless Bishop’s Cake, sugary glacéed fruits are replaced with big chunks of colorful dried fruit that give it a festive appearance without all the refined sugar. Since it’s made from coconut and cashew or almond flour, it’s also gluten-free! The flavor and texture are incredible — perfect for celebrating the holidays.
5. Coconut Flan With Caramel Sauce
Source: Coconut Flan With Caramel Sauce
Travis Piper‘s creamy, dreamy Coconut Flan With Caramel Sauce, is the perfect dessert for the holidays! Traditional flan is made from eggs and gelatin but in this recipe, it is made from coconut milk, tofu, and agar agar powder. Making the flan might seem like a science, but it’s a simple process that can be mastered by anyone.
6. Italian Anise Cookies
Source: Italian Anise Cookies
Time to bust out the Italian in you and make Bianca Scartabello‘s Italian Anise Cookies! These crumbly, buttery cookies are the perfect addition to your Christmas cookie tray, and they are easy to make. They’re a Christmas tradition!
7. Pavlova With Coconut Whipped Cream
Crispy meringue and coconut whipped cream come together into a beautiful, elegant dessert — Sara Oliveira‘s Pavlova With Coconut Whipped Cream. Pavlovas are said to have been created in honor of a Russian ballerina (they even share the same name) during her tour of Australia and New Zealand. They’re made by stacking meringue discs with layers of whipped cream, followed by a topping of fruit. This recipe uses aquafaba, the liquid from a can of chickpeas that typically gets poured down the drain, to make the meringues and coconut cream for the whipped cream.
8. Fruit Mince Tarts
Source: Fruit Mince Tarts
Karen Kitto‘s Fruit Mince Tarts are based on a traditionally British recipe that is a Christmas classic that dates back to the 13th century. It typically is made from a combination of minced meat, fruit, and Middle Eastern spices, but this raw version uses all dried fruit as the filling. There are two different crusts: one nut-free and one made from cashews. These mini fruit mince tarts are the perfect size for a Christmas dessert spread: delicious enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, but small enough to leave room for more dessert.
9. Panettone: Milanese Sweet Bread
Panettone, also known as pan dulce, is a sweet bread originating from Italy, but it’s gained popularity all over the world during the holidays, particularly in South America. Try this recipe by Clarisa Ponce de Leon. It’s the perfect treat for any occasion. Inviting a friend over for coffee? Offer them a slice. Craving a snack? You know what to do. You won’t be able to get enough of it.
10. Poppy Seed Roll
Source: Poppy Seed Roll
Having Tatana Shamma‘s Poppy Seed Roll on the side of a cup of coffee or tea on Christmas is unbeatable, especially when the roll is fresh and full of natural ingredients. This delicious cake is popular across Central and Eastern Europe during the holiday season. This raw version has a filling made of poppy seeds and coconut oil and a cake made from dates and almond flour — yum!
11. Struffoli: Fried ‘Honey’ Balls
Struffoli are little fried dough balls that are topped with honey and sprinkles which are a popular Christmas dessert in Italy. This vegan version of the recipe is by Rhea Parsons. The warm honey makes them sticky so they can be arranged into the shape of a Christmas tree and then decorated with colorful, festive sprinkles. If you live anywhere near an Italian bakery, you’ve seen these goodies. They are usually tall and wrapped in colored cellophane with a bow. They make a great centerpiece on the table. Tradition says that you can leave the struffoli out, uncovered, and they will last for weeks … or as long as it takes to eat them all. They taste even better the next day.
12. Mazapán de Cacahuate: Mexican Peanut Marzipan
Source: Mazapán de Cacahuate
Mazapán de Cacahuate, or peanut marzipan, is a typical sweet emblematic of Mexican culture. Like many other traditional dishes from Mexican cuisine, it has a Spanish influence. In Mexico, you can find peanut marzipan throughout the year and at any store, but it is super easy to make, requiring only peanuts, sugar, and a good food processor. These delightful sweets by Azucena Noriega will brighten up any dessert table.
13. Spiced Speculaas Cookies
Source: Spiced Speculaas Cookies
Speculaas, also called speculoos is a cookie made for the Saint Nicholas feast in the Netherlands, Belgium, and closer to Christmas in Germany. Despite its seasonality, speculoos cookies (and that delicious cookie butter) have made a splash in the U.S. and can be found all year round. Clémence Moulaert‘s simple Spiced Speculaas Cookies are laden with warm spices — ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon — and their crunchy texture makes them perfect for dunking in coffee or tea.
14. Gingerbread Christmas Cookies
Source: Gingerbread Christmas Cookies
Of course, we can’t talk about Christmas desserts without talking about gingerbread! These traditional Gingerbread Christmas Cookies by Gemma Gonzalez are thin, crispy, and spicy! Have fun and get creative with cutting them into whatever shape your heart desires and decorating them with icing!
15. Gingerbread Cake With Cream Cheese Glaze
Source: Gingerbread Cake
You can never go wrong with a classic Gingerbread Cake! This special treat by Gretchen Price is the perfect dessert to bring to your next holiday party! Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and molasses all blend to create an amazing, rich gingerbread flavor for this bundt cake. An easy-to-make cream cheese glaze adds a little extra sweetness and makes it even better.
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