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Countdown to Christmas: Traditional Holiday Desserts Around the World

Every year, millions of families around the world gather together to not only celebrate the tradition of Christmas but also partake in the culinary traditions around the holiday -- particularly, desserts. Each country -- from France to Spain, to the UK and Italy-- has their own culturally unique spin on what it means to celebrate Christmas.

Below, some of The French Workshop's favorites.


Bûche de Noël (France)

We begin with perhaps the most well-known traditional Christmas dessert, the Yule Log -- or, as it's known in the French-speaking world, the Bûche de Noël. The dessert refers to the European tradition of selecting a log to be burnt on the hearth during the Christmas or Yuletide season. Similar to the Swiss Roll, the Yule Log is made of sponge cake and often filled with variants such as chocolate buttercream, ganache, and even espresso- or liqueur-infused icings. A couple of our favorite recipes are this classic one by Leslie from the Stress Baking blog, and this Black Forest variation from Andrea from the Movers and Bakers blog.

Mince or Mincemeat Pies (United Kingdom)

One of the Christmas desserts that are most emblematic of British culture has to be the Mince Pie. Otherwise known as "Mutton Pie", "Shrid Pie", and "Christmas Pie", it is made of a mixture of meats, fruits, and spices brought over from the Crusades. Since then, it's been a typical find in any British household this time of year. We love this recipe from writer Sisley on the Sew White blog.

Turrón (Spain)

Many of us Stateside know nougat as a popular candy bar filling, but for many European countries, it is known as an integral part of their Christmas traditions. One such country is Spain, which calls the delicacy by its Spanish name, Turrón. Typically made with honey, sugar, egg white, and toasted almonds, turrón is commonly seen in Spanish supermarkets and specialty stores. We like this Cream and Walnut version by Iñaki on the Jaleo en la Cocina blog.


Try our Yule Logs and other holiday offerings at our various locations here!

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