Seven traditional Christmas desserts in Europe for your Christmas Eve

by Destination(s) Europe

📌 Read in / Lire en : Français (French)

Are the Christmas holidays are approaching, and you are already wondering about the dishes you are going to offer during the meal? With regards to the main dish, we have some ideas for you in this article, including mouthwatering Danish roast duck or Icelandic smoked lamb. But, just this once, let’s go straight to dessert! Why not think outside the box by opting for a foreign specialty? Here are seven ideas for traditional Christmas desserts in Europe to enhance your Christmas Eve.

Decorations and spiritualityAre you looking for authentic figurines to decorate your Christmas nativity? Here’s where to find them.

The Yule Log | France

How could we talk about Christmas desserts without mentioning our famous log? 

(Staff Sergeant Ian M. Terry / CC)

The Yule log is usually a chocolate cake made without flour, wrapped in chocolate buttercream and dusted with icing sugar. However, there are many more elaborate variations including forest decorations such as meringue mushrooms and decorations made from marzipan. In addition, you can also opt for the frozen Christmas log – always a delight! 

🍰 Here is a Yule Log recipe

The Christstollen | Germany

If you are a big fan of fruit, then you will love this Christmas dessert! 

Another star of traditional Christmas desserts in Europe, Christstollen (or Alsatian Stollen) is a fruit bread brushed with melted butter which is rolled in warm sugar. In its preparation, it is similar to a cake made from yeast, water and flour. However, Christstollen contains chopped, candied or dried fruit, as well as nuts and spices like cinnamon. For the more adventurous, you can also add some rum! 

🍰 Here is a Christmas Christollen recipe

The Mince Pies | Britain

If you like sugar and fruits, then you will be won over by this dessert! 

Christmas mince pies are a sweet, fruit-based tart that is eaten during the winter holidays across the Channel. Serve this dessert with a glass of red wine or a cup of tea!

🍰 Here is a recipe for Mince Pies

Le Panettone | Italy

Here is a delicacy that will be unanimous! 

Panettone is very popular around the world and is arguably one of the most famous traditional Christmas desserts in Europe. This sweet bread is originally from Milan and is enjoyed at Christmas and New Year. It is often accompanied by sweet drinks such as tea, amaretto liqueur or moscato wine.

🍰 Here is a Christmas Panettone recipe

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The Bolo Rei | Portugal

Discover the Portuguese King’s Cake! 

Bolo Rei, translated as “king’s cake”, is a Christmas cake traditionally shaped like a wreath. Unlike the French galette des rois, it contains raisins, pine nuts, candied fruit and citrus zest. You can also decorate it with candied fruits and nuts. 

🍰 Here is a recipe for Christmas Bolo Rei

The Beigli | Hungary

Nutella fanatics will love this dessert! 

Beigli is a very popular pastry in Hungary, eaten during Christmas and Easter. It’s a nut or poppy seed roll with a fairly rich filling like chocolate, chestnut puree or chopped fruit. 

🍰 Here is a Beigli recipe for Christmas

The Banketstaaf | Netherlands

The Dutch alternative to the Yule log! 

Banketstaaf is a puff pastry roll filled with marzipan and baked until golden brown. It can be likened to the Yule log since the pastry is rolled in a similar way. The Banketstaaf is then cut into small lengths and served hot or cold. 

🍰 Here is a Banketstaaf recipe for Christmas

We hope that our seven traditional European Christmas desserts will have fostered your appetite. Any other baking ideas for the holiday season? Tell us in the comments.

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