12 Popular Holiday Treats Around the World

The holiday season is a beautiful time for festive decorations and joyful gatherings. It’s also fun to indulge in and share holiday feasts and treats. Have you ever wondered what kinds of treats different cultures share around the world? Each country has its own unique way of celebrating the sweetness of the season. From aromatic spices to rich chocolates, here are 12 popular holiday treats that add a special touch to every gathering this time of year.

Italy – Panettone:

deposit photos


Panettone is a light and airy sweet bread filled with candied fruits and raisins. Traditionally enjoyed during Christmas, this fluffy delight has become a global favorite.

Germany – Lebkuchen:

heart-shaped gingerbread cookies
deposit photos


German holidays are synonymous with Lebkuchen, a spiced gingerbread cookie. Often heart-shaped and beautifully decorated, these cookies are enjoyed throughout the Christmas season.

Mexico – Tamales:

deposit photos


While tamales are enjoyed year-round, they hold a special place in Mexican holiday traditions. These savory or sweet-filled pockets of masa wrapped in corn husks are a festive treat during Christmas.

France – Bûche de Noël:

buche de Noel
deposit photos


In France, the Yule Log doesn’t just belong in the fireplace. Bûche de Noël, or Yule Log Cake, is a rolled sponge cake filled with delicious creams, often decorated to resemble a log.

Japan – Christmas Cake:

cake with whipped cream and strawberries
deposit photos


In Japan, Christmas is celebrated with a light and fluffy sponge cake decorated with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. It is a simple yet elegant treat which is typical in Japanese culinary. 

United States – Candy Canes:

two candy canes beside a mug of hot chocolate
deposit photos


A quintessential part of American holiday celebrations, candy canes are peppermint-flavored sweets that adorn Christmas trees and can be enjoyed alone or served as decorative stirrers for hot cocoa.

Greece – Melomakarona:

honey cookies piled up
deposit photos


These Greek honey cookies are a staple during the holiday season. Melomakarona are spiced with cinnamon and cloves, soaked in honey, and often topped with chopped nuts, offering a lovely combination of flavors.

Sweden – Saffron Buns (Lussekatter):

danish like cookies in a bowl
deposit photos


Saffron-infused sweet buns, known as Lussekatter or St. Lucia Buns, are a Swedish holiday favorite. The distinctive yellow color and unique flavor of saffron make them stand out.

South Africa – Malva Pudding:

south African malva pudding on a platter
deposit photos


South African holiday tables are graced with Malva Pudding, a warm and sticky caramelized sponge cake. Served with custard or ice cream, it’s a comforting and indulgent dessert.

Spain – Turron:

deposit photos


A staple in Spanish holiday celebrations, Turron is a nougat confection made with almonds, honey, and sugar. Whether it’s the hard and crunchy Alicante variety or the softer Jijona version, Turron graces tables during festive gatherings.

Russia – Sushki:

circle shaped cookies on a string
deposit photos


These small, crunchy, and mildly sweet Russian tea cookies, Sushki are a delicious holiday snack. Shaped like small rings, they are often strung together and hung as edible decorations.

Austria – Vanillekipferl:

vanillekipferi crescent shaped cookies
deposit photos


These crescent-shaped cookies, dusted with vanilla sugar, are a Christmas classic in Austria. The combination of ground nuts, butter, and vanilla creates a melt-in-your-mouth experience.

Read more from This Mom is On Fire