Christmas/ Dessert/ Roundup

Best Christmas Dessert Ideas from Around the World

07/10/2020 (Last Updated: 17/12/2020)

Christmas desserts are a fun way to spoil your family and friends on Christmas Day. Choosing the best dessert will help you feel relaxed, organised and ready to celebrate! From cakes to cookies, meringues to tortes, this list has you covered for a relaxing and flavour packed Christmas Day.

A collage of images showing pavlova and bolo rei Christmas desserts

Tips to Decide on the Best Christmas Dessert

When choosing your Christmas dessert recipe, it’s a good idea to consider the style and setting for your gathering. This will ensure you and your guests have the best and tastiest experience on the day!

  • What season does Christmas fall in in your country? Will you be eating indoors or alfresco? In Australia, our Christmas season is summer, so we often enjoy cooling recipes like our pavlova meringue with whipped cream and fruit as a great way to cool down. If you’re used to a winter White Christmas, you and your guests might enjoy a warming dessert, such as our French pain d’epices, full of holiday spices instead.
  • How many people will you be serving? For large groups, it might be easier to make a large dessert you know will feed a crowd. It might be even easier to make it in advance so you have more time to prepare the main course or socialise on the day. See below for more delicious ideas!
  • What style of meal will you be having? Will it be for lunch or dinner? A traditional roast or something more modern? Heavy or light? Will you and your guests have room for a big and lavish dessert or prefer something light and refreshing?
  • How much time (or energy) will you have on the day to prepare? Sometimes you’ll have plenty of time and helping hands to bring a more intricate dessert together on the day. Other times you might prefer to get the prep and cooking/assembling done the day before, or whip together a 5 minute recipe like eton mess, so you can spend more time relaxing with your guests.

No matter what you’re planning, we’ve sorted this amazing collection of Christmas desserts into categories to help you choose the best one to suit your Christmas Day plans!

Christmas Desserts from Around the World

Serve a crowd:

Australian Pavlova Dessert Meringue on cake stand with side plates.
Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe
This EASY Australian Pavlova recipe is all about that crunchy, chewy meringue shell and soft, pillowy marshmallow centre. Have the meringue base in the oven in just 15 minutes! Includes recipe video, step-by-step instructions and creative topping ideas.
Click for Easy Australian Pavlova Recipe
Close up of wreath baked Christmas cake.
Bolo Rei (Portuguese Christmas Kings Cake)
A lightly spiced, fluffy Christmas cake filled with fruit and nuts. A speciality in Portugal, Bolo Rei or Portuguese Kings Cake, is super easy to bake at home, so get ready to make your Kings Cake "crown" this holiday season!
Click for Bolo Rei (Portuguese Christmas Kings Cake)
Meringue torte on a cake stand, decorated with berries.
Chocolate Spice Meringue Pavlova Torte
Meringue pavlova torte is an impressive holiday dessert recipe, made with layers of chocolate spiced meringue, whipped cream, and mulled cranberry compote.
Click for Chocolate Spice Meringue Pavlova Torte
Strawberries and blueberries topped on a custard trifle.
Super Easy Australian Trifle with Custard
A simple, traditional trifle for busy cooks. Perfect for celebrations or Christmas, we've made this quick, easy and hassle free. Loaded with custard, cream and iconic port wine jelly for an Australian trifle to impress!
Click for Super Easy Australian Trifle with Custard

Make in advance:

Slice of pumpkin pie with coconut on place, with second slice in background.
Coconut Milk Pumpkin Pie
Enjoy this dairy-free take on a classic American Thanksgiving dessert. Made with fresh pumpkin and warming spices, Coconut Milk Pumpkin Pie is deliciously easy to make, ready to pop in the oven in 10 minutes!
Click for Coconut Milk Pumpkin Pie
Strawberry Shortcake cake – Japanese version
Japanese typically have Strawberry Shortcake on Christmas Eve. Japanese strawberry shortcake is fluffy sponge cake with whipped cream.
Click for Strawberry Shortcake cake – Japanese version
The Best Christmas Gingerbread House
The ultimate guide to making the best Christmas gingerbread house, using a custom gingerbread house recipe and template tips on how to make a gingerbread house the best way!
Click for The Best Christmas Gingerbread House
A baked cupcake in a foil patty pan, topped with whipped cream and strawberries
Tres Leches Cupcakes (Mexican 3 Milk Cake)
These Mexican Tres Leches Cupcakes are the meltiest, tastiest, fluffiest little cupcakes ever. Top these gorgeous little 3 milk cakes with whipped cream and strawberries for an afternoon indulgence or delightful dessert. Just 15 minutes prep time!
Click for Tres Leches Cupcakes (Mexican 3 Milk Cake)
Christmas Tree Cake
This Christmas Tree Cake delicious, spectacular and totally no bake! Do you need a great dessert for Christmas? Look no further. You will have this dessert made in less than 30 minutes.
Click for Christmas Tree Cake
English Christmas Trifle
English Christmas Trifle. Layers of almond pound cake, poached pears, fresh raspberries and amaretto make this an elegant addition to your holiday buffet!
Click for English Christmas Trifle
Bavarian Cream
This easy-to-make Bavarian cream is light, airy and delicious and can be flavored with hazelnut liqueur or served with a fruity raspberry coulis.
Click for Bavarian Cream
Christmas Pudding Recipe – Easy Fruit Cake
Christmas pudding is one of all time favourite desserts to serve on the holiday table. This pudding is moist and sticky and best served hot with ice cream or whipped cream.
Click for Christmas Pudding Recipe – Easy Fruit Cake
Risalamande – Danish Rice Pudding
If you want to try something new and incredibly delicious this holiday season, try Risalamande. It’s a creamy, soft and melt-in-your-mouth Danish rice pudding with almonds and topped with a flavourful cherry sauce.
Click for Risalamande – Danish Rice Pudding

Serve warm:

Drizzling sauce over red wine poached pears.
Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears
These Red Wine Poached Pears are an iconic Winter Dessert, and the beautiful colour makes them perfect for Christmas too! The super easy spiced fruit recipe is simply great way to end a dinner party!
Click for Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears
Pieces of pain d'epices slathered in butter.
Pain d’epices Recipe – French Spice Bread
A classic French spice bread, this pain d'epices recipe is made with rye flour and a warming blend of ground spices sweetened with honey. Learn how to make your very own pain d'epice cake at home.
Click for Pain d’epices Recipe – French Spice Bread
Wheat Berry Dessert (Burbara)
A Middle Eastern dessert that’s usually enjoyed around December 4th to countdown for Christmas. It’s so easy to make, made with natural ingredients (don’t count the candy!), and it’s naturally vegan. This porridge-like dessert will definitely warm you up on a cold day!
Click for Wheat Berry Dessert (Burbara)

Serve cold:

Blancmange set on a plate with blackberry coulis.
Blanc Manger with Blackberry Coulis
If you're looking for an impressive French dessert with minimal fuss, look no further than Blanc Manger. A delicate panna-cotta-like sweet pudding, topped with homemade blackberry coulis, and made with just six ingredients.
Click for Blanc Manger with Blackberry Coulis
Three cups of lemon cheesecake decorated with fresh blueberries
Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake Dessert Cups
Make this dessert for two in 15 minutes. This is a simple cheesecake cup that’s fresh and creamy, tangy and fruity.
Click for Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake Dessert Cups
Close up shot of fluffy chocolate mousse garnished with desiccated coconut.
Easy Chocolate Mousse with Cocoa Powder
Craving a chocolate fix? You’re just 5 minutes and 4 ingredients away from this decadently Easy Chocolate Mousse with cocoa powder. No stress, no mess, just light and fluffy dessert goodness!
Click for Easy Chocolate Mousse with Cocoa Powder
Two slices of Lebanese milk pudding dessert on a plate, garnished with crushed pistachios.
Haytaliyeh Recipe – Vegan Lebanese Milk Pudding
Creamy Haytaliyeh is an easy solid milk pudding Lebanese recipe for the whole family, only requiring 6 ingredients!
Click for Haytaliyeh Recipe – Vegan Lebanese Milk Pudding
Mulled apple cider popsicles
These mulled apple cider popsicles take the wonderful fall flavours of apple and mulled spices and turns them into a delicious and refreshing popsicles. Made with non alcoholic cider they are a treat the whole family can enjoy.
Click for Mulled apple cider popsicles
Scottish Cranachan dessert in a glass, showing the layers of stewed berries and whipped cream.
Cranachan, A Lovely Scottish Dessert
A very traditional Scottish dessert made with oats, cream, whisky and raspberries. Very delicious, if you haven’t already guessed!
Click for Cranachan, A Lovely Scottish Dessert

Small Bites

A mini eton mess pavlova on a plate with fruit, cream and crumbled meringue garnish.
Eton Mess Mini Pavlova
This effortless Eton Mess recipe features crumbly pre-made meringue nests topped with whipped cream, strawberries and mint for a deliciously festive dessert.
Click for Eton Mess Mini Pavlova
Close up of a slice of fairy bread showing the colourful sprinkles.
Australian Fairy Bread Recipe
Fairy Bread is Australia’s favourite party snack for kids and nostalgic adults alike. Make this colourful treat in minutes with just three ingredients!
Click for Australian Fairy Bread Recipe
Stack of three slices of gur cake.
Chester Squares (Irish Gur Cake)
A beloved bakery slice, Chester Squares or Gur Cake, is the king of cake leftovers. Mix old bread, cake or pudding with sultanas and you have a sweet mince meat filling crammed between two thick slices of pastry.
Click for Chester Squares (Irish Gur Cake)
A bowl of fresh berries with sumac dusted mini meringues.
Summer Berry Salad with Sumac Dusted Meringues
Add a touch of fun for to an otherwise simple Summer Berry Salad. This dessert salad with sumac dusted meringues will dissappear in seconds!
Click for Summer Berry Salad with Sumac Dusted Meringues

Cookies & Biscuits

Koulourakia – Greek Celebration Cookies
Koulourakia are light and crumbly cookies like shortbread but not too sweet. They’re perfect as a sweet treat after a meal or with a hot cup of coffee or tea!
Click for Koulourakia – Greek Celebration Cookies
Matcha Green Tea and Omija Cookies (Dasik)
Dasik are traditional Korean tea cookies that are no bake cookies that just melt in your mouth. This recipe includes using Christmas cookie cutters to celebrate the season.
Click for Matcha Green Tea and Omija Cookies (Dasik)
Hildabrötchen Shortbread Cookie with Jam
Hildabrötchen, or Hilda brotchen, is one of our traditional German Christmas Cookies! They are bright and festive and really spruce up a cookie platter!
Click for Hildabrötchen Shortbread Cookie with Jam
Chewy Italian Almond Biscuits
Hot baked biscuits in less than 30 minutes? Yes please! Here's a simple recipe for Italian almond biscuits. They are chewy, delicately sweet and packed with the rich flavour of roasted almond. 
Click for Chewy Italian Almond Biscuits
A glass dish filled with Greek Christmas biscuits sprinkled with icing sugar.
Easy Greek Cookies With Powdered Sugar
This recipe for Greek cookies with powdered sugar can be made with or without the use of a mixer. Great for giving as Christmas gifts or sharing at any special occasion.
Click for Easy Greek Cookies With Powdered Sugar
A plate of white snowball cookies perfect for Christmas!
Classic Snowball Cookies Recipe
Snowball Cookies are rich, buttery & delicate shortbread cookies that melt in your mouth. Traditional Christmas cookie recipe & perfect for the holidays!
Click for Classic Snowball Cookies Recipe
Greek melomakarona cookies on a plate, garnished with crushed pistachio.
Melomakarona Honey Spice Cookies
Melomakarona are traditional Greek Christmas cookies, made with olive oil, spices and soaked in honey syrup.
Click for Melomakarona Honey Spice Cookies

These Christmas dessert recipes are sure to bring new and exciting flavours to your celebrations. All you need to do now is decide: Which dessert will you try first? 

And if you’ve already tried one or more of these tasty dishes, let us know how it turned out in the comments!

Create your own Christmas Day feast with these dishes:

Best Christmas Dessert Ideas from Around the World

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  • Reply
    Cynthia | What A Girl Eats
    15/10/2020 at 12:24 pm

    Thank you for including my recipe! Pinned/tweeted and yummed!

    • Reply
      16/10/2020 at 5:42 pm

      Yay! You’re welcome Cynthia. 🙂

  • Reply
    09/10/2020 at 4:23 pm

    Ok, so I had to go and get myself a cookie because after scrolling through this round up I was craving something to eat! Looks like I’ve found something new to add to my Christmas dessert and baking list – for me it’s Portuguese Kings cake and the Snowball cookies! YUM!

    • Reply
      12/10/2020 at 10:39 am

      Haha! Great to hear you got some new ideas Marcellina! Those snowball cookies look fab, and we can definitely say the Kings Cake was a winner on the Christmas table last year. 🙂

  • Reply
    Elaina Newton (@TheRisingSpoon)
    18/12/2015 at 11:58 am

    Oh man, now I’m really craving something sweet! What a wonderful round-up of holiday goodies from around the world. I’d love a slice of that Japanese Christmas Cake right now! 🙂

    • Reply
      20/12/2015 at 7:46 pm

      It’s so cute isn’t it! Glad you enjoyed and hope you can put some to good use this Christmas. 🙂

  • Reply
    15/12/2015 at 10:39 pm

    Yeiiii you miss the Portuguese sweets…all over our country during the Christmas time we have wonderful deserts, like the “bolo rei”(king cake) a dow with fruit inside and decorate, only in Mardi gras they have something similar…. I have to update my blog and tell you all about our sweets :mrgreen:

    • Reply
      Sarah & Laura @ Wandercooks
      15/12/2015 at 10:48 pm

      Oh nooooo! Quick send us a link of your favourite and we’d love to add it as a bonus recipe for our readers 👍 the Bolo Rei sounds fascinating. Looking into them now… Haha

  • Reply
    Christina @ Christina's Cucina
    14/12/2015 at 2:04 am

    What a great collection of international recipes for Christmas! Thank you for including my Cranachan!

    • Reply
      14/12/2015 at 2:43 am

      You’re welcome Christina, we can’t wait to make it! 😀

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