10 tasty holiday treats from around the world

Turn global recipes into local comforts. These different delicacies from around the world are perfect for any celebration.

A girl presses a star-shaped cookie cutter onto dough. Photo: JÉSHOOTS

A great thing about travelling is discovering local cuisine. But with global travel pretty much on standby right now, why not bring the world to the comfort of your kitchen! Now's the best time to stay inside and stay warm by filling your kitchen with the smell of freshly made baked goods. Enjoy them with family and friends, or save them all for yourself.


Oliebollen (Netherlands)

Oliebollen is a deep-fried dough that's sprinkled with powdered sugar. It's also great when filled with small chunks of apple or raisins. Oliebollen is traditionally eaten to celebrate New Year’s and is often paired with champagne while watching fireworks. It’s also made for the annual Dutch tradition of burning of Christmas trees in bonfires. If you're looking for a way to stay warm this year that doesn’t include setting any fires, bake this sweet treat for those cold days of winter. You can find a great recipe for Oliebollen here.


Marranitos (Mexico)

Marranitos (Mexican Gingerbread Pigs) are a traditional molasses-flavoured sweet bread formed in the shape of pigs. They can commonly be found in Mexican bakeries during the holiday season. The texture is that sweet spot between cake and cookie, with it being neither too hard nor too soft. They're well-balanced with rich molasses and a touch of complementing sweetness. Marranitos are perfect for dunking in milk and a delight for all ages, but especially for children. Feel like a kid again with this whimsical and fun Mexican gingerbread pigs recipe.


Saffron Buns (Sweden)

Saffron Buns are made for St. Lucia’s Day, which kicks off the holiday season in Nordic countries. This tradition takes place on December 13, and involves eldest daughters dressing up in white gowns and red sashes while wearing a crown of lit candles. The girls bring hot coffee and saffron buns to wake up their parents. You'll find that these slightly sweet and buttery rolls are a delicious way to bring some Nordic flavours to your holiday season. Try the recipe here.


Kaber Ellouz (Tunisia)

Kaber Ellouz are multi-coloured marzipan (almond dough) balls that are often made during the holiday season in Tunisia. This treat can be made in under 30 minutes and adds a beautiful burst of colour to any holiday celebration. To create the signature rainbow effect, the dough is separated three ways and each is dyed either red or green. They're then rolled together and in sugar. It's an easy, no-bake dessert that's ready to eat right away! Try the recipe here.


Spiced Hot Chocolate (Peru)

Hot chocolate in Peru goes back thousands of years—the Aztec and Mayan populations enjoyed making this beloved beverage for generations! Consider partaking in this tradition and stay warm this holiday season by making some Peruvian Spiced Hot Chocolate and cozying up with your favourite show or book. Whip up an indulgent and rich hot chocolate for yourself with this quick and easy recipe.


Sufganiyot (Israel)

Sufganiyot is a traditional jelly- or custard-filled donut that's covered in powdered sugar, eaten during annual Hanukkah celebrations. The history of Sufganiyot can be traced back centuries as the recipe evolved into what it is today. In the early 20th century, there was a push in Israel to have Sufganiyot become a Hanukkah staple to keep professional bakers employed during the holiday season. It was a great success, and Sufganiyot has become an annual tradition around the world! Try the recipe here.


Christmas Pudding (England)

Christmas pudding is a steamed British dessert that's both delicious and theatrical. Why theatrical? Because before it’s served, it’s doused in brandy and lit on fire! This quintessentially British dish is a Christmas tradition that goes back many years. Usually, a trinket or coin is hidden inside and whoever discovers it will have good fortune come their way. However, for safety's sake, don't include any choking hazards in any pudding. You can find the recipe here.


Bibingka (Philippines)

Bibingka is a sweet and savoury rice cake that's traditionally eaten during the Christmas season in the Philippines. It's consumed alongside a rice cake called Puto Bumbong with a hot beverage like tea or tsokolate (a thick hot chocolate drink).. Enjoy making this traditional dish and drink at home this holiday season! You can find a recipe for bibingka here and a recipe for tsokolate here.


Pavlova Wreath (New Zealand)

Pavlova was named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova around the time of her 1926 tour of Australia and New Zealand. There was a dispute over who invented the dish until the Oxford English Dictionary settled the debate in 2010. They listed New Zealand as the country with the first recorded recipe! Pavlova has become an iconic Christmastime dish in both countries. It’s made up of crunchy meringue layered in sweet marshmallows and topped in cream and fresh summer or kiwifruit. Enjoy this scrumptious dessert with this classic Festive Pavlova Wreath recipe.


Bûche de Noël (France)

This French version of a Yule log is a delicious and rich cake that's filled with whipped cream and rolled up to make it look like a log. It's commonly decorated with meringue mushrooms or other small treats that add to the forest theme. In France, the Bûche de Noël is served on Christmas Eve as part of the festivities and has become a holiday staple. There are many variations on this recipe, including different flavours and fillings, but you can try a traditional recipe here.