A Guide To 7 Types Of Cakes From Around The World
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In many cultures, the long-standing tradition of baking specific cakes during the holiday season are often tied to cultural practices, religious celebrations and family customs, making them a significant part of the holiday experience. Christmas cakes in particular, often contain ingredients like dried fruits, nuts and spices that symbolize wealth, abundance and the harvest season. Sharing these cakes not only symbolizes sharing good fortune and prosperity with loved ones but also contribute to the festive ambiance. Baking Christmas cakes is also a family tradition since it helps bring people together to prepare, bake and decorate these special treats, fostering a sense of togetherness. 

Fruitcake (United Kingdom)

A classic British Christmas cake made with candied or dried fruits, nuts, spices, and sometimes soaked in alcohol like brandy, the English version of a classic Christmas cake is rich, dense and often topped with marzipan and icing.

Panettone (Italy)

Originating from Milan, this dome-shaped sweet bread is studded with candied fruits and raisins. The panettone is known for its light, airy texture and is often enjoyed with a glass of sweet wine or a cup of strong, freshly brewed espresso.

Stollen (Germany)

A German Christmas cake made with yeast, dried fruits, nuts and spices – the German stollen is also traditionally dusted with powdered sugar. It’s dense, moist texture and marzipan centre makes it the perfect kind of cake to end your meal with, alongside a glass of dessert wine.

Bûche de Noël (France)

Also known as Yule log cake, the bûche de noël is a rolled sponge cake filled with cream or luscious chocolate buttercream, often decorated to resemble a log with bark-like texture and meringue mushrooms. Sliced and eaten like a tea cake, this delicious cake is one of the rare recipes devoid of fruit.

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Medovik (Russia)

Image Credits: Einfach Backen

A layered Russian honey cake has a surprising mix of flavours – with a bitterness from burnt honey, tang from the icing and acidity from the whipped cream frosting that is slathered on top. Unlike most other sweet treats which have a lateral flavour, the medovik is a complex mix of tastes that are balanced and complementary to one another.

Pavlova (Australia/New Zealand)

While not a traditional cake, this meringue-based dessert topped with whipped cream and fruits like strawberries, kiwi and passionfruit is popular during the Christmas season due to its lightness and fruity flavours. Since the southern hemisphere experiences summer during the winter months in most other parts of the world, the pavlova is the perfectly light dessert to enjoy.

Bolo Rei (Portugal)

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Translating to ‘king cake,’ the bolo rei is a Portuguese-style Christmas cake made with candied fruits, nuts and a surprise mystery object hidden inside; read a fava bean or small figurine. Meant to be enjoyed during the holiday season, the eater who finds the surprise object while biting into the cake, is considered to be blessed with good fortune.