From twelfth night cake to persimmon pudding, why stick with a mince pie?

Fed up of figgy pudding? Well we bear good tidings … the rest of the world has a range of awesome festive desserts that are scrumptious. Go on, give 'em a go.


Beigli AKA poppy seed roll

Pronounced bay-glee, and sometimes written as bejgli, this traditional Hungarian roulade is stuffed with a sweet, poppy seed paste and rum-soaked sultanas. Sliced and dipped in coffee, it’s impossible to resist.

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Knack AKA Swedish toffee

It’s not Christmas in Sweden without passing round a plate of these bite-sized cocoa-flavoured toffees. And you can add chopped nuts, vanilla, ginger or lime zest to change the flavour if you like.


It's a good idea to have a candy thermometer if you’re going to make these (though you can do it without). Pretty please, Santa? 

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Majarete AKA corn pudding

Yes it looks like a crème brûlée but majarete is actually a corn and coconut pudding served around Christmas time in the Dominican republic. Sweetened condensed milk and coconut milk make it a creamy dream while a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon give it some festive flavour.

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Bibingka AKA Filipino coconut cake

Baked in fragrant banana leaves, bibingka is to Filipinos what mince pies are to us. This strange sweet and savoury cake is made with rice flour, coconut milk and salted eggs. 


Yes, we said salted eggs. A Filipino delicacyyou can buy them in Asian supermarkets or leave them out all together and replace with edam or gouda cheese. 

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Turrón AKA Spanish almond candy

Similar to nougat and made with nuts and honey, the Spanish can’t get enough of this old-fashioned sweet come Christmas. It’s chewy, a little squishy and when cut into bars it makes a great gift for friends who've been really, really nice.

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Persimmon pudding

Persimmon (you might know it as sharon fruit) could almost resemble festive baubles with their bright orange, shiny skins. Get your mitts on a few and use the pulp in this dense, moist and nutty cake, popular in the US around Christmas time. 

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Cicerchiata AKA honey ring cake

A speciality of Abruzzo in central Italy, this edible Christmas wreath is made of fried, sweet pasta dough balls slathered in hot honey and almonds. It’s not the only food you can make into a Christmas wreath though

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Risalamande AKA Danish rice pudding

Literally meaning "rice with almonds", this comfort food classic is invariably served as dessert on Christmas Eve in Denmark. A bit like our lucky sixpence in the Christmas pud, one whole almond is added to the mix and if it lands on your plate you get a gift. Hurrah!


Risalamande is basically a rich rice pudding made with whipped cream and topped off with cherry sauce (recipe here). If you’re feeling super ambitious you can also make this cake version though – not so traditional but sure to impress.

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Twelfth night cake AKA king cake

This jolly bake is actually a traditional Christmas bread and not a cake at all. Humph. We’ll forgive it masquerading around as something it’s not though because it couldn’t look more festive – not with those neon candied fruits stuck all over it. 

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