The smell of plum cakes is definitely something that heralds Christmas, say the folks at IKEA. Just like the smell of dry fruits, cinnamon, cups of hot cocoa, gingerbread – the list is long and delightful.

Not everyone celebrates Christmas the same way though. What do people in France, Chile or Germany associate with this festival? What do grandmothers around the world bake during this most festive of seasons? Read on to find out!

1. France – Galette des Rois

  • A puffed pastry filled with almond paste, this cake was originally made to celebrate New Year’s or the ‘Epiphany’ – the visit of the three wise men to the baby Jesus.
  • However, the increasing popularity of this sweet treat has gotten bakers in France selling it all winter long, turning it into a Christmas staple.
  • It always has a trinket, called a fève, or bean, baked into it, making this especially popular at parties as eating it can turn into a game to see who gets the fève!

2. Chile – Pan De Pascua

  • This fruitcake batter usually infused with alcohol (mostly rum) has a name that means “Easter Bread” – strange for a cake that’s traditionally made every Christmas in Chilean homes!
  • Visit during Christmas to be served a plate of Pan De Pascua with a yummy coffee called ‘Cola De Mono’ as a whole meal.

3. Italy – Panettone

  • This cupola-shaped fluffy sweet bread is a rather modern addition to Italian Christmas traditions – it was first baked only in the early 20th
  • But it has since become a favourite across Europe!
  • The word is said to have derived from the Milanese, “pan del ton”, meaning “cake of luxury”.
  • Savour a slice paired with your beverage of choice for the ultimate Italian Christmas vibe.

4. Turkey – Revani

  • A moist cake that is made with semolina, lemon and orange syrup, Revani is as Turkish as Baklava, although not nearly half as well-known.
  • The liquid ingredients in the cake batter make the cake soft, moist and utterly delicious!
  • It’s then decorated with ground pistachios and desiccated coconut – a wonderful Middle-Eastern twist to the spirit of Christmas.

5. Germany – Stollen

  • A popular Christmas pastry, Stollen has been around for nearly 700 years and is prized throughout the world.
  • Celebrating Christmas without this aromatic, fruit studded bread is unthinkable in most German homes.
  • Variations include Mandelstollen (almond), Mohnstollen (poppy seed), Quarkstollen (quark), Nuss-Stollen (nuts), Butterstollen (high butter content), Dresdner Stollen (from Dresden) and Marzipanstollen (with marzipan).

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