Holiday traditions vary throughout the world, but they share the most important elements: celebration of community, love, and food. Take a world tour with us as we explore a few baking traditions from around the world.
Potato pancakes, latkes, are a traditional Hanukkah fried food. This holiday treat commemorates the miracle of the menorah oil in the Jewish Temple.
Latkes are generally made from grated or ground potatoes, flour, and eggs. They are paired with savory seasonings and a sweet dipping sauce or applesauce.
France: Buche de Noel
The French version of the Yule Log, Buche de Noel, is a rich cake served on Christmas Eve at midnight mass. The shaped meringue decorations resemble small finds from on the forest floor, such as leaves, acorns, and mushrooms.
Peru: Spiced Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate with spice is a Peruvian Christmas tradition. Local area churches collect donations and makes large quantities. The native holiday drink is often pared with Panettone, a bread historically from Italy, and given to those in need.
Denmark/ Norway: Kransekake
Both Denmark and Norway serve Kransekake during the holidays. The name means “wreath cake,” and wrings are stacked to make like a Christmas tree. It can consist of up to 18 layers or more. There is even a specialty pan to bake it in.
It is common for Greeks to fast before holidays, and then feast for Christmas. Melomakorona is an egg-shaped desert made primarily from flour, olive oil and honey, orange zest, cognac and cinnamon. This delicious sweet is dipped in a sweet honey syrup and topped with ground walnuts. In recent years, dark chocolate-dipped varieties have made appearances at Christmas, too.
Greece is another country that fasts before the Christmas holiday. Bread is a staple, and Babka is a traditional sweet bread. Food is broken on Christmas Eve to end the holiday fast. It is also tradition to sit out an extra place for anyone who may wander through.
Japan: Fried Chicken & Christmas Cake
While traditional Christmas is not celebrated as a national holiday, Japan still has a few Christmas traditions. One is eating Fried Chicken on Christmas! Started by KFC’s 1974 “Christmas Chicken” campaign, it stuck. Japanese begin pre-orders up to two months before Christmas to enjoy chicken on Christmas. An option to add-on cake and champagne round out the meal. Another is Christmas Cake, but this isn’t your grandma’s fruit cake. It’s usually a sponge cake with strawberries and whipped cream.
Sweden: Schackrutor Cookies
Swedish Schackrutor are a classic checkerboard cookie made from vanilla and chocolate dough. Kids love making and eating these delicious treats for Christmas. Get your family in on the fun with our exclusive ADC Schackrutor classic Swedish cookie family recipe. Download the printable recipe and art print to give it a try!
What’s your family’s favorite traditional treat for the holidays? Share here or tag us on Facebook! #ADCbakery