Try these desserts from around the world to expand your palate!
Unless you’re already a serious foodie, the thought of trying food from far away may seem a little scary to you, or perhaps you’re just overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.
These desserts from around the world are a great place to start experimenting.
When you go outside your comfort zone and try savory dishes from other countries, you’re never sure what you might get.
That strange-looking dish on your plate could be chicken or beef, or it could be maggot cheese or live octopus.
However, when it comes to desserts, you’re pretty safe.
You might not know precisely what you’re eating when you try desserts from around the world, but it’s always fun to try something different.
So, if you’re feeling adventurous, start with these 25 desserts from various countries across the globe.
1. Creme Brulee
People often think of French food as the finest in fine dining, which is great, but sometimes, I believe the erroneous assumption that it’s too hard to make scares people off from trying.
Creme brulee is unbelievably simple to make despite people’s misconceptions and requires only five core ingredients and a kitchen torch for the caramelized top.
Plus, with this recipe, you’ll make small, individual creme brulees instead of one big large one so that everyone gets to crack their own.
If you prefer your sweets from Italy, check out this tiramisu recipe instead.
It’s a chilled, decadent, multilayered dessert with cocoa powder, ladyfingers, heavy cream, mascarpone cheese, espresso, coffee liqueur, and more.
It has a slight sweetness, but the bitterness from the cocoa and coffee tones it down to something that’ll leave you feeling satisfied but not like you ate a bag of sugar.
For something a little closer to home, these Ghirardelli chocolate chip cookies are a real hit.
They have crisp edges, soft, fluffy centers, and plenty of gooey chocolate chip yumminess.
You can make three dozen in less than 30 minutes, so they’re perfect for parties or other large gatherings.
Austria’s famous apple strudel, or apfelstrudel, is a warm, comforting, and wonderfully fragrant dessert that combines golden raisins, rum, apples, cinnamon, sugar, and other goodies.
If you want something rich and festive for the holiday season, apple strudel is the perfect choice.
Plenty of countries are famous for their baklava, but the best recipes come straight from Turkey, and this eight-ingredient baklava is one of the best.
It has a deliciously sweet, tart, and nutty flavor and seemingly endless layers of crunchy phyllo dough.
It combines walnuts, cinnamon, sugar, lemon juice, and honey for its complex taste.
Whether or not you add the optional chocolate chips and extra walnuts, everyone is sure to come back for seconds.
Is there anything better than a cannoli with a hot cup of coffee?
That super crispy shell surrounding a rich layer of chocolate and ricotta goodness is hard to beat.
They take some time and effort (about 40 minutes of prep work) to get right, but all you need as proof that it was time well spent is one single bite.
You may have tried flan at your favorite Mexican restaurant, but this recipe gives you the chance to make your own.
It features a delectable caramel topping and a wiggly and jiggly custard base that’s surprisingly sweet and tasty.
It has an odd texture, which turns some people off.
But give it a try, anyway. The warm caramel flavor is sure to send any complaints you have about the texture right out the window.
8. Gulab Jamun
If you’ve never tried an Indian dessert, gulab jamun is an excellent place to start.
They’re like lightly sweetened donut holes floating in a fragrant, tasty sugary syrup.
The dessert has a magical floral scent that’ll tantalize your nose as much as your tastebuds, and it’s astonishingly easy to make.
You can make over a dozen in just half an hour!
Now, let’s turn our sights to Africa. Kashata are sugary, coconut peanuts held together in a sweet, solid block that’s a bit like hardened fudge.
You’ll make them with plenty of sugar and spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom), and they’re so sweet and light that they’ll almost melt on your tongue.
The peanuts themselves, though, add a surprisingly satisfying crunch once you get past all the sweetness holding the treats together.
This tasty, tropical treat comes straight from the Caribbean, and it’s packed with coconut and pineapple flavors to prove it.
It’s also dense and buttery, and you’ll top it off with a sticky, super indulgent rum glaze that’s good enough to make you want to lick your fingers in public.
And if all that wasn’t enough, you’ll also get a mega-dose of “sugar, spice, and everything nice,” not to mention plenty of nuttiness, as well.
It’s just an overall excellent cake.
This sweet and tangy cheesecake is a study in simplicity.
It uses only five ingredients – cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and graham cracker crust – and takes 10 minutes of preparation.
You’ll mix all the ingredients (save the crust), pour them into the crust, and bake it for about 40 minutes.
Then, simply let it cool and stick it in the fridge for 3 hours to chill.
Named after a Russian ballerina, the Pavlova actually originated in New Zealand (or maybe Australia; people can’t agree on which).
What they can agree on is that it’s gorgeous and tastes fantastic.
It’s a sweet and creamy treat with a gooey marshmallow center and colorful berries and mint leaves on top.
If enjoying this romantic dessert doesn’t put your sweetheart in an amorous mood, then no food ever will.
I’m sorry, but frozen churros will never match the level of deliciousness of their homemade cousins.
These are crunchy, sweet, cinnamony, and perfect in every way.
Dip them in chocolate dipping sauce or enjoy them as they are. Either way, you’ll never want a frozen churro again.
14. Sesame Balls
China isn’t known for overly sweet desserts, and these crispy, sesame-coated, deep-fried balls of yumminess are no exception.
They’re incredible, but they aren’t going to send you on a sugar high anytime soon.
They’re lightly sweet with an interesting texture and a red bean paste filling that’s a bit like sweet potatoes.
This spongy pudding cake tastes like toffee-filled toffee covered in toffee.
I’m joking, of course, but the toffee flavor is exceptionally strong in this rich, sticky cake.
If you want to lighten the flavor a bit, try topping it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
If you want an even deeper, bolder flavor, add a dash of chocolate sauce instead.
16. Tres Leches Cake
The tres leches (“three milk”) cake is nearly the polar opposite of the sticky toffee pudding. It’s light, fluffy, and feels like biting into clouds.
It’s also delightfully moist, and you won’t need any additional toppings to make it sweeter and more appetizing, though topping it with pretty berries adds a bit of color and tartness that’s quite enjoyable.
17. Linzer Torte
First and foremost, this Vietnamese pastry is stunning. Everything from the stars to the latticed top is a genuine pleasure to behold.
The taste and texture aren’t displeasing, either.
Linzer torte is a bit of a crumbly and gooey mess, and I mean that in the best possible way. It’s fantastic!
It also has a warm, nutty flavor interspersed with bright notes of raspberry jam.
Whether you’re looking for a holiday treat, a beautiful birthday confection, or just a pretty dessert for Sunday dinner, the Linzer torte has you covered.
I’ve tried dozens of recipes for black forest cake over the years, and they all have one thing in common: They’re absolutely divine, and I’ll eat them until I make myself sick.
I love black forest cake; everything about it is sheer perfection, from the rich chocolate cake to the sweet and tangy cherry syrup and even the creamy, sugary icing.
There’s not a single bit of this cake that isn’t delicious.
Plus, once you add the dollops of decorative frosting, maraschino cherries, and chocolate shavings, it’s strikingly beautiful, too.
19. Oslo Kringle
This Norwegian delight has a fantastically flaky, crispy crust and plenty of nutty yumminess in every bite.
The sweet and zesty lemon glaze only adds to its deliciousness.
But even without it, this crunchy pastry is addictive.
These miniature Polish cookies are just too cute!
They take a little time to shape and get right, but they only use five simple ingredients: cream cheese, butter, flour, salt, and whatever jams you like best for the filling.
The particular filling you use will largely determine the flavor, but you can dust each one with a generous coating of powdered sugar to add even more sweetness.
You don’t need to be able to pronounce the name of this spectacular dessert to enjoy it (thank goodness).
It’s one of my favorite Greek desserts, and after one bite, it’ll be one of yours, too.
It has flaky phyllo dough, a smooth and creamy custard filling, and a warm, sticky syrup topping made from sugar, water, honey, cinnamon, and lemon zest.
The lemon gives it just a little zing but doesn’t add enough flavor to make it tart.
Instead, you’ll get a rich, decadent honey sweetness with undertones of cinnamon and sugar.
Sometimes, Turkish desserts look really strange, and that makes people hesitant to try them. This one is the perfect example.
It looks… Well, it’s honestly hard to explain.
I guess you could say it looks a bit like shredded hash brown sticks covered in nuts and held together by stringy cheese.
I know; it doesn’t sound very appetizing, right? Just give it a try, though. You’ll be shocked at how tasty it actually is.
Mango pudding is gorgeous, has a flan/custard-like consistency, and requires only four ingredients to make – pureed mango, water, evaporated coconut milk, and agar-agar.
It takes very little time to make but needs at least 2 hours to chill before serving. It tastes, unsurprisingly, like sweetened mango.
24. Nanaimo Bars
God bless the Canadians for coming up with a dessert that’s so unbelievably indulgent and decadent but requires zero cooking.
If you love chocolate, coconut, graham crackers, vanilla pudding, almonds, and all kinds of other yummy stuff, then these bars will be a very fast favorite of yours.
25. Irish Spice Cake
Irish spice cake is a dense, honeyed spice cake with perfectly crispy edges and a soft, crumbly center.
It’s buttery and sweet, but there’s also a bit of tang from the raisins.
There’s even a hint of deeper, warmer spice from the half teaspoon of ground ginger. It smells as good as it tastes, and it tastes phenomenal.
Pair it with a hot cup of coffee or tea, and you’ll have a delicious breakfast (or dessert).
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