Figgy Pudding

Now, bring us some figgy pudding, Now, bring us some figgy pudding, Now, bring us some figgy pudding, So bring some out here. Good tidings we bring To you and your kin; We wish you a merry Christmas And a happy new year! We’ve all heard of figgy pudding made famous by the Christmas carol,…

Joulutortut

Christmas would not be complete without at least one traditional Finnish baked good. Finland is home to Santa Claus’s address after all! When children send their letters to Santa every year, they send them to Santa Claus, Main Post Office, FI-96930 Arctic Circle. This address is in Rovaniemi, the Santa Claus Village located in the Lapland…

Vanillekipferl

Vanillekipferl are said to have originated in Vienna, Austria, although they are enjoyed in many countries including Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, and Slovakia. Made with ground almonds and flavored with vanilla sugar, these crescent shaped cookies are enjoyed mostly during the Advent and Christmas season. They are said to be in the shape of the…

Speculaas

Today is the feast of St. Nicholas and we are celebrating with Speculaas cookies, a spiced shortcrust cookie traditional to the Netherlands. Speculaas are usually cut using intricate wooden cookie molds with images of animals, plants, people, windmills and the bishop of Myra, St. Nicholas – although simple shapes decorated with almonds are also popular. Almost identical…

Spitzbuben

Christmas in Germany is the Christmas celebration of all Christmas celebrations. From mid-November through Christmas day, the streets of Germany are bedecked with Weihnachtsmärkte (Christmas markets) full of Glühwein, fragrant baked goods, handmade decorations, wooden toys, Bratwurst, and the list goes on. Everywhere you go you can feel the festivities of Christmas. The Christmas season I spent…

Classic Birthday Cake

Birthdays have been celebrated for centuries, so of course there are many different forms of birthday cake. But if you live in the United States, it is likely that a fluffy yellow layer cake with chocolate frosting is the image that comes to mind when you think of birthday cake. My son’s second birthday party seemed…

Drømmekage

Drømmekage, also known as Dream Cake, is a traditional Danish cake made with a vanilla crumb base and topped with a caramel coconut spread. The cake originates in Hjallerup, Jutland in the 1960s and has since become a staple in the kitchen of many Danes. The soft vanilla crumb and the rich caramel coconut topping contrast one another…

Apfelkuchen

Walk into a German café and you’ll be mesmerized by the elaborate cakes and pastries offered as a pairing for your coffee or tea. Black Forest Cherry Cake, gooseberry cream cake, cakes with 18 miniscule layers (Baumkuchen!), and the list goes on. The French are well-known for their baked creations, but the Germans are often…

Pain de Mie

Pain de mie is the French white sandwich bread. Its name means “bread of crumb”, referring to how little crust it has. This bread is traditionally baked in a pan with a lid that prevents it from rising over the top called a Pullman loaf pan. The beauty of this shape is that it allows you to…

Shortbread Petticoat Tails

Scottish shortbread has a long history that can be traced back all the way to the 12th century. During the Middle Ages, shortbread was originally made from leftover bread dough scraps that were dried out in a low oven until they hardened into a rusk. Over time the yeast in the bread was replaced with butter…

Povitica

Most often enjoyed during the Christmas season, this Croatian dessert bread is made of thinly rolled dough that is spread with a chocolate & walnut filling and then rolled tightly and wrapped in a U-shape in a loaf pan and drizzled with icing after baking. This technique creates four swirls of nut filling when sliced. Enjoy a…

Lussekatter

These saffron-infused buns are an integral part of the St. Lucy Day festivities celebrated on December 13 in Sweden. The Festival of Light, as it is often called, marks the beginning of the Christmas season in Scandinavia. They celebrate this 3rd century Italian martyr during the darkest month of the year because according to legend she brought…