If we could travel from one county to another trying their traditional Christmas cakes, we would! You know, not all Christmas cakes are fruitcakes. Surprised? We were too. Let’s find out how these seven countries around the world make their Christmas cakes. By Shubhanjana Das
1. Makowiec – Poland:
Poland likes to step up their Christmas cake game with their cake rolls. The Makowiec is a decadent combination of bittersweet poppy seed paste on the inside with a soft yeasty dough on the outside. If you are scandalized by a Christmas cake not being round, you should wait till you bite into this mushy goodness before jumping to conclusions. Along with finely-ground poppy seeds, you’ll find raisins, honey, butter, and walnuts making you question the infamous status of this Christmas ‘cake’.
2. KurisumasuKeki – Japan:
If you have difficulty remembering that name, just go with ‘Japanese Christmas Cake’ and the bakery will know what you’re talking about. This light spongy cake is a delight for every strawberry lover and a break from the overwhelmingly sweet British Christmas cake. This deliciousness is then slathered with whipped cream and more strawberries on top. One bite of this decadence and you will be ushered in ever so smoothly into the Christmas mood.
3. Rum Cake – Jamaica:
Just the name is enough to make the mouth water, isn’t it? Well, this cake is a testament to the fact that Jamaica knows how to start a Christmas party on the right note. There’s raisins, currants, prunes, wine, and white run in it. Need we say anything more? Off we go to Jamaica!
4. Bolo Rei – Portugal:
This Portuguese traditional Christmas is such a piece of art that you’ll feel criminal cutting even cutting it. After you’re done devouring its aesthetic perfection, indulge in the sugary deliciousness of a combination of nuts, candied fruits, fruit jelly, and port wine. The hole in the center of the cake makes it resemble a crown, one we’re willing to wear all year round! This cake is traditionally eaten from Christmas until Epiphany, which is the 6th of January. We say yes to thirteen days of Bolo Rei binging.
5. Pandoro – Italy:
What do you say to a Christmas cake that is made to resemble the Italian Alps? The light and fluffy Italian Pandoro cakes’ deliciousness lies in its simple yet masterful creation. This star-shaped cake is called Pandoro, meaning ‘golden bread’ because of the vivid yellow colour the egg yolks impart. The vanilla-scented icing sugar is so provocative that it can effectively do the job of inviting your neighbours over for the Christmas dinner.
6. Rosca de Reyes – Spain and Mexico:
Spain and Mexico celebrate Christmas with a cake recipe that originated in France. How wonderful a tale does that tell of the ability of food to bring not only people but countries together? The shape of this cake studded with raisins, figs, orange, and cherries (among others) resembles Portugal’s Bolo Rei. The twist, however, is the figurine of baby Jesus hidden in the cake. The deal is that whoever finds the figurine first brings the tamales next year to the Christmas party.
7. Dundee Cake – United Kingdom:
This Scottish fruitcake is as much a treat to the eyes as it is to palette. The top of the cake is embellished with almonds and glazed milk and castor sugar. The batter, which has mixed dried fruit, apricot marmalade, and glacé cherry in it, smells so Christmas-y that you may be hesitant to share it. Thank you, Scotland.