Are you a fan of desserts? Okay, that was probably a pretty silly question. There’s nothing better than a yummy sweet treat, and you’ll be happy to know that there are so many finger-licking desserts around the world.
Let’s be honest; there are two kinds of people in this world. There are those who have a sweet tooth, and there are those that are monsters. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but we’re not quite sure how anyone could not love the sweetness of a good ol’ dessert. It’s the perfect end to your meal, it’s the perfect form of food to curb your cravings, and it’s the perfect way to grab a little sugar rush. In fact, we’d happily take three courses of dessert over an appetizer and a main meal any day.
Thankfully, it seems as though the world won’t be running out of desserts anytime soon. That’s because this planet is chock-full of various different cuisines and cultures, and they all have their own take on the course we all know and love. If you want our opinion, it’s probably best to hand in your notice, pack your bags, board your flight, and head on a round-the-world-dessert-tour. We’ll meet you there.
Snow Ice - Taiwan
Have you ever seen anything like this before? While you might not have spotted something so tall and odd looking before, there’s a high chance that you have tasted something similar to it. That’s because this snow ice is very similar to snow cones or granitas.
The main difference between this Taiwanese delicacy and other countries is the fact that ice is shaved in a very peculiar way. This creates unusual shapes and mountains that are then colored and flavored with a choice of flavors. Of course, that’s not where this dessert ends. It’s then topped with sweet additions such as grass jelly, mochi, fruit, and more.
Gulab Jumun - India
How amazing do these look?! If you ever find yourself in India, there’s no doubt about the fact that you should give gulub jumun a try. These sweet treats are made when bakers reduce milk down in order for it to become Khoya - a type of soft dough.
This dough is then kneaded with a little bit of flour, and ultimately deep fried so that it’s slightly crispy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside. Of course, the magic doesn’t end there. The deep-fried balls are then soaked in a syrup made from sugar, rose water, saffron, and cardamom. It may be a long process, but it’s so worth it!
Cornes de Gazelle - Morocco
If you’ve ever been to Morocco, you’ll know that the bazaars and souks are full to the brim of various different foods and sweet treats. However, there’s always going to be one dessert that stands out from the crowd. Cornes de gazelle consists of a sweet dough that is shaped to look like a crescent moon - which is pretty ironic, considering they are out of this world!
This dough is then filled with ground almonds, and aromatized with orange blossom water to make it taste and smell delicious. The cornes de gazelles are then lightly baked so that the dough remains tender and soft. Is your mouth watering yet?
Cardamom Buns - Sweden
We know what you’re thinking. Sweet buns can be found across the world, right? Well, the Swedish cardamom bun is in a world of its own, and you’ll definitely want to give this one a try. These buns are hugely popular in Sweden because they are normally eaten as part of the fika coffee break.
These breaks normally occur twice daily in most workplaces, and allow employees the chance to get away from their desks, have a chat with their co-workers, have a coffee, chow down on a sweet treat, and then head back to work with a new lease of life. Sign us up!
Sticky Toffee Pudding - United Kingdom
The UK is known for its roast dinners, its fish and chips, and its banger and mash, but it’s also known for creating some of the most hearty desserts the world has to offer. The sticky toffee pudding consists of a perfectly soft cake batter that’s mixed with treacle and chopped dates before being baked or steamed.
This cake is then covered in a toffee sauce that comes in various different forms depending on where you eat one of these bad boys. It may be that you are greeted with a thin and clear toffee sauce, or it may be that you get to try a thicker, creamier toffee sauce. It’s the luck of the draw, but you’ll be pretty lucky either way.
Japanese Cheesecake - Japan
When you think of Japanese cuisine, you probably think of noodles, rice, seafood, and other meats. But did you know that Japanese people are also experts when it comes to their desserts? In fact, their Japanese cheesecakes have become extremely popular over the past few years, because everyone loves to watch their wiggle!
These cheesecakes are much lighter and softer than the cheesecake you might know and love, and this is due to the fact that it’s a mix between a cheesecake mixture and meringue. Because these cheesecakes are extremely fluffy and tasty, they are rarely served with any extra additions. They’re perfect as they are.
Cannoli - Sicily
Italy is known for providing the world with some of the most incredible dishes, so it should come as no surprise to learn that the food in Sicily is second to none. However, this Italian region hasn’t just been inspired by its Italian roots. This island has also been influenced by Arabic cuisine, and you can see this collaboration within the famous cannoli dessert.
Never tried one before? Well, you’ll want to eat ten of these! Cannoli are made from tube-shaped pastry shells, and they are then filled with a sweet and decadently creamy filling. However, it doesn’t end there. Cannoli are normally then dipped in nuts, chocolate, and other sweet toppings.
Borma - Turkey and Middle East
Some of the most delicious desserts around the world are also the most simple, and we’re 100% certain that borma ticks those boxes. Found across Turkey and the Middle East, this dessert is fairly similar to baklava, but there’s no doubt about the fact that it stands out on its own.
Made from thin threads of knafeh dough, bakers wrap this dough around a generous helping of nuts and syrup, and then it’s deep fried for extra color and crunch. As if the taste of this dessert wasn’t enough, these circular tubes also look pretty incredible in the bakery window. So, make sure you take a picture for the ‘Gram.
Linzer Torte - Austria
Have you ever been to Austria? If you have and didn’t try a slice of linzer torte in the process, then you should probably book your flight back as soon as possible. This torte is famous across the country and the world as a whole because it truly is delicious. Made from a delicious and thick dough that’s been laden with ground nuts, the base is then topped with a yummy jam filling.
It’s then topped with a beautiful lattice of the same dough, before being topped with almonds. It’s in limbo between a tart and a cake, and the texture is truly something special. Sounds simple, right? Well, the mix of spices and aromas within this torte take it to the next level.
Flan - Latin America
If you’re a big fan of custard desserts, then you now have even more reason to sample some Latin American cuisine. That’s because this cuisine has the pleasure of offering the delicious flan dessert. Made from silky custard, this dessert is then topped with a layer of dark caramel and then served with a decadent syrup sauce.
You won’t need to look too hard to find one of these flans, as Latin Americans eat this dessert after a normal day of work, and also when they’re celebrating something special. After all, it’s the perfect way to cool down after a spicy meal.
Kashata - East Africa
East Africa is renowned for its amazing markets, and it won’t take you too long to stumble upon some kashata. This dessert isn’t your average dessert but is rather something that you’d eat on the move, or with some hot tea.
This combination of coconut, peanuts, cardamom, and caramelized sugar, kashata is more like candy bark, and it’s definitely something that you should put on your to-eat list. While it may seem as though kashata is a fairly simple dessert, it’s actually anything but. The whole thing is about flavor, and it certainly packs a punch that you’ll want to enjoy.
Cendol - Singapore
Heading to Singapore anytime soon? You just have to try a cendol! Not only does it look pretty unique, but it also tastes like nothing else you would have tried before. This traditional dessert is extremely popular when the temperature begins to soar, as the iced coconut milk base is the perfect way to cool you down.
To keep things sweet, this dessert is then topped with threads of rice-flour jelly, as well as sweetened red beans and yummy sauces. Cendol varies as you make your way around Singapore, so this gives you an excuse to try as many different variations as you can...
Ma’amoul - Middle East
The Middle East is full of amazing spices and flavors, and you’ll be happy to know that many of them make an appearance in the famous ma’amoul. These delicious desserts are normally baked for special occasions and are the ultimate taste of celebration.
These cookies are made from a whole range of fruits and nuts, that are then mixed with an even bigger range of spices, and then wrapped in a semolina pastry. As if that wasn’t cool enough, these treats are then often topped with coconut to add another layer of texture. Bite into one of these bad boys, and you’ll soon realize what all of the fuss is about.
Eszterhazy Torta - Hungary
If you’re ever feeling hungry in Hungary, then you can rest easy knowing that all of your dessert dreams have come true. That’s because this country is the home of the eszterhazy torta, which will probably take your taste buds by surprise - in a good way, of course! This ancient cake dessert has been baked in Hungary for centuries, and pastry shops across the country will be glad to provide you with a slice.
So, what is it? Eszterhazy torta is made from delicious and crumbly layers of almond meringue, that are then stuck together using a yummy chocolate buttercream and then topped with vanilla fondant. The pièce de ré·sis·tance of this dessert is the awesome spider-web pattern on the top.
Alfajores - South America
If you ever find yourself in South America, you’ll definitely be able to grab your sugar fix. You don’t need to worry about that. No matter whether you head to Buenos Aires or Peru, you can step into any bakery and find oodles of alfajores in front of you.
These sweet cookies offer a delicious dulce de leche candy sandwiched between two crumbly shortbread circles, and they’re pretty incredible. As if that wasn’t enough to tantalize your taste buds, many bakeries offer their own take on these cookies by dunking them in chocolate or spicing them up with the likes of cinnamon and pepper.
Kifli - Hungary
Not to be confused with India’s kulfi dessert, Hungary’s kilfi is in a world of its own. If you’ve never tried this sweet treat before, then you really should prepare yourself for the obsession that will continue for the rest of your life. This dessert is made from half-moon shapes of dough that is then filled with their famous lekvár preserve.
Although similar to jam, lekvár is much chunkier and is made from all kinds of fruit. A small amount of this is enough to take the kifli to the next level because it’s the dusting of powdered sugar that transforms it into something special. As if that wasn’t cool enough, they are also often filled with seeds and nuts.
Crėme Brûlée - France
French cuisine is pretty epic, right? While this country is known for its snails, its French fries, and its pastries, it’s also known for its crėme brûlée. This dessert offers something for everyone, because it’s crunchy yet soft, and it’s also sweet but sour.
What more could you want? The main bulk of this dessert is made using a vanilla custard that is then gently cooked in a water bath to make sure that they are as creamy as possible. To add that trademark crunch, sugar is then added to the top of the crėme brûlée, before it is blow-torched to become a delicious caramel. If there’s a blow torch involved, we’re sold...
Pavlova - Australia and New Zealand
Australia and New Zealand are known for putting shrimp on the barbie and eating kiwiburgers, but it seems as though they also know what they’re doing when it comes to dessert. While there’s still some debate over who came up with the idea of the pavlova first, it’s fair to say that they both rock it.
This beautiful dessert is made from a meringue base that is perfectly baked. The outside of the meringue is firm and crispy, while the inside is soft and chewy. Laden on the top of this base is a culmination of cream and fruit, but there are no rules when it comes to this dessert. You choose your fruit, you choose your sauces, and you choose how you want to present it.
Black Forest Cake - Germany
If you’re up to date on your German history and geography, you’ll know that the Black Forest region is shrouded in fairytales, castles, and enchanted forests. As if that wasn’t enough to book your flights, then maybe this Black Forest cake will tickle your pickle. It’s one of the most popular cakes in the country because it’s extremely rich and decadent.
After all, a combination of chocolate cake, cherries and cherry syrup, kirschwasser, and whipped cream are always going to be a feast for the mouth. Germans find any excuse to have this cake on their table, and we think we might be joining them on this one.
Gelato - Italy
You didn’t think we could talk about the best desserts around the world without talking about gelato, did you? It’s the best! There’s nothing better than eating a frozen dessert as you wander around ancient ruins and cobbled streets, and you’ll be happy to know that Italy has one on top.
Not literally, of course. Gelato can be found across the whole country, but each gelato parlor will differ in terms of their flavors. Sure, there are the various flavors that can be found wherever you go, but it’s the weird and wonderful flavors that we’re most interested in. How does licorice gelato sound to you?
Sticky Rice with Mango - Thailand
The food in Thailand is second to none, and if you have a sweet tooth, you’ll also be pretty happy to know that the desserts are also pretty incredible. One of our particular favorites is sticky rice with mango, which is pretty self-explanatory.
Although it may seem odd to have sticky rice in a dessert, it’s not just rice on its own. This rice is mixed with coconut milk and palm sugar to create a sweet and sticky consistency. It’s then served alongside a perfectly ripe mango that would add an even sweeter addition to the dish. We’re definitely sold on this one.
Qatayef - Middle East
Although those in the Middle East try and eat this delicious dessert, it’s particularly popular when Ramadan comes along. After a day of fasting, these amazing sweet treats come out as the sun sets so that everyone can enjoy the sweet taste and appreciate the beauty of the qatayef. So, what is this dessert made from?
A qatayef is often compared to a yeasted pancake, but instead of being cooked on each side, these pancakes are only griddled on one side to create the perfect mix of crispy and soft. These pancakes are then folded over and filled with sweet cheese, nuts, fruit, and syrups. Basically, the pancake is the plate, and you can fill it with whatever you like!
Trifle - United Kingdom
There are so many different desserts in the UK, but one that often gets whipped out during special occasions and dinner parties is the trifle. This layered dessert is perfect for sharing and is made from alcohol-soaked sponge cake, custard, jam, and normally a bit of cream as well.
Many people also choose to fill the trifle with fruit to add a little more texture, and one of the best things about this dessert is that you can adapt it to your own likes and dislikes. This recipe gives you the chance to get creative and make your own trifle. You can’t really go wrong with this one. It’s practically perfect in any way, just like Mary Poppins!
Baklava - Turkey
Let’s be honest; Turkish food has a reputation that just won’t quit, and we’re totally here for it. As well as offering delicious meze, this country also offers a delicious dessert in the form of baklava. This sweet treat is made from layers upon layers of pastry, syrup, and nuts.
The end result is something that melts in the mouth while also offering a delightful crunch, and it’s no wonder why it’s so popular! With just a few ingredients to its name, baklava is the perfect example of the fact that less is sometimes more. We’ll take a whole plate-full, thanks.
Sesame Balls - China
Chinese food is so popular, but most people don’t realize that the people of China are also experts when it comes to the realm of dessert. Yes, Chinese cuisine is so much more than just noodles and Peking duck! One of the most popular and most traditional desserts in this country are the sesame balls, which are the perfect addition to any meal.
They aren’t too heavy but are rather small balls made from a sweet bean paste. They are then deep fried, where they puff up into the shape you see in bakeries and pastry shops. There’s even talk of the idea that perfectly spherical sesame balls hint that you will have a prosperous future…
Coconut Cake - Southern United States
The South is known for amazing food that focuses on substance rather than style, because who cares about presentation when you’ve got delicious dishes to try? While this is normally the case, it’s fair to say that coconut cake ticks all of our boxes. Not only does it look fresh and inviting, but it’s also pretty dang delicious.
This cake is assembled by piling buttery vanilla cake and filling the gaps with frosting and shredded coconut. Although there are various different variations from bakery to home kitchens, most people in the South will agree that fresh coconut is so much better than dried coconut. What could be better than chomping down on a slice of this on a hot summer’s day?
Knafeh - Levant
Levant is a melting pot of culinary influences, which means that it offers some of the greatest food in the world. Wanna know which dessert is often considered the best in the region? Well, that just has to be knafeh. It’s believed that this dessert was cooked up for the first time in the city of Nablus, and has since made its way across the region and the rest of the world.
This concoction is made from layers of clotted cream or cheese and then topped with a noodle-like sweet pastry. The whole thing is then normally topped with nuts and aromatized with rose water. It’s certainly unique, but it’s also extremely delicious.
Oliebollen - Netherlands
If you ever want to celebrate New Year's Eve in style - and with some sweet treats in your lap - then you might want to consider midnight celebrations in the Netherlands. That’s because this country brings in the new year with a decadent dessert called olliebollen.
These sweet fried dumplings are made from a delicious dough that is then filled with currants or raisins. They are then covered in powdered sugar before entering the mouths of hungry Dutch party-goers. Of course, they aren’t just sold on this one day of the year. You won’t need to travel too far to spot an olliebollen stall on the side of the street.
Saffron Ice Cream - Iran
Saffron is a delicacy in Iran, which is why they decided to add it to their ice cream. Gotta work with the things you love, haven’t you? This dessert is normally made to celebrate the Persian New Year, as it allows whole families to enjoy the taste of the milk, saffron, pistachios, and rosewater.
Many people choose to eat this ice cream on a bowl on its own, but others opt for something a bit more exciting. This involves two wafers that sandwich the ice cream. This also saves on a few extra spoons, which means that you won’t have to worry too much when doing the dishes. What more could you want?
Tres Leches Cake - Mexico and Central America
Sometimes you just can’t go wrong with a classic sponge cake, and this beautiful dessert from Mexico and Central America makes use of this traditional base to create something special. Made using three different milks - as you can probably tell by the name - this cake offers a consistency that some may find pretty strange.
After all, it’s both perfectly soft and slightly wet at the same time. It seems as though people just can’t get enough of this dessert, as people within these regions have since added their own additions to this cake. From iced tea to fruit flavorings, there are so many different options to try. We guess we’ll take one for the team and do just that...
Polvorónes - Latin America, Spain, and the Philippines
Those in Latin America, Spain, and the Philippines know these little cookies as polvorónes, but those of you in the United States might know them as Mexican wedding cookies. While they are baked for special occasions, these delicious morsels are also eaten on various other occasions.
After all, who wouldn’t want to fill their mouths with so many delicious flavors! Over the years, the recipe for this powdered cookie has changed and transformed, but the general basis includes flour, sugar, milk, and nuts. The end result creates a shortbread-style cookie that is then topped with extra sugar for that extra rush.
Gâteau Fondant au Chocolat - France
Everyone loves a chocolate dessert, right? There’s nothing better than tasting the delicious sweetness of a dessert that is covered and smothered in chocolate, but what about a dessert that is filled with the good stuff? France’s gâteau fondant au chocolat will definitely make all of your chocolate dreams come true because it’s the ultimate double whammy.
Not only is the cake itself made from chocolate, but the interior is also filled with a chocolate pool that should ooze out of it if cooked correctly. There is a real art to cooking a fondant cake, and the French seemed to have perfected it. That means you’re in good hands.
Kulfi - India
India is known for being an extremely hot country, so a hot dessert just wouldn’t go down too well with those who live there. Instead, they want something to cool them down! Kulfi is a delicious frozen dessert that takes hours of preparation, but the end result is totally worth it.
That’s because bakers have to simmer milk for hours on end before it reduces itself down and embraces its natural sugars. While many people choose to then freeze this milk on sticks, there are others who like to add other ingredients and flavors before doing so. In fact, many recipes now include the likes of rose water, cardamom, and saffron.
Donuts - United States
We probably don’t need to tell you what a donut is. After all, there’s a high chance that you’ve eaten more donuts in your life than you can count! These sweet treats have been transformed over the past few decades or so because donuts are no longer the round pieces of sugary dough they once were.
Of course, the main bulk of a donut is still the same as it always was, but they have undergone a pretty epic glow-up since then. It’s now difficult to find any donut that hasn’t been covered in icing, chocolate, sprinkles, candy, and sometimes even smaller pieces of donuts. The donut world is your oyster.
Tub Tim Krob - Thailand
If you’re not fluent in Thai, then we’ll translate this one for you. Tub Tim Krob translates to “crispy rubies,” and you can probably see why. This refreshing dessert is incredibly popular when the temperatures start to soar in Thailand because it offers crushed ice that’s been infused with sweetened coconut and pandan leaves.
However, you might be wondering what the “rubies” are made from. In an incredible feat of dessert engineering, these rubies are by soaking water chestnuts in grenadine syrup, then rolling them in tapioca flour, and then boiling them. It not only looks delicious, but it also tastes delicious!