Around the World in 30 Desserts

Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.

If you’re the kind of person who lives to eat dessert, and would rather fall in chocolate than in love, join the club!

We have picked out a few desserts, trotting across the globe from East to West, finding some elaborate, grand desserts along with a few simple and scrumptious ones

1. Australia/ New Zealand – Pavlova

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Named after Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova, this meringue-based dessert with a soft, airy interior and a light crust topped with whipped cream and fruits is a delightful delicacy.

2. Japan – Dango

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Apart from the several variations of the famous mochi, Japan has simple but elegant and yummy desserts. Sweet rice dumplings called Dango are traditional accompaniments to tea, and are made in different flavours like green tea and red bean.

3. South Korea – Patbingsu

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The not-so-secret weapon of the Koreans to beat the sweltering summer heat is the delicious Patbingsu – ice shavings with condensed milk, fruits, syrups, fruits, ice-cream or froyo, jelly and other sprinkles.

4. Malaysia – Bubur Cha-cha

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Taro figures in a lot of Malaysian sweet dishes, and combined with sweet potato and banana cubes in a chilled pandan-flavoured coconut milk and sago soup, it makes a delectable bubur chacha.

5. China – Mooncake

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Eaten specifically during the Mid-Autumn festival this month, they are filled with lotus seed or red bean paste and have a chewy crust.

6. Thailand – Mango and Sticky Rice

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Mango sticky rice is a classic Thai dessert, combining the tangy sweetness of mango with the smoothness of coconut milk, textured with rice. Tropical, flavoursome and simple.

7. Russia – Ptichye Moloko

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Ptichye Moloko or Bird’s Milk Cake, the first cake to be patented in the erstwhile Soviet, has a chocolate ganache topping on layers of cake and soufflé.

8. India – Kheer

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Kheer, the Indian rice pudding, consists of mildly flavoured rice boiled in thick sweet condensed milk topped with dry fruits. This smooth and wholesome creamy dessert is made during festivals and special occasions.

9. Iran – Bastani ice-cream

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Iranian ice-cream, with saffron and rose-water, sprinkled with pistachio is an intensely flavoured variation of the universally-liked dessert.

10. Turkey – Baklava

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Flaky phyllo pastry with a nuts and honey filling goes perfectly with a cup of Turkish coffee.

11. Egypt – Basbousa

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Semolina cake soaked in flavoured lemon syrup topped with nuts is ubiquitous in Egypt.

12. Greece – Yogurt

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Healthy and wholesome like everything else Greek, yogurt with fruit salad and dry fruits is a daily dessert.

13. Poland – Paczki

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Polish sponge cake with various fillings such as rose preserves, custard, budyn and chocolate, sprinkles with orange peel and sugar-dusted, is traditionally eaten on Fat Thursday as it is believed to bring good luck.

14. Hungary – Dobos Torte

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This Hungarian cake named after its inventor, is a sponge cake layered with chocolate buttercream and a caramel topping.

15. Denmark – Pastry

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The Danish pastry (of Viennese origin) has several variations with different fillings, and satisfies your sweet tooth at all times of the day.

16. Austria – Sacher torte

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The most famous cake in the world needs no introduction. Rich chocolate cake with a layer of apricot jam goes well with coffee.

17. Italy – Tiramisu

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Delectable and creamy with Marsala wine, the coffee and cocoa in Tiramisu come together to create magic.

18. Germany – Black Forest Cake

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Traditional, rich with chocolate, cream and cherries, it is called Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte in German.

19. Netherlands – Vlaai

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Dutch pies come with a variety of fillings – fruit, chocolate or coffee cream.

20. Morocco – Harcha

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Fried flatbread made of semolina can be found everywhere in Morocco and can be easily prepared.

21. Belgium – Waffles

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A trip to Belgium is incomplete without sampling the warm, fresh waffles.

22. Spain – Turron

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A Spanish almond and honey confection, Turron is a favourite during the holiday season.

23. France – Dacquoise and St Honore

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Decadent desserts rule in France, and the layered Dacquoise with almond and hazelnut meringue and buttercream will always make you wish you had skipped le plat principal.

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St Honore, named after the French patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs, is another classic dessert which presents itself beautifully. 

24. UK – Sticky Toffee Pudding

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This quintessential English dessert has sticky toffee sauce over a date sponge cake, often teamed with ice-cream or custard.

25. Brazil – Brigadeiro

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Traditional Brazilian chocolate candy, this smooth melt-in-the-mouth treat can be made in less than 15 minutes and is loved by all.

26. Argentina – Alfajor

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Alfajores have a creamy caramel filling in a cookie sandwich, sometimes covered in chocolate.

27. Chile – Tres Leches Cake

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Literally meaning ‘Three Milks Cake’, it is made from cake along with milk in 3 forms – evaporated milk, condensed milk and cream.

28. Canada – Butter Tart

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This scrumptious Canadian dessert with a semi-solid filling and crunchy exterior is a favourite throughout the country.

29. USA – Cheesecake

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Soft, airy cheesecake topped with whipped cream and fruit is what every foodie’s dreams are made of.

30. Mexico – Chocolate con churros

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Though not originally from here, deep fried churros dipped in thick hot chocolate are a clear favourite and a part of local cuisine. Quick and easy to make, it’s comfort food that’s warm and filling.

Discover the best food tours around the world here.