Desserts tend to be decorative, photogenic and generally pleasing to look at and drool over. Cultures around the world prepare extremely different styles of desserts, reflecting the various environments, cultures and traditions. Below is a brief list of some interesting desserts from around the world.

Apple Pie


Photo Courtesy of Ree


The “All-American” apple pie has possibly become America’s most iconic dessert item. Though it didn’t originate in America, apple pie has been established as a national staple and connected to Americans’ affinity for patriotism. This patriotism can even be seen in a 1902 New York Times article that boldly stated, “No pie-eating people can ever be permanently vanquished.”

Nian Gao


Photo Courtesy of joyosity via Flickr

This Chinese dessert is most popular for being eaten during Chinese New Year. Nian gao is made with glutinous rice, which is why the dessert is often referred to as “sticky cake.” The term Nian Gao is also a homonym for “higher year” because Chinese people believe that eating it will bring good fortune in the coming year.

Gulab Jamun


Photo Courtesy of Gili Chupak on Flickr

Originating from India, this dessert is prepared by kneading freshly curdled milk into a dough and shaping it into small balls. Afterwards, these balls are fried, dipped in sugar and topped with a variety of spices, such as a cardamom. Gulab jamun is commonly eaten at large celebrations like weddings and religious holidays.



Photo Courtesy of Mariana Kalil

This Brazilian baked dessert is primarily made from sugar, egg yolks and ground coconuts. The dessert is presented as an inverted-cup custard (similar to flan). It can also be made in a ring mold; called “quinão” in this form, it is generally served sliced.



Photo Courtesy of DDohler via Flickr

Churchkhela is a dessert from Georgia that is primarily made from nuts, flour and grape must. The dessert is made by threading nuts and dipping them into grape juice. Once the juice is thickened with flour, it forms a chewy coating around the nuts, producing a delicious (and healthy) delicacy.



Photo Courtesy of Charles Haynes on Flickr

This South-African dessert greatly resembles the doughnut. It is prepared by deep-frying plaited dough and dipping it in cold sugar. Afterwards, it is braided into a variety of shapes, creating this sweet South-African dessert.

The differences in cultures around the world can be seen in the foods that they prepare. Dessert, arguably the most exquisite part of the meal, takes on a variety of intricate forms internationally. We hope you enjoyed this glimpse of the unique desserts prepared in all different places, and we encourage you to seek out these treats abroad or recreate them in your own kitchen!