SURPRISE YOUR GUESTS? THESE ARE THE MOST FAMOUS DESSERTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

A smile may be the universal language of kindness, but dessert is the universal meal. And thanks to all the sweet tooths across the globe, our favorite dessert recipes range from classic French crème brûlée to North African semolina-coconut cake and a New Zealand pavlova flecked with Australian Tim Tams. Try your hand at our 22 best dessert recipes from around the world.

Classic American French Cream Pie

Wes Frazer
Wes Frazer

The whipped cream filling doesn’t require any cooking—no custard here—while some slices of banana and toasted almond add texture and flavor. A fast, easy-to-make pie from a bygone era that deserves a comeback. Classic American French Cream Pie

Argentinian Giant Apple and Dulce de Leche Pancake

Matt Taylor-Gross
Matt Taylor-Gross

Soft apples with a hint of tartness balance a bittersweet caramelized crust, spurred on by rich dulce de leche. Get the recipe for Argentinian Giant Apple and Dulce de Leche Pancake

French Meringue Floating in Crème Anglaise

Matt Taylor-Gross
Matt Taylor-Gross

Sprinkled on top of these delicate meringues—which float in a vanilla custard—are praline roses, caramel-coated almonds dyed a bright pink. Get the recipe for French Meringue Floating in Crème Anglaise

Japanese Mochi

Mochi
Michelle Heimerman

For this dessert, from cookbook author Hiroko Shimbo, adzuki bean paste is wrapped in an extremely tender, sticky rice dough called gyūhi. The toasted green soybean flour that is dusted over the sweet is reminiscent of the revered bird, shaded in greens. Get the recipe for Japanese Mochi

French Eclairs

Farideh Sadeghin
Farideh Sadeghin

When it comes to eclairs, homemade is always better. Bakeries have to chill their filled eclairs, which makes for soggy centers and mushy crusts; you can freshly fill yours at home and eat them right away.

Get the recipe for French Eclairs

Chinese Rice Cakes Stuffed with Coconut and Brown Sugar (Yi Bua)

Jason Lang
Jason Lang

Like a tropical version of mochi, these chewy rice cakes, often eaten on sweltering Hainan days with a tall glass of coffee, hold a brown sugar and coconut filling.

Get the recipe for Chinese Rice Cakes Stuffed with Coconut and Brown Sugar (Yi Bua)

Turkish Black Mulberry Soup with Kaymak Ice Cream

Cem Talu
Cem Talu

This pleasantly tart soup is a welcome break from super-sweet desserts. The accompanying ice cream is made from kaymak, a traditional Turkish dairy product; crème fraîche makes a good substitute.

Get the recipe for Turkish Black Mulberry Soup with Kaymak Ice Cream

Italian Baked Pears and Prunes with Red Wine Sauce

Andrea Wyner
Andrea Wyner

Taking poached pears to the next level, in this dessert, whole Bosc pears are cooked in a red wine syrup, with succulent prunes adding complexity to the sauce.

Get the recipe for Baked Pears and Prunes with Red Wine Sauce

Get the recipe for Sticky Rice and Almond Cake (Nian Gao)

Matt Taylor-Gross
Matt Taylor-Gross

This chewy steamed cake, with flavors of almond and caramel, is traditionally eaten for the Lunar New Year. Eat it warm or let the cake cool completely, then cut into slabs, batter with beaten egg, and fry them until crisp.

Get the recipe for Sticky Rice and Almond Cake (Nian Gao)

Israeli Cashew Baklava

Neal Santos
Neal Santos

Brown sugar, cinnamon and nutty, rich cashews are rolled into tight baklava cigars in this eminently snackable dessert.

Get the recipe for Cashew Baklava

North African Semolina-Coconut Cake with Orange and Rose Waters

Matt Taylor-Gross
Matt Taylor-Gross

This North African cake is baked with dried coconut and sweetened condensed milk and then soaked in a fragrant lemony syrup with orange blossom and rose waters.

Get the recipe for Semolina-Coconut Cake with Orange and Rose Waters

Slovenian Layered Strudel Cake (Prekmurska Gibanica)

Chris Court
Chris Court

Able to be assembled up to 2 days prior to baking, this multilayered pastry cake is stuffed with poppy seed, walnut, cottage cheese, and tart apple fillings.

Get the recipe for Slovenian Layered Strudel Cake (Prekmurska Gibanica)

Korean Rice Cake

Matt Taylor-Gross
Matt Taylor-Gross

Korean rice cakes, known as songpyeon, are half moon-shaped dumplings that are stuffed with fillings like sweet potatoes, chestnuts, red beans, or nuts, and then steamed and served with honey.

Get the recipe for Korean Rice Cake

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Farideh Sadeghin
Farideh Sadeghin

We’ve found that rolling these cookies into bigger portions, then refrigerating them for at least 2 hours before slightly under-baking them at 350°, results in incredibly gooey, soft chocolate chip cookies.

Get the recipe for The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Indian Goan Coconut Cake (Baath)

Matt Taylor-Gross
Matt Taylor-Gross

A hint of rosewater adds sweet, floral aroma to this moist, dense semolina cake, packed with four types of coconut. Refrigerating overnight gives the semolina time to soak up the sweet coconut liquid, resulting in a softer, more tender crumb.

Get the recipe for Goan Coconut Cake (Baath)

Phillippine Fruit Salad

Matt Taylor-Gross
Matt Taylor-Gross

Simple fruits cut and covered in sweet condensed milk sauce.

Get the recipe for Phillippine Fruit Salad

Chilean Baked Custard with Caramel Sauce (Leche Asada)

Matt Taylor-Gross
Matt Taylor-Gross

This classic custard is ubiquitous in Chile, where it is served in cups for a quick afternoon snack or baked in a larger pan for a family-style dessert.

Get the recipe for Baked Custard with Caramel Sauce (Leche Asada)

Swedish “Gooey” Chocolate Cake (Kladdkaka)

Magnus Nilsson
Magnus Nilsson

Chef Magnus Nilsson’s wife likes to serve this beloved Swedish cake, similar to a fudgy American brownie, chilled, but it’s just as good piping hot from the pan with a scoop of ice cream. Melting the butter in this recipe first and then stirring it with the other ingredients helps ensure that as little air as possible gets incorporated into the batter. The result: a gooey, more moist cake.

Get the recipe for Swedish “Gooey” Chocolate Cake (Kladdkaka)

Crème Brûlée

Farideh Sadeghin
Farideh Sadeghin

Beating egg yolks with sugar until pale and fluffy is the key to the smooth texture in this rich, classic French dessert, as made by Dennis Wist, father of Saveur Art Associate Allie Wist.

Get the recipe for Crème Brûlée

Danish Dream Cake (Drømmekage)

Matt Taylor-Gross
Matt Taylor-Gross

This delightfully basic white sponge cake, encrusted with a coconut and brown sugar topping, is a dream to make and eat.

Get the recipe for Danish Dream Cake (Drømmekage)

Burmese Sesame-Topped Semolina Cake with Coconut (Shwekyi Senyinmakin)

Laura Sant
Laura Sant

This sticky-sweet cake, made with semolina flour and coconut milk, is commonly served at holidays and special occasions in Myanmar.

Get the recipe for Burmese Sesame-Topped Semolina Cake with Coconut (Shwekyi Senyinmakin)

Australian Tim Tam Pavlova

Farideh Sadeghin
Farideh Sadeghin

Pavlova, a traditional Russian dessert, gets an addition from a chocolatey Australian favorite. The thing that differentiates this classic kiwi dessert from a meringue is the addition of vinegar: it helps give the outside a lovely crunchy shell, while the inside remains soft.

Get the recipe for Australian Tim Tam Pavlova


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