Latin American Holiday Food Traditions: Desserts

December, 2018 · By elsabron Leave Comment

There can be no holidays without desserts. While no one calls food the universal language, I wish they did. Every culture has holidays and more than not, sweets and desserts are involved. The Latin American Countries and their cultures are no different.

No they are not all exactly the same. Every culture has a different idea of size, shape, texture, and of course sweetness. They are all delicious and this is the uniting factor. But even with all the differences you can see some familiar themes. Three of these traditional items you will find in Latin American countries that fit this mold are Pannettone, Bunuelo and Coquito.

Latin America Christmas Traditions


This product originated in Europe but quickly found itself migrating to Latin American Shores following the Second World War. To sum it up simply, Panettone is the European and Latin American Fruit Cake. No I have not read one thing that called it a fruit cake. But the description was that of a sweet bread, formed into a shape, and filled with raisins and candied fruits. You know the saying if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…then it is a.

Regardless it has transcended borders to give the universal gift of fruity sweet bread to the denizens of South American. Large Vida Pastel De Frutas.


Moving on to the Bunuelos. The name sounds very exciting but it is very familiar as well. It is fried dough topped with something sweet. Usually it is a round shaped but can be irregular. While toppings and fillings vary among many Latin American Countries, it looks a lot like a..Doughnut. But better than a donut, it is another sweet tradition whose design clearly transcends borders. And besides, who can resist a donut?

Christmas sweets and treats from Latin America


This one has to be my favorite. Found primarily in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean it seems to resemble a popular drink in North American Christmas Dessert Culture. The drink I am speaking of is..eggnog. The coquito is basically this with a lot of enhancements. This includes coconut milk, coconut cream and of course rum. Eggnog never had it so good.

Pour me a glass of coquito and be generous with the rum! Happy Holidays!



Katel, J. (2016, May 25). Top Ten Latin American Christmas Food Traditions. Retrieved from

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