Here in America, we have access to a huge selection of cakes and cake-like desserts. We don’t really need any more cakes— but do we want more cake options? Absolutely we do. The world is full of so many delicious treats, and I want to taste them all.
Keep reading to learn about the most popular cakes around the world. Which one do you want to try first?
This decadent layer cake comes to us straight from Hungary. A Dobos Torte is traditionally seven layers of thin, slightly dry sponge stacked together with a thick chocolate buttercream. The top later is covered in caramel which hardens and provides a satisfying crunch.
The side of the cake is usually coated with ground hazelnuts or almonds.
A panettone is a sweet cake from Milan, Italy. Italians usually eat it around Christmas and New Year. The cake rises into a big fluff column, and it’s usually full of candied orange, citron, and lemon zest.
Sometimes it also has raisins or chocolate in it. This is more of a luxurious bread than a traditional cake.
This crazy looking cake on a spit comes to us from Germany. When you slice this cake open, you can see all of the lovely rings of batter inside of it.
Adding tiny layer by tiny layer takes a really long time, but the finished product is definitely worth it.
Tres Leches Cake
The tres leches cakes is popular in Mexico and throughout Latin America. Tres leches translates to “three milks.” It’s basically a butter cake soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream.
The actual cake is super light and airy, which is why it doesn’t get soggy even when it’s soaked in three different liquids.
This layer cake from Indonesia is known as kek lapis. These cakes are often baked for religious or cultural celebrations. Sometimes they even have different patterns and colors baked into them.
There’s another layered Indonesian dessert called kue lapis that pretty similar to kek lapis, except it’s made with a soft rice flour pudding.
This Scottish cake is full of nutty goodness. The Dundee cake is a traditional fruit cake with a super rich flavor. It’s full of currants and raisins, and it’s topped with pretty rings of blanched and roasted almonds.
Apparently this cake was invented because Mary Queen of Scots didn’t like glacé cherries in her fruit cake.
In the Philippines, a pianono is kind of like a Swiss roll. What is distinctly Flipino about this cake, though, is its flavor. The purple color of the cake comes from ube, or purple yams.
Filipinos use purple yams to flavor a whole bunch of desserts.
A prinsesstårta is also known as a Swedish princess cake. It’s a traditional Swedish layer cake filled with jam and pastry cream. Then it’s topped with a huge dome of whipped cream, and then the whipped cream and the cake are covered with green marzipan.
I need a slice of this immediately.
A Sachertorte is an Austrian cake invented by a famous Austrian-Jewish confectioner named Franz Sacher. It’s probably the most famous Viennese food item.
A Sachertorte is basically a really dense chocolate cake topped with a thin layer of apricot jam, and then coated in chocolate icing.
Thank you, New Zealand, for giving us pavlova. Even though this dessert sounds like it should be Russian, it was actually created in New Zealand in the 1920s in honor of Anna Pavlova, a Russian ballerina who visited the country.
A pavlova has a crisp meringue shell and a marshmallow-like center. It’s usually topped with berries and whipped cream.
These little Chinese cakes are traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival— an occasion for honoring and appreciating the moon.
These pastries are usually filled with red bean paste or lotus seed paste. Sometimes there’s also a whole salted egg yolk in the center of these cakes as a symbol of the full moon.
The Pandan cake comes from Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia and Singapore. It’s a chiffon cake that’s flavored with pandan leaves, which taste kind of grassy, nutty and sweet. Pandan has been called the “Asian vanilla,” although I’ve heard that it tastes nothing like vanilla.
These leaves also give the cake its signature green color. Who doesn’t like a green cake?
Mawa Kaju Cakes
A mawa cake is a cardamom flavored milk cake from India. It’s actually from Iranian cafés in India. Some Zoroastrian Iranis left Persia in the 19th century. They settled in India and set up cafés in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune.
These cakes are made out of mawa, a kind of super condensed milk. To make mawa, you boil milk until it turns into a granular, dough-like solid.
Galette Des Rois
A galette des rois is basically a frangipane tart (of kings) made with pastry, butter, ground almonds, and a few extra ingredients. This cake comes from France, and the French eat it on January 6th, the day that the three kings came to give gifts to baby Jesus.
Maybe when Maire Antoinette said “let them eat cake,” she was talking about galette des rois (she wasn’t, she was talking about brioche, but we can pretend).
A studel is a layered, sweet pastry from Germany. The best known strudels are apple strudel, sweet cheese strudel, and cherry strudel.
These pastries are absolutely delicious. If you’ve never tried strudel, you should go out and get some right now. Or you could make some. I’ll wait.
Basbousa is a traditional Middle Eastern semolina cake. The actual semolina cake is initially pretty dry, but then it’s soaked in simple syrup flavored with rose water or orange blossom water.
Rose water and orange blossom water have a super florally taste. Basbousa is usually topped with sliced almonds.
A croquembouche is a French dessert that’s basically a tower of cream puffs held together with hard caramel. It’s usually also covered in thin strings of caramel.
A croquembouche is a popular dessert at weddings in France. It’s also served at baptisms and first communions.
This custard creme dessert goes by many different names. In Bosnia, it’s called krempita. In Croatia, it’s kremšnita. In Hungary, it’s krémes. The list goes on.
This Eastern European cake is just a whole bunch of light custard sandwiched between two sheets of flaky pastry. I highly recommend it to all lover of custard out there.
Baklava is a dessert that came out of the Ottoman empire. Now it’s very popular in most Middle Eastern countries. It’s a rich, sweet pastry made by alternating layer of filo dough and a crushed nut mixture. Then the whole thing is covered in syrup or honey.
These little bite-sized morsels are absolutely delectable.
Torta Maria Luisa
This delicious jam-filled cake comes from Columbia. A Torta Maria Luisa is the perfect snack to have with your afternoon coffee. It’s made by layering dulce du leche (a thick, milk-based caramel sauce) or blackberry jam between two rounds of vanilla sponge cake.
I think I’m going to need to learn how to make this one at home.