Top 15 Traditional Filipino Desserts served during Christmas

Explore the Top 15 Traditional Filipino Desserts served during Christmas, a delightful journey of sweet traditions. Indulge in the magic of Filipino Christmas with these sweet treats! ✨🎄 #ChristmasSweets #FilipinoFlavors

Once again, the festive air of Christmas envelops us, a mere 10 days away from the much-anticipated Christmas Eve. For Filipinos, this marks the beginning of our grand celebration, commencing precisely at midnight between December 24 and 25. In the hours leading up to this momentous occasion, Filipino families worldwide hustle to prepare their Noche Buena, featuring cherished Filipino recipes presented right as the clock strikes 12. It may seem peculiar in contrast to other cultures, as who feasts on a variety of dishes at the stroke of midnight? We do, and we do it with flair. While I’ve previously delved into the types of savory dishes gracing our tables during this time, today, let’s delve deeper into the realm of traditional desserts. If lechon or pasta doesn’t quite capture your palate in the late hours, allow me to entice you with the allure of a light dessert paired with a soothing cup of tea.

As we explore the culinary delights of Filipino Christmas traditions, join me in uncovering the Top 15 Traditional Filipino Desserts served during Christmas. From the sweet allure of bibingka to the delicate layers of sapin-sapin, each dessert carries with it a piece of Filipino heritage and a touch of holiday magic.

The festive season in the Philippines is not just about the exchange of gifts or the grand feasts but also a celebration of our rich culinary heritage. Let’s navigate through these delightful treats that have become an integral part of our Christmas celebrations, weaving joy and sweetness into the tapestry of our traditions.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the enchanting world of Filipino Christmas desserts that have stood the test of time and continue to bring delight to generations of families.

Leche Flan 2

Leche Flan
This one is a classic, if there is one thing that is commonly served during this time then it’s this Filipino version of creme caramel.

Ube Halaya
Another classic that usually goes hand in hand with Leche flan but becuase this one is quite tedious to make, fewer families serve this nowadays but if you have some spare time then give this original ube dessert a try. Yes, this was the first ube dish that came out, way much longer before it became viral and be a flavour of almost everything

Food for the Gods

Food For the Gods
Another dessert that is dying not becuase it’s hard to make but in the Philippines its ingredients can be expensive where dates and walnuts are not common. We serve this a lot during my childhood, imagine a moist butterscotch crossed with crumby cookie, mmmmmmm.

Choco Crinkles 2

Chocolate Crinkles
If you have a Filipino acquaintance then most probably you would receive something like this as a gift, a common food item given away by Filipinos to those they know but not too close to be a friend, or if you are a friend, then they probably don’t know what to give to you. Either way, I would love to receive some, its soft fudge-like chocolate cake in texture is something you want your teeth to sink in.

Cathedral Jelly
Most Filipinos back in the Philippines do not have the luxury of owning an oven, hence most of the desserts served during this time is either rice cakes or jellies. And if we are talking festive, it can’t be more festive than this Cathedral Jelly, just look at those colours.

Gulaman with Pineapples and Raisins 2

Pink Gulaman
Another jelly that is commonly served is this pink one, more affordable than the colourful one on top and it uses agar seaweeds instead of animal jelly, so for those vegetarians out there this Pink ones is for your, made with agar, evaporated milk, pineapple juice, pineapples and raisins.

Buko Salad 2

Buko Salad
Another common salad dessert is this Buko salad, made with young coconut strips, with different type of coco jellies and tapioca pearls plus fruits served with condensed milk and cream sauce.

Filipino Fruit Salad 1

Fruit Salad
If coconut is your thing, then you can resort to this Filipino version of Ambrosia, made usually with tropical fruits like pineapple and red and yellow papaya chunks packed in lightly sweetened passion fruit juice served together with coco jellies and tapioca pearls with condensed milk and cream sauce.

Crema de Fruta
If the Brits have trifle, Filipinos have Crema de Fruta, same concept but this Pinoy version is done in one layer of sponge cake, custard, fruits then a clear jelly.

Buko Pandan 1

Buko Pandan
Another dessert salad but this time it mainly consist of young coconuts, coconut jelly, pandan jelly and tapioca pearls. There are strict rules on only using green and white colour for this one, I just wonder will this be also good to serve on a St Patricks day?

Puto Bumbong 1

Puto Bumbong
Going on to the rice cakes, this one for the non-Filipinos might look like another ube concoction, sad today it’s not if you are a big fan of ube. This is made with black glutinous rice that when soaked in water and cooked, turns purple. A very popular rice cake during this time as it is sold on the streets when Christmas season hits. A simple steamed ground rice on a special bamboo steamer, served with copious amounts of margarine, grated fresh coconuts and muscovado sugar.

Bibingka 3

Puto bumbong won’t be complete without a bibingka, it is like a Batman and Robin tandem. Both are a mainstay during Christmas also sold on streets and it’s just simply made with rice flour, coconut milk and sugar topped with salted egg then cooked with charcoals.

Cassava Cake

Cassava Cake
More rice cakes but its weird to call this one as it does not involve rice at all, it uses cassava but we still call it a rice cake, confusing? Well, me too. Anyways, personally this is one of the best rice cakes ever, the texture is great, its sweet, its creamy, it’s addictive.

Pichi Pichi

Pichi Pichi
This one is also made with cassava, but the looks of this can be more festive. People dye it with red, yellow and green colours which looks nice on a dinner table. Cassava cake is usually best when warm, this one is best when cold.

Pinaso 2

The last item on the list and perhaps the oldest recipe here, almost a long-lost recipe that even a lot of Filipinos have not heard of. A Bulakenyo dish, originated in Mexico which dates back to the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade, a dessert prepared with eggs, milk and biscuits sprinkled with sugar on top where it is scorched or caramelized with a very hot heavy iron turner. Think of it as a cross between leche flan, creme brulee and pudding.

As we conclude this culinary journey through the festive flavors of Filipino Christmas, I hope this exploration of the Top 15 Traditional Filipino Desserts served during Christmas has sparked a sense of nostalgia or perhaps inspired you to add a new treat to your holiday repertoire. These sweet delights, cherished in Filipino households, carry not just the taste of sugar and spice but also the warmth of traditions passed down through generations.

May your Christmas be filled with the joy of sharing these delectable desserts with loved ones, creating memories that sweeten the season. From bibingka to sapin-sapin, let the magic of these desserts enhance the spirit of togetherness during this most wonderful time of the year.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a sweet celebration with the Top 15 Traditional Filipino Desserts served during Christmas!


3 Responses

  1. suituapui says:

    Ooooo…I love them all. Bibingka does ring a bell!!! I wonder what dessert I should serve for my Christmas dinner?

  2. mjskitchen says:

    This all sounds wonderful! I’m especially drawn to the cassava treats. YUM!

  3. I love that tradition of eating dessert at midnight – I feel like I need that tradition to start here in the States! :-) Speaking of dessert, the cathedral jelly looks really fun and unique. Thanks for sharing, Raymund!

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