9 Traditional Christmas Breads From Around the World

Christmas is a fabulous time to show off your baking skills and make gift breads for friends and family. There are many delicious traditional Christmas breads that you and your family can make, gift, and enjoy together.

We have gathered nine of our favorite bread recipes from around the world. Many are fruit breads and most are yeasted. However, there are a few sweet, non-fruit recipes and one quick bread if you're still a little yeast shy. Many can be made a week or two ahead of the holidays and some of the fruit bread recipes actually recommend a few weeks to rest and allow the flavors to soften.

All of these recipes are relatively easy to make and they are certainly fun to bake. Christmas is the time to go all out on your baked goods and if you're up for something new and unique, you'll definitely want to try a couple of these recipes.

  • 01 of 09

    Slovak Bobalki

    Slovak Bobalki

    This Slovak bread recipe is a delicious treat that any family will enjoy. It's a traditional Christmas Eve and Lent bread that features baked balls of dough that make a fun addition to the dinner table.

    Bobalki can be served as either a sweet or savory bread. For a sweet bread, they are smothered in honey and ground poppy seeds. As a savory side, they're topped with sauerkraut and onion.

  • 02 of 09

    Cinnamon Tea Rings

    Cinnamon tea ring
    Sandra Holte / Flickr / CC By 2.0

    Cinnamon tea rings are a common gift bread made during the Christmas season and it's a perfect option if you prefer to avoid fruit bread. You can add cranberries, raisins, or nuts if you like, but the tea rings are just as delicious with icing alone.

    This recipe makes 6 beautiful tea rings. This leaves you with plenty of sweet bread to serve after Christmas dinner and to gift to friends and relatives.

  • 03 of 09

    Duivekater—Sour Cream White Bread

    Google Images

    A traditional Dutch bread that is shared alongside holiday meals, this is a sweet white bread with a hint of lemon that looks as stunning as it tastes. How this bread ever fell out of favor, we will never know, but you can be part of its revival.

    What is so spectacular about Duivekater is the way it is shaped. You begin with a rolled oval, cut pieces off it, then reattach them to create four 'arms.' After a few slashes with the knife, it's ready to bake and it deserves to be served with the best butter you can find.

  • 04 of 09

    German Christmas Stollen

    German Christmas Stollen

    The Spruce

    Stollen is a traditional German Christmas bread that is perfect for the holidays. These are delicious fruit cake-like breads that make great gifts and can be prepared a few weeks in advance. In fact, they get better with a little age. 

    The sweet stollens include a variety of flavors. Icing is standard and this recipe includes candied fruits and almonds. The powdered sugar dusting is optional but highly recommended.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Easy Christmas Stollen

    Christmas stollen
    Axel Bueckert / EyeEm / Getty Images

    If you're looking for a stollen ​bread recipe that's ideal for gift-giving, look no further. This easy stollen recipe makes three loaves of bread: one for the dessert table and two for giving away.

    The recipe is very similar to the German recipe above, though there are a few changes and you might find this a bit easier. The fact that it makes three loaves at once is certainly a bonus.

  • 06 of 09

    Julekake—A Norwegian Christmas Bread

    Julekake, a traditional Christmas treat.
    Art Anderson / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

    Norway has their own take on a Christmas fruitcake and it's long been a favorite tradition in many families. The Julekake is flavored with cardamom and candied fruits, and it's easily formed into two loaves of bread.

    This bread sounds absolutely delicious and it's best when served fresh from the oven. Yet, if you have to bake it ahead, it makes a fine fruity toast as well.

  • 07 of 09

    Three Kings Bread

    Three kings cake
    Paty aranda / Getty Images

    This is a wonderful recipe for Three Kings Bread (or Rosca de Reyes). It is a traditional Mexican fruit bread that is baked in a wreath shape and it may be one of the most enjoyable Christmas breads to make.

    The wreath is adorned with dried fruit and you can braid the bread if you like. The most interesting part is that a baby Jesus figurine is baked right inside.

    More grocery stores are starting to carry this traditional bread, but it is so much tastier if you bake your own.

  • 08 of 09

    Russian Christmas Bread

    DarthArt / Getty Images

    Another fun fruit bread, this traditional Russian Christmas bread goes by the name of krendel (or krendl). It's formed in the shape of a large pretzel and hides its delicious dried fruits inside.

    This recipe is the fruit bread you should consider if you're looking for that showcase bread to serve for dessert as it is most impressive. It can be glazed, left plain, or topped with powdered sugar. It's a pure delight that you will love to share.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Mini Cranberry Fruit Bread

    Mini Cranberry Fruit Bread
    Alice Day / EyeEm / Getty Images

    We've explored some fantastic fruit breads and all of them make great gifts. Yet, we enjoy these miniature loaves of cranberry bread for casual gifting. It's also a quick bread, which means there's no yeast, no waiting for it to rise, and very little mixing.

    The recipe is much easier than many of the others and it allows you to take advantage of those fresh cranberries that show up in the market this time of year.

    In the end, you will have three adorable loaves of sweet bread that will surely make someone's day.