Latino households will love these Christmas dessert recipes.
These Latino Christmas dessert recipes will inspire you. Nicole Michalou/Pexels

Christmas dessert recipes must have a bit of everything: a blend of sweetness, creativity and a taste of Latino culture. Every family has its own set of cooking instructions, drawing inspiration from the most beloved holiday cookies and cakes. However, it's those sweet treats that infuse the essence of one's hometown onto the table that make them truly priceless.

Traditional flavors from countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica and Brazil are certainly familiar to immigrant families and can be the perfect Christmas idea to score some points during holiday get-togethers. Spoiler alert: 'Natilla' and 'Mexican apple salad' are at the top of the list.

Before delving into the Christmas dessert recipes, it's important to note that the significant influence of Italian immigration on Latin American countries during the 19th and 20th centuries has deeply impacted Latino traditions and, therefore, meals.

The 'Panettone', known as 'Panetón' in Peruvian tradition and 'Pan Dulce' in Argentina, is definitely the most prevalent Christmas dessert recipe in most South American countries.

Traditional recipes typically feature nuts, almonds, and dried fruits in the dessert, but ingredients vary across different countries.

For a modern twist, the 'Panettone' can also be filled with chocolate chips, or even include your favorite flavor of ice cream. With that clarification, let's proceed.

The Latin Times' top 5 Latino Christmas dessert recipes:

Brigadeiro,' the Brazilian chocolate.
Brazilian tradition: Brigadeiro,' is a favorite Christmas dessert in some Latino households. .

1. Colombian dessert for Christmas: 'Natilla'

While its precise origin remains unknown, chef and researcher Julián Estrada explained that natilla has roots in Spanish flour-based porridges and shares familial connections with "manjar blanco" and "arequipe", according to an article of El Colombiano. The main difference with European recipes is that this Colombian dessert is made with corn instead of wheat. Pure indulgence in this Christmas dessert recipe.

2. Mexican traditions: Christmas Apple Salad

This Mexican dessert, typically served during Christmas feasts, may bear a resemblance to Waldorf salad, but it is distinctly different. Each household has its unique variation of ingredients, but, fundamentally, you will need to cut green apples and pineapple into small pieces, then combine them with pecans, raisins, yogurt, and condensed milk to enjoy the sweet and sour flavor of your 'ensalada de manzana navideña'. Fun fact: some may enjoy a bite both before and after the main course.

3. Brazilian dessert for Christmas: 'Rabanada' with 'Brigadeiro'

This is a traditional Brazilian dessert inspired by the concept of French toast. Topped with a variation of the Brazilian chocolate truffle Brigadeiro, it comprises pieces of fried bread dusted with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. This Christmas dessert recipe can be prepared in less than 30 minutes. Undoubtedly a Christmas classic for many.

4. Venezuelan dessert for Christmas: Black Cake

The recipe is simple, though it requires patience as it has to be started at least one week in advance. The decisive step involves macerating a mixture of almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, candied orange, and plums with rum, stout, and various spices in the fridge for between seven and 17 days. Then, the preparation is akin to baking a cake. The 'Torta Negra Venezolana' is a truly delicious treat with British origins that many 'abuelas' keep alive for Christmas.

5. Costa Rican Dessert for Christmas: Queques

The 'queues navideños' emerge as soon as the holiday season arrives in Costa Rica. This sweet treat traces its origins back to ancient Rome. Each spice included in the recipe is believed to symbolize the gifts that los Reyes Magos (the three wise men) bring to the newborn Jesús," according to the journalist Marjorie Ross. In Costa Rican tradition, various styles of queques exist. One of them, which is frequent to find, includes ripe bananas, nuts, raisins, and rum.

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