You don't have to be a jet-setter to sample traditional Christmas breads from around the world. Here are some of our favorites you can make at home.

By Vanessa Greaves and Allrecipes Editors
Updated December 03, 2020
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Credit: Deb C

Pictured above: Finnish Pulla braided into a knot.

One of the best parts of Christmas is the aroma of baked goods fresh from the oven, ready to be shared with family and friends as you get together to celebrate the holidays. And we're not just talking about cookies — although we think you should definitely bake Christmas cookies. No, what we have in mind are Christmas breads from all over the world, reflecting time-honored baking traditions handed down from generation to generation.

These Christmas breads are often rich with butter, eggs, dried fruits, citrus, and nuts, and they can be fragrant with holiday spices like cinnamon and cardamom.

Here are several of our favorite Christmas breads from many different cultural traditions. Which ones will you make this year?

Italian Christmas Bread: Panettone

This rich, sweet egg bread, stuffed w comes from Milan, Italy. You can bake it as a large loaf in a round, tall-sided pan or in paper panettone forms (Buy them: $14 for a pack of 10 at Amazon.com), and enjoy it as a breakfast bread or a dessert. Slice leftover panettone to make decadent French toast or cube and bake it into comforting bread pudding.

Try this recipe for Orange and Saffron Panettone.

More panettone recipes to try:

Scandinavian Christmas Breads

Scandinavian breads from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland are often rich and sweet, fragrant with cardamom and cinnamon, and braided before baking.

Try this recipe for Finnish Pulla.

Credit: Melissajean

More Scandinavian Christmas bread recipes to try:

German Christmas Bread: Stollen

This famous German bread originated in the city of Dresden. Stollen is made from a very rich but not overly sweet dough, studded with candied fruits and nuts, and sometimes includes a ribbon of marzipan down the center. The finished loaf is sometimes brushed with clarified butter and rolled in confectioners' sugar.

Try this recipe: Nana's Christmas Stollen

Credit: Reda B

More German stollen recipes to try:

Eastern European Christmas Breads

Nuts and poppy seeds figure prominently in these favorite Christmas breads. They're often braided and baked in knots and wreaths.

Try this recipe for Old World Poppy Seed Roll.

Credit: Jessica.nemec

More Eastern European Christmas breads to try:

Mexican Christmas Breads

You'll find sweet Christmas bread traditions anywhere Christmas is celebrated. Pan Dulces are sweetened, enriched Mexican breads with a baked-on sugary topping. Another popular Mexican Christmas bread is called Rosca de Reyes, or "ring of the kings," celebrating the day the Three Kings visited the baby Jesus.

Try this recipe for Rosca de Reyes.

Credit: repostera

Other Holiday Yeast Breads

And last, but certainly not least, cinnamon rolls and other sweet breads are among some of our most popular Christmas breakfast and brunch recipes.

Try this recipe for Ooey-Gooey Cinnamon Buns.

Credit: foodelicious

More Christmas breads to try:

Browse our entire collection of Christmas breads and Christmas baking recipes.