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Holiday Desserts Across Africa

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Naturally, no matter how much you eat during the holidays, there will always be space for something sweet and delicious enough to set your taste buds on fire. Holidays in Africa are known to feature culinary delights that will have you looking forward to the next holiday, but the desserts served after these huge meals are stuff you probably won’t find on the other six continents.

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From Ethiopia to South Africa and from Kenya to Nigeria, each country has trademark desserts that should really be included in their list of natural resources. These goodies are that tasty! So, if you’re wondering what sweets to include on your Christmas menu, here are a few dessert ideas from across the continent.

Umm Ali

Holiday Desserts Umm Ali

Umm Ali literally means the mother of Ali! This conferment of a maternal honor on the pastry could be because of its superior taste, perhaps? This Egyptian dessert shares some resemblance with North America’s bread pudding, but it is only more delicious. To add to its sweetness, it is often topped with whipped cream or a dollop of vanilla ice cream. The pastry, which is the base of the dessert, should be freshly baked and puffy. This is definitely a winner in the holiday dessert battle for superiority, seeing as it has such a rich history behind it!

Coupe Mount Kenya

The second dessert on this list also has a rather important name. The dessert is named for Mount Kenya, Kenya’s highest mountain and the second highest peak in Africa after Mt. Kilimanjaro. It deserves its name, as the taste is mightily lofty! This delightful mango dessert deserves a spot on your Christmas dinner table. It’s basically mango ice cream covered with a zingy pineapple sauce! And if you’re hard pressed to find a mango ice cream, the recipe is so flexible that you can use any fruit ice cream as a substitute. Ingredients include heavy cream, sugar, pineapple, and lemons! It is served ice cold to ensure that the flavors cool your fiery taste buds.

Accra Banana Peanut Cake

Holiday Desserts Accra Banana Peanut Cake

Named after the capital of Ghana, this banana peanut cake is like nothing you’ve ever tasted. This dessert is made with three of the most amazing dessert ingredients ever: peanuts, banana and caramel, so it is wonderfully nutty, fruity and incredibly sweet. There is a problem, though, and it is that you will love this cake so much you won’t allow it to cool. But that’s okay. You can eat it warm with lots of whipped cream!

Coconut Ice

Holiday Desserts Coconut Ice

Coconut ice features prominently in South African homes, and it deserves a spot on your Christmas table. Making this dessert serves as a bonding experience for families. Many adults who recount tales from their childhood will tell you how coconut ice was their best treat. You could whip up this simple recipe and spice up your Christmas menu, while creating unforgettable memories.

Your diet plan will fly out of the window when you prepare this easy, no-cook treat. It is the holidays after all and it is perfectly okay to over-indulge just a bit. Ingredients include desiccated coconut, icing sugar and condensed milk. Serve it ice cold. Bon appetite!


Holiday Desserts Maamoul

Ma’amoul is typically eaten around Eid in Morocco and other parts of North Africa, but there’s no law that says you can’t make it a part of your Christmas celebration. The recipe for this pastry varies from home to home, and it is dictated entirely by taste. While some people love to use yeast-based dough, some people prefer using all-purpose flour. This means you can tweak and customize it to suit your needs.

Ingredients include ghee, whole milk, orange blossom water and vegetable oil. Tip: Create a large batch, if you can. There’s a possibility that Ma’amoul will end up being the most popular food on the table!


Ngalakh is a popular dessert in francophone West Africa. It is eaten in countries like Cameroun, Senegal, and Togo. This sweetened porridge is an absolute delight! The chief ingredient in Ngalahk is araw, which is derived from millet. The closest thing to araw might be couscous, just in case you were wondering. To maximize the flavor of the dessert, the fruit of the baobab tree, locally known as bouye, is added to the list of ingredients. Peanut butter is also used to achieve the smooth texture of the porridge.

Meat Pie

If the Nigerian government were to add a picture of a meat pie to the coat of arms, no one would complain. That is just how much Nigerians love their meat pie! This mincemeat dessert is one of the most popular things to add to your Christmas dessert list, and Christmas would be pretty dreary without it. Meat pie is yummy and filling!

Holiday Desserts Meat Pie

The yummy ingredients used in filling the snack include carrots, peas, mincemeat and potatoes. Every bite is an unforgettable experience. While it is true that you can get meat pie in just about any country in the world, I bet you that any meat pie you eat outside Nigeria will lack that distinctly Nigerian taste!

The snacks in the list are easy to make and the ingredients are so simple that you can open your fridge and find just about everything you need. Make room on your Christmas feast table (and in your stomachs, of course) and you are sure to have a sweet and delightful Christmas!