You don't have to hop on a plane to sample traditional Christmas yeast breads from around the world. Here are some of our favorites you can make at home.

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overhead view of loaf of homemade Nana's Christmas Stollen bread decorated with white glaze and green and red glace cherries
Credit: Reda B

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 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 — specifically old-fashioned sweetened yeast breads — reflecting time-honored baking traditions handed down from generation to generation.

These Christmas yeast 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. Take a look and find something new to bake and share this year.

Italian Christmas Bread: Panettone

This rich, sweet egg bread, stuffed with dried fruit and candied citrus 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.

Orange and Saffron Panettone
Credit: FrancesC

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 fragrant with cardamom and cinnamon, and braided before baking.

loaves of braided Finnish Pulla bread
Credit: Erin Carpenter

Try this recipe for Finnish Pulla.

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. You can also decorate it with a glaze, as shown below.

overhead view of loaf of homemade Nana's Christmas Stollen bread decorated with white glaze and green and red glace cherries
Credit: Reda B

Try this recipe: Nana's Christmas Stollen.

More German stollen recipes to try:

Eastern European Christmas Breads

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

slices of homemade Old World Poppy Seed Bread
Credit: Linda

Try this recipe for Old World Poppy Seed Roll.

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.

overhead view of Rosca de Reyes, Mexican Christmas Bread, decorated with sugar paste and colored candied citrus peel
Credit: Repostera

Try this recipe for Rosca de Reyes.

Other Holiday Yeast Breads

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

homemade Ooey-Gooey Cinnamon Buns with nuts
Credit: foodelicious

Try this recipe for Ooey-Gooey Cinnamon Buns.

More Christmas breads to try:

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