What’s the best part about travel? Experiencing each country’s unique cuisine! And now you can take your taste buds on a sweet adventure without jumping on a plane because, in celebration of World Baking Day, we gathered baked good recipes from…you guessed it, around the world that you can try at home! With all these new flavor combinations, we’re sure one of these recipes will become your new favorite. 

Timir Cake – Somalia 

This date cake paired with a homemade caramel sauce is served warm and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The flavor combination is unlike anything you’ve ever had. Timir cake is a popular and well-loved dessert in Somalia and can be found served in many Somali restaurants. 

Cake Batter:

  • 2 cups chopped and pitted dates
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½  cup milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt

Caramel Sauce:

  • ½  cup butter
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar 
  • 2 cups whipping cream 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt 

Directions:

  1. Heat milk and dates in a saucepan over medium heat until it starts to simmer (almost boils). Remove from heat, whisk in baking soda, and set aside to cool. 
  2. Once cooled, blend your date and milk mixture until smooth. 
  3. In a small bowl sift together your dry ingredients: baking powder, flour, and salt. 
  4. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar for 5-7 minutes making sure to scrape the sides. Then add in the eggs one at a time, making sure each one is thoroughly blended before adding another, then add the vanilla. 
  5. Add your smooth and cooled date and milk mixture to the batter.
  6. Slowly add in your dry ingredients until combined. 
  7. Pour in your cake batter to a 10-inch round cake pan (make sure it’s prepared with parchment paper or greased with butter). Bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes. 
  8. Prepare your caramel sauce by cooking your butter and sugar over medium heat until it starts to foam and comes to a boil. Add the cream and mix well, then your vanilla and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes or longer if you want a thicker sauce. 
  9. When the cake comes out of the oven, poke a lot of holes so it can absorb the sauce, and slowly pour over your prepared caramel until it is all covered. 
  10. Bake again at 350°F for 5 minutes. Serve your final cake warm with vanilla ice cream. 

Baklava – Middle East

Crunchy, nutty, and soaked in sweet syrup, this dessert is a well-known delicacy found all across the Middle East.  This recipe by The Medittariean Dish is a classic with a mix of nuts, a hint of cinnamon, and lots of golden honey. 

Baklava and Nut Filling:

  • 6 oz shelled pistachios (coarsely chopped)
  • 6 oz walnuts (coarsely chopped)
  • 6 oz hazelnuts (coarsely chopped) (optional)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp ground cinnamon (start with less if you’re not sure)
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 16-oz package phyllo dough (thawed)
  • 1 ½ to 2 sticks of unsalted butter (up to 16 tbsp) (melted)

Honey Syrup:

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp orange extract (optional)
  • 5 whole cloves
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Directions:

  1. To make the honey syrup, place the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat stove-top, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Add the honey, orange extract if using, and whole cloves; stir to mix. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for about 25 minutes. Remove syrup from heat and let cool to lukewarm. Add lemon juice. Remove the whole cloves.
  2. To make the nut mixture in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade, add the pistachios, walnuts, and hazelnuts. Pulse a few times to chop. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add sugar, cinnamon, and ground cloves. Mix well to combine.
  3. Prepare the Phyllo Pastry by unrolling the thawed phyllo pastry and place the sheets in between two clean kitchen towels. This will help keep the phyllo from breaking while you work.
  4. Assemble the Baklava by preparing a 9”x 13”x 2” baking pan. Brush the interior of the baking pan with some of the melted butter. To assemble the baklava, take one sheet of phyllo and place it in the pan (for this size pan, you can fold the phyllo sheet in half to fit perfectly. You can also do a bit of trimming using a pair of kitchen shears). Brush the top of the phyllo sheet with the melted butter.
  5. Repeat this process a few more times until you have used up about ⅓ of the phyllo pastry, each layer is brushed with melted butter. Now, distribute about ½ of the nut mixture evenly over the top layer of phyllo. Continue assembling the baklava, one sheet of phyllo pastry at a time using another ⅓ of the phyllo. Again, brush each layer with a bit of melted butter. Distribute the remaining ½ of the nut mixture evenly over the top layer of phyllo. Finish the remaining ⅓ of the phyllo pastry following the same process, laying one folded sheet at a time and brushing each layer with melted butter. Brush the very top sheet of phyllo with butter.
  6. Use a sharp knife, and cut the pastry into 24 diamond-shaped pieces (you can get up to 36 smaller pieces). Bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes until golden.
  7. As soon as you remove the baklava from the oven, pour the cooled syrup all over the hot baklava. Allow the baklava to sit for a few hours before serving or for at least 1 hour. Cut through the earlier marked pieces. Serve with a garnish of chopped pistachios, if you like.

Quesillo – Venezuela

This sweet, soft flan with a caramel topping is a staple at family celebrations, birthdays and holidays. A big meal is always followed by a quesillo. Quesillo can be made in the oven, in a pressure cooker, or simply on the stove. This recipe for quesillo is made on the stove with a simple water bath.

Tools:

  • Round 4–5 inch metal cake pan 
  • Canning or steaming rack to keep the pan elevated during water bath
  • A pot that is big enough to fit the rack and cake pan
  • Aluminum foil
  • Blender or hand mixer
  • Large plate for serving

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp of water
  • 1 can (300 mL) of sweetened condensed milk
  • 300 mL (1 ⅓ cup) of whole milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp of rum (optional)

Directions:

  1. Make the caramel topping. Directly in your metal cake pan, add the granulated sugar over medium heat on the stove. Once the sugar starts to melt, add 1 tbsp water, and swirl until the sugar melts completely and has a bronze color. Then, remove from the stove and swirl the pan to coat the bottom completely with the caramel. Let it cool.
  2. In a blender or in a bowl with an electric hand mixer, blend together the condensed milk, whole milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and rum (optional). Add the mix into the cake pan with the caramel. Cover the top with aluminum foil.
  3. Set up your water bath. To the big pot, add water so that it’s filled halfway and bring it to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to medium and set up the steaming rack or canning rack, then add the aluminum-covered cake pan with your quesillo mix inside.
  4. Let it cook in the water bath over medium heat on the stove for about 1 hour. Check the water levels periodically, adding more hot water to the pot as needed when water levels reduce to below the 2-inches. Flipp tip: you can cover the pot with a kitchen cloth to help reduce the water loss.
  5. Remove the cake pan from the pot, and let it cool completely at room temperature. Then, refrigerate overnight.
  6. When it’s cold and ready to eat, remove the aluminum foil and slide a table knife around the edges to loosen up the quesillo from the pan. Put a big plate over the cake pan, and flip the pan over the plate, giving it light taps to remove the quesillo from the pan and onto the plate. Cut into slices, serve, and enjoy!

Madeleines – France

These delicate, pillowy, and delicious French butter cakes are so very cute and light. The inside is soft and the outside has a slight crispiness to it. These mini cakes by Preppy Kitchen are special because of their design and require a specific type of scallop-shaped pan to bake it in order to get its renowned lines and shape. 

Ingredients:

  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter 
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • ½  cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾  cup all-purpose flour 
  • ¼  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt

Tools:

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter either in your microwave or in a small pot over medium heat. Browning the butter will add a lovely depth of flavor to the cakes but is of course optional. Once melted or browned pour the butter into a bowl and allow it to cool.
  2. Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder into a bowl then whisk together and set aside.
  3. Add the eggs and sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a large bowl if using an electric hand mixer. Beat on high until the mixture is a light yellow color with a thick silky texture, about 8-9 minutes. You’ll see the beater leave trails when it’s ready. Mix in the vanilla and lemon zest toward the end.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and mix until just combined. You can sift the flour mixture into the eggs while you fold to avoid getting lumps or over-mixing the delicate batter.
  5. Drizzle the butter into the batter and gently mix until just combined.
  6. Cover and chill the batter and also the buttered tins for 1 hour then scoop one tbsp of batter into each scallop-shaped well. Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes.
  7. Serve with a light dusting of powdered sugar.

Biscotti – Italy

These Italian cookies are different from what you are used to. They’re baked twice in order to get that crunch, and you can add different toppings to create a new flavor each time. Biscotti is paired with coffee and tea because it’s perfectly dippable and melts in your mouth once it soaks up your drink. This recipe by Delish is a classic with almond extract, cinnamon, and sweet chocolate chips.  

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½  tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½  tsp kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (melted)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread almonds on a small baking sheet and bake until toasted, 15 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
  2. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugars, and almond extract until smooth. Pour egg mixture into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in almonds.
  4. Divide dough in half and place on prepared pans. Pat each half into a long flat log. Bake until golden, 15 minutes. Cut each log on the bias into ½-inch thick pieces and place back on trays, cut side up. Bake 10 minutes more then flip each biscotti. Bake for another 10 minutes or until golden. Let cool completely.
  5. Spread melted chocolate onto a plate and dip the bottoms of biscotti in chocolate. Place on a cooling rack, chocolate side up and let harden.

We hope these international recipes open your horizons and expand your palettes to a whole new world of flavor. Make sure to check out Flipp for the best deals on all of your baking needs. Happy baking!

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