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Iconic Cakes And Desserts From Around The World

Cakes and desserts come in all different shapes, sizes and styles. However, there are some that have really captured the public imagination over the years, and here’s a rundown of five of the most popular from around the world.

The Victoria sandwich

Surely one of Britain’s most well-known and best-loved cakes, the Victoria sponge has been gracing tables for over a century. This classic creation was developed during the reign of Queen Victoria and, unlike the Genoese cakes invented in the 18th century, it has a butter-richness and it is creamed not whisked. It also contains baking powder, which was developed in the Victorian era.

Today, this sweet treat features sponge cake separated by a filling of raspberry or strawberry jam and whipped cream. However, Victoria herself would have eaten it with jam alone as the layer of cream was a 20th-century addition.

New York cheesecake

Even more indulgent is the classic New York cheesecake. This heavenly creation boasts a combination of cream cheese, sugar, soured cream, flour and eggs, mixed together and placed on top of a buttery biscuit base. It gets its signature flavor from the extra egg yolks in the cream cheese mix.

It’s thought that the New York restaurant owner Arnold Reuben developed the recipe in 1929 after eating a slice of cheese pie at friend’s home. He reportedly developed his own version to serve to his customers.

Because of the sheer luxury and indulgence of the cake itself, this dessert is typically served with nothing on the top or on the side.


Moving back across the Atlantic to Europe, strudel is another iconic sweet. Made using a thin pastry formed with high-gluten flour, this long roll contains a delicious fruit filling. Apples are most commonly used, but alternatives include raisins and cherries. The top is dusted with icing for added sweetness.

It’s no wonder that so many people love this Austrian cake. With its crunchy exterior and juicy middle, it is a real treat for the taste buds.


The Italian Christmas cake panettone may be a hybrid between bread and a cake, but this hasn’t dulled its popularity over the years. Originally a regional favorite in Milan, this light, airy concoction contains candied fruits and nuts.

The mixture used to create panettone is rich with eggs and it is allowed to rise for a long time. This gives the cake its distinctive lift.


There has long been a dispute over whether the meringue dessert of pavlova originated in Australia or New Zealand. However, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first recipe appeared in New Zealand in 1927.

The creation, which features meringue topped with fruit and cream, was named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who visited both countries in the 1920s.

Why choose?

With so many fabulous cakes and desserts on offer, it can be hard to know which to pick. However, if you treat yourself to an indulgent afternoon tea in a premium establishment such as The Landmark London, you don’t have to choose. You can simply sit back and be served a selection of sweet treats.