Christmas in the Philippines

Eat and be merry: Desserts, food gifts to order this Christmas

Steph Arnaldo
Eat and be merry: Desserts, food gifts to order this Christmas
'Tis the season for good food! Check out these local businesses for holiday-inspired cakes, ice cream, snacks, donuts, and more!

MANILA, Philippines – ‘Tis the season for potluck parties! What better way to be the star of the potluck feast than bringing the best desserts or food gifts for your friends and loved ones to enjoy? Here are a few sweet and savory ideas to consider from local businesses this holiday season!

Always room for dessert

Dessert Depot has a Sweet & Merry holiday line that includes the star 8” Bibingka Burnt Basque Cheesecake (P1,390), a must-have centerpiece to your dessert or merienda table spread. It’s a dense, thick cheesecake with a savory note, and is generously topped with quezo de bola and salted egg, like a good classic bibingka. The creamy base is made from coconut milk and salted egg bits for extra flavor. It has a smoky “burnt basque” taste because it is baked over charcoal and wrapped with banana leaf, like the Simbang Gabi staple. The Antipolo City-based bakery’s Signature Chocolate Cake (P1,180) and Red Velvet Cake (P1,550) are also good options, if you prefer something richer and more indulgent or something lighter and moist, respectively.

For an adorable, interactive treat the kids will love, check out Honeybon’s DIY Gingerbread House (P750)! It’s made with aromatic, spiced, crisp gingerbread cookies and comes with candies like sprinkles, chocolate Nips, long mallows, flower mallows, candy canes, jelly sticks, rainbow belts, strawberry kisses, and jelly balls for decorations. After designing, you can pipe the sweet icing along the edges of the house for your perfect customized holiday house!

A beautiful addition to your dessert spread are Leonisa’s Kitchen’s premium and homemade cream puffs in various holiday-themed flavors, which can be presented in any letter you desire or as a profiterole Christmas tree, which makes for the perfect Christmas gift or star of the potluck show! Each soft cream puff is generous in size and filling, and comes with pretty and delicious toppings, creams, and edible decor.

Another gorgeous dessert option is Chef Kerri’s Woodland Berry Christmas Cake (P2,800), decorated with holiday elements, truffle balls, and fresh strawberries, featuring an incredibly rich and decadent Belgian chocolate cake with chocolate ganache that’s a sure chocoholic crowd-pleaser.

If you’re into light sponge cakes, consider Scout’s Honor’s new Mini Roll Cakes for your holiday parties or gifts! The soft and slightly moist cake rolls come in a light and refreshing Pandan Kaya Jam flavor, as well as the Cafe Latte and Classic Chocolate, among many other variants. 

More cakes incoming! Butternut Bakery’s limited edition Holi-Cakes are good options for those into simple yet fudgy, chocolatey cakes that aren’t too heavy but still indulgent. Try the Chocolate Fudge Cake or Caramel Fudge (P650), or the Holly Jolly Chocolate Cake (P1,480) for a more festive version. For additional sweetness, don’t miss out on Butternut’s Smooth & Classic and Smooth & Tart (with dayap zest) Leche Flan, which make for a good coffee partner or as gifts!

Ice cream is always a good idea, especially if they’re holiday-inspired from Papa Diddi’s. The three new Christmas flavors are Festive Fruitcake (which has a strong rum flavor and fruity notes); White Choco Peppermint (which tastes more like spearmint); and the Quezo De Bola (which is like your elevated quezo ice cream).

Donut miss on donuts! Pufft’s fluffy, soft, and overloaded Holiday Donuts make for a good holiday snack or gift! You can get the best-selling Strawberry Monst sandwiches, or the limited edition Happy Douglas (bananas, butter, rum, vanilla custard, and cream); Hot Chocolate & Candy Cane; S’mores, Cinnamon Sugar, and Tiramisu Cup. 

For a lavish and luxurious gift box, Bizu’s Le Grande Set is perfect for spoiling! It comes with fruitcake, gourmet truffle box, 6 holiday macarons, 2 chocolate cakesicles, sugar-free chocolate bars, sugar-free mendicants, a smoked salmon caviar cake with crostini, and the Christmas Cake, which is a moist and rich chocolate cake with praline ganache, gorgeously topped with Bizu’s signature macarons.

If you haven’t tried Vietnam’s famous dessert drinks yet, get on it! Bambu’s traditional Chès are vegan-friendly and gluten-free creamy drinks that are fun to assemble at home and enjoy like a halo-halo. A variety of colorful toppings of different textures are placed underneath coconut milk or coconut juice (depending on the variant you order), and then topped with shaved ice. The chewy sinkers and toppers include mung bean, rainbow jelly, boba, pandan jelly, taro, chia, pearls, grass jelly, red rubies, pandan jelly, and more!

How about something savory to add to the holiday feast or to give as Christmas gifts? You can’t go wrong with Kangkong King’s highly-addictive Kangkong Chips, which are super crunchy, tasty, and a healthier alternative to potato chips! They’re fried in coconut oil and come with no preservatives or MSG. The Crisp-Mas Bundles make for awesome gifts to give your health-conscious or snack-loving loved ones, and include Kangkong King’s signature flavors of cheese, barbecue, sour cream, sweet corn, original, and spicy – all of which are good.

Your favorite tita who loves bottled goods may also enjoy Chanos Noms’ festive Christmas Tree Pasta Kit good for 3-4 people! The festive box includes the home-based brand’s signature spicy and original jars of marinated gourmet milkfish, a pack of colorful Christmas-shaped fusilli, and a recipe card for easy guidance, which is perfect for whipping up home-cooked meals for surprise guests at home. –

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Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.