Christmas Cake: A Korean Holiday Tradition

Let them eat Christmas cake! Could we have some, too?

by Rachelle “Roach”

A chilly ice cream cake might be the last treat on your mind as the winter holidays approach. But with all the chunky sweaters, toasty fires, and steaming soups, maybe we could all use a little sweet treat to cool off with a Christmas cake!

big bang christmas cake

At least that’s what Baskin Robbins wants us to believe. The company, which currently enjoys a bit more popularity in Korea than it does in the United States, has turned “Ice Cream Christmas Cake” into a modern iconic tradition.

Big Bang starred in a commercial in which, among other things, they tried to catch some elusive snow people that had escaped from a “Dream House” themed Christmas cake.

This year, Baskin Robbins is going with a “Bare Bear” theme, in which customers are encouraged to dunk their cake with a sweet fondue sauce.

And although Baskin Robbins seems to be leading the charge, other popular Korean bakeries aren’t about to let the ice cream king take the, well…cake. (Sorry.) One year, Paris Baguette placed animated kids favorites like the merry penguin Pororo and Tayo the Little Bus atop one of their Christmas cakes.

At any of the bakeries, there’s some pretty serious craftsmanship that goes into these Christmas cakes. This video takes a good look at some of those skills, along with giving you a good look at the wide variety of decorations and flavors.

The #크리스마스 케이크 hashtag on Instagram is another fun way to peruse Korea’s Christmas cake offerings.

The only downside is that it’s almost impossible stop scrolling before your sweet tooth starts hating you.

Fancy making your own? Give it a shot! This video is a good resource that breaks down some of the finer points of baking. It’s a Japanese version of the Christmas cake, but it’s similar to any Christmas cake in Korea.

It’s also interesting to note the use of the countertop conventional oven. A lot of East Asian kitchens aren’t automatically equipped with standard ovens, so if you were baking in Japan or Korea you might have to do the same! It’s an adjustment, but not one you wouldn’t be able to get used to.

But why fire up the oven, conventional or not, when you don’t have to? Christmas shouldn’t be a hassle — it should be a piece of cake. So this Christmas, take a page out of Korea’s book, and treat yourself to that piece.

Or treat yourself to ALL THE CAKES!