cake crumbs & beach sand »

Korvapuusti – Finnish Cinnamon Buns made into scrolls

The women in my family sure know how to cook! From as young as I can remember my Mum made THE BEST meals. And Finnish delights.

About a year ago I decided to try my hand at some Finnish fare and started with traditional cinnamon buns, known as Korvapuusti. In my family we call them Pulla, although Pulla is traditionally small round buns or a plaited loaf made with cardamom flavoured dough without the cinnamon. Korvapuusti are also a different shape however my Mum adapted this recipe into scroll shaped buns.  

When I started making the dough the smell brought childhood memories flooding back, I remembered the distinct smell of the mix of the dough and the cinnamon and the cardamom. My first lot turned out quite nice, not as good as Mum’s of course but then she wrote the book. I am only reading it.

500ml milk, warmed
2 eggs
150g sugar
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp salt
900g plain flour
6 tsp dry yeast
200g butter, melted
Cinnamon, sugar and margarine to smother over the dough
1 extra egg, to brush on top


Preheat oven to 225oC.

Mix warm milk, 2 eggs, sugar, salt and cardamom together until the sugar has melted. 

In a separate bowl mix the flour and yeast together. 

Using a spoon to mix, start adding a little of the flour and yeast through the milk mixture.  Keep adding the flour a little by little, and when the mixture starts to resemble dough, ditch the spoon and use your hand. Knead until the dough comes off your hand (don’t worry if you have not used all the flour). 

Add slightly cooled melted butter and keep kneading until it is all absorbed into the mix. Don’t worry if it seems the dough is swimming in the butter, as you keep kneading the butter will be absorbed into the dough.

If the dough is too moist and sticks to your hand, add a little more flour. Knead until the dough is super soft.  Mum’s tip: the softer the dough, the softer the pulla. 

Cover the kneaded dough with a tea towel and let it rise to double its size in a warm place (away from draft), for approximately 1 hour.

My grandmother used to get finicky if we opened doors while she was waiting for Pulla dough to rise, “Close the door!” she would say in Finnish, to ensure there was not a draft.

Once risen, punch the dough once to allow air to escape then pour the dough onto a lightly floured work bench.  Cut into 3 portions. 

Roll out the first portion into a rectangular shape. Spread a little margarine all over the dough with a spatula, then sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar.

Roll the sheet up to make a long log shape, cut into approx 3cm pieces.

Place the pieces onto a baking tray, scroll centre upwards, and cover the tray with a tea towel and let rise again.

Brush with beaten egg all over and sprinkle the top with sugar (you might notice by now there is a lot of sugar being sprinkled!).

Repeat with the other 2 portions of dough.

Bake in 225oC for 15-20 minutes or until a nice golden brown colour.  Do not overcook as this will make them too dry.

Cinnamon perfection! Sublime with a good cup of coffee.

** Tip: Keep in a sealed container, can be eaten for days after. If they dry out over time, simply heat for 10 seconds in the microwave to soften. Or, dunk in coffee! They can also be frozen in freezer bags, to defrost simply pop in the oven for 10 minutes and eat warm.

Do you have a favourite traditional childhood treat?

Back to TopEMAILPOSTFacebookPOSTTweetPOSTSubscribe
  • Anonymous - Well, all I can say that you were always a good reader! Well done Pegs!

    Love MumReplyCancel

  • Peggy - Thanks Mum. I hope I have learnt something from all that reading! xoReplyCancel

  • Herman. W - No disrespect, but I guess the style of making this pastry varies from region to another, but my mun makes them differently. You make the roll and cut it, as you did. After this you press the slice from one side.

    Here's a pic:

    The name of this bun with cinnamon is “Korvapuusti”. I've always understood that Pulla is any kind of bun, usually a ball, with sugar on top and no cinnamon.


  • Peggy - Oh yes Herman, my Mum also used to make Korvapuusti when we were kids. I have always known these scroll shaped cinnamon buns as 'pulla' but I am not sure if that was just what my grandmother called them hence it has passed down. I know my Mum prefers to make the scroll shaped ones over the Korvapuusti. Maybe I might try to make Korvapuusti next time.ReplyCancel

  • Peggy - Herman I confirmed this with my Mum. You are correct, Korvapuusti are the buns made with cinnamon and Pulla were made traditionally with just sugar on top (either a plaited loaf or small round buns). My Mum started making the Korvapuusti recipe with the cinnamon into scrolls and then we called them Pulla.ReplyCancel

  • H.W. - Yep! Cool that you are so interested in your heritage!ReplyCancel

  • Nukke - hei there. Korvapusti (ear slap) is what I would call this rolled bun. Pulla has no cinnamon, and is a little puffy cardamom bun with pearl sugar on top (or braided bread loaf).ReplyCancel

  • Peggy - Thanks Eeva, I will actually change my post to be traditionally accurate with the correct term as korvapuusti. Love the translation (ear slap)!ReplyCancel

  • Holly - Love the look of these, will have to give them a try ….. cinnamon is my absolute favourite spice I love it too bits, I can imagine that with the cardamon these would be divine xxReplyCancel

    • Peggy Saas - Oh the cardamom smell is DIVINE! It tastes delicious too, such a distinctive little spice.

      If you try them, let me know how you go Holly. :)ReplyCancel

  • Korvapuusti – Traditional Finnish Cinnamon Buns - [...] As I have recently discovered, traditional Finnish Pulla dough can be used to make all sorts of various delectable treats. I have indulged in making Korvapuusti on numerous occasions, which is essentially the Pulla dough with cinnamon added. In our family the original Korvapuusti shape wound up into a scroll instead, like this. [...]ReplyCancel

  • Voisilmäpulla: Finnish butter eye buns » cake crumbs & beach sand - [...] I have posted different ways to craft them – into a loaf topped with flaked almonds, into spirals with cinnamon added and the traditional cinnamon filled Korvapuusti. Whichever way you want to shape it, Pulla always [...]ReplyCancel

  • Pulla – traditional Finnish cardamom bread » cake crumbs & beach sand - [...] is one of my longtime favourites. In the past I have made scroll type Pulla with cinnamon as posted here, and the traditional (although mine took on a somewhat rogue shape) Korvapuusti shaped Pulla as [...]ReplyCancel

  • Blueberry Galette + A Cookbook Idea » cake crumbs & beach sand - [...] is something I just prefer to do myself. Even with the shoulder injury that one incurs by kneading Finnish pulla dough, I still prefer to do it by hand rather than with a mixer. I just enjoy the entire process, gazing [...]ReplyCancel

  • Casey - Yum! I can’t wait to try this recipe, I lived in Finland for a year, so it really did bring back lots of memories. Thanks for sharing :-)ReplyCancel

  • Traditional Finnish Pikku Pulla Recipe » cake crumbs & beach sand - […] Starting at the longer side of the first portion, roll the dough to form a long log. Cut into 2-3cm pieces and place into paper cups with the cut sides down.  Repeat with the second portion. If you want to have a visual of what the dough looks like rolled out and how to cut it, you can see so in my previous post here. […]ReplyCancel

  • Daniela - Hei from Germany!
    My mother in law is also from Finland and she makes the same Pulla! They are soooo delicious!ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *