Finnish Cardamom Rolls, also called “Pulla” – a delicious sweet roll perfect for the holidays! Serve for breakfast, brunch, or afternoon tea. Perfect for holiday gatherings and potlucks.
Finnish Cardamom Rolls, also called "Pulla" |
The highest spiritual path is life itself. ~Michael Singer -The Untethered Soul

In winter when temperatures drop to bone chilling degrees, warmth can often be found in the kitchen. During the cold months, I find myself gravitating towards the warming the spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, curry, white pepper and cardamom, which generally get pushed to back of the cupboard during the summer months.

But it is cardamom that holds my heart, keeping it warm on the coldest of days, not only for its flavor, but through the memories it brings. It is one of the first spices I remember tasting as a child. Growing up with a Finnish mother and an Egyptian father, the holidays were filled with recipes from their homelands.

Each Christmas, my mother would make a Finnish bread, called Pulla, a subtly sweet braided loaf, speckled with fresh ground cardamom seeds, soft and buttery and topped with course sugar. Sometimes she would add raisins and sliced almonds.

When it came out of the oven, the whole house smelled happy -its aroma whispering of exotic faraway places. On Christmas morning, my Egyptian father would crush a few cardamon pods and add it to their brewing coffee, a wistful nod to his past. Cardamom, like the broken English they both spoke, became their common ground in the kitchen.

This recipe for Finnish Cardamom Rolls is similar to my mother’s Finnish Pulla recipe, but instead of making a big braided loaf, the dough is rolled and cut into smaller rolls, perfect for company and easily stored away in the freezer. For the traditional braided loaf recipe, and more on my mother and her homeland, Finland, visit this post, Pulla for Lea.

Make the dough and let it rise until it doubles in size. About 1 ½- 2 hours.

Punch it down and divide into four.

On a floured surface, roll it out into a rectangle about ¼ inch thick. Dough will measure roughly 12 inches by 18 inches.

Lather with very soft butter, sugar and cardamom, and roll it up.
You may be tempted to leave out the butter in this step because the dough will seem buttery enough, but don’t, you will be disappointed. I have tried this myself, and the rolls were dry.

With the seam side down, begin cutting triangles. The point of the triangle being about ¾ of an inch and the widest part being 2-3 inches.

Turn the triangles so that the narrowest point now faces up. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle course sugar over top.
Preheat oven to 350F
Let rise once more for 30-40 minutes (Don’t skip this 2nd rise)
Bake for 18 minutes, check for doneness, continue baking for a couple more minutes if necessary, but don’t over bake.
Depending on the size, you may need to bake a little longer.
I found that 20-22 minutes is perfect.
Remember all ovens are different.
Finnish Cardamom Rolls, also called "Pulla" |
They will be golden, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and very aromatic.
Finnish Cardamom Rolls, this Finnish version is also called "Pulla" - a delicious sweet roll perfect for the holidays! #cardamonrolls #cardamomrolls #cardamonbuns #pulla #swedishcardamonrolls #finnishcardamonrolls #finnishcardamombread | finnishrecipes

Let them cool. Store in zip lock bags until ready to serve.  I like to warm them before serving.

Finnish Cardamom Rolls, this Finnish version is also called "Pulla" - a delicious sweet roll perfect for the holidays! #cardamonrolls #cardamomrolls #cardamonbuns #pulla #swedishcardamonrolls #finnishcardamonrolls #finnishcardamombread | finnishrecipes
Finnish Cardamom Rolls, this Finnish version is also called "Pulla" - a delicious sweet roll perfect for the holidays! #cardamonrolls #cardamomrolls #cardamonbuns #pulla #swedishcardamonrolls #finnishcardamonrolls #finnishcardamombread | finnishrecipes
Hope you enjoy these Finnish Style Cardamon Rolls!
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Finnish Cardamon Rolls ( Pulla)

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home Blog
  • Prep Time: 160 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 24 1x
  • Category: bread, desserts, sweet bread, morning bread
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: Finnish


  1. Finnish Cardamom Rolls, this Finnish version is also called “Pulla” – a delicious sweet roll perfect for the holidays!


  • 1 cup milk or half and half, lukewarm (no warmer than 110F)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom seeds, toasted and crushed or 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground  cardamom
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg, for egg wash, whisked.
  • Turbinado or rock sugar, for sprinkling over the rolls, or regular sugar


  1. Combine the warm milk, a pinch sugar and yeast in a bowl, give a stir and let stand 7 minutes until yeast is frothy and active.
  2. Add the eggs and sugar to a stand mixer, beat until lemony. Add the milk and yeast and 1 cup flour, beat til smooth,  then add the soft butter, cardamom and salt.
  3. Continue adding flour, 1/2 cup at a time until dough is soft but from enough to kneed. Switch to the dough hook continue mixing, adding a little more flour until the dough separates from the bowl and forms a ball.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm spot, until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  5. Mix the sugar and cardamom together in a small bowl for the filling.
  6. Cover the work surface with  flour.  Punch down the dough gently and place it on your work surface. Cut the dough in 4 equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, cover the other rolls so that they don’t dry out. Roll each piece into a rectangle about as thin as you can, should be about 12 inches by 18 inches. Brush some soft butter onto it. Make sure it’s nicely buttered. Sprinkle some of the cardamom sugar over the entire surface, as much as you want. Roll it into a tight log starting from one of the narrow ends. With the seam side down, line up the dough log in front of you and cut it on the diagonal, alternating up and down, so that the slices are fat ‘v’ shapes, with the point of the ‘v’ about 3/4 wide and the base about 2 inches wide.
  7. Place each on parchment lined baking sheet and turn so the narrow tip of the ‘v’ is facing up to the ceiling.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  9. Let the rolls rise again, doubling, 40 minutes.  Don’t skip this step. Brush the rolls with egg wash and then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for about 18- 20  minutes and check  to see if its cooked through, continue baking for a few more minutes if necessary. Let cool and store in air tight bags to keep them soft. To serve, heat them in the oven for just a few minutes, serve with butter.
  10. To make a traditional Finnish braided loaf, visit “Pulla for Lea”.


  • Calories: 245

Keywords: pulla, pulla recipe, cardamon rolls, cardamom rolls, Finnish cardamom bread, Swedish cardamom bread, cardamom rolls, cardamon buns


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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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  1. I am part Finnish and this has been a tradition going back generations. I do a braided version (looks like challah) and this is the highlight of our holidays. Thanks for including!

  2. Hi Sylvia! This recipe looks amazing. Wanted to try making it but without eggs. Can i use curx instead of eggs? Please suggest a replacement.

    1. Hi, haven’t tried it without eggs- I’m so sorry! Can’t give accurate info here. If you do try flax eggs will you let me know?

  3. These turned out great. I almost didn’t put in the full 1 tablespoon of cardamon because it sounded like so much. It was fine! I made the full Pulla bread recipe and it made about 20 rolls and then I used the rest to make buns with a pepparkakor -type cookie on the top of each. The texture is more bready than a brioche but super tender and moist. Don’t leave them out for too long as they start drying quickly, especially the rolls. Thanks for the recipe. It made us remember our wonderful trip to Finnish Lapland.

    1. We have made this recipe going back to my great grandmother. Do not be afraid of LOTS of cardamom. Every year I add more 🙂

  4. What a treat. I had the day off and thought I would try something different. I normally don’t do much with baked goods. They are not as pretty as the ones pictured above but were still quite delicious. I like that I can store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and warm a couple for a little snack.

    1. Hi Terry! Im so happy you liked them. They make me smile everytime I make cozy winter treat. Hope you are having a beautiful winter.

  5. My aunt is Finnish and she always makes Pulla for Christmas. Growing up Greek, it is one of the treats that make the holidays special. We cannot wait to eat Pulla warm out of the oven and drink mulled wine. We love my aunts Finnish traditions and have incorporated them into our family. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hi! This recipe looks wonderful! I’m pretty new to baking though, and don’t have a stand mixer. Can I mix the dough by hand? And if so, how much kneading is required? Thanks.

  7. Oh what fun! My two kids (ages 2 and 5) worked with me on these this morning. Our house smelled so cozy. The results were somewhat less uniform looking than I had hoped, but were still wonderful. They are just sweet enough with that warm cardamon zing! Thanks!

  8. These finnish cardamom rolls look SO perfect for Christmas and delicious, definitely a recipe that I need to make!

  9. I just made pulla and thought of making some more to gift some friends tomorrow, now these cutie rolls are tempting me, in a dilemma, what to make with the dough, braid or roll ???!!!!:) They look amazing!! 🙂

    1. Thanks Katrina… and welcome back home!! I love your quinoa for breakfast idea…I will be making that soon, may this morning!! Great idea. Have a beautiful day!

    1. Thanks Cheri! Your Savory Shortbread with Rosemary and Caraway looks absolutely scrumptious…. right up my alley. Happy holidays to you!!!

  10. Thank you for this beautifyl post. Nice to see you made such beautiful pulla’s, we also call these rolls “korvapuusti”. I read your other post too, made me think of my homeland Finland. I live in French Canada now, and I miss sometimes my country a lot. A lovely way of honoring your mother. I wish I had kids to whom give this tradition.

    1. Thanks for visiting Maria…do you go back and visit Finland often? Such a beautiful country. I love how making recipes from our childhood transports us back to the places and the times we miss. All the best to you.

    2. thank you Sylvia! Not often enough!! 🙂 I was last summer, and the next time might be 2016! I do have photos though from my last trip, and I made pulla with my sister’s children. Although, they did not turn out this beautiful. But tasted awesome! All the best to you too! Take care and happy holidays.