If you have a sweet tooth then you’ll want to eat your way through Finnish with these tasty Finnish desserts.
While Finland is known for its many savoury foods like pickled and cured fish, the iconic reindeer meet and delicious rye bread, it doesn’t slack off when it comes to the sweet stuff.
As someone who loathes the sugary sweets I really appreciate desserts in Finland.
They find the perfect balance of having something a bit decadent without getting a ridiculous sugar high and the inevitable crash.
Some of these desserts you’ll recognize but maybe you didn’t know they were a traditionally Finnish treat.
And even if you’ve had them before I think you’re traveling to Finland it’s worth trying them again – in the sake of experiencing culture of course.
21 Finnish Desserts
Cinnamon Buns / Korvapuust
Korvapuusti or slapped ears are traditionally enjoyed during coffee breaks, eaten with family while outdoors.
Cinnamon buns are at the heart of Finland food traditions, making October 4th the National Cinnamon Bun Day since 1999.
The uniquely shaped buns made with cardamom-scented dough filled with cinnamon sugar filling are popular in every café. Korvapuusti is soft, sweet, and flaky.
Korvapuusti is the perfect treat for young and adults especially when the temperature drops in autumn.
But the highest season is during the winter months. Cinnamon buns can also be enjoyed with the drink of your choice with or without pearl or nib sugar.
In Sweden it is called kanelbulle, kanelsnegl in Denmark, kanelbolle in Norway, kaneelirull in Estonia and Zimtschnecke in Germany and Austria.
Blueberry pie / Mustikkapiirakka
Mustikkapiirakka is like a combination of tart, blueberry pie and cheesecake.
The Finnish blueberry pie is a traditional Finnish dessert made of rye flour and sour cream custard.
This dessert from Finland is popular in the summer when the bilberries abound in the forests or nearby lakes.
Mustikkapiirakka is also called “summer cottage pie” because Finns love to prepare the dessert when they go to their summer cottages.
Blueberry pie has a crusty and crumbly crust. The filling is not too sweet, creamy, soft, little tangy with hints of cardamom and vanilla.
Mustikkapiirakka can be eaten fresh from the oven or cold with whipped cream or ice cream on the side. This traditional dessert in Finland also makes a sumptuous Finland breakfast.
Runeberg Tart / Runebergintorttu
Runeberg tart is said to be invented by Fredrika Runeberg, the wife of Johan Ludvig Runeberg, Finland’s National Poet.
Others claimed that Runeberg tart, one of the famous Finnish desserts, originated from the town of Porvoo.
Whether Fredrika’s recipe is a variation of the local baker from Porvoo or not, Finns have loved this treat.
Runeberg tarts are traditionally served in Finland on the 5th of February, to celebrate Johan Ludvig Runeberg’s birthday. But some cafes and devoted fans start to sell and bake these tarts at home early in January.
The original and unpretentious dessert has evolved that a variety of recipes are available. The crumble cake is now made with exotic spices, gluten-free, or organic ingredients.
Customarily, the tarts are topped with raspberry jam or a ring of icing. Runeberg liked his tarts paired with a punch for breakfast, but it can be served with coffee or tea also.
Finnish Easter Pudding / Mämmi
Mämmi is probably one of the weirdest Finnish dessert on the list.
Mämmi is another traditional Finland dessert prepared during Easter celebrations. It is mainly made of rye flour, malted rye, salt, water and orange zest.
The mixture is baked overnight and is prepared days before the Easter celebration.
Mämmi is chilled for 3 days before serving with milk, sugar, cream and vanilla sauce. It has a granular texture, a distinct taste like dark bread. Some people like it, but some cannot stand the taste.
This dessert of Finland also has an Iranian version called Sämänoo.
Christmas Stars / Joulutorttu
Christmas stars have been a long-time family favorite in Finland. Finns enjoy these Finnish cookies during low-key Christmas day gatherings after having traditional dishes served on Christmas Eve.
Joulutorttu is a windmill-shaped or star cookie made with ricotta pasty and prunes jam filling. The ricotta contributes to the softness, lightness and crispiness of the pastry.
The prune jam adds to the sweetness of the cookie. Apple, raspberry or blueberry can also be used in replacement of prune jams.
Rönttönen is another traditional recipe on the Finland desserts list originating from Kainuu, Oulu Province in Finland.
When you hear what it’s made of you’d think it was a savoury food, but it’s actually sweet.
Old-style Rönttönen pies were large made by women at the end of the winter season. The ingredients were made of the remaining food from the cold winter months.
Today, Rönttönen pies are small but the three main ingredients: potatoes, rye flour and lingonberries.
The mashed potatoes give Rönttönen pies that slight natural sweetness balanced by the saltiness of the glazed melted butter.
Rönttönen can be enjoyed as a snack, paired with soups or served with coffee.
Sultsina is a traditional Finnish delicacy from North Karelia. The dough is a mixture of rye flour and water rolled to form thin circles, and then baked on a griddle.
Sultsina, a cross between a flat bread and thick crêpe can also be deep-fried.
Each sultsina is filled with rice pudding, farina or semolina porridge.
Once baked, Sultsina is rolled into melted butter then served with lingonberry jam. Sultsina is tasty and typically served hot to warm you up during the cold winter months.
Gingerbread Cookies / Piparkakku
Finnish Christmas is all about family and food and one of the Finns’ favorite Christmas treat is piparkakku. Gingerbread cookies are popularly served during Christmas lunchtime.
Finnish gingerbread cookies are made of flour and spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves and cardamom. Thesecookies are also popular in other Nordic countries and also prepared as Christmas treats and window decorations.
Piparkakku is enjoyed as a snack, paired with tea or mulled wine.
Funnel Cake / Tippaleipä
Along with munkki, May Day is not complete without tippaleipä. The sweet treat is typically enjoyed across Finland with spiced sima mead.
The thin batter is prepared by mixing flour, milk, eggs, vanilla, baking powder and a little bit of salt. The mix is just similar to your waffle or pancake mix except for the addition of lemon zest.
The batter from the piping bag is drizzled into the hot oil; hence the bird’s nest or the circular shape. Best served hot dusted with powdered sugar.
Shrove Bun / Laskiaispulla
Laskiaispulla is a sweet bun, a Finnish dessert associated with Shrove Tuesday and the winter season.
From mid-January to early March, you can find laskiaispulla in most cafés and ready-made variety in groceries.
The dough for the bun is made of flour, milk, yeast, cardamom, vanilla and salt. The cardamom-spiced dough is shaped into buns and baked until golden brown.
The bun is then cut into half then filled with raspberry or strawberry jam and covered with whipped cream. But fruit jams can also be replaced with almond paste. The bun is then dusted with powdered sugar before serving.
Swedes have their version of these creamy buns called semla.
Butterbun / Voisilmäpulla
One of the most interesting looking Finnish desserts, voisilmäpulla a cardamom-spiced butter bun that looks like an erupted small volcano.
Some varieties have cinnamon, cream in between or more sugar on top, but all are the same – delectable, soft and spiced.
The same with other Finland desserts, the dough is a mix of flour, milk, yeast, sugar, salt, butter and cardamom. The filling is made of butter, cardamom, sugar and vanilla.
The filling is pressed hard into each bun before baking. Best eaten fresh from the oven, paired with butter bun with a cup of coffee.
Doughnut / Munkki
Munkki, simply known as Finnish doughnut, is an integral part of Finland food traditions and baking culture.
The deep-fried goodies name munkki (monk in English) is particularly popular during Walpurgis Night or Vappu in Finland.
Still today, munkki is associated with May Day.
This Finland dessert is made of cardamom flavored dough with the addition of quark to the batter.
Quark is a dairy product that is a cross between Greek yogurt and cottage cheese.
The doughnuts are rolled in cinnamon sugar or piped with pastry cream, raspberry or blueberry jam or jelly. Munkki is sweet with a deep cardamom flavor.
French Toast / Köyhät ritarit
Poor Knight’s French toast is a day-old French bread dipped in a cardamom-cinnamon spiced milk-egg mixture. The bread is fried on both sides until golden brown then served hot for either breakfast or lunch.
The Finnish toast is usually topped with vanilla-flavored whipped cream or jam, drizzled with maple syrup or sprinkled with icing sugar.
Fresh berries or fruit are also a flavorful alternative to jams.
When served with whipped cream, the poor knight’s toast is now called “rich knights” in Finland.
Lörtsy is a large deep-fried moon-shaped dessert originally from the town of Savonlinna, Eastern Finland. The pastry can be filled with a variety of fillings like apple jam, rice and meat.
Although firstly invented in Savonlinna, lörtsy is now found all over Finland. It is commonly sold at local markets and street kiosks.
Sweet fruit jams can be used in exchange of the traditional apple jam if you wish. The filling possibilities are endless to give one of the most unique and savory Finnish desserts a modern twist.
Other filling varieties include cloudberry jam, salmiakki, kebab, veggies or whatever you can imagine.
Meat-filled lörtsy is best served with pickled cucumber and chopped raw onion. Hot dog sauce is optional – the same as other condiments typically found in kiosks.
Mansikkakakku is an original Finnish sweet made of mixed strawberries, sugar, egg whites, heavy cream, vanilla and almonds.
The process involves mixing the almonds and sugar into the meringue, then baked and dried. The dessert is topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream and chilled before serving.
Strawberry meringue cake is popular during midsommar, the annual festival in Scandinavian countries. Jordgubbstårta is the Swedish version of mansikkakakku.
This common Finnish dessert can be made any time of the year but more so when berries are in season.
It can be made with one berry or a mix of different kinds like cranberries, lingonberries, strawberries, raspberries, cloudberries and blueberries.
Even currant berries (red, white and black) can be used for this recipe. And it’s similar to this rhubarb soup recipe.
Kiisseli is a Finland dessert and a drink at the same time depending on how it is prepared. The drink is thickened using cornstarch or potato starch. Other varieties are added with red wine or dried fruits.
In Finland, Kiisseli is eaten with porridge or mixed with cereal breakfast.
This is a sweet Finnish porridge mainly made of wheat semolina and berries mostly lingonberries. The semolina is cooked with the berries then vigorously whipped until mousse consistency is achieved.
Other berries (fresh or frozen) can be used for the recipe if lingonberries are not available.
The porridge is usually eaten with milk and sprinkled with sugar if the natural sweetener of the berries is not enough. Vispipuuro works well as a hearty breakfast but can also be eaten any time of the day.
Eating tar flavoured food is a big thing in Finland. It’s a nostalgic taste associated with childhood. Terva candy is bittersweet and smoky.
Anywhere in Finland, terva candy and other terva flavored sweets are easily found in kiosks and supermarkets.
Paskha is a traditional Easter dessert that originated in Russia. It is made of quark, curd and cottage cheese flavored with raisins.
Almonds and candied fruits can also be used or mixed with raisins. Pasha is one of the Finnish desserts that came from the Karelian region that is still enjoyed by Finns today.
Creamy butter, whipped cream, quark and the rest of the ingredients are mixed. The mixture is then poured into a gauze-line mold to drain overnight in a refrigerator.
The mold is then flipped the next morning ready for serving. It can also be garnished with slices of fresh fruits. This can be eaten as is or can be paired with coffee or other Easter goodies.
Uunijuusto is a custard-like dish made of cow’s colostrum (the milk produced right after giving birth). A pinch of salt is added to the milk and sugar then baked in an oven at a high temperature. Adding cinnamon is optional.
Eating and serving uunijuusto in Finland is done in different ways, depending on the region.
But mostly the Finnish way of enjoying this baked cheese is accompanied with lingonberry jam, cloudberry and other preserves.
Mannapuuro is a pudding or porridge made of semolina cooked with milk, water, or a combination of both. The recipe has been eaten in Europe since Roman times where several variations have been made since.
In Finland, it is often served with fruit, raisins, cocoa powder and sugar. The Czechs called it krupičná kaše and krupicová kaša in Slovakia served warm with melted butter, cocoa powder and sugar.
Modern additions to this porridge include maple syrup, ice cream and candied fruit.