Cardamom bread

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Cardamom bread
Cardamom bread.jpg
Finnish "pulla" cardamom bread
TypeSweet bread
Place of originFinland, Sweden
Main ingredientsCardamom, walnuts, vanilla icing

Cardamom bread or pulla (Finnish) is a type of bread flavored with cardamom. Usually baked as a loaf or in a Bundt cake pan, this sweet, aromatic cake is sometimes topped with different things, and usually requires about three hours of preparation [1]. When the dough has risen, it can be braided to make it more decorative and festive. Some variations are topping it with chopped walnuts and vanilla icing, raisins added to the dough, cinnamon rolls, butter and sugar buns called voisilmäpulla, berry toppings and curd filled buns called rahkapulla.

Cardamom-flavored bread and buns (Finnish: pulla or nisu; Swedish: kardemummabröd, kardemummabullar) are commonly eaten in Finland and Sweden. Cardamom bread is considered a traditional food among Swedish Americans.[2][3][4] Cardamom buns are eaten along with coffee or tea.[5]

Cardamom[6] is a spice used in several Nordic countries in cakes, cookies, and biscuits, including traditional Christmas pastries in the cuisine of Finland.[7]


Vehnänen, Pulla
Several pulla loaves (dark roast (tummapaahto) in the top-right corner)
Alternative namesNisu, Biscuitia
TypeSweet roll
Place of originFinland
Main ingredientscardamom seeds; raisins or sliced almonds

Pulla (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈpulːɑ]; Swedish bulle or kanelbulle) is a mildly-sweet Finnish sweet roll or dessert bread flavored with crushed cardamom seeds and occasionally raisins or sliced almonds. Braid loaves (pitko) are formed from three or more braided strands of dough. The braids may also be formed into a ring. These braided strands or rings are typically coated with egg wash and then sprinkled with white sugar or almonds.[8] Other types of pulla include small round ones that resemble English scones but have a sugar and butter topping, and larger cinnamon rolls called korvapuusti. The outside typically has a shiny brown glaze, formed by a coating of egg white, milk or a mixture of sugar and brewed coffee.

In some regions of Finland there are two different variations of pulla: dark roast (tummapaahto) and pale (kalpii). "Tummapaahto" is baked in the oven until the sugar is darkened and melted. "Kalpii" is baked in the oven only for a short period of time, leaving the dough only lightly darkened.[citation needed]

Pitko is typically served in thin slices with coffee or at special occasions. Regular small pulla is served as a whole. Serving pulla with coffee is a very common practice in Finland.

Pulla is also common in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Northern Ontario, areas in the United States and Canada which have large Finnish populations. There it is also commonly known as nisu, an old Finnish word still in use with the same meaning in some dialects, despite originally simply meaning "wheat". "Korppu" is used instead to refer to a biscotti-like double-baked bread stick for dunking in coffee that is often made from leftover "nisu".[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pullataikina". Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  2. ^ Lewis, Anne Gillespie (28 December 2017). "Swedes in Minnesota". Minnesota Historical Society Press. Retrieved 28 December 2017 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Kaplan, Anne R.; Hoover, Marjorie A. (28 December 1986). "The Minnesota Ethnic Food Book". Minnesota Historical Society Press. Retrieved 28 December 2017 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Semion, Bill (1 June 2007). "Michigan: Hundreds of Ideas for Day Trips with the Kids". Globe Pequot Press. Retrieved 28 December 2017 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Mat, Allt om. "– Recipes". Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  6. ^ Julens alla dofter Archived December 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Julens Kryddor Archived July 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "Finnish Pulla Recipe". Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  9. ^ Ojakangas, B. (1988). The Great Scandinavian Baking Book. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co.

External links[edit]