Around Finland, Bakery, Recipes
Comments 4

Mustikkarahkapulla – Finnish Blueberry And Quark Bun

Pulla means “bun” in Finnish. And it is something that you can find everywhere from cafes to the bakery sections of the supermarkets. Having a pulla with your coffee (well, for me, with tea) is one of the most Finnish things you can do.

Pulla is a very easy word to learn and remember, and it is also effortless to bake. When I think of pulla, I immediately think of cardamom as well. Cardamom is like a must-have in a pulla; it is almost what makes pulla a pulla. A variety of buns come from the basic pulla when you include other ingredients.

In this recipe, we use blueberry and quark. Rahkapulla, meaning quark bun, is one type of pulla that you can expand in many different forms. You can add blueberries to it like this recipe. You can add raisins, raspberries – I’ve even seen passion fruit in one blog.

The recipe is relatively easy. But if you are not very familiar with dough kneading and bun making, you may have a little bit of difficulty when you do it the first time. That’s why I will mark it as medium difficulty below. But do not fear, if you make it a couple of times, you will find it very easy to do.

I got this recipe from the Meillä Kotona website. However, I made quite a few changes to it, such as adding an egg to the dough, using egg yolks to brush the dough, and using fewer blueberries.

Eat your buns with fresh coffee as most Finns do – or with fresh tea, as a few of the Finns do (I eat with tea as well, which is normal, I’m Turkish after all!). The buns are delicious freshly baked, but I find their flavour getting richer a few hours after baking. Leftovers taste great too! Enjoy!


Difficulty: Medium
(makes 24 buns)

Printable PDF-recipe (no photos)

For the dough:
2.5 dl (or 1 cup) milk
3 tsp (or 11 gr) active dry yeast
1 dl (or 1/3 cup + 4 tsp of 88 gr) granulated white sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp salt
1 large egg
8 dl (or 5 times 2/3 cup) all-purpose flour, plus a small bowl for step 12
100 gr butter, softened at room temperature, plus a little more to grease the bowl in step 6

For the filling:
250 gr quark
1 large egg
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 dl (or 1/3 cup + 4 tsp of 88 gr) granulated white sugar
2 heaped dl (or about 1 cup or 150 gr) blueberries

To brush the buns:
2 egg yolks

Note: I’m using the conversion chart in this link for the measurements.

  1. Put the milk in a pan and warm it until it is lukewarm (do not boil it). Pour the warm milk into a large bowl.

2. Add about a tablespoon of sugar from the amount of sugar you have for the dough and the yeast. Mix briefly with a fork and let it sit for 10 minutes to activate the yeast.

3. When the yeast is activated after 10 minutes, there will be a little foam on the surface. If you don’t see any activity, it might mean that your milk is too hot and you killed the yeast. Add the remaining sugar, cardamom, salt, and egg when the yeast is active and whisk well.

4. Gradually add the flour and whisk and then fold until all ingredients are incorporated.

5. Finally, add the soft butter and knead the dough. You will have a very soft but not sticky dough.

6. Grease a clean bowl. Put the dough in the greased bowl and cover with a stretch film. Put the dough in a warm spot in your kitchen to let it rise and double in size (it should take about an hour).

7. Preheat the oven to 200C and prepare oven trays with baking papers on them (you will have 24 buns, so prepare as many trays as you need – I baked my buns in 4 batches).

8. After 1 hour or maybe a little more, the dough should be double in size depending on your kitchen temperature.

9. Spread a little bit (not too much) of flour on your work surface and transfer the dough on it. Cut the dough into 24 pieces and make each piece a ball.

10. Put the balls on your oven trays and cover them with clean kitchen towels. Let the buns sit for 25 more minutes.

11. In the meantime, prepare your filling. Put all the filling ingredients except the blueberries in a bowl and whisk well.

12. After 25 minutes, take the first batch of your buns. Take a small drinking glass. First, dip the bottom of the glass in the extra bit of flour and then press it on each dough ball firmly to create mini wells in the middle.

13. Brush each dough with egg yolk, put 3-4 blueberries in the well and then add about a spoonful of filling on top to fill the whole well. Put the buns in the medium part of the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Let them cool on the tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Enjoy with fresh coffee or tea!


  1. Wow Asli these buns are amazing! You inspire me with your posts and while I may never be lucky enough to travel to Finland I was transported there today. These came out so good. As I am not familiar with tem I had too much of cheese mixture leftover so I am wondering if I should have had the second rise be a bit longer. Quark is not readily available where I live so I used a mix of ricotta cheese and sour creme. Thanks so much for sharing this post. Yummy!!! Rita

    • Hi Rita, thanks a lot for the lovely comment – lovely to hear that you made them! The filling should be just enough so I guess two things might have happened: 1. you didn’t rise them enough as you suggested, 2. you didn’t fill them enough. If you do them again with these measurements you can try to fill the wells more, even if they look like they will leak, they don’t (most of the time :). Hope this info helps! Cheers!

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