Joulutorttu: traditional Finnish Christmas pastry

Christmas in Finland is a special time. After all, this is the land where Joulupukki (Santa Claus) lives! This blog will show you how to make one of the most iconic pastries of Finnish Christmas and Finnish winter in general.

Let's get started

Joulutorttu means "Christmas star" because it is shaped as such. It is made with layers of buttery puff pastry with a sweet and jammy middle. The traditional jam used in this delicious pastry is plum, but my favourite is apple-cinnamon.

Whether you are in Finland or abroad, this recipe will bring the smell and taste of Finnish Christmas.

When you're at the store, make sure to buy jam that is meant to be baked; otherwise, it can become a sweet mess in the oven. This jam is thicker than the usual we use to spread on bread. I would suggest refrigerating it for about 30 minutes before baking it.

The puff pastry is easily found in the frozen aisle. It can be called "torttutaikina," "lehtitaikina," or "voitaikina." The last one is made with butter, and the other two are usually made with vegetable fats. The puff pastry comes in rectangle-shaped sheets. We will cut it accordingly to have our desired shape.

Okay, let's start baking!

Ingredients and kitchen tools you will need:

  • One tub of jam (plum or apple cinnamon)
  • One package of puff pastry
  • Powdered sugar (optional)
  • A knife
  • Baking tray

Step 1: Let the puff pastry soften so you can cut it in half. You will be left with two squares.

Step 2: There are different ways to cut these squares. Here I am showing you two ways. The first one is the easiest. Whichever you choose, they will look great!

Step 3: After making the cuts, as shown in step 2, bring one corner of each towards the centre. Then place the jam in the middle (If you're making the other shape, then place the jam first, and pinch the corners towards the centre)

Step 4: Bake according to the package instructions. Then let it cool and sprinkle powdered sugar for a nice touch.

I strongly recommend accompanying your delicious "joulutorttu" with a cup of hot glögi, a traditional Nordic drink during winter, especially around Christmas. Enjoy! :)

About the author

Carolina De la Rosa from Mexico is a recent graduate from the University of Oulu. She lived in Oulu for a decade, and she loves going for walks, cooking and learning about new cultures.