Nisu or pulla, or  Finnish cardamom bread is a sweet bread recipe, served with tea or coffee. Cardamom bread is a traditional dessert among Swedish Americans. The recipe’s high content of butter and eggs makes it similar to brioche. The braided styled cardamom bread is a holiday food that boosts sweet tastebuds during the festive season.

Finnish Cardamom Bread

  • Preparation time: 2 hours 50 min
  • Cooking time:   25 min
  • Total time:  3 hours 15 min
  • Type:  Dessert
  • Cuisine: Scandinavian
  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Calories: 210 kcal
Finnish Cardamom Bread Ingredients
  • Milk 2 cups
  • Unsalted softened butter 1 cup
  • Eggs 4 large
  • All-purpose flour 8 cups
  • Sugar 1 cup
  • Pearl sugar 4 tbsp
  • Ground Cardamom 1 tbsp
  • Salt 1 tsp
  • Instant yeast 4 tsp

Directions for Making Finnish Cardamom Bread

Melt Butter and Milk

Take a saucepan and pour two cups of fresh milk into it. Then add one cup of butter into the milk and whisk them until well incorporated. Place the saucepan on the stove or induction and let it heat for 30 seconds. Then dish out the mixture in a wide bowl.

melt butter and milk

Add Eggs, Sugar, Cardamom, Yeast, and Salt

Then in a milk bowl, add 4 large eggs, one cup of sugar, one tablespoon of ground cardamom, and one teaspoon of salt. Then whisk them well until combined. Now add four tablespoons of yeast into the mixture and give it a good mix.  Set it aside for later use in making cardamom bread dough.

Add Eggs, Sugar, Cardamom, Yeast, and Salt

Add Flour & Knead the Dough

Once the wet batter is ready then gradually add eight cups of flour into it and combine them all to make a slightly sticky dough. Then knead the dough for 10- 15 minutes or until it will turn stretchy and soft in texture. You can also use a stand mixer for making the dough. If you like you can add raisins into the dough.

Add Flour & Knead the Dough 

Let it Risen

Then cover the dough with a towel or lid and let it rise for 1-2 hours. Once the dough gets double in size take it out from the bowl and place it on a flat surface. Again knead the pulla dough to make it a round ball.

let it risen

Divide the Dough

Then divide the dough into 4 equal halves and roll each of them into a 2 feet long rope. Place them all together side by side. Then join the top of the ropes together.

Divide the Dough 

Cross Dough Ropes

Then turn the dough into braided bread by crossing ropes. Firstly, cross rope 4 over rope 3, then cross rope 2 over rope 1. Then cross rope 2 over rope 3, and repeat this sequence until the cardamom bread dough is braided in shape.

Cross Dough Ropes

Let it Risen Again

Place the braided dough lying on parchment paper into a baking tray. If you don’t have parchment paper available then it’s better to grease the pan with butter.  Let it again rise for 30 minutes.

let it risen again

Egg Wash & Bake the Loaf

Brush the loaf with egg yolk and sprinkle pearl sugar on top of it. Then bake it at 375 degrees preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

Egg Wash & Bake the Loaf  

Let it Cool and Serve

Once the cardamom bread is ready, take it out from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack. Then brush it with melted butter, slice the loaf and serve it warm with tea or coffee.

let it cool and serve cardamom bread


You can store cardamom bread once it is cooled, take a ziplock bag, and put the slices in it. it will stay fresh for 3-4 days at room temperature. However, there is a hack for storing bread for a longer time. You can place the ziplock bag of bread into the freezer and then you can use it by microwaving the bread. You can use cardamom bread for making, french toast and even serve it along with garlic butter sauce.


Savor the flavor- of festive food