Cardamom Donuts for Finnish Vappu!

Always on April 30th and 1st of May in Finland we celebrate a day called Vappu. Those are some of the first days of spring when people head out to the parks and beaches to enjoy picnics and party late in the night. We have many food traditions for those days, but one of them are simple cardamom donuts. They’re made with traditional cardamom bun dough and covered with a good amount of sugar. The simplest version can be enjoyed just like that – but you can also fill these with lemon curd, cream cheese frosting or raspberry jam!

I don’t deep fry food a lot, but this is a treat I’m happy to make once a year for this special day! They taste so good with a glass of champagne on a crisp and sunny spring day!


Finnish Cardamom Donuts

  • Author: Viola Minerva
  • Prep Time: 20 (+ 1 hour rising)
  • Cook Time: about 20-30 minutes in total
  • Total Time: 50 minutes + rising time



  • 5 dl (about 2,1 cups) milk
  • 50 g fresh yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 dl (about 170 g) sugar
  • 2 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 1 egg
  • about 1415 dl (about 900950 g) all-purpose flour
  • 75 g butter (soft, room temperature)

For frying:

  • about 1 l of rapeseed oil

On top:

  • a lot of sugar!


  1. Warm the milk in a sauce pan over medium heat. Pour into a big bowl.
  2. Dissolve the fresh yeast into the warm milk. Add salt, sugar, cardamom and egg. Mix.
  3. Add the flours about 2 dl (about 1 cup) at a time and mix in between. Knead the soft butter in well. Leave to rise in a warm place for at least an hour.
  4. When the dough has doubled its size, turn it over floured table and knead the air bubbles off. Divide the dough into small buns (or any size you want your donuts to be!). Leave them to rise on a baking paper for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Heat up the frying oil in a big saucepan. It should reach 180°C until its ready. (Don’t let it get hotter than that.) Remember to be very careful with the hot oil.
  6. Place 2-4 donuts in the sauce pan at the same time. Turn them when they have nice, pretty dark golden brown colour (see my pictures above). When your donuts are frying, pour sugar on a plate. Lift the donuts from the oil one at a time and roll in the sugar right away. Set aside to cool.
  7. Continue as long as you have dough left! Remember to let the donuts cool some time before enjoying them!

Tip! If you want, try filling these donuts with lemon curd, cream cheese filling or raspberry jam!

Author: Viola Minerva

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