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Rahkapulla - Finnish Cream Cheese Buns

A soft bun with a creamy cheesecake filling


Do you have a food that you did not like as a kid but have learned to love as an adult? I have so many such foods like olives, shrimps, fish soup and one of the ingredients in this recipe, cardamom. I never liked eating the real finnish buns as a kid because they always had cardamom in them. I always thought, "why? why do they have to add it and ruin the buns?" and avoided eating them because of that. Now I don´t know whether it is because I use cardamom pods rather than ready grinded cardamom or is it because I only use small amounts or did my taste really change so much, but I know I love how it gives this recipe that special taste.

Oh, and there is something else that also makes this recipe special for me. I have always liked quark buns, well, mainly because of the cream cheese filling :) And​ I have always thought the store bought ones never had enough filling in them. I searched and tried many recipes, but none of them ticked all the boxes for me. So I thought, what could I do to ensure that there is a perfect ratio of bun to filling.. And you know what? I have found a technique that makes it possible! YAY! I must admit, the first time I made these, they really made me smile :) I was really happy to have made a perfect recipe that gives you such a soft bun with a delicious creamy cheesecake like cream cheese filling, that is such a pleasure to bite into.

Make sure you watch the video below before making these buns and if needed also along making them. And don´t take the short cut and just watch bits, but really take your time to watch it all as I give many tips along the way which will really help you achieve good results. And once you have made the effort and taken that time and made these yummy buns, you will definitely not regret it! :) 

Happy Baking lovelies!


Step by Step Video


Rahkapulla Finnish Cream Cheese Buns

A soft bun with a creamy cheesecake filling


  • 450g flour + extra as needed

  • 50g sugar

  • 25g fresh yeast (believe me it is worth it using fresh yeast :))

  • 250ml warm milk (about 35°C) 

  • 160g natural yogurt (10% fat)

  • 75g soft butter

  • ½ tsp cardamom (optional)


  • 500g quark (can substitute with cream cheese)

  • 1 egg

  • 100g sugar

  • 80g raisins

  • 1tsp vanilla paste/extract

  • 1pck (37g) instant vanilla pudding mix

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tbsp water


  1. To make the filling combine quark, egg, sugar, raisins, vanilla paste and vanilla pudding mix in a medium bowl. Mix well and leave aside for later.

  2. Add flour to the bottom of the bowl of your standing mixer just to cover the bottom. Make a well in the middle.

  3. Add the sugar into the well and crumb the yeast over the sugar.

  4. Mix the warm milk with the yogurt. Make sure the yogurt is at room temperature before mixing it with the milk so that the whole mix remains warm. Then pour the mixture over the dry ingredients.

  5. Cover with a towel for 15 minutes.

  6. Then add the rest of the flour and the soft butter. Knead with a dough hook, first on a low setting and then on the high setting for about 5 minutes if using a standing mixer. With a hand mixer this might take longer, see video for how the dough should look by the end of mixing.

  7. Transfer the dough into a big bowl sprinkled with flour. Sprinkle some more flour on top. Cover with cling film and then with a towel and allow to raise for an hour in a warm place. If it is very cold in your house you can also raise the dough in the oven. Heat your oven to 50°C and then turn it off. Place the dough with a heat proof bowl into the oven to raise.

  8. Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and transfer the risen dough onto the flour. Sprinkle over some more flour and start working the dough with your hands. At this point the dough might feel very soft, but don´t worry about it. Add flour to the dough little by little until it starts to get a bit firmer and stops sticking to your fingers (see video).

  9. Divide the dough into 20 even pieces. Take one piece and roll it out with a rolling pin. Cut out a 9cm diameter circle out of the dough leaving enough dough around the cutter (at least 1cm on all sides). Then take the dough that is left and roll it in your hands into a long roll that will cover the edges of the round circle you have just cut out. Brush the sides of the cut out circle with a little water and attach the roll of dough along the edge and seal the ends with some more water. Spoon 2-3 teaspoons of the filling into the middle of the bun. (see video)

  10. Lay the buns well apart on a baking tray covered with parchment paper, no more than nine buns per tray. Allow the buns to raise covered for another half an hour in a warm place.

  11. Brush buns with the egg wash. Avoid pressing too hard so you don´t ruin the beautifully risen bun.

  12. Bake at 175°C in the middle shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the edge of the buns is golden brown.

  13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before transferring into a cooling rack.

  14. Best enjoyed once completely cooled.

TIP. If you will not eat all of the buns at once, take a deep bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel, lay the buns in the kitchen towel and then cover with the kitchen towel. This will keep the buns soft for longer.

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