Finnish Christmas Prune Tarts Recipe (Joulutorttu)

​I can only imagine that Christmas in Finland is a sight to behold. I picture every inch of the vast foresty region covered in crisp snow while the quint homes of Finnish people are filled with the warmth and light of Christmas magic. One thing you are sure to find is gatherings where the famous Finnish Christmas Tart cookies are served in plentiful amounts. Finnish prune tarts are just the slightest bit sweet, flaky, and the absolute perfect treat for the holiday season. In this post, you’ll find my adaption of these delicious Christmas treats!

finnish pinwheel cookies

Joulutorttu- The Perfect Christmas Season Treat

Joulutorttu are festive Finnish Christmas star cookies. This Finnish pastry is a delightful treat that encapsulates the essence of the holiday season.

finnish christmas cookies

Star shape Finnish jam tarts are crafted from delicate, flaky dough, and are traditionally filled with sweet prune/plum jam or a variety of fruit preserves. As they bake, the pastry edges turn beautifully golden brown and crisp while cradling the luscious fruit filling at the center. A generous dusting of powdered sugar adds a touch of winter wonder to their appearance.

Joulutorttu holds a special place in Finnish hearts, evoking cherished memories of gathering around the table with loved ones during the festive season, sipping warm beverages, and savoring the sweet, comforting flavors of this holiday classic.

Why We Love These Finnish Prune Tarts

finnish christmas star cookies

When I first read about the Finnish tradition of Joulutorttu, I was a bit apprehensive… Prune jam? I’m much more partial to raspberry or strawberry preserves. However, my goal for Christmas this year is to embrace my family’s Scandinavian heritage and try some new food!

While I am not Scandinavian, my husband is Finnish and Norwegian, so I’m having a blast learning about the Scandi way of life and creating fun Christmas memories. My family has Jewish heritage so I have made Hamantaschen many times which is quite similar. 

This Finnish pastry dough is a bit different from hamantaschen because it is made with ricotta cheese. The ricotta cheese gives it just the slightest sweetness and creates a very soft and workable pastry dough which creates the perfect star tart.

Why Prune Jam?

prune jam

Prune Jam was something I had never tried and wasn’t planning on ever trying… The taste of prunes just takes me back to drinking half a pint of it after delivering my son… Let’s not go there. However, I was determined to at least try it since it is the traditional Finnish dessert! I also filled some of the cookies with a yummy raspberry jam.

The final verdict…? It actually didn’t taste “prune-ey” at all! I noticed a slight raisin flavor, but my husband liked it more than the raspberry! I’d say the prune makes it taste sweeter and more molasses flavored while the raspberries gave it more of a tangy/tart flavor- almost like cherry pie.

​What You Need To Make The Perfect Flaky Finnish Tart


  • Flour. I used all-purpose but pastry flour would work great also
  • Butter (at room temperature).
  • Ricotta cheese. Full fat. Now is not the time to opt for a low-fat version. The ricotta creates a super smooth texture that is perfect for shaping.
  • Egg wash. (I used a single beaten egg and a pastry brush.)


  • Prune jam. (Before you freak out and decide not to make this… Try it! It was much better than I expected.) You can purchase jam or make it yourself. I couldn’t find any at our local store so I made a quick/easy jam which I will include at the bottom of this post!
  • Raspberry or strawberry jam.

Finnish Jam Tarts- Step By Step

1. Make Pastry Dough

finnish christmas prune tarts

This is one of the easier pastry doughs I’ve made. Only 3 ingredients- flour, ricotta, and butter. Start by mixing ingredients in a food processor or kitchen aid.

Once well incorporated, wrap in cling wrap and chill dough for at least 2 hours. I made my dough in the evening and cooked the cookies the next day. You just need the dough to be really cool so you can get crisp, sharp corners when you shape.

​2. Creating The Star/Pinwheel Shapes

To create the unique Christmas star cookie shape, start by rolling the chilled pastry dough out pretty thin. I got mine to about 1/8-1/4 inch thick.

Use flour under the dough and on top so as not to have the dough stick. Next, cut the dough into 4×4 inch squares. I did this with a pizza cutter, but any sharp knife will do. Once you have a square shape cut out, use a knife to cut diagonal cuts from each corner of the square to about halfway to the center of each square.

Place all the squares on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure you do this before adding the jam.

After creating the cuts, place a teaspoon of jam in the center of each square.

traditional finnish prune tarts

Now, you are ready to create the pinwheel shape which I’ll break down below!

joulutorttu recipe

1: Start with any corner and fold the dough directly over and slightly overlapping the jam in the center.

joulutorttu recipe

2: Continue on to the next corner and fold continuing in the same direction clockwise.

finnish prune tarts

3: You get the idea. Continue until all the corners are folded. On the last corner, very gently press the pastry down to create a seal so it doesn’t come apart during baking. I really didn’t push the corners hard and the pastry stayed together quite well.

3. Brush Tarts with Egg Wash & Bake!

Before baking your lovely tarts, brush with just a bit of egg wash. For some extra pizazz and sweetness sprinkle with a bit of large granule sugar! Bake the tarts at 450 for about 8 minutes. Anything longer than 8-10 minutes, the tarts will be very golden brown and more crispy than chewy.

4. Sprinkle With a Generous Amount of Powdered Sugar

After the tarts have cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar and they are ready to serve! These tarts are perfect for a treat after Christmas dinner as they are light and refreshing. They are also the perfect treat to leave out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Enjoy the process and feeling extra festive this Christmas season!

If you try these delicious Finnish Prune Tarts, can you do me a huge favor and leave a comment below, telling me how you liked them?!

Finnish Prune Tarts (Joulutorttu)

Joulutorttu, a beloved Finnish Christmas pastry, is a delightful treat that encapsulates the essence of the holiday season. These star-shaped pastries, crafted from delicate, flaky dough, are traditionally filled with sweet prune jam or a variety of fruit preserves. As they bake, the pastry edges turn beautifully golden and crisp while cradling the luscious fruit filling at the center. A generous dusting of powdered sugar adds a touch of winter wonder to their appearance.
Prep Time1 hr 12 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: finnish, scandinavian
Keyword: christmas dessert, cookies, dessert
Servings: 12


  • 1 kitchen aid


  • 1 cup Butter
  • 8 ounces Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 Cups Pastry Four or All-Purpose
  • 1 cup Prune Jam or Other fruit Jam/Preserves
  • 1 Egg
  • Powdered Sugar


  • 1. Prepare the Ricotta Dough:
    In a mixing bowl or Kitchen Aide, combine the softened butter and ricotta cheese until well blended.
    Gradually add the flour and salt, mixing until a smooth dough forms.
    Shape the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours.
    2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
    3. Roll Out the Dough:
    On a floured surface, roll out the chilled ricotta dough into a large rectangle, about 1/8-inch (3mm) thick.
    Cut the dough into squares, typically about 4×4 inches (10×10 cm).
    4. Shape the Tarts:
    Make a diagonal cut from each corner of the square, stopping about 1 inch (2.5 cm) away from the center.
    Place a small dollop of prune jam or fruit preserve in the center of each square.
    Fold every corner of the square toward the center, creating a pinwheel shape with a jam-filled center.
    5. Bake the Tarts:
    Transfer the formed tarts to the prepared baking sheet.
    Bake in the preheated oven for about 8-12 minutes or until the tarts turn golden brown.
    6. Dust with Powdered Sugar:
    7. Serve:
    Enjoy your homemade Finnish Christmas tarts made with traditional ricotta dough! They're a delightful addition to your holiday celebrations.
    Preheat your oven to 425°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the tarts from the oven and let them cool slightly. While still warm, dust them generously with powdered sugar. Joulutorttu are best enjoyed fresh and warm. Serve them with a cup of coffee, tea, or warm mulled wine during the holiday season.

Bonus Recipe: Finnish Prune Jam

Because prune jam is kind of obscure, I couldn’t find it at my local grocery store but I found whole pitted prunes… This recipe is so easy and makes a very yummy, super sticky prune jam. Try it out!

Finnish Prune Jam

Sweet, sticky and delicious Finnish prune jam- Perfect for making Joulutorttu (Finnish Star Cookies!)
Prep Time30 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Servings: 6


  • 1 cup Chopped, pitted Prunes
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1.5 cup water


  • Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and stir. Let mixture simmer at medium heat until liquid reduces and texture is thick/slightly sticky. Enjoy!

Want More Holiday Inspiration? Check Out These Posts:

Similar Posts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating