Finnish blueberry vanilla bun braid

Sweet Bun Twists with Blueberry and Vanilla

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We had friends visiting us at the summer house last July. Since the forest starts right behind the house, most of us went blueberry picking. To store some berries for the winter we made blueberry-vanilla jam and Queen’s Jam, both of which can also be used as baking ingredients. The rest of the harvest we turned into fresh blueberry pies and cakes to enjoy right there and then.

Now in October the season for blueberry harvest is over, but last summer’s berries can still be enjoyed in a sweet form. I developed this sweet bun twist recipe together with my cousin Sade during the summer months. We’re both passionate about cooking and she’s also writing her own food blog called Lusikallinen Iloa, a Spoonful of Joy (the blog is in Finnish).

These bun twists combine the traditional Finnish sweet bun dough with blueberry and vanilla. The fillings – blueberry-vanilla jam and home-made vanilla curd – work really well together. I recommend using them as pavlova and ice cream toppings as well! For this recipe you can use thick, ready-made vanilla sauce and blueberry jam. The home-made alternatives that I used in the making of this recipe are so delicious that I will be sharing them on the blog later.

Sweet buns with a blueberry vanilla filling

Making blueberry buns instead of twists

You can turn the dough into two oven form-shaped sweet bun twists (see instructions in the recipe box below) or shape it into traditional Finnish -looking buns with blueberry jam and vanilla sauce in the middle. Here’s how to make round buns:

  1. Roll the dough into a long, approximately 5cm thick bar.
  2. Cut it into ~5x5cm pieces and roll them into round buns between your palms.
  3. Place the buns on a baking sheet, leaving a couple of centimeters of space in between individual buns.
  4. Cut a 2x2cm wide cross on top of each bun with scissors.
  5. Using two tea spoons, push vanilla sauce inside the bun and top the bun with blueberry jam.
  6. Just like with the blueberry twists, cover the buns with a kitchen cloth and let them rise for 15 minutes.
  7. Before baking, brush them with egg white and sprinkle some sugar  on top.
  8. Bake the buns for approximately 18 minutes (middle oven rack), until they have a beautiful golden color.

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