Home-made gingerbread cookies are a core part of the Holidays. However, it has not always been this way.

In this blogpost we will tell about the history how gingerbread cookies found their way to Finland. In the end of the post we will also share a mouthwatering gingerbread recipe straight from Finnish Lapland by Chef Sirly.

Chef Sirly Ylläsjärvi celebrating Christmas with home-cooked traditional Finnish foods
Chef Sirly Ylläsjärvi getting ready for Christmas in Ylläsjärvi, Finland. Sirly’s book “Recipes and Unforgettable Experiences, Lapland’s 8 seasons” was published in 2021 and it takes readers along to savour tasty food and once-in-a-lifetime experiences in the Arctic region.

Gingerbread Cookies Came to Finland by Boat in the 1600’s

It was 1685 when two barrels of gingerbread cookies found their way to the Finnish seaside city of Turku. These unique cookies were brought by German merchants who were doing business in Finland.

It was only by the end of 1800’s that regular Finnish families learned how to bake this iconic cookie. Gingerbread cookies were first sold on market squares, one cookie at a time. After this, it was the Finnish aristocracy, the vicars and manor owners, who learned how to bake them in their kitchens.

It took some time that the recipe and knowledge got shared with the common folk. In today’s world, baking gingerbread cookies is a Christmas tradition in many homes around the world.

Chef Sirly Ylläsjärvi bakes gingerbread cookies in her nordic home in Finnish Lapland

A Gingerbread Cookie Recipe from Lapland

Chef Sirly is a passionate chef from Ylläsjärvi, Finland with a taste for true quality. Since childhood, Christmas has been Sirly’s favourite holiday of all.

Even during this darkest time of the year for people living above the Arctic Circle, light can be created in many ways. In the enchanting small village of Ylläsjärvi, Sirly lights up the candles and heats up her oven. She loves to gather all the family together and enjoy quality time together. And what a better snack to go with winter family festivities a tasty Gingerbread Cookie!

Beautifully decorated gingerbread cookies by chef Sirly Ylläsjärvi's recipe from Finland

Sirly’s Gingerbread Cookies:

  • 200g soft butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 0.5 cups dark syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • about 3 cups flour
  • about 1 cup dark rye flour
  • 5 tblsp Gingerbread seasoning
  • 3 tsp Baking powder

Doing the dough

  1. Mix sugar and butter
  2. Bring dark syrup to a boil and add it to the mix
  3. Add two eggs together with the gingerbread spice
  4. Mix dark rye flour and baking powder together (you can also replace the dark rye flour with regular flour, if needed)
  5. Add the mix into the dough
  6. Mix until smooth
  7. Add the flour little by little and stir until well combined
  8. Bake in 200°C / 392°F for 5-8 mins
  9. Enjoy!

Get your baking supplies from here (we ship the packages in a matter of days everywhere in the US and Canada)

Learn more about Sirly’s breathtakingly beautiful cook book from here

Images: Sirly Ylläsjärvi, Marko Vasara

FinnGoods is a Canadian family business that helps you to feel at home! Since 2012, we have spread the joy of the Finnish way of life in North America. We ship Finnish as well as other Nordic goods and household essentials to your doorstep everywhere in Canada and in the USA.