Vappu aka May Day (Valborg in Swedish) is the celebration of spring here in Finland. The celebration starts on the previous night with bonfires, drinking, dancing and singing of folk songs. And on the 1st of May (Labour Day), the party continues with parades, street fairs, picnics and a signature dessert, called Tippaleipä!


Funnel Cake

  • 125 g flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 125 ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1000 ml vegetable oil for frying

For serving

  • Icing sugar
  • Jam - optional


  1. Mix the dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder and sugar together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix the wet ingredients: milk, eggs and vanilla together in another mixing bowl.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and whisk until you get a lump-free, smooth texture. If the dough comes out a bit lumpy, you can simply strain it if you go for perfection, otherwise, the taste and texture will be just fine with small lumps too.
  4. Pour the oil into a deep pot and heat it up over medium heat.
  5. Transfer the batter to a piping bag or a chef's bottle with about 4 mm diameter tip applied, or use a freezer bag or a piping bag with a small hole. If you want the funnel cakes to be crispy, the key is to have a thin diameter stream of dough pouring into the hot oil.
  6. Drizzle the batter into the hot oil in an overlapping circle motion, continuing until you have a bird’s nest-like dough formation. If you like the neat look, you can place a small diameter metallic cake ring into the oil and pour the cake batter into this mould (make sure that the top is a few centimetres above the oil's surface. To make sure, they are not getting a dense centre, make sure to give some space between the thin batter streams (they will expand when exposed to the heat). I normally cook one cake at a time as they require attention, but if you do more, make sure not to crowd them in the pot!
  7. Fry until golden brown, in about 1 minute on each side. You can use a skimmer to keep pushing the cake under the surface of the oil.
  8. Transfer the cakes onto a wire rack to drain. Have something below the rack to keep your countertop clean.
  9. Dust the funnel cakes with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
Tippaleipä - Finnish Funnel Cake - Photo by © Reka Csulak

Tippaleipä - Finnish Funnel Cake - Photo by © Reka Csulak

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