Sugarplum Pinwheels (Finnish Joulutorttu)

Sugarplum pinwheels are a variation of the traditional Finnish Joulutorttu (plum filled pastries), this time topped with a fruit and nut sugarplum bonbon.
Sugarplum Pinwheels (Finnish Joulutorttu)

Sugarplum Pinwheels (Finnish Joulutorttu)

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

My recipe  of the day (one of three I am posting) is for Sugarplum Pinwheels for Christmas Sweets Week. You might also  know these as Finnish Joulutorttu pastries. That means “star tarts”, which are pinwheels made of puff pastry and  a dried plum  filling. Or not. Don’t ask me how to pronounce it. Which is why I  am  just calling these  “pinwheels” or by next week  even I would not remember exactly how to say (or spell) that one.

An extra something special

To  make these extra special, I am adding a sugarplum bonbon which is  easily made of fruit  and nuts.

I wanted to make this extra special  for Bill, since his birthday  is this week,  plus he is an old Milwaukee boy who was raised to love the Racine kringles  with  prune filling. I am not sure which is better, but dang these are pretty good, especially with the sugarplum. And definitely a whole lot easier.

Sugarplum Pinwheels (Finnish Joulutorttu)

Half of this  is done ahead

You’ll be making the sugarplums and plum filling ahead. Not that it  is hard, but it  needs to chill. And once you have that done,  it is a cinch to do the rest, and can make these on Christmas morning in about half an hour.

The recipe does make more than plenty of the sugarplums and plum (aw come on,  we all know  it  is prune) filling. But if  you have excess of the sugarplums, be creative and add those to a charcuterie platter. As for the filling, you can freeze that to use  later either in more of these, or as a filling for hamantaschen (because that is what it  essentially is). At any rate, this should  keep for a bit in the fridge so don’t  panic thinking  you have to freeze it the same day.

A Variation

Another thing- not that I want you to be  skittish about the prunes, because it does NOT taste pruney (is that a word?) You can easily switch out and  use some cherry jam and top with some of those candied glace cherries.

Christmas Sweets Week

Welcome to #ChristmasSweetsWeek 2019! Co-hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures! What better way to celebrate the holidays than with food and fun? 25 bloggers from around the country have come together to share some of their favorite sweet Christmas recipes!! Deck the halls and get ready for very merry sweet treats, like fudge, cookies, Christmas morning breakfasts, layer cakes, cocoa, and more! Follow along on social media with our #ChristmasSweetsWeek hashtag. Happy Holidays!

Enjoy these #ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes from our bloggers:

Christmas Beverages:
White Cranberry Moscow Mule from Love and Confections

Christmas Breakfasts:
Sugarplum Pinwheels from Palatable Pastime (You are Here!)

Christmas Pastries and Desserts:
Candy Cane Rice Krispies Treats from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Caramel Gingerbread Cupcakes from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bread from Sweet Beginnings
Easy Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies from Blogghetti
Powdered Sugar Pound Cake with Pecans from Shockingly Delicious

Christmas Candies:
Chocolate Saltine Cracker Toffee from Cheese Curd In Paradise
Gingerbread Truffles from Daily Dish Recipes

Sugarplum Pinwheels (Finnish Joulutorttu)

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Fruitcake Muffins

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Sugarplum Pinwheels (Finnish Joulutorttu)

Sugarplum Pinwheels (Finnish Joulutorttu)

Sue Lau
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chill time 2 hours
Course Breakfast, brunch
Cuisine Finnish
Servings 9


  • Food processor, parchment paper


Ingredients for Sugarplums (Yield 48 small ones):

  • 1/2 cup dried pitted plums (prunes)
  • 1/4 cup dried diced pineapple
  • 1/4 cup dried chopped figs
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Ingredients for Prune Filling (Yield 2.5 cups):

  • 2 cups pitted plums (prunes)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or orange liqueur

Ingredients for pastry:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry thawed (12-14 ounces)
  • 1 egg white lightly beaten
  • Wilton white cookie icing as needed
  • sifted powdered sugar


Make the Sugarplums:

  • Place all ingredients for sugarplums except granulated sugar in a food processor and pulse into it comes together in a mass and still has some visible bits in it, but not pasty.
  • Place sugar in a small bowl.
  • Measure out to one teaspoon each and roll into a ball, then coat in granulated sugar (you need only nine for the recipe). Others can can make larger if you like, depending on your needs.
  • Cover and refrigerate sugarplums until firm.

Make the Prune filling:

  • Combine the prunes, orange juice and sugar in a saucepan and heat briefly to dissolve the sugar, stirring.
  • Use a hand blender or food processor to puree the mixture, then return to pan and cook until thick and pasty (like apple butter), about five minutes.
  • Cool down and chill before using.

To prepare the pastries:

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Roll out puff pastry and cut into 9 (4-inch) squares- mine had an unequal shape but it is okay to piece scraps together like pie dough to cut again.
  • Place the squares on parchment on a baking sheet and dock with a pizza docker or a fork.
  • Place one teaspoon of the prune filling in the center, then make four slits from the corners to the filling.
  • Fold one edge of each cut section towards the center and when you have all four, press down lightly in the center.
  • Brush each pastry lightly with beaten egg white.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden.
  • Let cool completely on the pans.
  • Dust each pastry with sifted powdered sugar as needed.
  • Place a dab of the icing in the center of each pastry to use as glue for one small sugarplum. This takes about 45 minutes to dry so that it won't fall off, but if you're in a hurry, you can still eat them right away.
  • Serve the same day as pastry doesn't keep very well when made far ahead.


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Sugarplum Pinwheels (Finnish Joulutorttu)

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