Recipe for Homemade Finnish Mustard

Mustard only comes in garish-yellow plastic squeeze bottles and pricey shelf-stable jars, yes? No more! Here's a homemade mustard for special occasions, made with just a few pantry ingredients and a quick stir on the stove. This mustard is a personal favorite, from the year I lived in Finland as an exchange student.

Homemade Finnish Mustard, a creamy, spicy mustard just like the amazing mustards in Finland.

In Finland, sauna is pronounced SOW-na, not SAW-na and its ritual is revered in the lives of Finnish families. If you picture an American girl just-turned 18 and a just-arrived exchange student, you’ll understand why my first Finnish sauna was unnerving.

The setting was idyllic, a treeless stonecrop island in the Finnish archipelago on a golden September afternoon. As my Finnish ‘sister’ and I gathered driftwood along the shore to stoke the sauna fire, she explained the routine: men and women together, seated naked in a tiny hut heated to 180F, beating our backs with fresh birch branches, sweating until the heat was unbearable, diving straight into the cold sea. Yikes, Rotary International hadn’t prepared me for this!

My Finnish hosts were kind. On this day, my ‘sister’ and I went to sauna together, followed by her father and boyfriend. Twas exhilarating!

Equally memorable was the ‘makkara’ – sausage – we cooked afterward on sticks over the sauna stove, then dabbed in a sweet-hot ‘sinnapi’ – mustard. Ever since, I purchase a dozen tubes of Finnish mustard whenever possible; when Pille from nearby Estonia and Nami-Nami visited, I even requested a special delivery. Now that Finnish Mustard can be made at home? Bring on the makkara, bring on the sauna.

For a sweet-hot, soft and smoothable mustard, make this an hour or two before serving. Once refrigerated, the mustard thickens and its heat moderates. It will soften again if left out but not as much as at first.


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 1 hour
Makes 1-1/2 cups
  • 5 tablespoons hot dry mustard powder (such as Colman’s English Mustard)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of half a lemon (about 1 tablespoon)

In a bowl, smash together the mustard, sugar and salt with the back of a spoon, working out all the lumps and combining thoroughly. Transfer to a medium saucepan and set heat to medium low. A tablespoon at a time, add the cream, incorporating each spoonful before adding another. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring nearly constantly. When it boils, cook at a low boil for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring often, until the mixture thickens and darkens a bit. Let cool and transfer to a serving container or glass jar for the refrigerator. Will keep for several weeks.

How to use Finnish Mustard: Slather on ham for sandwiches. Stir into hot cooked vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage. Just try to stop yourself from eating it off a spoon, straight from the jar!

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Tablespoon: 55 Calories; 4g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 13mg Cholesterol; 100mg Sodium; 5g Carb; 0g Fiber; 4g Sugar; 0g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 1.5 & WW PointsPlus 2
Adapted from Falling Cloudberries, one of my two favorite new cookbooks this summer, more recipes to come!

Today is the 54th wedding anniversary of my Finnish parents.
Onnea, onnea, Vesa ja Liisa! Happy anniversary, I love you both!

Much to even my own surprise, Homemade Finnish Mustard is one of the Kitchen Parade recipes I make most often! I keep a jar on hand all the time - and it's not difficult because it lasts for two and even three months when well-refrigerated. It's a must when cooking a ham. It's fabulous for making salad dressing. It moves sandwiches from good to great. I'll stir a tablespoon into a pound of steamed vegetables: perfect.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg
and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating
and occasional indulgences.
In 2009, Kitchen Parade celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special collection of my mother's recipes.
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More Favorite Recipes from Finland

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Karelian Borscht (Russian Beet Borscht Soup) Caraway Cabbage Finnish Fruit Tart

© Copyright 2009, 2014 Kitchen Parade

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Alanna,
    That sounds great! What kind of susage do you serve it with these days?

  2. There's a local St. Louis sausage maker whose sausage I'm partial to, over the weekend we grilled sauerkraut sausages over a campfire in the country, the kids ate them up! I credit the mustard, others the sauerkraut, others -- the real story! -- a big day of fresh September air!

  3. OMG! I did not know you could make mustard :-)

    My Dad always has Coleman's on hand, but mixes it with water to make mustard. You may have just saved me from any more of that watery junk!

  4. You are right, other than the cream, I have all the other ingredients on hand. I've never thought to make my own mustard but I am going to give it a try. Thanks for posting.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna