Cabbage Rolls

"Based on a recipe from Beatrice A. Ojakangas’ book, The Finnish Cookbook. She says, “Sometimes called 'Pigs in Blankets,' this universal favorite is also a favored dish in Finland. Serve with boiled or mashed potatoes and cranberry or lingonberry sauce.” My late grandmother Elina Ervo is from Finland and she lived with my parents, siblings and I for many years when I was growing up. She made a variation on this dish frequently (hers had a tomato-based sauce). When my grandmother made this I thought I’d never be able to do it myself because her rolls were all consistent in size and gorgeous looking! This was among my favorite childhood dishes that Grandma made and now I make it frequently, too. Now that I’m in Maine, I also love to make this with ground moose in place of the ground beef!"
photo by WiGal photo by WiGal
photo by WiGal
Ready In:
1hr 40mins
12-16 rolls




  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Bring large pot of water to the boiling point and add salt.
  • Core cabbage and place in boiling water. As the outer leaves become tender, peel them off and set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, mix together well the cream, bread crumbs, ½ cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, allspice, and ground beef.
  • Add the cooked barley or rice.
  • Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of the filling on each cabbage leaf. Wrap the leaf around the filling and tuck in the ends. Place the rolls seam side down in a buttered heavy casserole, and drizzle the corn syrup over them (use a brush to distribute the syrup evenly).
  • Cover and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the cover and pour in about 2 cups boiling water or enough to almost cover the rolls. Leave the casserole uncovered, lower the oven temperature to 350°F, and continue baking for 1 hour.
  • Serve hot.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Ainoastaan herkullinen! (Simply delicious in Finnish) Love the barley in them-better than rice. Oops now realize that I would suppose to reduce the oven temperature for last stage. Oops! Thank you for sharing. Made for Unrulies Under the Influence during Scandanavian ZWT6.
  2. Aussie Swap#43 - Awesome recipe!! I loved these cabbage rolls - great comfort food! I used rice instead of the barley!


  1. Aussie Swap#43 - Awesome recipe!! I loved these cabbage rolls - great comfort food! I used rice instead of the barley!



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