Swedish Semla

It is “fettisdagen” next Tuesday here in Sweden! Not sure if there is equivalents abroad but I think it is called shrove tuesday in english….? All this means is that we have an excuse to eat a fattening yummy bun called “Semla”. Most people go out and buy them ready-made from the shop but me writing about how I went to the shop and bought a semla seems like a boring blog post. So I decided to go ahead and make them from scratch this year. They turned out really nice and juicy… You will love them as long you are happy to stuff your face with whipped cream!

The bun is nice on its own without any filling but should be eaten the same day as they go dry pretty quick. Scroll down for recipe.


Recipe: Swedish Semla

(makes 16 buns)

75 g butter

300 ml skimmed milk

3/4 dl (approx 70 g) caster sugar

1 pinch of salt

2 tsp ground cardamom

1 egg

25 g fresh yeast (or 1/2 packet dry yeast)

9 dl (540 g) flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

For filling:

Almond paste (25 g per bun)


Double cream (2 tbsp per bun)

Melt the butter in a pan. Add the milk and heat to 37°c. Add the sugar, salt, cardamom and egg. Crumble the fresh yeast in a bowl and add the milk mix. Stir until the yeast is dissolved. Mix the flour with the baking powder in a bowl. Add the flour to the milk and mix or knead to a dough. Leave the dough to rise for 40 minutes under a towel.

Roll the dough into 16 equally sized buns. Put them on a grease proof paper on a baking tray and leave to rise for another 30 minutes under a towel.

Bake in the middle of the oven at 225°C for approx 10 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool down.

To serve: Whip the cream. Slice the top of the buns and remove some of the bread to create a “bowl” in the bun for the filling. Save this bread and mix it with grated almond paste and a couple of tablespoons of milk to get a soft filling.

Put a couple of tablespoons of the almond mixture in each bun and add whipped cream on top. Put the “lid” back on the bun and sprinkle with icing sugar.



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