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Swedish semlor

Recipe: Swedish Semlor (fastlagsbullar or hetvägg) - sweet cream bun eaten during Mardi gras

Prep Time 1 hr 40 mins
Cook Time 7 mins
Total Time 1 hr 47 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Swedish
Servings 6


The buns

  • 12 g fresh yeast
  • 100 ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 40 g sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 400 ml wheat flour
  • 50 g butter

For brushing

  • 1 egg

The filling

  • 125 g almond paste
  • 30 ml milk
  • 175 ml cream
  • The part of the bun that is scoped out


  • powdered sugar


The buns

  • Make the butter turn to room temperature.
  • Heat up the milk so it is luke warm (just below 37°C (99°F) then mix in the yeast. Whisk in the egg.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients in your food processor and then add the milk mixture and the butter.
  • Knead for a couple of minutes (5 minutes should do the trick)
  • Cover dough with a towel and let it rest for 1 hour
  • Split the dough into 6 equal parts and form them into round balls
  • Place them on a parchment paper on a baking sheet (leave some space in between since they will expand)
  • Cover with towel and let it rest for at least another 30 min
  • Heat up the oven to 225°C (437°F)
  • Brush the buns with the egg and place the baking sheet on the bottom part of the oven for around 7-8 min
  • Let it cool under a towel
  • Take a sharp knife and cut off the top lid, scoop out around half of the inside of the bun.

The filling

  • Grate the almond paste, then mix it with the bun crumbles and the milk to a smooth mixture
  • Fill the buns with the filling
  • Whip the cream so it turns fluffy but not too hard
  • Distribute the cream before placing the lid back on
  • Finally sprinkle with powdered sugar and if you dare to try, serve it in a bowl with hot milk. Either way it is quite difficult to eat a semla without getting the whipped cream in places it should not be :)
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