This is a recipe for the classic Swedish Semlor, filled with a almond paste and whipped cream, perfect for a “FIKA“.

The semla is served during the winter season, but mainly during January and February, with consumtion peaking at the Day of Semla also known as Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras / carnaval in other countries). On this day an estimated amount of 6 million semlor are sold in Sweden with a population of 10 million, according to a survey of GfK.

Recipe: Serves about 15 large or 25 small buns



  • 100 g butter
  • 300 ml milk, 3%
  • 50 g fresh yeast (for sweet dough)
  • 1 tsp crushed cardamom or the grated peel of 1 orange
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 85 g sugar
  • about 500–550 g plain flour
  • 1 beaten egg for brushing


  • 200 g marzipan
  • bun centres
  • 100 ml milk
  • 300 ml whipping cream


  • Icing sugar for dusting


  1. Melt the butter and add the milk. Heat to 37°C.
  2. Crumble the yeast in a bowl and add the cardamom or the orange peel.
  3. Add the milky liquid and stir until the yeast has melted. Stir in the salt, the sugar and most of the flour, but save some for later.
  4. Work the dough in a food processor for about 15 minutes.
  5. Let it rise to twice its size in the bowl, about 40 minutes.
  6. Place the dough on a floured pastry board and cut into pieces. Roll into buns and place on oven paper or greased baking sheet. Let the buns rise to twice their size, about one hour.
  7. Brush the buns with egg. Bake in the lower part of the oven, at 225°C for around 8–10 minutes for large buns and 250°C for 5–7 minutes for small. Leave to cool on wire racks.
  8. Cut off the bun tops. Scoop out the centre of each bun (about 2 tsp) and crumble in a bowl.
  9. Rough grate the marzipan and mix it with the crumbs and milk into a creamy mass.
  10. Fill the hollow buns with this mixture.
  11. Whip the cream and squirt or spoon it over the filling. Place the top on the bun and dust with icing sugar.

Serve alone with coffee or in a deep bowl with warm milk and ground cinnamon, for a traditional hetvägg.

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