Swedish Semla

16:th February 2021 was the ”Semla Day” or ”Fettisdagen” here in Sweden and I prepared and ate my yearly Semla.

Semla is a Swedish wheatbun filled with a paste of almond or marzipanpaste and whipped cream. Swedish Semla is not like other buns. We only eat them in February. But why do we not eat these buns all year round? And why do we eat Semla at all? The Swedish people eat about six million ”Semlor” during this day Fat Tuesday.

The Semla or Fat Tuesday Bun has been known since the 16th century, but it was not until the 1930´s that it got its current appearance. The bun was created to prepare us for 40 days of fasting. Then it was important to eat fat cream, wheat buns and sugar. We ate these buns in the Middle Ages but it was not until the 16th century that the bread was dug out and filled with cream. You could also cook the bun with cream and butter. It was common to eat it as a ”hotwall” which meant in warm milk.

Personally I love to eat it in hot milk “hetvägg”.



  • 2 dl milk
  • 25 g Yeast
  • about 4 dl Wheat flour, 240 g

Rest of dough:

  • about 3 dl Wheat Flour, 180 g
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp grinded cardamom seeds
  • 1 dl granulated sugar
  • 100 g Butter, room temperature
  • 1 beaten egg for brushing


  • ½ dl milk
  • 75 g Almond paste of good quality
  • ½ dl Almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 2 dl whipping cream
  • Icing sugar


Heat the milk to a maximum of 37 ° Celsius. Crumble the yeast in a bowl. Pour over the milk and stir until the yeast dissolves. Add 240 g of the wheat flour (4 dl). Mix and then let rest for about 15 minutes.

Add 180 g wheat flour (3 dl), egg, salt, crushed cardamom and sugar. Work the butter in batches into the dough. Let the dough go for 7-10 minutes in a food processor to a smooth dough that drops around the edges of the bowl (Or work it with your hands-takes longer time). Let rise for about 30 minutes under a baking sheet.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces and shape into smooth buns. Leave to rise on a baking sheet with parchment paper for 1-2 hours.

Set the oven to 210 ° Celsius. Brush the buns with beaten egg and bake in the middle of the oven for 8-10 minutes. Let cool.

Cut off a lid on each bun. Dig out some ingredients from the buns and mix it with milk, grated almond paste and almonds. Fill the buns with the mixture.

Whip the cream and place a click on each bun. Put the lids back and powder over icing sugar.

2 thoughts on “Swedish Semla

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