Swedish Semla Buns

Traditionally served on Shrove Tuesday, this Swedish dessert is a favourite of our family and making them is an annual tradition.

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Servings: 16

Prep Time: 00:60

Cook Time: 00:10

Main Ingredients

2 eggs 2/3 cup butter, melted

1 1/2 cups warm milk

1 x 7g envelope active dry yeast

5 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tsp ground cardamom

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 cup milk

200 g almond paste

2 cups whipping cream

2 tbsp icing sugar


1In a large bowl, whisk together eggs with butter and milk. Sprinkle yeast overtop and allow to soften for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift together 5 cups flour with 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and ground cardamom. Once yeast has softened, stir flour mixture into milk mixture until a soft dough forms. Cover bowl with a towel, and allow to rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes.

2Sift together flour and baking powder. Stir into risen dough, then knead until smooth. Form into 16 balls (or 24 if you'd like smaller semla) and place onto greased baking sheets. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, 35 to 40 minutes.

3Preheat oven to 190C/375F.

4Bake in preheated oven 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown and the center has firmed. Cool buns on a wire rack to room temperature.

5Once cool, slice a thin portion off the top of each bun and set aside. Using a fork, tease out a small layer of crumbs from each bun and reserve them in a bowl. Grate the almond paste and combine it with the reserved crumbs and 1/4 cup of milk. Blend everything thoroughly until it forms a thick paste.

6Whip the cream and icing sugar until very stiff.

7Place enough of the filling in each hollowed bun so it comes to the edge without going over the side. Spoon or pipe a generous helping of whipped cream on top, trim the lid to a diamond or heart shape (if desired) and then replace the lid. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.

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