February 21, 2012

Today it's Fat Tuesday and in Sweden we eat Semla

Today it's Fat Tuesday and according to tradition this is the day when we are supposed to eat fatty foods before the fasting begins. In many English speaking countries this is also known as Pancake Day, in other countries it might be known as Mardi Gras. In Sweden this day is known as Fat Tuesday and we eat a pastry called Semla. It's a cardamom-spiced wheat bun, filled with almond paste and topped with whipped cream.  

Semla, 26 pcs150g butter
5 dl milk
50 g yeast
1,5 dl sugar
3 tsp ground cardamom
0,5 tsp salt
15 dl wheat flour (approximately)

Topping and filling
200 g almond paste/marzipan
1 dl milk
3 dl whipped cream

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the milk and warm the mixture to 37 degrees C. Lukewarm. Pour into a bowl. Crumble the yeast into the mixture and let it dissolve while stirring.

Add sugar, cardamom, salt and most of the flour. Stir until you have a smooth dough. Make sure you do not use too much flour as it will make the buns dry. It's better to add extra flour when you form the buns. Try to work the dough for at least 10 minutes. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm spot for about 45 minutes.

Sprinkle remaining flour onto your baking board and divide the dough into 26 pieces. Roll the dough pieces to form buns. Place the buns on a baking sheet and cover with a kitchen towel. Let the buns rise for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees C. bake the buns for about 10 minutes, until golden and center is firmed. Don't bake too long as it will make the buns dry.


Cut the tops of he buns and set aside. Scoop out a little of the center of the bun and place in a bowl. Add in the bowl, almond paste/marzipan and milk and mix to a soft mixture. Put a dollop of the mixture back into the the bun.

Whip the cream until soft and airy. Pipe whipped cream on top of the filling. Replace the tops onto the buns and dust confectionersr's sugar on top before serving.

Happy Baking!



  1. Jätte goda semlor. Jag har också bakat mina idag.

  2. An interesting tradition indeed. Semla sounds very interesting. I love marzipan and I am sure I am going to love this bun. Thanks for sharing

    1. Semla may sound a bit different, but it's very delicious:-)

  3. thank you so much for dropping by my blog
    this looks like a delicious dessert. I love anything with whipped cream :)

  4. They look soo good! It's not wrong to eat semla after fettisdagen right, I'm still munching on mine! :)

  5. These look like the cream buns which I used to eat a lot back in Australia, but without the almong/marzipan filling. Though I would be happy to try one of these! Yum!

  6. That sounds amazing! I can't believe I've never heard of them before. I just so happened to have cardamom and almond paste in my pantry; I'll have to try it out!


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XOXO Johanna