Semla Buns (Semlor)


This Swedish treat, usually enjoyed during lent, is a wonderful cardamom bun filled with marzipan and whipped cream!

These are good … these are so good that King Adolf Frederick of Sweden was said to have died on February 12th, 1771 after having eaten 14 of them at one sitting!

Now, if this isn’t making you want to try them, I don’t know what will!

Let’s get started, it’s a big recipe



What you’ll need:

  • 5 cups of flour (+ 1 cup later)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package of yeast
  • 1 tsp of ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 cup milk (warm) (+ approximately 1/2 cup later)
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 5 oz marzipan (we’ll show you how to make it later on if you can’t find it)
  • confectioner’s sugar for dusting


Add milk to saucepan on low heat


Heat to between 70F – 80F


Pour milk into large mixing bowl


Melt the butter and add

Add the eggs and whisk together


Sprinkle the yeast over top


Let yeast sit for about 5 min

Sift the sugar and cardamom with 5 cups of flour

Add to the egg mixture and mix well

Once done, cover and let it sit for 30 minutes

After 30 minutes uncover and add 1 cup of flour sifted with the baking powder


Knead the dough!

Get a couple of greased baking sheets. Roll the dough into small balls, enough to make approximately 16 buns. Big or small, you decide!


We did a mix of both


Cover and let them rise for about 40 minutes (should just about double in size)


Once done, place in a 375F oven for 10-15 minutes


Take them out once they’re golden …


Place the buns on a wire rack to cool. We want them room temperature for the next step

In the meantime, let’s make some marzipan!


You’ll need some ground almonds (about a cup), another cup of confectioner’s sugar, a teaspoon of corn syrup, 1/2 tsp water and almond extract!

Sift the almonds and sugar together in a medium sized bowl

Add 1/4 tsp of almond extract to corn syrup and add it to the mixing bowl

Add the water and start to combine by hand. If the marzipan isn’t forming together, add another 1/2 tsp of water. You should end up with a firm dough


Now you want to take each bun and slice off the top about half an inch

Hollow out each bun, putting the scooped out bits in a bowl

Add 5 oz of marzipan to the bowl and milk to soften. Mix until you have a texture slightly like a pudding


Look like this? Good!


Fill each bun with your marzipan filling


Cover with generous amounts of whipped cream!

Put the tops back on … almost done!


Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar!


Semlor! Try not to die eating 14 of them …


Some Swedes like to have a Semla bun in a bowl with warm milk poured over top … I don’t do it, but you might like it!


Bon Apetit!

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