Swedish semla

The season for eating ”Semla” in Sweden is here. The bun is filled with almond paste and cream. (You find my recipe for almond paste in another post) The word Semla actually comes from the Latins Simila that means flour and was in the beginning just the word for the actual bun.
In different parts of Sweden we call it some different names like ”fastlagsbulle” in Southern Sweden and some parts of Finland. In Denmark and Norway they call it ”Fastelavnsbolle” and they have it with some jam and custard normally.

INGREDIENTS for the bun

  • 50 g yeast
  • 5 dl of milk, finger warm
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ dl of powdered sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp crushed cardamom kernels
  • 150 g butter, room warm
  • 14–15 dl of wheat flour


  • About 400 g of almond paste (recipe in the end for the almond paste filling if you can’t buy it)
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk


6 dl whipped cream

1 whisked egg for brushing


  1. Crumble down the yeast into a bowl. Add the milk and stir until the yeast dissolves.
  2. Add eggs, sugar, salt, cardamom, butter and wheat flour little by little.
  3. Stir everything together into a smooth dough and then knead it for a few minutes.
  4. Let rise covered for about one hour.
  5. Divide the dough into about 22 pieces.
  6. Put the dough at a floured surface and roll into balls. Give them a light smack on top.
  7. Place them at baking trays with baking paper.
  8. Let rise covered for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 250 C.
  9. Brush the buns with the beaten egg. Bake the buns in the middle of the oven for 8-11 min.
  10. Let them cool on a rack under a cloth.
  11. Cut off a thin lid on each bun. Pull out a little crumb of the middle of the buns.
  12. Mix the almond paste with the milk and then add the almond paste with one click to each bun.
  13. Beat the cream fluffy and sprinkle it on top of the buns. Put on the covers. Powder with some icing sugar on top.

INGREDIENTS Almond paste

  • 200 gram blanched almonds (1,5 cups)
  • 200 gram Icing sugar (confectioners) 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 egg white


  1. Add the almonds into your food processor, and mix until they are finely ground.
  2. Add the egg white and the icing sugar and mix to form a paste.
  3. You can keep the almond paste in the fridge for 2-3 days in the fridge.

Recipe and photo Malin Nordblom

Fab Foodie Swede

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