A semla.

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In Sweden it was customary on the last Tuesday before Lent to use up all their fat like butter, oil etc. and 1 way of using it all up was by making these buns. Over the centuries this day became known as Fat Tuesday, a day which we call Shrove Tuesday. The Semla Buns were originally eaten in a bowl of warm milk as cream hadn’t been invented. That tradition is still practiced in Sweden today even though the use of cream instead of warm milk has taken over.

Imagine a cream bun topped off with icing sugar and you will have a rough idea of how the Semla Bun looks like. The only difference is the cream bun is soft and melts in the mouth whereas a Semla Bun is more like bread and a little harder. But believe me they are just as tasty as a cream bun, very filling and great on Shrove or Fat Tuesday. Why not have these after eating pancakes?

What You Will Need

  1. 70g baking margarine
  2. 175ml milk
  3. 25g yeast
  4. 1 egg
  5. ½ teaspoon cardamom
  6. 50g sugar
  7. 500g flour

For the Filling

  1. Carton of Whipping cream or a can
  2. 3 tbsp. sugar
  3. 150g marzipan


  1. Melt the margarine in a pan on a medium heat.
  2. Stir the milk into the melted margarine. Keep stirring until the mixture is warm.
  3. Put the yeast into a bowl then add some of the liquid. You need just enough to dissolve the yeast.
  4. Once the yeast has dissolved add the remaining liquid, salt, cardamom, egg, sugar and flour. Mix everything together and work into a dough.
  5. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a tea towel and allow to rise. Once risen remove dough from bowl and place dough onto a lightly floured surface.
  6. Heat up the oven to 220C or gas mark 7.
  7. Make 12 small balls about tennis ball size from the dough and place them on lightly greased baking sheets.
  8. Beat the egg in a cup or dish then brush onto the buns for glazing.
  9. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the buns are golden in colour. Remove and cool off at a wire rack.
  10. Once cool, cut a piece about ½ inch thick off of the top of the bun and set aside.
  11. Scoop out the centre of the buns with a teaspoon leaving a shell about ½ inch thick.
  12. Tear up the pieces you have removed into small pieces and put into a bowl.
  13. Moisten the pieces with milk then add the marzipan. Stir the mixture until smooth.
  14. If using whipping cream add some sugar into a bowl along with the cream. Whisk until the cream is firm or stiff.
  15. Fill each shell with a spoonful of marzipan filling then top off with the cream.
  16. Replace the tops onto the buns, dust with icing sugar then serve.
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