Semla - a Swedish and Finnish delight!

Semlan is a wheat roll filled with an almond paste and whipped cream. In 2024,  the "Fettisdag" falls on 13 February and from then on, semlan will be eaten in Sweden and Finland until Easter. Nowadays, however, this pastry is so popular that in some places it is already on sale after Christmas. 

If you fancy making your own, you can find the recipe for 18 pieces below. Otherwise we can highly recommend the Semlor from Tillsamman.


Ingredients for 18 Semlor:

  • 50 g fresh yeast at room temperature
  • 5 dl milk atr room temperature
  • 150 g soft butter at room temperature
  • 2 dl sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • about 14-15 dl wheat flour
  • 1 egg + 1 tablespoon of water + 1 pinch of salt to coat the buns

Nutty almond paste:

  • 150 g sweet almonds
  • 1.5 dl icing sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons of water
  • 1 pinch of salt

Composition & decoration:

  • 6 dl cream
  • icing sugar for decoration


1. Crumble the yeast into a bowl. Dissolve with the milk at room temperature.

2. Then add the butter, sugar, eggs, cardamom and half of the wheat flour. Mix everything into a sticky dough.

3. Gradually add the salt and a little flour until you have a slightly sticky dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes with a machine on medium speed or 20 minutes if kneading by hand. The dough is ready as soon as it comes away from the inside of the bowl.

4. Divide the dough into 18 equal parts (approx. 60 grams) if you want to make medium sized buns, and into 32 parts (approx. 30 grams) if you want to make mini buns. Roll them until you get nice smooth balls.

5. Place the balls on a sheet of baking paper with plenty of space between them. Flatten the balls slightly and cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Leave them to rise for 2-3 hours. They have risen sufficiently when they are at least twice the size. Or put the balls you don't want to bake today in the freezer for another time before they rise.

6. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (top and bottom heat).

7. Brush the buns with a mixture of eggs, a little water and very little salt, which you have whisked thoroughly with a brush or fork so that it is completely lump-free.

8. Bake the buns in the middle of the oven for about 10-15 minutes until they are nicely coloured and baked through. Leave to cool on a wire rack while you make the almond spread.

9. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees (top and bottom heat). Place the sweet almonds on a sheet of baking paper and toast in the centre of the oven for about 10 minutes.

10. Place the sweet almonds in a food processor and puree to the desired consistency (completely smooth or with a little "bite" left in them).

11. Add the icing sugar and half the water. Mix everything together. Add more water until a spreadable consistency is achieved. Pour into a piping bag or bowl and leave at room temperature until the rest is ready.

12. Use scissors to cut triangular lids out of the buns. Cut downwards to hollow out the bun at the same time. Remove the excess inside of the bun that comes with the lid.

13 Beat the chilled cream in a bowl at medium speed to soft peaks.

14. Fill the buns with the almond paste first and then pipe the whipped cream on top. Put the lid on and sprinkle with icing sugar. Serve immediately with coffee or another drink. 


Smaklig måltid!