Photo and recipe by Linda Lomelino

Semlor, or the singular semla, are soft, almond- and cream-filled cardamom buns traditionally eaten on fettisdagen or Fat Tuesday as a celebration before the fasting period of Lent. These are best served the day they are made, but if you have any leftover buns, soak them in warm milk. In Sweden, this is known as hetvägg. Read out more Smelor here!



  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add 1 cup (125 grams) flour mixture to yeast mixture; beat on low speed until combined, stopping to scrape bottom and sides of bowl. Gradually add remaining fl our mixture to yeast mixture, beating on low until a shaggy dough forms. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter, one cube at a time, beating until fully incorporated after each addition. Scrape down paddle and bottom and sides of bowl.

  • Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until a smooth, soft, slightly tacky dough forms, about 20 minutes, stopping to scrape bottom and sides of bowl and dough hook. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).


  • Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Increase oven temperature to 450°F (225°C).

  • Coarsely chop 2 tablespoons (20 grams) toasted almonds; reserve in a medium bowl. In the work bowl of a food processor, process granulated sugar, milk, salt, cardamom, and remaining whole toasted almonds until almonds are finely chopped. Stir almond mixture into reserved chopped almonds; refrigerate until ready to use.

  • Bake buns until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on a wire rack.

  • Using a serrated knife, cut off top of cooled buns; reserve. Using a spoon, hollow out center of buns to create a well; reserve removed bread.

  • In a large bowl, beat cold cream with a mixer at medium-high speed until medium-stiff peaks form. Transfer whipped cream to a pastry bag fitted with a large star piping tip.

  • Crumble reserved bread, and stir into filling; spoon filling into well of buns. Pipe whipped cream onto buns; add top of buns. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.

  • Serve immediately.



Gahkku Semla 

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