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Swedish Mini Semlor

90 minutes

14 buns


A "semla" is a traditional Scandinavian pastry, consisting of a mildly sweet, cardamom-spiced bun filled with almond paste and whipped cream. It is typically enjoyed as a treat to kick of Lent in Sweden, especially on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday) or "Fettisdagen", but honestly, we eat them all the way up to Easter.

Swedish Mini Semlor

How to make it:

  • On low heat, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the milk and warm to lukewarm (max 98.6 F/37 C).

  • Add the yeast to a mixing bowl and pour over the milk. Stir to dissolve.

  • To the mixing bowl, add Greek yoghurt, salt, crushed cardamom, sugar, and most of the flour. Mix until the dough is smooth. Cover the bowl with a clean dishcloth and let dough rise for about 30 minutes.

  • Set the oven to 450 F.

  • Knead the dough on a floured surface and divide into about 14 small, round and smooth balls.  (You can make larger buns if you like, but we're doing mini.) Place on trays lined with parchment--be sure there's space between them--and allow to rise another 20 minutes.

  • Whisk up an egg in a cup and brush the top of the buns with it. (This will give them a pretty color and finish.)

  • Bake for 5-7 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn! They should get a deep, golden color on top. Let them cool on a rack under a clean dishcloth. Once the buns have cooled, cut a little "lid" off the top and carefully dig out the middle. Put the bread from the middle in a mixing bowl.

  • Time to prep your filling! Grate the almond paste and put it in a mixing bowl with the bread. Add the milk and combine well.

  • In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream. You may leave it plain, or add a little sugar and vanilla for extra flavor--just don't make it overly sweet!

  • Fill each bun with the almond paste filling and add a dollop of whipped cream. Carefully set the "lid" on top and sprinkle with powdered sugar using a sifter or small metal strainer.

Tip! If you'd like to serve this the super traditional way, make your buns larger, set one in a shallow bowl, and pour in some warm milk around the bottom of it. Enjoy!


50 grams butter

1 cup whole milk

1 T dry yeast

1/2 c Greek yoghurt

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cardamom seeds, crushed

5 T granulated sugar

480 grams flour (about 3 to 3 1/2 cups)

1 egg, whisked


200 grams almond paste, grated

7 T whole milk

1 c heavy whipping cream

Powdered sugar

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