Swedish Semlor Buns

Swedish Semlor Buns

Tune in and bake with me! These cream buns are traditionally a Lenten treat in Sweden, but I think they are worth making year-round. Cardamom-spiced soft buns are baked, hollowed and then filled with marzipan and a cream thickened with some of the fresh crumbs. I love that semlor are simple yet frilly at the same time.

• Recipe •

Swedish Semlor:

Makes 12 buns

Prep Time: 40 minutes, plus proofing

Cook Time: 25 minutes

The buns are best enjoyed within a day of assembling. Semlor will keep, loosely covered, in the fridge for up to 2 days.


Makes about 1 lb (450 g)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Store well wrapped in the pantry for up to a month or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw on the counter before using.

• Ingredients •


  • 3 cups (450 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp (37 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 (2¼ tsp/7 g) pkg instant dry yeast
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) 2% milk, heated to lukewarm
  • 6 Tbsp (90 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • Medium egg wash


  • 2 cups (500 mL) whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp (25 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 oz (90 g) Marzipan (recipe follows) or store-bought
  • 2 cups (130 g) crumbs from scooping out baked buns
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) 2% milk
  • Icing sugar, for dusting


  • 1¾ cups (210 g) ground almonds
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (75 g) honey
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) water
  • 1 tsp pure almond extract (optional)

• Directions •

Semlor Buns:

1. Mix and proof the dough. Stir the flour, sugar, yeast, cardamom, baking powder and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Add the milk and melted butter and blend on low speed to combine. Increase the speed by a level, and continue to knead the dough until it pulls away from the bowl with an elastic stretch. The dough will be soft yet dense. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for 90 minutes (it will not double in size).

This dough is enriched with milk and butter but doesn’t contain any eggs, so it might feel denser yet stretchier than other soft doughs you’ve made. It handles easily and really holds its shape well when proofed and baked.

2. Shape and proof the dough. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and lightly dust a work surface with flour. Turn the dough out onto the counter and divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Shape each piece into a ball and place on the lined baking tray. Cover the tray with a tea towel and let the buns rise for an hour until risen by 50%.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

4. Bake the buns. Brush the buns with egg wash and bake for about 25 minutes, until they are an even golden brown. Transfer the buns from the tray to a rack to cool completely before filling.

5. Prepare the buns to be filled. Use a paring knife to cut a 1½-inch (4 cm) circular opening in the top of each bun. Pop the “lid” off each bun and use a melon baller or your fingers to scoop out most of the soft bread at the centre of each bun without breaking the outer surface. Save 2 cups (130 g) crumbs for the filling. Set aside the lids to place on top of the buns after filling.

6. Make the filling. Using electric beaters or in a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the cream to a soft peak on high speed. Whip in the sugar and vanilla and set aside (or chill if making more than an hour ahead). In a separate bowl, use electric beaters to soften the marzipan. Add the reserved crumbs and the milk, beating until the mixture is soft and well combined. Fold in the whipped cream in two additions, ensuring that the filling is well combined.

The crumbs will soften and break down in the cream so that the filling is easy to pipe.

7. Fill the buns. Spoon the cream filling into a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Fill each bun so that the cream spirals up and above the lip of the bun. Gently place the cap on the buns and dust with icing sugar. Store the semlor in the fridge until ready to eat.


1. Place the ground almonds in a food processor.

2. Place the sugar, honey and water in a small saucepan over high heat and stir until it just reaches a boil and the sugar has completely dissolved. With the food processor running, pour in the hot syrup. Add the almond extract, if using, and blend until the marzipan comes together.

3. Shape the marzipan. While it’s still warm, shape the marzipan into a log and wrap well in plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature to cool and wrap well until you are ready to use it.

*Recipe on video and text may differ from each other!

How to cook Swedish Semlor Buns:

Original Baking