The semla is the most purchased pastry in Sweden during January and February. As we previously mentioned in our article about the history of the semla, over 40 million semlor are bought in Sweden every year.  So you can imagine how crazy the Swedes are about this sweet little bun.

What simply started out as a bun, soaked in hot milk, grew into a yearly craze among the Swedes with bakeries all around Sweden trying to create different varieties of the pastry.




This article was originally published on February 3, 2018.

The classic semla is a wheat bun filled with almond paste and whipped cream, made from scratch. However, for all of you who are just not the baking geniuses you wish you were, we’ve included a very simple recipe so you can enjoy this delicious pastry “the lazy way”.

For those of you living on the wild side, we encourage you to try the adventurous recipe, which is a mix of semla and another Swedish favorite, the chocolate mud cake (kladdkaka). Either way, all three recipes will give you a taste of the Swedish delicacy!

Interested in learning more about the history behind this traditional Swedish pastry? Read our article about it here.


The Traditional Way
It might take some time to do semlor the traditional but it’s definitely worth it!

Makes: 15-18 buns. Time: 2 hours

Buns
2 tsp dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup melted butter
1 tsp salt 1 egg
1 tsp cardamom
4 cups all purpose flour (more if needed)
3 cups whipping cream
powdered sugar for topping

Glaze
1 whipped egg

Almond Paste
7 oz sweet almonds without skin
7 oz sugar
2 tbsp whole milk, or more

 

How to make it 

1. Add the yeast to the lukewarm water and stir gently.

2. Mix the milk, the melted butter, and the egg together, and add to the yeast mixture.

3. Add the flour, the cardamom, the sugar, and salt, and mix it all together.

4. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 45 min or until doubled in size.

5. Cut pieces of the dough and shape into round balls, and place onto a greased cookie sheet. Cover with the kitchen towel and let it rise for another 45 min. Preheat the oven to 350º F.

6. Brush the buns with the glaze. Cook the buns for 15-20 minutes, or until they get a golden brown color.

7. Mix the almonds in a mixer. Add the sugar and mix until it gets a creamy texture. Then take it away from the mixer and gently add a little milk and stir with a spoon.

8. When the buns are out from the oven, let them cool.

9. Slice into each bun with a sharp knife, cut down into the center to create a space for the almond paste. You can make circular or triangular cuts and it’s up to you if you want the top big or small. Then put a teaspoonful (or more) of the almond paste into the center. Top with whipped cream and put the sliced top back on. Finish with a dust of powdered sugar. Enjoy!




 

The Easy Way
If you’re tight on time or just don’t want to do the whole recipe from scratch, it’s easy to buy these ingredients from your local grocery store and put together the semla in a quick and simple way!

Time: 5 min

Ingredients
brioche buns
whipping cream
almond paste
powdered sugar for topping

How to make it
Slice into each bun with a sharp knife, cut down into the center to create a space for the almond paste. You can make circular or triangular cuts and it’s up to you if you want the top big or small. Then put a teaspoonful (or more) of the almond paste into the center. Top with whipped cream and put the sliced top back on. Finish with a dust of powdered sugar. Enjoy!

 




 

The Adventurous Way – Semmel-Kladdkaka
If you want to explore a new way of making a semla you should try this recipe- This cake is really easy to make and it tastes amazing!

1 cake (8 pieces), time: 30 min

Ingredients
5.3 oz butter
3.5 oz almond paste
2 tsp cardamom seeds
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp vanilla sugar
0.5 tsp salt
2.5 oz almond flakes
1 cup whipping cream
Powdered sugar for topping

How to make it

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.

2. Melt the butter, tear the almond paste into small pieces, grind the cardamom seeds and mix the ingredients together in a bowl.

3. Put a greased parchment paper in the baking tin, (it should be about 8 inches in diameter).

4. Pour the batter into the baking tin and cook for 20-25 min. Then let the cake cool.

5. Meanwhile roast the almond flakes till they get a brown touch, and let them cool as well.

6. Whip the cream and spread it over the cake, sprinkle the almond flakes or dust some powdered sugar and it’s ready to eat!

Photo cred: http://blogg.amelia.se/fridasbakblogg/



Johanna Skytt

Editor at Swedes in the States
Johanna Skytt is originally from Linköping, she moved to Los Angeles 2016 to study Business & Management of Entertainment and Producing.

She travels as often as she can and has previously lived on the Greek island Cyprus. When she has a free day she loves to explore LA, go to farmers market and watch movies.
Johanna Skytt

2 COMMENTS

  1. Thank You for the recipes. I do have an Ikea 50 miles away but the easy recipe will give me hope this year. Semla buns here we come !!! Do you have a easy recipe for the cake ? Like
    A cake mix ? Thank you !!!

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