Semlor, also called Semla (singular) are delicious Swedish buns flavored with cardamom, filled with almond cream and whipped cream, perfect to eat in the winter months.

Tres pasteles rellenos de crema espolvoreados con azúcar en polvo en un plato.


In Sweden, semlor are traditionally eaten during the Lenten season. They are typical of Fettisdagen (Fat Tuesday), the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, when the Lenten season begins. 

In its origins, this sweet was consumed during Fat Tuesday, before starting the fasting typical of these dates in Christian cultures. 

Today, semlor have become popular and can be found in Swedish bakeries throughout the year to enjoy fika.

Tres pasteles rellenos de crema espolvoreados con azúcar en polvo en una bandeja para hornear.


I admire the wonderful Swedish TRADITION of fika or the moment to rest and enjoy a cup of coffee with a typical Swedish sweet, disconnect from work and socialize. 

Winter  months evenings are for me the perfect moment to enjoy this tradition, and Semlor are the perfect Swedish sweets to accompany you in your particular fika.

Un plato de bollería espolvoreado con azúcar en polvo sobre una superficie clara, algunos sobre un plato verde con un tenedor.


Strong flour: this is the bread flour sold in many supermarkets, also called 00 flour, which contains at least 12% protein and is perfect for fluffy sweet doughs. 

Fresh baker’s yeast, the one found in the refrigerated area of the supermarket, or dry baker’s yeast. If you use dry bread yeast the quantity to use is divided by 3 and we must hydrate it slightly in the milk before adding it to the rest of the ingredients. 

Cardamom: although this spice comes from India, it is a basic ingredient of Nordic pastry making that provides an incredible flavor and aroma. You can buy ground cardamom or peel the grain and grind it just before baking your homemade Semlor.

Ingredientes para hornear dispuestos en una encimera de cocina.

Whipping cream (minimum 33% fat): for this recipe of Swedish scones it is important to make homemade whipped cream with a very cold cream with at least 33% fat that we will whip and mix with sugar to taste. 

My favorite whipped cream, not too sweet, is made with approximately 250g of whipped cream with 35g of white sugar. 

Almond cream: almond cream is a real delight with a touch of cardamom and a not-too-sweet whipped cream. 

To make it you will need 200g of almonds (if you can find marcona almonds it is the best), 100g of sugar and about 30g of cream or milk. 

You can use a food processor or blender to make the almond cream by beating until you get a creamy texture, it is not necessary that the almonds are perfectly ground, it will give texture to your cream.

Un semlor sin nata, sobre una tabla de mármol con unas almendras al lado.


Semlor are a slightly elaborate sweet, but the result and taste is worth the effort. 

We start by preparing the almond cream to fill the semlor with almonds, sugar and cream.

Then we prepare a brioche dough flavored with cardamom for our semlor.  

You will have to let the dough rest in two moments (like we do when baking our cinnamon buns):

The first rest, when the dough size is doubled, and then, the second rest, we will shape our dough into round buns and let them  rest another hour before baking (or overnight in the refrigerator) before brushing them with egg and baking our semlor.

Una bola de masa cruda en un recipiente de vidrio sobre una superficie blanca.
Una bola de masa reposando dentro de un bol de vidrio transparente.
Seis bolas de masa espaciadas en una bandeja para hornear.

Once baked, fill them with almond cream and freshly whipped cream to enjoy this wonderful Swedish snack. 

My inspiration for this incredible recipe have been Pan Casero, the impeccable book by Iban Yarza, and The Nordic Baking Book by Magnums Nilson, who suggests preparing them with cinnamon bun dough, but with these festive fillings.

Tres bollos de hilo de cerdo sobre una superficie blanca, a uno de ellos al que le han quitado un mordisco.


Ideally, semlor should be served freshly made, so that you can enjoy this sweet bread with a deliciously fluffy crumb and freshly whipped whipped cream.

It is also very typical, and of course delicious, to serve the semlor with a little hot milk that soaks this delicious brioche-like dough giving it a tender texture very similar to Spanish typical torrijas or American French Toast.

Dos pasteles rellenos de crema abiertos y espolvoreados con azúcar en polvo sobre una tabla de cortar.


Once they are filled with cream, you cannot freeze them. 

If you need to freeze this Swedish sweet, freeze the almond-filled cardamom bun and add the whipped cream before serving them.

Tres pasteles rellenos de crema espolvoreados con azúcar en polvo sobre una superficie blanca.

Swedish Semlor Buns

Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine Swedish
Keyword Almond, cream, semla, semlor
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Laura Fernández
Cost 10$


  • Kitchen Aid or Kitchen robot
  • Mixer or Whisk
  • Oven
  • Baking Tray
  • Bowl
  • Film or kitchen towel
  • Kitchen brush



  • 2 2/3 cup Strong flour / bread flour
  • 3/4 cup Whole milk
  • 1/3 cup White sugar
  • 1 unit Egg L size
  • 1/3 cup Unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 tsp Dry baker's yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground cardamom

Almond cream

  • 1 cup Marcona almonds
  • 1/2 cup White sugar
  • 1/5 cup Cream

Whipping Cream

  • 1 cup Cream 33% fat
  • 1 tbsp White sugar


  • 1/2 cup Icing sugar


  • We begin by preparing the almond filling: In a food processor or blender we grind the almonds and white sugar and when we have a paste similar to marzipan we add the cream and set aside.
  • Next we begin to prepare the dough for our semlor by mixing all the dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, sugar, fresh yeast, salt and cardamom).
  • Add the warm milk and begin to knead.
  • Finally we add the butter little by little, allowing the dough to integrate and we continue kneading until we obtain a smooth semlor dough with a uniform surface, which does not stick to our hands.
  • Let the semlor dough rest covered with a film or a damp cloth for one hour or until it doubles its volume.
  • Once the dough has doubled in volume, we knead it lightly to degas it and divide it into 6-7 buns of about 100 g, shaping them round by rolling them with the palm of our hand.
  • Let the semlor stand covered for another hour, or if you prefer to bake them in the morning, you can let them stand overnight in the refrigerator and leave them at room temperature for half an hour before baking.
  • Preheat the oven to 200º Celsius (390 Fahrenheit).
  • Brush the Swedish semlor with beaten egg and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
  • Let them cool on a baking rack and make a cut on the top, the most typical cut is triangular(see photos), but you can also separate a small rounded top.
  • Prepare the whipped cream with cold cream and sugar and beat with a whisk until it has peaks.
  • Fill the semlor with the almond cream, using a piping bag or just a spoon.
  • Then add a nice layer of whipped cream with a piping bag.
  • Put the cover of your semlor on top of the cream.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar so that our semlor look authentically Swedish.
  • Serve our freshly baked semlor, or, if you prefer you can serve them  in a bowl accompanied by a little warm milk to soak your cardamom buns and enjoy!


If you want more nordic pastry recipes:

Almond Buns (Karlsbader)

Kladdkaka. Swedish Chocolate Cake

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