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Semlor buns with dusting of powdered sugar
4.14 from 22 votes

Swedish Semlor Buns

Delicious Cardamom spiced buns cut in half and filled with marzipan and cream.  Traditionally sold in Swedish bakeries on and before Fat Tuesday (Shrove Tuesday)

Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Swedish
Keyword Princess Semla, Shrove Tuesday, Swedish Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
rise time 2 hours
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 12 buns
Calories 481 kcal
Author Janet Barton


Semla Buns

  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cardamom whole or fresh ground, if available
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 tbsp butter unsalted
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour may use bread flour
  • 1 egg beaten for glaze

Marzipan Filling

  • Bread crumbs from inside of buns
  • 7 1/4 ounces marzipan eggless
  • 6 tbsp cream or milk
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract pure if available

Cream Topping

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • extra powdered sugar for sprinkling


Semlor Bun Dough

  1. Sprinkle yeast on top of warm water.  Stir to dissolve.  Set aside.

  2. In a large mixing bowl beat egg then slowly add sugar, salt, and cardamom.  Set aside.

  3. In a small saucepan melt butter.  When butter begins to simmer a bit pour in milk.  Remove from heat immediately.   This should warm the milk to a perfect temperature of around 110-112℉.  With the mix turned on, slowly pour the milk into the egg/sugar mixture.  Add in dissolved yeast.

  4. Mix in flour 1 cup at a time.  Mixing after each addition.  If kneading by hand turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.  If using a mixer, continue to knead with a dough hook for about 3-5 minutes.  The dough should be soft and smooth. Form dough into a round ball and return to the bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for about 60 minutes or until double in size.

  5. Remove the dough from the bowl and gently press out the air. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces(75 grams if you want to weigh it) and form into rounds. Place the rounds of dough onto the prepared baking trays lined with parchment paper or greased. Cover lightly with plastic wrap. Set aside for about 45-60 minutes or until the buns have almost doubled in size. 

  6. When ready to bake brush each bun with the remaining egg and bake in a 375℉ preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before filling.

Marzipan Filling

  1. To make the filling slice the tops from the buns and scoop out the filling. Tear the bread into breadcrumbs and place into a bowl. Grate the marzipan add to the bowl along with cream and almond extract.   Mix together to form a paste. Divide the filling between the buns and set aside. 

Cream Topping

  1. Place the cream into a large bowl add powdered sugar and vanilla.  Whisk or beat until the cream holds soft peaks. Add the cream to a large piping bag fitted with a large star piping tip and pipe on top of each bun. Place the lids of the buns on top of the cream, dusting with a little powdered sugar. 

Nutrition Facts
Swedish Semlor Buns
Amount Per Serving (1 bun)
Calories 481 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 15g75%
Cholesterol 109mg36%
Sodium 191mg8%
Potassium 167mg5%
Carbohydrates 46g15%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 945IU19%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 75mg8%
Iron 2.2mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.