Semla Buns


Makes 10-12
1. Using a mixer with dough hook attachment, add butter and milk, ensuring a lukewarm temperature of around 37-38°C. Add the fresh yeast and stir until dissolved.

2. Add sugar and stir again. Add salt, baking powder, ground cardamom and half the flour. Add the 1/2 lightly beaten egg.

3. Mix well until all ingredients are combined, then start to add more flour, bit by bit, until you have dough that is slightly sticky. Too much flour = dry buns. Knead the dough for at least five minutes in the mixer, longer by hand. Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.

4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead again for a few minutes, adding more flour if needed. Cut the dough into 12 equal sized pieces and roll each into a ball. Place evenly on a baking tray leaving spacing between buns. Leave to rise for 25-30 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Gently brush each bun with egg and place in the oven. Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until baked through—keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly. Remove from oven and cover the tray with a lightly damp tea towel immediately, as this will prevent the buns from forming a crust.

6. When the buns have cooled, cut a ‘lid’ off the buns – about 1 1/2 cm from the top. Scoop out about 1/3 of the inside of the bun and place crumbs in a separate bowl.

7. Mix the marzipan with the crumbs until it forms a very sticky mass—add a dash of milk, custard or crème pâtisserie at this point to help it along. You want a spoonable, even mixture. Spoon the filling back into the buns. Whip the cream with the vanilla sugar until stiff and fill the buns’. Put the ‘lids’ back on and dust with icing sugar.


25g fresh yeast (or 12g active dry yeast)

80g melted butter

250ml whole milk

40g caster sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 egg, 1/2  lightly beaten 1/2 for brushing

2 tsp ground cardamom

300-400g plain bread flour




100g marzipan

A good dollop of custard or crème pâtisserie

1 tsp vanilla sugar or extract

500ml whipping cream

1 tsp vanilla sugar or extract

Icing sugar to dust