Shrove Tuesday and how they celebrate in Sweden with Semla Buns

Shrove Tuesday and how they celebrate in Sweden with Semla Buns.

I love it when you find a new tradition, even better when it includes such yummy food.
Tuesday 28th February is Shrove Tuesday, the start of Lent. Traditionally this is the day when you indulge in and use up all the things you will give up for Lent and make delicious pancakes. However, I think I might prefer the Swedish Tradition and style of Scandinavia.

In Sweden, Shrove Tuesday is known as ‘Fat Tuesday’ and in Sweden, they celebrate with Semla Buns. These delicious sweet buns are filled with almond paste, whipped cream and a sprinkling of icing sugar. The recipe below comes from Notions and Notations of a Novice Cook and she has added the pinch of cardamom. According to her, the smell that wafts through the kitchen is indescribable. I can’t wait to try them. Throughout Sweden at this time of year, these delicious buns appear in many shops just for a couple of days while people celebrate the start of Lent. You can either eat these buns as they are, or serve them in a bath of warm milk – in Swedish this is know as Hetvägg or Hot-Wall.


Image of


½ tablespoon dried instant yeast
15g unsalted butter
¼ cup milk
2 tablespoon sugar
a pinch of salt
¾ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon baking powder

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and ground cardamom in a bowl.


Image of


Melt the butter over a low heat in a saucepan and add the milk and heat until lukewarm.
Put the mixture into a separate bowl and add the yeast and sugar and stir until both have dissolved.
Mix the yeast mixture together with the dry ingredients.
Knead the dough until it becomes smooth, and then cover with a cloth and leave the dough to rise for 1 hour.


Image of
Separate the dough into 6 small, round balls or 4 medium sized ones.
Preheat the oven to 190C.
Lightly grease a baking sheet, put the buns on the sheets and leave to rise again for 30-45 minutes.
While waiting for the buns to cook, make the almond paste.
Beat the egg and use a brush to glaze the tops of the buns.
Bake the semla at 190C for about 10 minutes, or until the buns are golden brown.


3/4 cups ground blanched almonds
¾ cups icing sugar
1 ½ tablespoon egg white
¼ teaspoon salt

Beat egg whites slightly, then stir into the almond mixture and icing sugar.
Use a spoon to mix until combine.
Check on the buns. If they’re done, take them out of the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.


Semla buns + whipped cream + icing sugar + milk.

Cut off the top of each bun.
Use a spoon to scoop out the inside of the bun and mix this together with the almond paste.
Add milk to make a smooth mixture.
Use this mixture to fill the hole and pipe cream on top of the bun filling.
Replace the lid of the bun and decorate with icing sugar.
Serve as it is or in a bowl with warm milk poured around it – ‘Hot Wall’.


Image of

Lastly, enjoy!!

Anna x