Semlor (Semla) Recipe

  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk (70 to 80 degrees F)
  • 1 (.25 ounce) envelope active dry yeast
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk, or as needed
  • 5 ounces marzipan
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • confectioners' sugar for dusting
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs with butter and milk. Sprinkle yeast overtop and allow to soften for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift together 5 cups flour with 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and ground cardamom. Once yeast has softened, stir flour mixture into milk mixture until a soft dough forms. Cover bowl with a towel, and allow to rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
  2. Sift together flour and baking powder. Stir into risen dough, then knead until smooth. Form into 16 balls (or 24 if you'd like smaller semlor) and place onto greased baking sheets. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, 35 to 40 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. Bake in preheated oven 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown and the center has firmed. Cool buns on a wire rack to room temperature.
  5. Once cool, cut a slice about 1/2 inch thick off of the top of the bun and set aside. Scoop or cut out the center of the buns, leaving a shell about 1/2 inch thick. Tear the removed bread into small pieces and place into a bowl. Moisten the bread with milk, then mix in marzipan until smooth. Add additional milk if needed until the marzipan filling is nearly as soft as pudding.
  6. Whip cream with 2 tablespoons sugar to stiff peaks. Fill each shell with a spoonful of marzipan filling. Pipe whipped cream on top of the filling to 1/2 inch over the top of the bun. Replace the tops onto the buns, and dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.