Desserts and sweets

Nordic Lenten Buns

Nordic Lenten Buns


  • Half
  • 320 minutes
  • For 4 people
  • € 0 / person
  • 334kcal per 100g.

How to make Nordic Lenten scones .

Nordic Lenten scones or “ semlor ” and it is one of the most famous dessert recipes at Easter in Northern Europe.

They are butter , milk and egg buns whose dough is flavored with cardamom.

We have already told you how the Nordic countries use this spice in their pastry doughs, remember?

They open at the top and are filled with an almond dough, somewhat reminiscent of marzipan , and sugared whipped cream. Finally they are dusted with icing sugar, to finish off the play.

The result is a bun like the Cristinas or bambas  or brioches , which together with the filling, it becomes a swanky merendola.

Although they can be consumed as you see in the photo, in many Nordic places and homes the semlor are served in a bowl and soaked with hot milk. A light way to enjoy the pastries, but very tasty and comforting.

Ibán Yarza tells in his book Pan Casero that in Swedish coffee shops the semlor are served in two sizes, large and small.

The latter seems to us a great success since they are heavy buns that best eat in a small format. The bakeries are also filled with cinnamon rolls so famous in Sweden.

The semlor recipe is easy and, as with other basic pastries, it requires no more than a handful of common ingredients, a bit of knack when kneading and a good dose of patience for that reason. that the dough needs (especially if the temperature is low when you prepare them).

It is not a quick recipe, so planning ahead is important. If we want them for a snack, we will have to start with them in the morning, but they are well worth that extra organization because they are yummy.

Preparation of the dough for the Nordic Lenten buns

  1. We heat the milk and add the butter. When it has melted and is warm we pour it into a wide and deep container and add the yeast (not before because the excessive heat spoils it). We dissolve with the fingers.
  2. We incorporate the rest of the ingredients, that is, the ground cardamom, the sugar, the salt, the force flour and the egg (of which we only need 30 g, the rest we reserve to brush the buns before baking).
  3. Mix well and transfer the dough to a clean surface where we knead for about 8-10 minutes.
  4. It is a sticky dough that, at first, will stick to our hands and surface, but with the time of kneading it will change its texture and become smooth and shiny.
  5. We put the dough into a ball in a slightly greased bowl, cover with a clean cloth and leave to ferment until it doubles its volume. The time will depend on the ambient temperature.
  6. We divide the dough into four equal portions and roll, spinning them quickly with one hand on the table.
  7. We place the balls on a baking tray covered with parchment paper or a silpat.
  8. We leave to ferment for approximately two hours, until they have doubled in volume and are very fluffy.

Baking and Final Presentation of Nordic Lenten Buns

  1. Brush with the egg that we have reserved each of the buns.
  2. We cook them in the oven, preheated to 230º C and with conventional heat up and down, for about eight or ten minutes or until we see that they acquire a golden hue.
  3. We remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile we prepare the filling mixing the ground almond with the sugar and the milk.
  5. We also whip the cream with the icing sugar and put it in a pastry bag with a star nozzle. We reserve in the fridge.
  6. When the buns are completely cold we cut a lid in a triangular shape. If we want to do it in the traditional way, or circular.
  7. We remove a little from the crumb and fill with the almond dough, sugar and milk.
  8. On this we place a layer of whipped cream and cover with the bun lid. Sprinkle with icing sugar and ready to serve.

Here you have the step by step of this butter buns recipe in this album. Following the explanations and photos I assure you that they will be perfect the first time.

Tips for some dumplings of fluffy

  • The best time to enjoy these Nordic Lenten scones is freshly made. Well, they lose a lot from one day to the next. If we are not going to be able to eat them during the day, it is best to freeze them, without filling them, individually wrapped in plastic wrap. The day we want to consume them we defrost them at room temperature, fill them up and that’s it.
  • Fermentation times depend on the ambient temperature. The ideal temperature is around 25ºC. If we have an oven that allows us to heat it to this low temperature, we can use it for this purpose. We just have to put the dough in it and let the chemistry do the rest.
  • We can use cardamom seeds if we do not find it ground. All we have to do is open them and keep the interior, discarding the shells. Grind the seeds in a mortar and voila.
  • Cardamom can be substituted for other spices such as ground cinnamon or ginger. We can also add these two to the previous one to achieve a more aromatic combination. We can do without it if we do not have it at hand, although the dough will lose some exoticism and will not be as aromatic.

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