Semlor (Semla) Recipe -
Semlor (Semla)  Recipe
  • READY IN ABOUT 2 hrs

Semlor (Semla)

Recipe by  

"These Swedish desserts are traditionally served on Fat Tuesday, but nowadays they are happily eaten as often as they can be found. We love that these are not too sweet, and are just big enough."

+ Recipe Box + Shopping List + Menu Print

Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 16 buns Change Servings
  • PREP

    40 mins
  • COOK

    10 mins

    1 hr 55 mins


  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.
Kitchen-Friendly View

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Apr 06, 2009

I added a tad of whole wheat flour to my batch, and they came out beautifully! The only suggestion I would make is to wait to dust the semlor with powdered sugar until RIGHT BEFORE you serve them. I dusted mine, stuck them in the fridge for a few hours, and the sugar disappeared as condensation from being chilled appeared. I should know better, but they just looked so cute!

Most Helpful Critical Review
May 13, 2013

I wanted to like this recipe. I lived in Sweden for a few years and love semlor, but this isn't how I remember them. I don't know how much of that was my own fault. The bun tasted right, but was too dense and chewy. The filling was too diluted by the bread. The mandel massa flavor was lost. I added almond extract and sugar to try to restore some of the flavor, but it still tasted too much like soggy bread. I will compare this with other semlor recipes and try again with some tweaks. It didn't quite scratch my semlor itch.


12 Ratings

Apr 15, 2009

Thank you for sharing this recipe. I grew up eating semlor at Easter, and this year tried it myself. My first attempt was a flop - the traditional Swedish cookbook called for four packets of yeast, and gave vague instructions like add "most" of the flour and "work" the dough. I came to All Recipes in desperation, found this, and followed it precisely. The semlor couldn't have come out more perfect. Tack sa mycket!

Jan 28, 2012

Giving this recipe only 4 and not 5 stars due to the fact that authentic 'semlas' have almond paste instead of marizpan in the middle..... Yummy!

Feb 11, 2014

Thank you! I made this with my half Swedish boyfriend who remembered his grandmother making these. Easy to follow recipe - adjusting the marzipan mix to taste so lots of marzipan (according to the consultant) grating it first helped followed by electric mixer. We thoroughly enjoyed them:)

May 13, 2011

Excellent recipe. I've never had Semla, so I can't say whether or not these are authentic, but they sure are good! Only one problem- 375 was too hot! My buns started to get too brown on the bottom at around 10 minutes - before they were golden on the outside or cooked all the way through!

Feb 18, 2009

Amazingly good!!!

Mar 01, 2014

My grandmother, whose Swedish, loved them. I certainly did too and it was a great experience discovering a part of the Swedish culture, since I do have that ancestry. The bread itself is amazing and I might make it plain and eat it the way they do in Sweden, with warmed milk in a bowl. These Semlor are definitely a keeper in my book. I dashed mine with both powdered sugar and some cinnamon.


Rate This Recipe

Glad you liked it! Your friends will, too:


  • Calories
  • 442 kcal
  • 22%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 53.7 g
  • 17%
  • Cholesterol
  • 87 mg
  • 29%
  • Fat
  • 22 g
  • 34%
  • Fiber
  • 1.8 g
  • 7%
  • Protein
  • 8.2 g
  • 16%
  • Sodium
  • 284 mg
  • 11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

See More

About the Cook

Subscribe Today!

In Season

Mealtime Money-Savers
Mealtime Money-Savers

Browse through over 500 recipes for delicious, budget-friendly meals.

Can What You Can't
Can What You Can't

The old saying goes, "Eat what you can, and can what you can't!" We have the know-how.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

Related Videos

Creme Brulee

Watch how to make this top-rated Creme Brulee.

English Trifle

This elegant dessert features layers of cake, vanilla pudding, and fresh fruit.

How to Make Coconut Flan

See how to put a tropical twist on traditional flan.

Recently Viewed Recipes

Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States