Semlor – Shrove Tuesday Cream Buns

On a recent, free, covid-inspired bake along by Zoom, we baked these special, Swedish buns to get ready for lent. They are delicious with home made marzipan and lashings of whipping cream. Add a smear of jam if you would like to.

Semlor – Shrove Tuesday cream buns

Signe Johansen
This recipe was given to me by Signe Johansen and I have adapted it only very slightly.
For people who think they hate marzipan, I implore you to try this home made variety. If you like almonds, you will like this.
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Baking Time 15 minutes
Servings 12 people


  • scale, spoons, bowls, baking tray, piping bag if you want to be fancy


  • 500 g Plain white wheat flour
  • 2.5 g Instant yeast or 5g dry yeast or 10g fresh yeast
  • 300 g Whole milk Heated to boiling point and cooled right down
  • 75 g Caster sugar
  • 1.5 tsp Ground cardamon
  • 10 g Fine sea salt
  • 50 g Butter


  • 1 Egg beaten with 1 tsp of water and a pinch each of salt and sugar


  • Marzipan see the recipe for home made marzipan and cut it in half
  • Whipping cream sweetened with a bit of sugar
  • Jam
  • Icing sugar


  • Measure the flour into a bowl and make a well.  Sprinkle in the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and pour over the cool milk.  Flick some flour over the well to close it and cover the bowl.  Leave it to rest for one hour.
  • After an hour, the yeast should be all foamy.  At that point, all of the rest of the dough ingredients and knead well by hand or machine for 10 minutes.
  • Cover the bowl and let it rest for 2-4 hours until the dough has doubled in size.  Alternatively, pop it in the fridge and let it sit over night.
  • Pull the dough out of the bowl, divide it into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a tight ball.
  • Place the balls, about 2 cm apart, on a baking tray that is lined with baking parchment.  Cover and let rise for an hour if they are warm or 2 hours if they are cool from the fridge.  They will double in size.
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  • Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.
  • Mix together the ingredients for the glaze.
  • Glaze each bun and then pop them in the oven.  Bake them for 15-20 minutes (check after 15 so they don’t get too brown – if they are getting too brown, cover them with some parchment paper.
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  • Let them cool completely on a wire rack and then cut them in half across the bun, anywhere from 3/4 to 9/10 of the way up the bun. Spread the bottom half with a smear of jam if you would like that and then a layer of marzipan. If you want the buns to look fancy, pipe on some whipped cream, or just blob it on with a spoon. Put the hat back on the bun and dust with icing sugar. I dare you to only eat one.
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Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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