Recipe: Princess Semlor – the ‘hit’ of 2017

Posted by Bronte Aurell | Food & Recipes, Recipes

Princess Semlor (Prinsesssemla)

Bakeries in Sweden love coming up with new exciting ways to do semlor buns for Lent. We’ve seen Semlor rolls, saffron semlor, berry semlor and this year, it is a hybrid Semla between the famous green Princess Cake (Prinsesstårta) and the heavy Semla cardamom bun.
When we heard about this, we just had to try it. What fun we had! Here is the recipe for you to have a go at making at home. Warning: A lot of sugar in this one – not very lagom at all! But really, really good.
Course: Fika
Cuisine: Swedish
Servings: 10 buns
Author: Bronte Aurell


Ingredients for the buns

  • 25 g fresh yeast or 13g active dry yeast
  • 80 g melted butter
  • 250 ml whole milk
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ egg lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • Approximately 300-400g plain bread flour
  • ½ egg for brushing


  • 100 g marzipan
  • A good dollop of crème pâtisserie or custard
  • 100 g raspberry jam
  • 400 ml whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar or extract
  • Icing sugar to dust
  • 2 packs of Green marzipan pre-rolled This will give you enough for 10-11 semlor if thinly rolled. If you just want to make 4-6 semlor, just go for one of these and make the rest of the batch as normal semlor.
  • If you want to colour your own marzipan please make sure you use food dye gel not colour – if the colour is too runny, it wont dye it properly and you will get a sticky mess.


  • If using a stand mixer, set it up with the dough hook attachment. Melt the butter and add the milk, ensuring a lukewarm temperature of around 37-38ºC. Add the fresh yeast and stir until dissolved.
  • Add sugar and stir again. Add half of the flour as well as the salt, baking powder and ground cardamom. Add the ½ egg (preserve the other half for brushing before baking).
  • Mix well until all ingredients are incorporated and then start to add more of the flour, bit by bit, until you have a dough that is only a little bit sticky. Take care not to add too much flour: you will get dry buns. Knead the dough for around five minutes in the mixer, longer by hand. Leave to rise in a warm (not hot) place until doubled in size (30-40 min).
  • Turn the dough out to a floured surface. Knead again for a few minutes, adding more flour if needed. Cut the dough into 10-12 equal sized pieces. Take care that the balls are completely round and uniform in size. Place on baking tray with good spacing between buns. Leave to rise for another 25-30 minutes.
  • Gently brush each bun with the remainder of the egg wash and bake in a hot oven (200ºC) for about 8-10 minutes or until baked through – keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly and note that baking time may vary depending on your oven. Remove from oven and cover the tray with a lightly damp tea towel immediately – this will prevent the buns from forming a crust.
  • When the buns have cooled down completely, roll the marzipan out thinly (use icing sugar to help you manage this stage). Very lightly dampen each bun all around so that the marzipan will stick – keep it super light or everything will go soggy. Cover each bun with marzipan – this is easiest if you cut a large round circle, add to the top of the bun and gently pull down at the sides all around to ensure an even cover. Cut away excess marzipan and reserve for use for other buns.
  • When all buns are covered, using a very sharp knife, carefully cut a deep triangle in each bun and pull out. Scoop out a little of the inside crumb (reserve crumb to mix with marzipan).
  • Add a small teaspoon of jam to each hole. Mix the marzipan with the crumb and the custard and mix to from a smooth, thick paste. I sometimes use my hands to do this, it’s easier. Fill each hole with marzipan filling.
  • Whip the cream and pipe it out on each bun in a circular motion. Put the lid back on top.
  • Using pink icing, make little roses – and then dust with icing sugar. Serve immediately.


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