Semla (=laskiaispulla in Finnish) is a traditional pastry filled with cream and almond paste or jam. They are found in Sweden, Finland and Estonia and have arrived to Finland from Sweden in the 20th century.

But why semlas are eaten Shrove Sunday and Shrove Tuesday? Shrovetide has a christian background. It leads off fasting period which lasts until Easter. So people ate heavily before they started fasting and semlas had their part on this. Today it is not common to fast before easter, but the semlas are quite popular still.



5 deciliter of milk

50 grams of yeast

1 teaspoon of salt

1,5 deciliters of sugar

1 tablespoon of cardamom

1 egg

about 15 deciliters of flour

150 grams of butter

egg to brush the buns

sugar chrystals on the top


almond paste


whipped cream

Melt the yeast in hand temperature milk. Add salt, sugar, cardamom and egg. Mix all together. Start adding flour and whisk so that air binds to the dough. Knead the dough well. In the end of kneading add soft butter and knead. Let the dough rest about half an hour so it doubles its size. When dough has risen take the dough to a table (covered with flour) and knead all the air bubbles away. Bake round buns from the dough. Let them rise in a baking tray. When they have risen brush the buns with egg so the surface will get nice look and color. Sprinkle sugar crystals on top of the buns. Bake in 225 celsius (in the middle of the oven) about ten minutes. When the buns are ready let them cool down. Then slice the buns and add the fillings: jam and cream or almond paste and cream. At the moment I prefer almond paste. Semlas are on their best when enjoyed in a good company.

Published by Linnea

Young woman from Finland living in Bergen, Norway. Loves to travel and cook. Enjoys positive and pretty things in life.

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