A semla and a cup of coffee on the kitchen stairs.

Have You ever eaten one of these? Most of us calls it Semla but it has a lot of other names as well.


I doubt most of You outside Scandinavia or the Baltic countries ever have eaten a Semla (I can even find a good name for it in english), but it also goes by other names like Hetvägg (that would be hot wall translated directly 🙂 ) or Faslagsbulle (that would be Lenten bun). The tradition varies a bit from where one grows up But we started to eat them on Shrove Tuesday until Easter arrived. This however has changed drastically now days and people are eating them mostly from Christmas till easter. Some eat them all year round though.


Today I show photographs from a sunnier day than we've had so far today.




It’s a simple wheat bun (with cardamom) where they have cut off the top and dug a hole in to the bun. The hole is filled with almond paste (mixed with something to make it smooth) and on top of the paste there’s lots of whipped cream (preferable sweetened with some vanilla sugar. The top of the bun is then placed over the whipped cream and sprinkled with icing sugar. But the filling can be different if it is made outside Sweden, it can be filled with jam or vanilla pudding as well. We are rather traditional when it comes to this bun and they usually fail when they try something new 🙂 🙂 🙂





I’m not especially fond of it and eat perhaps one a year but I sacrificed myself just so that You would be able to see one of our most popular pastries, I had to buy two because they really don’t split a package just for me 🙂 I really don’t like whipped cream that much to be honest, but I do like the almond paste 🙂


I must have seen thousands of geese flying over my cottage these last days.




The weather hasn’t been that grand as they said in the beginning of this week although it hasn’t been bad at all to be honest. Fog clouds has covered the sky and often the grounds every morning but the sun has broken through every afternoon. I haven’t been able to enjoy it that much anyway but I have been able to keep the kitchen door open in the afternoon and I’ve heard all birds singing their spring songs. I guess they’ll be surprised next week when the cold weather returns again. We will have sun most of the time though.


The Yellow wood anemone (Anemone ranunculoides) is already showing itself.


So are the Hellebores as well.


Just a common snowdrop.



It’s time to make a pot of coffee now, I feel coffee is demanded on sunny spring winter days like this. The sun is finally breaking through and soon it will be warm enough to open the kitchen door again. I’ll be sitting on the stairs enjoying my coffee and Semla 🙂


Have a great day! 


22 thoughts on “A semla and a cup of coffee on the kitchen stairs.

  1. Christer,
    They sure look good to me. I would love the Almond paste. We have hot cross buns, and that is what they are just buns with raisens and some times some chopped up dried fruit, baked and than a cross put on the top with icing. Good , but sure don’t look as good as yours. I guess your feeling better and your cold is gone. Seems like there is a lot of flu going around here in South Carolina, that seems like a cold , but turns out to be flu.
    Take care

    • Hi Donna!
      I do like the almond paste as well but the whipped cream is a bit too much sometimes. But it isn’t the same if I remove the cream 🙂 Icing is very rare on any cakes over here, I actually only know of a couple that has icing on them.

      The fever is gone but I’m so tired! It’s enough to walk a couple of hundred yards to make me want to take a break 🙂 🙂 I normally walks for miles every day without getting tired 🙂 🙂 This started out as a common cold as well, it is a sneaky flu I can tell You 🙂 🙂

      Have a great day!

  2. Those buns look wonderful, kind of like a cream puff.The sun catching on the trees in the one photo is just amazing.How beautiful.It really does look like spring with you, not here at all.We are still in the depths of winter although I have noticed its still daylight at 5 30 pm now. Thats a start I suppose!

    • Hi Laurie!
      They aren’t to bad to be honest, but it is enough with one a year 🙂

      I do like that photo as well 🙂

      The sun will continue to shine here but temperatures will drop rather much again I’m afraid, but I can really not expect anything else because Mars is seldom a spring month here.

      Have a great day!

  3. I don’t like whipped cream either, but will look at Dennigers on the weekend to see if they carry them! Would be fun to try.

    • Hi Lois!
      But the fun thing is that it wouldn’t be a semla if it didn’t have all that whipped cream 🙂 If Dennigers has Scandinavian pastry they must have this 🙂

      Have a great day!

  4. Thank you Christer, for making the sacrifice to show us your traditional semla. It looks very festive! I am amazed at how much new growth you have in your yard. Here, despite the mild winter, nothing is showing. It is snowing giant snowflakes today. Adore the photo of Bertil with the dogs, and sitting on the branch. He is intrepid, that one. I posted the link to the crow video on my blog yesterday. Take a look when you have the time. Happy March, spring is coming!!!

    • Hi Robin!
      I think one a year is enough so two at the same day sort of made me tired of them 🙂 🙂 But what don’t I do for all You 🙂

      Since winter usually are rather long up here in the north all spring plants starts as soon as it is warm enough. Thankfully they are prepared fo winter to return so they won’t get damaged by it. That’s why we many times have problems with plants from southern Canada and northern USA. They start together with the other plants but usually get damaged when it turns cold again, oike it almost always does here.

      I’ll pop over to You in a minute or two 🙂

      Have a great day!

  5. Hi Christer,
    Those semla look interesting. Swedish vanilla whoopee pies. 🙂 I don’t think I would like them, though, as I am not a big fan of almond paste or shelf-safe whipped cream product. I appreciate your sacrifice at having two of them so that we could see what they were. 🙂

    Love the sunny photos and all the growing things. Nothing much happening around here except the vicious roses are leafing out. It’s been sort of snowing for the past 24 hours but the temperature is just above freezing so it’s mostly a slushy mess with some icy places here and there. I’ve already shoveled but I need to go out and put ice melt on the sidewalk again.

    Glad to hear that the fever has left. I know how washed out that bug makes you feel. You can feel the earth pulling on every single ounce of body tissue on your bones and you just want to go lie down again. 🙂

    Enjoy the day.

    • Hi Caryn!
      It’s one semla, many semlor 🙂
      Thankfully these never get older than an hour or two, otherwise I wouldn’t buy them in a store. Perhaps You would like the varieties made outside Sweden, with jam or vanilla pudding better.

      We did get sunshine for the rest of the day here and it was really warm as well 🙂 But temperature will start to fall already tomorrow.

      It’s strange how tired one can be after the fever has left 🙂 It is a struggle just to walk to the mailbox 100 yards away and it is uphill as well 🙂 🙂 🙂
      Have a great day!

      • Thanks for the Swedish lesson. 🙂 Vanilla pudding and jam semlor. Those sound much tastier. Kind of like a creme puff or something with creme anglaise in it.

      • I’m not sure I would like a cardamom bun with whipped cream and jam 🙂 But I have eaten someting similar to the whipped cream and vanillapudding semla, but it’s not a wheat bun. That one is made of the same dough as danish, we call it petit choux and that one is delicious 🙂

  6. hi christer! i have seen those buns but have never eaten them. i am not to keen for whipped cream either. the germans use tons of whipped cream and even had a political song in the 70’s called: Aber bitte mit schlage. bertil looks like he is ready for the pond to be open! joyce

    • Hi Joyce!
      I think I wouldn’t miss them if they just vanished to be honest 🙂 🙂 Thankfully we’re not a people that loves whipped cream 🙂
      Perhaps one neds to be german to understand that 🙂 🙂

      Bertil is just waiting for a chance to catch those fish in there 🙂 🙂

      Have a great day!

    • Hi Z&M!
      I’ve never eaten a bagel in my entire life, they’re not especially popular here.

      That cat is everywhere 🙂

      Have a great day!

  7. Those pastries look fantastic! and..I DO love whipped cream! I had to wonder what cream cheese would be like. 🙂 Anyway, it looks delicious.
    Your photo’s today are wonderful, Christer! You really captured the feel of the cold and made me shiver a bit.
    Bertil and the dogs as always made me smile!

    • Hi Mona!
      It is strange, I really don’t like whipped cream but still, I wouldn’t eat these if they didn’t have that one 🙂 🙂 🙂 Cream cheese is delicious 🙂 I have one every christmas here 🙂

      It actually wasn’t that cold that day 🙂
      Have a great day!

  8. Christer, here I am sitting at my desk with a fresh cup of coffee, click on your blog to catch up on past posts and then are struck by these delicious looking pastries. Made me wish I could reach out and grab one to relieve you of sacrificing yourself to eat them 🙂 They do remind me of a creampuff, but then the creampuffs I have enjoyed have not had almond paste. I do enjoy whipped cream so this would be a treat for sure! As Donna commented earlier, cross buns are very popular here in the U.S. around Lenten-Easter time. I like those as well, but they don’t have anything more than raisins and icing. Glad you are feeling better, but can understand how a cold can bring on much tiredness.By the way, it was interesting to read about those smart birds in yesterday’s post.

    • Hi Robin!
      I did like them much more when I was younger though. They are very nice with a cup of coffee. To be honest, I don’t think they work nearly as well with anything else even if I really am a tea drinker. I wonder if cream puff and Petit choux is the same, they look very much like each other when looking at photographs and I do like prtit choux 🙂 🙂 Cross buns is nothing I’ve ever eaten as far as I can remember.

      I just talked with my neighbor and he is hit much worse by this flu! He is grey colored in his face and sounds awful, compared to him I’ve been healthy all the time 🙂 🙂 🙂

      I do like those smart birds 🙂

      Have a great day!

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