Tell me what’s your favourite semla and I’ll tell you who you are 🙂 Semla is by far my favourite Swedish fika bun. There are many ways to eat your semla, as nicely described by the Newbie team here. You can eat it with a spoon, dipped in a bowl of warm milk or go all in and eat it with your hands getting a moustache of wiped cream (my favourite!).
However, there’s also a lot of ways to make (and buy) semlor. The recipe for the traditional semla doesn’t actually change that much, but one can have fun and try other kinds of semlor, some weirder than others. Here are some fun ideas that I found:
What if instead of making an individual bun we could make a giant Semla? It’s not only possible, but it will also save you time when preparing fika for several people. On top of that, it looks quite impressive and is just as delicious as a regular semla bun. I tried this recipe last year and it was a big success. Make sure you use a sharp knife to get perfect slices. I have also given a try to this semmelkladdkaka recipe because it looked so delicious. I’m not sure we can call it a semla, but it does have similar flavours.
The essence of the semla is its cardamom flavoured bun, but cardamom in sweets might not be a Newbie’s best friend (at first, then you get used to it, maybe even a little too much like me). No cardamom, no problem, because semlor can be made out of just any other bun.
So far I’ve seen (and tried) wiener-semla, croissant-semla, lussekatte-semla (perfect to use those lussekatte buns left in the freezer after Christmas) and the famous kremla (cinnamon bun) from Lilla Sur bakery in Gothenburg. The possibilities are endless and every year cafes and bakeries make new creations, making me desperate because I’ll never be able to try them all!
The principle is easy and you can make your own cross-semla: take your favourite bun, slice it in the middle allowing the bottom part to be slightly thicker, spread almond paste (a mixture of mandelmassa with a couple of spoons of any milk) on the bottom half, top with whipped cream and then with the top half. Enjoy!
If you are a semla freak like me and eat semlor for two months (a big no no for some Swedes, but I choose not to listen to them…), you might get tired of eating the same flavours. That’s also easy to solve. A traditional semla is composed of a cardamom bun filled with almond paste and whipped cream. All we need to do to get new flavoured semlor is to change one or more of these parts. Here are some ideas:
- change the bun – add chocolate chips, cocoa powder, or change the whole bun as I wrote above.
- change the almond paste – use vanilla cream instead or add crunchy bits like nuts or chocolate pieces.
- change the whipped cream – add cacao powder to get chocolate flavoured whipped cream, add berries or use whipped yoghurt or cottage cheese for a more healthy alternative.
There’s an endless number of alternatives! One of the best-flavoured semla I’ve seen was this chocolate and hazelnut filled semla.
Semlor are not the most healthy thing to eat, but fortunately, there are healthier alternatives using similar flavour combinations. The options below are perfect for those missing the taste of a semla but not really wanting to indulge in all those calories.
- Semla-porridge is easy to make and is a delicious breakfast! Flavour the oat porridge with cardamom, add some almond paste made of almond flour and banana and add some skimmed oat milk on top. You can see the recipe here.
- Semla-smoothie – Blend together oat milk, frozen bananas, almond butter, cardamom, dates and enjoy! Follow the recipe here. It doesn’t get easier than this!
Bought or homemade, large or small, flavoured or not, the options are endless. If you are reading this and still think there’s not a single semla that you would like let me know. I accept the challenge and I will find a semla just for you 🙂