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Swedish Cream Bun Cake (Semla)

Swedish Cream Bun Cake (Semla)

Also known as semla, this is a traditional Swedish dessert served on Mardi Gras. The bun cake is flavored with cardamom and filled with almond paste and orange-studded whipped cream.

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45 min
Prep Time
04 hrs 20 min
Total Time



1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups whole milk

1/4 cup Land O Lakes® Butter

1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast

1 large Land O Lakes® Egg

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


1 large Land O Lakes® Egg, beaten


2/3 cup almond paste

2 tablespoons whole milk


1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

1 1/2 cups Land O Lakes® Heavy Whipping Cream, whipped

Powdered sugar, as desired

How to make

  1. STEP 1

    Place granulated sugar and salt in large bowl; set aside.

  2. STEP 2

    Heat 1 1/4 cups milk and butter in small saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted and mixture is 120°F-130°F. Pour into bowl with sugar. Sprinkle yeast on top. Let stand 5 minutes or until yeast is foamy.

  3. STEP 3

    Add 1 egg and cardamom; mix well. Add 3 1/2 cups flour; mix well. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. (It will be slightly sticky.)

  4. STEP 4

    Knead, on lightly floured surface, 3-5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place into greased bowl; cover. Let rise 30 minutes or until indentation remains when touched.

  5. STEP 5

    Spray bottom and sides of 10-inch springform pan. Set aside.

  6. STEP 6

    Knead dough 2-3 times; shape into large ball. Press into 9-inch circle. Cut into 12 wedges. Place wedges into prepared pan, creating a circle. Cover; let rise 20 minutes.

  7. STEP 7

    Heat oven to 350°F.

  8. STEP 8

    Brush top of dough evenly with beaten egg. Bake 35-45 minutes or until deep golden brown and instant read thermometer inserted in center reaches 190°F. Let cool in pan 30 minutes. Remove to cooling rack; cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.

  9. STEP 9

    Cut bread in half horizontally and along pre-cut wedges. Place wedges onto serving plate, keeping in circle. Set wedge tops aside. Scoop 1 1/2-inch-wide circle of cake from wide end of each bottom wedge, being careful not to break through bottom crust.

  10. STEP 10

    Place almond paste and 2 tablespoons milk into small food processor. Pulse until smooth. Spoon about 1 tablespoon into hole in bottom of each wedge.

  11. STEP 11

    Stir orange zest into whipped cream. Spread whipped cream mixture over filling. Place tops of wedges over whipped cream. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar as desired.

Tip #1

To put together quickly on serving day, bread can be made day before. Cool completely; wrap in aluminum foil. Prepare filling and topping on serving day. Assemble as directed.

Nutrition (1 serving)

360 Calories
15 Fat (g)
60 Cholesterol (mg)
110 Sodium (mg)
48 Carbohydrates (g)
0 Dietary Fiber
8 Protein (g)
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