Cinnamon bun Semla

cinnamon bun semla

Have you eaten any semla yet? My last one was just before Christmas, and it was the saffron semla I tried. Today is my son’s birthday, and he requested cinnamon buns and an Oreo Cheesecake. The cinnamon buns are great as they are, but I have seen some people use a cinnamon bun and fill it as a semla. I decided to try it with a few buns and the result was amazing. If you haven’t tried it yet, give a try this February. Still a few weeks left until the fat Tuesday, so you have time to eat as many semlas as you want to!

Total time

3 h

Prep time


Cook time

2 x 15 min


24 buns

Recipe for my cinnamon bun semla (kanelbullesemla)

  • 50 g fresh yeast
  • 4 dl milk
  • 2 tsp cardamom seeds, grinded
  • 150 g salted butter, room temperature
  • 1.5 dl sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 10-12 dl flour
  • 200 g salted butter, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 dl sugar
  • 0.5 dl brown sugar (can be substituted with sugar)
  • 1 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 1 egg for coating
  • 400 g almond paste
  • 50 g almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1 -1.5 dl icing sugar (to taste)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1- 1.5 dl milk (depends on how soft you want the filling)
  • 5 dl (approx.) whipping cream
  • Icing sugar for topping

Cinnamon bun dough:

Crumble the yeast in a bowl and grind cardamom seeds finely with a pestle in a mortar.

Heat milk together with cardamom seeds until it is 37 degrees C (just increase amount of ground cardamom if you don’t have the seeds at home). Pour the milk and cardamom mixture over the yeast and dissolve the yeast. Add the butter (soft but not melted). Then stir in sugar, ground cardamom, salt and egg.

Stir in most of the flour. Be careful not to pour everything at once. When the dough releases the edges, you don’t need to add more flour. Too much flour means dry buns. Work the dough for at least 10 minutes until you have a smooth and fine dough. Let it rise under a baking towel for 60 minutes.


Prepare the filling while you are waiting for the dough to rise. Mix butter, sugar, brown sugar, breadcrumbs and cinnamon until you get a creamy filling. Line 2 trays with 12 muffins cases each or use parchment paper.

Making of the cinnamon buns:

Divide the dough into two pieces. Roll out one dough at a time into the shape of a rectangle. Spread half of the filling on the rectangle.  To see  a video how I make the shape of these buns, watch my reels on Instagram). Otherwise read my instructions below.

Your rectangle should be around 30 -35 cm wide. Fold the rectangle twice, once from the upper part towards the middle, and then from the lower part. You should now have three layers of dough. Cut into 10-12 pieces (3 cm wide). Cut every piece in three long strings (1 cm wide), but  let the top of the piece stay together. Braide the strings. Roll the braid and place in the muffins case. Let the end of the braid be on the bottom of the bun. It sounds difficult, but it’s easy when you make them!

Do the same with the second dough. Let the buns rise for another 40 minutes, covered with a towel. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Beat one egg (add some drops of water and a pinch of salt for easier application) and use a brush to cover the buns. Bake them in the middle of the oven until golden brown (10-15 min). Let them cool.

Filling with almond paste:

Use a knife to cut out a triangular shape from the top of every bun. This is going to be the lid.

Mix all the ingredients for the almond filling. Dilute with more milk to get the desired consistency.

Fill the buns with the almond mixture. Whip the cream and pipe it out nicely on each bun. Put the lid on and sift a thin layer of icing sugar on it.  Enjoy!

Variation ideas for this fika

Don’t like almonds or almond paste? Fill with your favourite filling! Maybe nutella or vanilla cream?

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