At the moment every café offers "semla" or shrove bun.

everywhere you see this buns with a lot of almond paste and cream inside
On tuesday the 28:th of Februar you've got a day called "fat tuesday" in swedish and is a traditional start of the fasting before eastern. In early days you where not allowed to eat during the daytime and had to eat much more during evenings. I took this picture in Steinberger and Nybergs café on Södra vägen near Korsvägen in Gothenburg.

lot of drinks, samdwiches and a picture of the popular semlacoffe/tea
The bun is very fat with lot of sugar and contains a lot of calories but people eat it for tradition in Sweden. The tradition of these buns goes several hundred years back. The intent where that you should pile up some fat before the fasting.

Back in the 17:th and 18:th century they where often served in warm milk. Today you often see it with coffee.
Where the name Semla comes from is unsure but I see english wikipedia says that semla comes from the german word "semmel". However a "semmel" in german is just a round piece of bread and nothing else.


You could actually make these at home. The easiest way is by getting some brioches or similar small round bread. Then fill them up with almond paste and wipped cream. The bread should contain some cardamom.

You could also try baking the buns your self. I present a recipe from ICA in Sweden. Classical Semla.

Ingredients for 10 semlas:

1/2 package of yest (à 50 g)
100 g butter
2 1/2 dl milk
1 egg
1 dl sugar
2 milliliter salt
2 milliliter ammonium carbonate
ca 8 dl wheat flour (around 480 g)
For brushing: egg
Filling: 100 g almond pulp
2 - 2 1/2 tablespoon milk
Garnish: 2 dl wipped cream and some icing sugar

This is the way to do it:

Scrap the yest in a bowl. Melt the butter in a saucepan or in a microwave (800w) on full power for 1 minute. Add the milk and warm everything to lukewarm. Pour some of the dough liquid over the yest and stir until it has dissolved.
Add all the dough liquid, add egg, sugar, salt, ammonium carbonate and nearly all the flower(save some to the kneading). Work with the dough til it release from the bowls edges.
Let the dough rise covered for about 30 minutes.
Put the oven on 250° C.
Then, after the 30 minutes for rising, take out the dough and put it on a flored workbench.
Knead the dough til it is smooth and cut it to ten pieces. Shape every piece to a round shape and put them on a baking parchment covered baking sheet.
Let the buns rise covered for around 20 minutes.
Brushing: Brush the buns with wipped egg.
Bake the buns in the middle of the oven for about 10 minutes. Let the buns cool down on a wire rack.
Grind the almond paste and mix it with some milk. Cut top of the buns, make a hole in the buns and put the mix in the bottom. Whip cream, put on the top and place the top back again. Then you could pour some icing sugar for garnement on the top of the bun.

I would not recommend these for us modern humans because there is a lot of calories and unhealthy sugar/fat in the se buns.
However, you could replace the wipped cream with some healthier creme fraiche, apples, cinnamon and a lot of other nore healthier stuff. Instead of sugar you could use dadelsyrup, agavesyrup or honey. It is just your fantasy that sets the limits. The Vogue is mentioning the Fika on their article about Gothenburg. "A travelguide to Gothenburg" Check it out here>>>

the art fo swedish coffe breakfika, The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break, with Recipes for Pastries, Breads, and Other Treats