Swedish bun guidebook

The first word you learn in Sweden is fika! And as you already know it means a cup of coffee accompanied by a bun. Here is my small guide of Swedish buns.

Fettisdagen – the Fat Tuesday – is usually celebrated on the last day before the fasting and it’s a good reason to get some fat! Therefore, I strongly encourage you to head to the bakery and try semla! This amazing bun shows up in bakeries only in January and February (okay, a bit in March but that’s against the rules). The name semla originally comes from Latin “simila” which means flour. To make semla you have to bake soft cardamom bun and cut it’s top off. Then take away some dough from inside and fill it with the almond paste! Get some whipped cream but make sure it’s not too strong! It should be a bit less condensed and liquid. Put the cream on the almond paste and cover it with the top of the bun. Now, sprinkle some powdered sugar on it and put it in a bowl with hot milk. Here is your sugar coma!

There are several ways to eat semla. If you put it in milk, just use a spoon. If you want to have it without, take the upper cut part and start eating cream with it! Then use the spoon or eat with your hands 🙂 If you have napkins and don’t mind to look like little piglet, take it as a burger and open your mouth as wide as you can 😉

And please be modest! They say that Swedish king Adolf Fredrik died from eating semlas…

Kannelbulle – is the queen of all buns. A soft pastry with cinnamon powder is the most classic bun and you can find it everywhere. My favorite place to enjoy it is Skeppsbro bageri with the view of Skeppsholmen. Fabrique makes amazing ones as well. Another option is to take a cup of coffee at the university’s restaurant and sit outside with your kanelbulle and soak up the sun. Did you know that 4 October is a Kanelbullens Dag? This day you bring cinnamon buns to your friends! It is also Children’s Day in Sweden which should definitely double kid’s happiness =)

Another bun that is the most popular bun of December is Lussebulle or Lussekatter – saffron bun that is traditional for the month of December and is served around – Lucia day. It goes well with glogg and fills your heart with warmth and happiness =)

Lucia day fika by the department of Global Public health

Kladdkaka is not really a bun but a chocolate masterpiece that will conquer your heart and leave you in a sugar coma =) I like all kinds of cheesecakes but kladdkaka is something special. It reminds me of a brownie but much softer in the middle. It can be served with whipped cream, vanilla sauce, or ice cream. Swedes generally use a lot of sauces and even desserts are served with sweet ones. Kladkakka’s day is 7th of December.

Kardemummabulle – this one is personally my favorite! Using cardamom is not very common back home in Russia, but I find this exclusively tasty! Try the ones at Johan and Nyström or even in the simple bakeries, it is quite good and never as dry as a cinnamon bun.

Fact: the 3 most expensive spices in the world by weight are Saffron ($5000/500gm), Vanilla ($200/500gm), and Cardamom ($30/500gm).
I hope you will treat yourself with fika during the study time!


Semla, the iconic Swedish pastry & great places to try it near KI - Student blogs from Karolinska Institutet

Semla, the iconic Swedish pastry & great places to try it near KI - Student blogs from Karolinska Institutet

[…] Semla (or as I call it in Estonian vastlakukkel) is another must-have pastry when you come to Sweden or any other Nordic country in January and February. You’ll only find this delicious bun with whipped cream and almond filling at the beginning of the year up until Fettisdagen or Fat Tuesday (a moving holiday that is always a Tuesday and usually in February). So where to try this amazing treat? Here’s a list of some of my recommendations and personal favourites. […]

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