Cream-filled cardamom buns - The Sugar-Free Baker
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Absolutely delicious cream-filled cardamom buns – known in Swedish as a ‘semla’. These are fibre-enriched and sugar-free so you can enjoy them completely guilt-free!

I tasted my first semla when I was staying in a share-house in Sandefjord, Norway. I had the best room mate. She was a few years older than me, and one day I came into the kitchen just as she had finished making a batch and she let me try some. Little did I know I was biting into a dessert that takes about 3 ½ hours to make. I continued raving about the heavenly treats for the next few months, and one day I came home from school my awesome room mate had left a plate with three of them outside my bedroom door.

These are traditional sweet yeast dough buns with an almond filling and whipped cream. They are rich and absolutely divine.



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Ingredients (for 20 large cardamom buns)

Note: The glycemic load in the nutrients tavle is slightly higher than what is likely, so long as you use FiberFin. This is resistant starch, which ensures a stable blood sugar rise, in spite of the high glycemic index of the wheat flour. Still, there’s no exact calculation for just how much the glycemic load is reduced, and so I’ve not taken it into account in the table.

  • Wheat buns
  • 125 grams or 4.4 oz. of butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 50 grams or 1.8 oz. of fresh yeast
  • 70 grams or 2.5 oz. of Tagatesse (can be substituted for Sukrin or other sweetener – remember to double the amount if substituting)
  • 2 tablespoons of liquid honey
  • 2 teaspoons of coarsely ground cardamom seeds
  • 120 grams or 4.2 oz. of FiberFin (can be substituted for flour)
  • approx. 750 grams or 1.6 lb. of wheat flour
  • 5 dl or 2 cups of whole milk (room temperature)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons of whole milk
  • Almond filling
  • 200 grams or 3.5 oz. of almonds
  • the cardamom buns’ insides
  • 250 grams or 8.8 oz. of finely ground almonds (can be substituted for marzipan)
  • 50 grams or 1.8 oz. of Tagatesse (or other equivalent sweetener – skip if using marzipan)
  • 1-2 dl or of whole milk
  • Cream filling
  • 250 grams or 8.8 oz. of mascarpone cheese
  • 4-5 dl or 1.7-2.1 cups of whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons of Tagatesse (or equivalent)
  • SukrinMelis for sprinkles (optional)


In the oven: 225° Celsius/450° Fahrenheit/Gas mark 8




Wheat buns

Place the butter, crumbled fresh yeast, Tagatesse, honey, cardamom seeds, FiberFin and wheat flour in your mixing bowl and stir together. Pour the milk over the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly for at least 10 minutes. I recommend using a dough hook for this.



Cover the mixing bowl with a kitchen towel and set to rise for approximately 1 hour.


Line two baking sheets with baking paper and split the dough into 20 equal pieces. Use the palm of your hand to roll the pieces into cardamom buns and place 10 on each baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel and set to rise again, for approximately 45 minutes.



≈ Preheat your oven to 225° Celsius/450° Fahrenheit/Gas mark 8 now ≈


Whisk the egg yolks and milk together and glaze the cardamom buns. Bake the buns in the oven for 8 minutes. When they’re dark golden on top, they’re done. Remove the cardamom buns from the oven and cool completely.



Filling and make-up

Blanch the almonds and roast them in the oven at 175° Celsius/ for 10-15 minutes until slightly brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely.


Cut the top off each of the cardamom buns, about a third of the way down. Use a teaspoon to dig out the inside of the buns. Place the almonds, inside of the buns, finely ground almonds, Tagatesse and milk in a food processor and mix until you get a thick paste. Alternatively, you can chop the almonds yourself and use your hands to mix everything together.



Whisk the whipping cream with the Tagatesse until it’s halfway done. Add in the mascarpone cheese and then whisk again until you’ve got a firm whipped cream filling. Fill the cardamom buns with almond paste, then pipe a generous amount of mascarpone cream on top. Finally, place the lid back onto the cardamom buns and sprinkle with some SukrinMelis, if desired.


Cream-filled cardamom buns - The Sugar-Free Baker


Cream-filled cardamom buns - The Sugar-Free Baker


These buns are a big baking project, but once you bite into one, you’ll know it’s worth it 🙂



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