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Benke’s Californian Shortcut Semla

posted Jan 28, 2012, 3:23 PM by JustBenke   [ updated Jul 30, 2012, 9:10 PM ]
I introduced my version of the Swedish semla at work. Shortly thereafter, more and more people have asked for my recipe. Below you can find what I call, Benke’s Californian Shortcut Semla.


 Ben Svensson

Found some facts about the semla at National Geographic:

“ Designed to literally fatten you up in preparation for 40 long days and nights of fasting, semla (plural – semlor) are oval shaped wheat buns filled to overflowing with almond paste and fully whipped cream.

Widely consumed all across Scandinavia and in the Baltic states of Latvia and Estonia, semla became popular in Sweden as early as 1541 and its name is derived from the Latin word semilia which refers to semolina or fine wheat flour used to make the dessert.

It was originally eaten only on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, but nowadays as fewer Swedes observe the religious season of fasting and prayer, locals start downing semlors pretty much right after New Year’s up until Easter with each person consuming an average of five semlor per year.”



7 oz almond paste

1/2 pint heavy whipping cream

1 tbs sugar

1 dozen King’s Hawaiian Rolls

powdered sugar for dusting





In a small bowl, mix together the almond paste and 3 tablespoons of the heavy whipping cream with a fork. Continue mixing until you have a smooth paste.


Slice off the top of each roll with a serrated knife. Make a small hole in the middle of the roll to put the paste into. Fill each hole with the almond paste mixture.
Next, a use a mixer to whip together the remaining heavy whipping cream with the sugar. Whip until light and fluffy. Place a dollop of whipped cream on top of each filled roll. Put the lids back on top of each roll and dust with powdered sugar.


Grab your cup of coffee and enjoy!

VIDEO: How to make Benke's Californian Shortcut Semla

Ben  Svensson