Semla & Carnival. What´s the connection?

If you ask to anyone here in Sweden. They don´t know anything about carnival or mardi gras.

But, last year I was here around January and February and I saw for the first time a Semla.

Someone told me that it is also called Fettisdagbulle. Litterally “Fatdaybun”. And I couldn´t stop me to think about connections between this tradition and our carnival. (It is one of my best or worst personal aspect, I need to figure out connection or reasons in everything that I don´t know. That´s because I am too curious as George the monkey?!)

Actually, I read on wikipedia that Fettisdag is the Fat Tuesday, the last day before the Lent.

So I found out a little of the story of this dessert.


This bun is diffuse all over the North of Europe with different names. It seems to be a really old recipe, there is a painting from 1250 in a Danish church where it is possible to see one of this bun.

The first semla was a cross-shaped buns with no filling. From the 18th century they started to fill the semla with a heart of almond paste. And now it is use to have it with a lovely whipping cream filling also.

So that´s it. I hope you will like it. If you are curious as me and George you will find more information around the web and on wikipedia.

Here the recipe in Swedish but I found it also in English in a really nice blog.