Toolkit – Shrove Tuesday (Fettisdagen)

Shrove Tuesday, or “Fettisdagen”, is rooted in the last celebratory feast before the Christian fasting period of lent where Swedes indulge on a cardamom flavoured bun filled with almond paste and whipped cream, also known as a semla. Nowadays you can enjoy a semla in many different shapes and forms from December into April. They are not difficult to bake, so give it a go and enjoy with fellow alumni and friends!

Purpose and target groups

  • Bring together alumni and friends for some delicious baked goods
  • Recruit new members

Suggestions for target groups to invite

  • Alumni association/Chapter members
  • Alumni who have yet to join
  • Family and friends


  1. Choose a date close to Fettisdagen. Because the date of Easter varies so does Shrove Tuesday but it will be in February or March. Gather alumni, friends and family and bake semlor together.
  2. Finish with a fika, and if you have semlor left give them away. Everyone loves a semla.
  3. Take photos and send us so we can share your baking-fest in our social media and inspire others to join.


Kort historik

Fettisdagen falls on the day immediately preceding Ash Wednesday each year, meaning that the date varies. In the old days, bakers would be fined if they sold semlor on any day except Fettisdagen. Thankfully, Swedes love this bun so much this has long been abolished. Not only can you now buy a semla any time from Christmas until late spring, but you can find many different varieties of semlor, everything from a semmel wrap to “summer semla” with strawberries.

Ingredients (25 small buns)

  • 100 g butter
  • 300 ml milk, 3%
  • 50 g fresh yeast (for sweet dough)
  • 1 tsp crushed cardamom
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 85 g sugar
  • about 500–550 g plain flour
  • 1 beaten egg for brushing


  • 200 g marzipan
  • bun centres
  • 100 ml milk
  • 300 ml whipping cream


  • Icing sugar for dusting


  1. Melt the butter and add the milk. Heat to 37°C.
  2. Crumble the yeast in a bowl and add the cardamom or the orange peel.
  3. Add the milky liquid and stir until the yeast has melted. Stir in the salt, the sugar and most of the flour, but save some for later.
  4. Work the dough in a food processor for about 15 minutes, or knead for as long as you can.
  5. Let it rise to twice its size in the bowl, about 40 minutes.
  6. Place the dough on a floured pastry board and cut into pieces. Roll into buns and place on oven paper or greased baking sheet. Let the buns rise to twice their size, about one hour.
  7. Brush the buns with egg. Bake in the lower part of the oven, at 225°C for around 8–10 minutes for large buns and 250°C for 5–7 minutes for small. Leave to cool on wire racks.
  8. Cut off the bun tops. Scoop out the centre of each bun (about 2 tsp) and crumble in a bowl.
  9. Rough grate the marzipan and mix it with the crumbs and milk into a creamy mass.
  10. Fill the hollow buns with this mixture.
  11. Whip the cream and squirt or spoon it over the filling. Place the top on the bun and dust with icing sugar.
  12. Serve alone with coffee or in a deep bowl with warm milk and ground cinnamon, a hetvägg.