The semla – a small, wheat flour bun, flavored with cardamom and filled with almond paste and whipped cream – has become something of an icon in Sweden. If Umeå was a “semla” - how would it taste? We have the answer!

If Umeå was a semla - Louise "Semlan" Rudwall


Cardamom. Almond paste. Lightly whipped cream. Three basic components that annually lead the Swedish people to pilgrimage to pastry shops in search of the perfect semla. Traditional or innovative, opinions are as numerous as the various trending semla variants in the flow of social media. Umeå's very own semla guru and recipe creator, Louise "Semlan" Rudwall, with a lifelong fascination for the pastry, has interpreted Umeå. In the form of a semla!

Tell us a little about yourself and why you love semlor?
– My name is Louise (nicknamed Semlan). I was born and raised in Jämtland near Bydalsfjällen. According to my passport, I'll be turning 30 this year, but I would rather describe myself as a restless, humorous, and unrealistic 18-year-old. I have always loved cooking! It was after some experiences in the restaurant industry that I realized baking and desserts suited my piano-playing fingers better! I felt that my creativity found more space among sugar and flour.

What is your first memory of semlor?
– My first memories of semlor are from when I was little, and Mom bought semlor for the family on Thursdays when we always had pea soup for dinner. They were simple semlor from the local food store, just the right size to fit in both of my hands. I rarely managed to eat a whole semla back then. Now I easily eat two in a row (if I skip the pea soup). I've asked myself in recent years if it's my hands that have grown or if it's the semlor that have shrunk?


louise och semlan

"My creativity found more space among sugar and flour."

How many semlor do you approximately consume per year, aside from Shrove Tuesday?
– I often get asked how many semlor I eat in a year. I usually reply that counting doesn't fit my lifestyle. I stop counting when all the fingers on my hands are accounted for.

What elements must be present for a semla to be truly excellent?
– As long as the semla contains what a semla should, I think it's good! Cardamom bun, almond paste, and whipped cream can never go wrong!

How do you find inspiration for your semla variations?
– My idea is to try to create semla variations as many pastries as possible in the baking repertoire. Cardamom and almond work well in most things! Therefore, it's quite easy to make things taste like a semla.

Tell us about your interpretation of the Umeå semla! In what way does it represent Umeå?
– The Umeå semla is a work of art beyond the ordinary! If this semla were to gain popularity nationwide, Umeå would become Sweden's new capital. I call the semla "Guldfrost" (Gold Frost)!

The cardamom bun is soft, moist, and contains Northern Lights Filmjölk (soured milk) from Norrmejerier. In the filling, nothing less than Västerbotten cheese is hidden! The aromatic cheese, along with the bitter almond tones from the almond paste, turns the filling into a real gold mine. Then we have the crowning glory - Ice whipped cream! Lightly whipped cream flavored with Brännland's Ice cider and vanilla!

The taste combination of these luxurious, local culinary crafts makes every bite feel worth thousands!


The recipe for the Umeå semla "Guldfrost."



50 g butter
2 dl milk
0.5 dl Northern Lights Filmjölk (soured milk)
25 g yeast
0.5 dl granulated sugar
0.5 tsp salt
0.5-1 tbsp ground cardamom
6 dl all-purpose flour
1 egg

1. Melt the butter and add the milk along with the soured milk. Let the mixture become lukewarm.
2. Pour the liquid over yeast, sugar, cardamom, and salt in a bowl and stir until the yeast dissolves.
3. Add the flour and knead into a light and smooth dough.
4. Let the dough rise to double its size under a cloth for about 1 hour.
5. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and shape it into about 15-16 balls without kneading out too much air.
6. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper and let it rise for about 20 minutes under a cloth.
7. Brush the buns with beaten egg.
8. Bake in the middle of the oven at 200°C (392°F) for about 9-10 minutes.
9. Allow the buns to cool on a wire rack.


150 g almond paste
1.5 dl room-temperature grated Västerbotten cheese (Adjust the amount of cheese to taste)
1 drop bitter almond extract
Unwhipped cream
Optional: 1 tsp Brännlands Ice cider

1. Mash together almond paste with Västerbotten cheese.
2. Add unwhipped cream until the filling reaches the desired consistency.
3. Flavor with 1 drop of bitter almond (optional: a little ice cider).



3 dl whipped cream
4 tbsp Brännlands Ice cider
1.5 tbsp sugar
0.5 tbsp vanilla sugar

1. Whip the cream until lightly fluffy with sugar and vanilla sugar.
2. Gently fold in the ice cider.



  • If you want the cream sweeter/less sweet, adjust the amount of vanilla sugar or sugar.
  • If the cream accidentally becomes too stiff, gently fold in a little water or unwhipped cream until it reaches the desired consistency.



1. Cut off the top of each bun and hollow out a little of the interior (Stuff the removed portion directly into your mouth).
2. Fill the buns with room-temperature Västerbotten cheese filling and pipe on cold ice cream.
3. Place the top back on and dust with powdered sugar.
4. Eat immediately!


Learn more about the ingredients in the semla


brännlands iscider