photo of three buns stacked on top of one another

image credit: North Wild Kitchen

As the season of Lent approaches, these cloudlike, cardamom-scented buns start appearing in bakeries across Scandinavia. Fastelavnsboller are traditionally enjoyed during the period of pre-Lenten indulgences. With her recipe, Nevada Berg posts some of the background on Fastelavn.

From a simple dusting of powdered sugar to jam-filled with sky-high cream, there are many ways to decorate your #fastelavnsboller.

(Makes 18-20 buns)


500 ml (2 cups plus 1 Tbsp.) milk
850 g (7 cups plus 1 Tbsp.) all-purpose flour
150 g (2/3 cup) butter, melted
150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
50 g (2 oz) fresh yeast or 17 g ( 1/2 ounce plus 1/8 oz)  dry yeast
1 egg
1 tsp. cardamom
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg for brushing
Hand-whipped cream (5 dl or 2 cups whipping cream, adding sugar to taste)

To make the buns:

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F.

Warm the milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, until lukewarm. Pour into a mixing bowl and combine with the melted butter. Add in the yeast, sugar, egg, cardamom and salt and mix well. Slowly add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon. Start with 800 g (about 6 1/2 cups) of flour, adding more as necessary to create a soft and workable dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a cloth and let the dough rise until doubled, 45 minutes.

Knead the dough lightly on the floured surface and divide into 18-20 portions, rolling into smooth balls. Prepare two baking sheets and divide the buns on the prepared sheets. Cover loosely with plastic or a cloth, and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Beat the egg with a fork and add 1 teaspoon water. Brush the buns with the egg wash.

Bake in the middle of the oven, 1 sheet at a time, for 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Once the buns are cooled, slice them in half, horizontally, and cover the bottom of the bun with whipped cream (and jam if you like). Replace the top and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.

Source: Nevada Berg, North Wild Kitchen