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Swedish Scout semlor

First suggested by Scouterna
Celebrate a fettisdagen fika with this simple recipe for some Scouts semla buns.

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You’ll need

  • Containers with lids, such as jars
  • Spoons
  • Forks
  • Spatulas
  • Bowls
  • Stoves and fuel
  • Ingredients (see below)

Before you begin

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers.

Setting up this activity

  • Remember to check if anyone has any allergies or dietary requirements before the session and adjust the recipe accordingly.
  • You could ask the group to find out some information about other Swedish traditions or foods to share during your meeting too.
  • Check out the video at the bottom of this page for a quick krabbelursemlor cooking tutorial from Scouterna, the Scouts and Guides of Sweden.
  • Fika is an important part of Swedish culture and can happen at any time, morning or evening, at home, at work or in a cafe. It’s all about making time for friends, family or colleagues to share a cup of coffee (or tea) and a little something to eat.
  • Shrove Tuesday (or pancake day) is the day before the start of Lent in the Christian calendar. In Sweden, it’s known as fettisdag (Fat Tuesday); instead of eating pancakes, they celebrate with semla buns.
  • These delicious sweet buns are filled with almond paste, whipped cream, and a sprinkling of icing sugar.
  • The recipe below is a Scouts version of the traditional semlor, which uses small pancakes (krabbelurer) instead of the sweet buns to make some krabbelursemlor.


Make your scout semlor


  • 240g flour
  • 120g sugar
  • Two teaspoons baking powder
  • Two teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 250ml oat milk
  • 100ml water from a can of chickpeas (aquafaba)
  • 200ml oat cream (or other cream)
  • 200g almond paste (or marzipan)
  • Oil

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 15 mins

Serves: 4

  1. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and cardamom in a container with a lid (like a jar).
  2. Pour in the oat milk, shake, then stir with a spoon until you get a smooth batter.
  3. Pour in the chickpea water and stir again.
  4. Set up your stove or start a fire. Of course, you can make these in a frying pan on the hob too.
  5. Put some oil in the pan and add a couple of dollops of batter to make two small pancakes (krabbelurer). Let them fry until the batter starts to bubble a little.
  6. Flip your pancakes and fry them on the other side.
  7. When they’re ready, take them out of the pan and repeat steps five and six but with a much smaller amount of batter to make the ‘lids’ for your semlor.
  8. While the pancakes are cooking, mix the almond paste with some cream so that it gets soft.
  9. Whip the cream.

If you’re getting stuck in outdoors, pour it into a container with a lid and shake. Be patient – it might take a while.

  1. Take one of the larger pancakes, spread some of the almond paste on it, add some whipped cream and top with a smaller pancake.
  2. Now you’ve made some krabbelursemlor it’s time to eat, enjoy, and chat about fika and fettisdag.

To watch in full screen, double click the video


This activity was about being an international citizen and learning about different foods, festivals and culture in another country.

Ask everyone to think about the session and share some of the things they’ve learned. The activity was also about trying new things, had anyone tried a traditional semla bun before? What did everyone think of the karabbelursemlor they made together?

In Sweden, fika is more about spending time together than it is about sharing a cup of coffee or tea.

If you made them in a face-to-face meeting, why not make a few extra for everyone to take home?

Ask the group to share their fika snacks with someone else and spend some quality time together. Maybe they could share some of the things they’ve found out about Sweden too.


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.


Teach young people how to use cooking equipment safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Make sure it’s safe to use and follow manufacturers’ guidelines for use.

Fires and stoves

Make sure anyone using fires and stoves is doing so safely. Check that the equipment and area are suitable and have plenty of ventilation. Follow the gas safety guidance. Have a safe way to extinguish the fire in an emergency.


Remember to check for allergies, eating problems, fasting or dietary requirements and adjust the recipe as needed. Make sure you’ve suitable areas for storing and preparing food and avoid cross contamination of different foods. Take a look at our guidance on food safety and hygiene.

This recipe has no eggs or milk, for an alternative recipe that uses these ingredients check out Fredriks fika. For a simpler snack, have a look at this simple cinnamon rolls recipe.

Remember to check if anyone has any allergies or dietary requirements before the session and adjust the recipe accordingly. The recipe’s already free from milk and eggs – you could use gluten free flour, too.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Why not ask everyone to do some research into another international food and culture and prepare a dining experience for their friends or families?