Finnish Laskiaispulla Cream Buns

These pillowy soft buns with vanilla cream cheese filling and cherries are to die for

Some of you might know that I have lived most of my life in Finland and that has definitely had an effect on my culinary journey and on the recipes I create. What I have noticed is that when you move away from the country where you have lived for years you start craving all kinds of things from that country that you cannot get in the country you currently reside in. Do you know what I´m talking about? :) Luckily someof these things you can make yourself and that is the case with these delicious cream buns or how we call them in Finland, Laskiaispulla.

Laskiaispulla​ is traditionally made for Shrove Tuesday (a religious holiday) and it is know in Scandinavian countries, but also in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. That is what Wikipedia says anyway, I only know them from Finland and from other Scandinavian countries where it is called Semla. Traditionally these buns are filled with an almond and cream filling or with a jam and cream filling. Which in my opinion, both are really delicious. However, as I think almond paste is not everyone´s cup of tea, I decided to stick with jam this time.

If you are trying to imagine what these taste like, then just imagine a really soft sweet wheat bun with some delicious jam and cream cheese and whipped cream on top. If that didn´t make you drool, then there must be something wrong with you. Just joking :) But I really don´t think there is much more I should say to this as these buns kinda speek for themselves.

As with any recipe that includes yeast, reserve some time, you don´t want to rush it and also do read the recipe carefully and follow it without any excuses. This way, I am sure you will reach the same results as I did and you will be making those yummy noises while eating, because it just is that good! :)

Happy Baking darlings!

Enjoy!

Step by Step Video

RECIPE

Finnish Laskiaispulla Cream Buns

These pillowy soft buns with vanilla cream cheese filling and cherries are to die for

​INGREDIENTS

  • 450g flour + about 100g extra for dusting and forming the buns

  • 50g sugar

  • 25g fresh yeast (believe me it is worth it using fresh yeast :))

  • 250ml warm milk (about 35°C) (I usually just test with a hand that it is warm to touch but not hot)

  • 160g natural yogurt (10% fat)

  • 75g soft butter

  • ½ tsp cardamom

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tbsp water

  • some sliced almonds (optional)

  • 2 pkg (175g each) greek style philadelphia or other similar cream cheese

  • 2 tsp vanilla paste

  • 40g sugar

  • 400g whipping cream (30% fat)

  • 200-300g cherry jam

  • powder sugar for dusting

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add about half of the flour at the bottom of the bowl of your standing mixer just to cover the bottom. Make a well in the middle.

  2. Add the sugar into the well and crumb the yeast over the sugar.

  3. Mix the warm milk with the yogurt. Make sure the yogurt is at room temperature before mixing it with the milk so that the whole mix remains warm. Then pour the mixture over the dry ingredients.

  4. Cover with a towel for 15 minutes.

  5. Then add the rest of the flour, the soft butter and the cardamom. Knead with a dough hook, first on a low setting for about a minute and then on the high setting for about 7-10 minutes if using a standing mixer. With a hand mixer this might take longer, see video for how the dough should look by the end of mixing.

  6. Cover the bowl with cling film and then with a towel and allow the dough to raise for at least an hour in a warm place. If it is very cold in your house you can also raise the dough in the oven. Heat your oven to 50°C and then turn it off. Place the dough with a heat proof bowl into the oven to raise.

  7. Sprinkle flour generously on a clean surface and transfer the risen dough onto the flour. Sprinkle over some more flour and start working the dough with your hands. At this point the dough might feel very soft, but don´t worry about it. Add flour to the dough little by little until it starts to get a bit firmer and stops sticking to your fingers (see video).

  8. If you want to get even buns, weigh the dough and divide the figure by 10. Then cut pieces out of the dough and weigh them to get equal sized buns. You can also just divide the dough into 10 equal pieces without weighing.

  9. Roll out the individual buns in your hands so that they are round and smooth. (See video)

  10. Place the rolled out buns onto a baking tray covered with parchment paper. If you want to get extra high buns, you can make rings out of aluminium foil to place around the buns and this will assist the dough to raise upwards rather than in width. (See video for instructions)

  11. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and raise for another hour in a warm place.

  12. Whisk one egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water and brush the risen buns with the egg wash. Avoid pressing too hard so you don´t ruin the beautifully risen bun. Sprinkle some sliced almonds on top.

  13. Bake at 175°C in the middle shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden on top.

  14. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes. Then remove the aluminium ring from the buns, transfer them into a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

  15. To make the cream cheese filling soften cream cheese, vanilla paste and sugar in a medium bowl.

  16. Whisk the whipping cream until stiff and add half to the cream cheese filling. Fold the cream into the cream cheese until almost combined and then add the rest and fold in until you have a smooth cream cheese filling. Transfer into a piping bag with a closed star nozzle.

  17. Cut the cooled buns into halves and pipe the cream cheese filling around the edges of the bottom half, leaving the middle empty. Then fill the middle with some jam and place the top half of the bun on top. Dust the buns with powder sugar before serving.

  18. You can serve the buns right away or store them in the fridge and serve on the next day.

TIP. If you are not planning on eating all of the 10 buns at once, you can fill only as many as you are planning to eat and leave the rest for later. In this case I would also suggest to make the cream filling fresh for just the number of buns you are going to eat right away. The unfilled buns can also be frozen for later.

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