It’s "semlor" time! Gluten-free Swedish rolls with marzipan and blueberry cream

Would you ever guess that this decadent sweet rolls are gluten-free? I surely wouldn’t, not even after having had one too many for myself…

I was immediately captivated when I saw some fluffy semlor in a brand new book on gluten-free baking. The book “baka glutenfritt” is by Karin Moberg – who has realized one of my dreams: opening a bakery having no previous experience of it – and is based on the recipes of Oscar Malevik, a professional baker.

For all the non-Swedish readers, semlor are a real institution in Sweden. They are available in bakeries (and supermarkets and 7-11) only once a year, just around February, and then they disappear. So you are not a real Swede if you don’t have at least one semla a year: minst en semla i säsong och kanske ännu hellre en i vecka. I made mine with a little extra color, adding blueberry juice to the cream. And of course I had to healtify them by substituting coconut palm sugar to regular sugar. A M A Z I N G (scroll down for the recipe/ricetta in italiano coming soon/hitta svenska grund recepten här).


For the rolls

65 g (little less than 1/3 cup) granulated sugar, I used coconut palm sugar

125 g (little more than 1/2 cup) rice flour

35 g (little more than 1/8 cup) potato flour

2 tablespoons of psyllium husk

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla confectioner’s sugar (my addition)

2 teaspoon ground cardamom

a pinch of salt

50g (1/4 cup) melted butter

3 eggs

300 g (1 and 1/5 cups) yoghurt or filmjölk

Preheat the oven to 230 degrees (Celsius, 446 Fahrenheit), placing an empty baking dish underneath. Butter a muffin baking plate and coat with rice flour. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and all the other ingredients (eggs, yoghurt,  butter) in another bowl and then mix all together. Pour the batter into 10 of the buttered muffin molds. Put in the oven pouring at the same time 1/2 cup water in the empty baking tray. Bake for 13-15 minutes WITHOUT NEVER OPENING THE OVEN.

For the filling

200 g (7/8 cup) marzipan for baking

500 g (1 pound) whipping cream

the “juice” of 250 g (1 cup) frozen blueberries, my addition

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, my addition

Let the blueberry defrost in a little bowl. Crumble the marzipan and whisk with 4-5 tablespoon cream, put aside. Whip the rest of the cream and toward the end add the vanilla and the “juice” of the defrosted blueberries, just enough to get a nice color. Cut the top of the semlor (make sure they are cool before doing that!) and take a way a dollop of the crumb to make space for the filling. Add a good spoonful of marzipan cream and then cover with the blueberry cream. Cover with the top and sprinkle with powdered sugar if you like (I liked them the way they looked without the powdered sugar).

CONSIDERATIONS: So now you know that you can have a decadent dessert and happily bake even without the gluten. What I liked most of this recipe is the absence of strange mixes. These sweet rolls have only “real” ingredients, making me feel I was preparing something wholesome and different at the same time. The consistency was really lovely as well. They were much moister than the usual semlor and I can tell you that I had more than the single one a good Swede is supposed to have… to the lust for life!

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Barbara Elisi

Hi there! I am the "soul" behind Bread & Companatico. My main interest is the preservation of bread tradition and craft, with an eye to health. I hope you are having a good time reading this blog, and please don't be shy to connect with me through comments or emails and do keep on bread-ing! :)
29 replies
  1. Federica
    Federica says:

    Hanno una cupoletta tonda assolutamente perfetta e invidiabile :) Delicatissimo il colore della crema, amo il viola e tutte le sue tonalità. Un bacio, buona giornata

  2. Stefanie
    Stefanie says:

    “What I liked most of this recipe is the absence of strange mixes… ” That’s exactly what I was thinking when I read the recipe, too!
    And they look so delicious. Thank you for sharing that recipe!

  3. Alida
    Alida says:

    This is fantastic! I love the colour of the filling and these rolls look so soft. A very elegant dessert. Really beautifully made. Bravissima!

  4. Luv'n Spoonfuls
    Luv'n Spoonfuls says:

    So very beautiful, and they sound absolutely delicious. My son’s girlfriend has a gluten allergy, so I think these would be a nice treat to make for her (I’m sure I’ll love them as well)!

  5. annette
    annette says:

    my husband will be so happy i found this recipe. he has been asking me to make gluten free semlor for YEARS and i’ve not got around to converting a recipe. so glad i found this they look delicious.

  6. Simona
    Simona says:

    Have you ever tried making marzipan from scratch? I want to find a way to make it without sugar. The rolls came out really nice and I will keep your recipe in mind. I like that it uses buttermilk: I had some milk to consume and made a liter of cultured buttermilk, which is quite a bit, so I froze it.

    • Barbara
      Barbara says:

      sei unica :) home-made marzipan without sugar, you are right, that would be useful. if you find a way please let me know. so you tried the rolls? still dreaming about making my cheese and stuff (home-made buttermilk? yum!). soon…


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