Bake a Swedish-inspired cardamom cake!

Pancake Tuesday may be over but it always reminds me of delicious spiced Semlor buns from Sweden. Instead of pancakes, in Sweden they have light cardamom buns filled with almond paste or marzipan, and fresh cream.

I’d never tasted anything as sweet as semlor buns and although I’ve yet to try the recipe, I’ve come up with a cake inspired by semlor flavours. And because they’re not the traditional semlor buns, you don’t need to wait until next Pancake Tuesday to make them!

I’ve used just the right amount of cardamom but if you’re not keen on the flavour, you can use 10 pods instead of 15.

Cardamom and coffee bond brilliantly together so make sure you’ve got a pot on standby to wash down the buns when they’re ready to eat! You could even crush a few cardamom pods into filtered coffee to bring out the flavours.

For the sponges
  • 200g unsalted butter softened;
  • 200g golden caster sugar;
  • 200g self-raising flour;
  • 15 green cardamom pods;
  • 4 medium eggs lightly beaten.
  • 200g marzipan;
  • 250ml single cream;
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar sifted.

Line two 12-hole cupcake pans with paper cases.

Split open the cardamom pods and crush the seeds to a fine powder with a pestle and mortar. Sieve with the flour into a bowl.

Beat the butter and sugar for five minutes until pale and fluffy.

Fold and divide

Add two tablespoons of the flour and cardamom mix to the butter and sugar along with a little egg and beat. Gradually add the remaining eggs, a little bit each time, beating well after each addition.

Finally, gently fold in the remaining flour and divide the mixture into the cupcake pans, filling each case two thirds full.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until pale and golden on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing the cakes from the pan.

Beat the cream until stiff peaks form and then fold in the icing sugar.

Trim the tops off the cupcakes, and cut each top in half.

Roll the marzipan out onto the work surface dusted with icing sugar. Cut out circles of the marzipan and leave to one side.

Place the marzipan discs onto the trimmed cupcakes and then fill a piping bag fixed with a nozzle with the cream and icing sugar.

Pipe the cream onto the marzipan discs and then place the tops of the cupcakes on top of the cream like butterfly wings.