Time for Shrovetide buns...

On Sunday 22 February we celebrate Fastelavn (Shrove Sunday), so why not enjoy the occasion with some Shrovetide buns, or as the Norwegians say; fastelavnsboller!

Shrovetide is the name for the three days preceding Ash Wednesday at the start of Lent.  Although Lent is not observed in Norway any longer,  the tradition of Shrovetide survives from pre-reformation times.

These delicious almond-filled buns are traditionally served on Shrove Sunday (last Sunday before Lent), either for breakfast or with afternoon tea or coffee. Why not indulge yourself and try them? 

Shrovetide Buns


Makes 24 buns


60 g fresh yeast
300 ml milk and cream (any proportion – the more cream, the richer the buns)
500 g plain flour
100 g butter, cold
85 g sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
2 eggs, medium size

Almond filling:
50 g ground almonds
100 g sugar
1/3 eggwhite or a little water


1. Start by warming the milk/cream to lukewarm. Crumble the yeast into a cup and stir in a few tablespoonsful of the warmed liquid.

2. Cut the cold butter into 2-3 cm cubes. In a baking bowl, mix the flour and butter cubes and crumble with your fingers or a fork until resembling breadcrumbs. Add the salt, sugar and cardamom.

3. Make a well in the mixture and pour in the lukewarm milk/cream, dissolved yeast and one whole egg. Work into a smooth dough and knead lightly.

4. Sprinkle the dough with a little flour, cover the bowl with a clean cloth and leave to rise until the dough has doubled in size (20-30 minutes).

5. Put the dough on a floured baking surface and knead until smooth. Form 24 buns, rolling them to an even size with your hands.

6. Poke a dent in each bun and fill with a teaspoon of the filling. Pull together the edges and place seam down on a greased baking sheet. Cover lightly with a cloth and leave to rise again for 10 mins.

(Alternatively, instead of the almond filling and egg glaze, halve the buns when cool, fill with whipped cream and sprinkle with icing sugar.)

7. Stir together the remaining egg, brush the buns gently and bake in a very hot oven (250oC) for 10 mins.

Vel bekomme!

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Fastelavnsboller, or Shrovetide buns, are very popular in Norway

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