Swedish Language Blog

Swedish Fika Posted by on Jan 7, 2011 in Culture

Are you familiar with the most common Swedish desserts (sötsaker)?


Originally these cookies only had raspberry jam in the middle. But as creative baking goes, now you can find multiple flavors.


Literally translated as princess cake and commonly eaten on occasions like mothers day, this cake is found in a lot of books about Sweden for foreigners. With its colorful marzipan and pink rose on top.


Cinnamon buns must be the most famous Swedish baked goods ever. Ikea places buns on their kitchen tables for the catalogs that are distributed all over the world. In the summertime “bullar” are very popular, often eaten accompanied by “hallon saft” (raspberry juice). In a lot of older traditional children’s literature like Astrid Lindgrens children’s books there is almost always a grandmother serving “Bullar och Saft” (Buns and juice). There is even a special day dedicated to buns called “Kanel bullens dag” The day of the cinnamon bun, on the 4th of October, and has been celebrated since 1999.

A lot of people think that buns are a big part of Swedish culture, and that opinion might be strengthened by the fact that in Home economic classes in school buns are made every school year. Meaning that almost all junior high school students can make basic Swedish cinnamon buns.


I would explain that the history behind ‘Semlor’ is that they are also called Lenten Buns, eaten at the time of Lent, the same way other countries eat pancakes.  The starting day for eating ‘semlor’ is ‘fettisdag’.

These Semlor are eaten in February. A slightly sweetened bread bun cut in half, with some of the contents scraped out. The bread is filled with whipped cream (Vispgrädde)and almond icing.

Ordlista – Wordlist

Desserts – Efterrätt, Sötsaker

Whipped cream – Vispgrädde

Cinnamon Buns – Kanelbullar

Cookies – Kakor

Afternoon sweet snack – Fika

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  1. Rastik:

    And what about mazariner, I thought they are popular too? Anyway, my favorites are kanelbullar 🙂

  2. Judy:

    Aren’t semlor also called “Fastlags bullar,” or something like that?

  3. Jen:

    Nice article about the yummy Swedish ‘fika’ treats. I love them all! Swedes really know how to make good ‘fikabröd’ 😉