Enjoy a taste of Sweden with 12+ classic Swedish recipes to prepare from scratch: from the traditional cinnamon rolls “kanelbullar” to the salmon “gravlax”, not to forget the multi-seed crispbread “knäckebröd”.
Sweden is definitely part of my life. I arrived there in my twenties and although I was supposed to stay for 6 months only, I ended up spending 7 years of my life in Sweden, until I moved to Chicago. Throughout the years, Sweden amazed me in so many ways, and I enjoyed very much taking part in the culture and other local traditions through different celebrations, through the language of course (yep, jag kan svenska!), and food habits as well.
June is to me the best month to celebrate Sweden: it’s the high time for Summer celebrations with Swedish National Day today (on June 6th) and Midsommar at the end of the month. In this time of the year, nature is blooming everywhere, and Swedes enjoy outdoors as well as all kind of seasonal foods. I selected below 12+ classic Swedish recipes, that are typical of Sweden. Most of them are seasonal and linked to a specific celebrations in the calendar – read my descriptions carefully to learn more about them. Njut!
1. Swedish Cinnamon Rolls “Kanelbullar”
Among all Swedish recipes, the Cinnamon rolls “kanelbullar” are by far the most popular ones. Swedes eat enormous quantities of them throughout the year and there is even a national day for cinnamon rolls every year on October 4th. My recipe is extremely simple, yet delicious. It has indeed been approved by thousands of you; so you can go safe with it. Both kids and adults love it!
2. Swedish Multi-Seed Crispbread “Knäckebröd”
Crispbreads are the new bread… at least in Sweden! Swedes love crispbreads and you can find countless of recipes, all different, from the classic plain one made with rye flour to the more advanced options with seeds and sometimes gluten-free. Do like Swedes do, enjoy these Swedish muti-seed crispbread “knäckebröd” with butter or hard cheese.
3. Beet and Horseradish-Cured Salmon Gravalax
Cured salmon is definitely part of the Swedish culture, and something we prepare days in advance of any occasion, like Midsummer for instance. Discover today my Beet and Horseradish-Cured Salmon Gravlax, a recipe which gives the Swedish gravlax salmon the distinctive pungent taste of the horseradish and the beautiful color of beetroot.
4. Swedish Blueberry Vanilla Buns “Blåbärsbullar”
Cinnamon rolls and all kind of buns are king in Sweden. Swedes have countless of variations adapted to each season. With these Swedish Blueberry Vanilla Buns “Blåbärsbullar”, I combined fresh summer blueberries with a delicious vanilla cream. Last but not least, I sprinkled some sugar over for extra taste. This recipe is pure awesomeness!
5. Swedish Gooey Chocolate Cake “Kladdkaka”
Swedes make an awesome Swedish Gooey Chocolate Cake “Kladdkakaka”, which literally means gooey (kladdig) cake (kaka). Unlike French chocolate cake recipes, we use here some cocoa powder instead of baking chocolate, which ends up in a unique result with a strong cocoa flavor and a lovely texture, slightly crispy on top and deliciously gooey in the inside. Serve as is, or with a side of whipped cream and a few red berries.
6. Swedish Toast Skagen (Prawn Toasts): 2 Ways!
You will find it absolutely everywhere in Sweden, whether you go in a regular restaurant or a café place for lunch. Toast Skagen (Prawn Toast) is a classic you can eat either as an appetizer or a quick lunch. Usually served onto large slices of sourdough bread, I revisited here the classic recipe, using rye bread with 2 serving suggestions: on toasts or in a jar!
7. Swedish Cardamom Buns “Kardemummabullar”
These are my all time favorite Swedish treats – I like them even better than the classic cinnamon rolls “kanelbullar”. They are sweet, buttery, and so deliciously perfumed with cardamom… Swedish Cardamom Buns “kardemummabullar” are a classic you must try in Sweden. You can try the original version prepared with a pre-dough that brings more texture to the dough, or this one with orange zests, or why not a version with a twist of raspberries.
8. Swedish Semlor
Usually eaten for Fat Tuesday in Sweden, the Swedish Semlor are a classic I could eat all year round. They are made out of a lovely sweet bun spiced with cardamom, almond paste, and generously filled with chantilly. History says that in the 18th century, semlor partly caused the King of Sweden’s death after he had a full giant meal, followed by… 14 semlor!
9. Swedish Vanilla Hearts “Vaniljhärtan”
Swedish Vanilla Hearts “Vaniljärtan” are nothing but adorable heart-shaped cookies made with a shortbread crust and filled with a generous vanilla cream in the inside. They are small, delicate, and incredibly addictive!
10. Triple Berry Crisp with White Chocolate Sauce
It’s not a secret, Swedes love berries. In Summer, they pick some fresh ones in the woods or anywhere in the nature, and in winter they eat some frozen ones. In a country where darkness is prominent in winter months, vitamin C and antioxidant from berries are always welcome. They are therefore endless berry recipes in Sweden, and one of my favorite I learned through a Swede was this Triple Berry Crisp with White Chocolate Sauce. Heaven!
11. Swedish Pie with Västerbotten Cheese & Chanterelles
Have you ever heard of “kantareller”? These lovely orange chanterelles are queen of summer in Sweden. Swedes go and pick them in the woods and learn how to recognize them from the youngest age. Use them in a traditional Swedish Pie with Västerbotten and Chanterelles,a simple yet delightful savory pie to enjoy at the end of summer at a crayfish party!
12. Swedish Rice Pudding
Rice pudding (or Ris à la Malta) is a winter classic recipe which is traditionally served at a Christmas party dinner, the famous “Julbord” buffet. Swedes usually hide a little white almond in the middle. The one who finds it becomes the king or Queen, a tradition close to the Epiphany in southern Europe.
13. Swedish Saffron Buns “Lussekatter”
Another typical sweet treat around Christmas, the Swedish Saffron Buns “Lussekatter” are fluffy, slightly sweetened and extremely festive. We associate them to the Santa Lucia celebration, hold every year on December 13th, and every family bake them to serve with mulled wine in late November and throughout the December month.
14. Swedish Semla Gooey Cake “Semmelkladdkaka”
A little bit like semlor but in a more more modern version, this Swedish Semla Gooey Cake “Semmelkladdkaka” has a texture similar to the chocolate kladdkaka but with all the flavors of a semla instead: almond, cardamom, and whipped cream. A lovely treat to enjoy around Mardi Gras if you want to respect the Swedish tradition or anytime of the year if you are a curious foodie.
Discover more Swedish recipes here, and Happy Swedish National Day to you all!