Swedish Semla Muffin (Vegan, Gluten & Sugar Free)

Swedish Semla Muffin (Vegan, Gluten & Sugar Free) close up with inside

Have you ever seen or eaten a classic Swedish Sela? This is a fun and easier alternative making it a muffin instead. These Semla muffins are vegan, gluten and sugar free. They’re really easy to make, taste amazing and are such a great afternoon snack or dessert.

Swedish Semla Muffin (Vegan, Gluten & Sugar Free) from front

I guess Sweden is most known for Swedish Cinnamon Buns… and meatballs. Yep, at least that’s what I always hear while talking to people abroad. But we actually do have a few more classic Swedish foods and pastries, that are less know abroad. During Christmas we eat saffron buns, for Midsummer we make strawberry cake… and in February we eat Semla. A classic semla is a yeast wheat bun filled with almond paste/marsipan and topped with whipped cream. Traditionally it was eaten during the official Semla day named “Fettisdagen” (Shrove Tuesday). But nowadays they’re sold from early January. A never ending debate that is lively discussed during “fika” (Swedish word for coffee and cake that you have in the afternoon) is the almond paste to whipped cream ratio in a perfect Semla. But also if the almond paste/marsipan should be smooth or slightly chunky. How sweet should the cream be? Do you lick the cream off the lid and use it to scoop more creams or eat the lid first, then dig into the rest of the Semla, ending up with cream on your nose. Some people argue the one and only way of eating a Semla is the traditional old-style way, where you place your smell in a bowl of hot milk and eat it using a spoon. Everyone has their own idea of the perfect Semla and how it should be eaten. I would say most Sweden love to eat Semla… but unfortunately Im not one of them. I find them quite boring and just overwhelming. So I thought I give the classic Semla a face lift by making it a muffin Semla instead. Because who doesn’t love muffins? Especially when it’s a tender, soft muffins spiced with freshly ground cardamom seeds, stuffed with home made almond paste and just a little whipped cream on top. And the best part? These Semla muffins are vegan, gluten and sugar free.

A few tips:

  • I recommend you to use silicon muffin tins when making the muffins.
  • If possible, try to use freshly ground cardamom instead of ground cardamom. It really makes a big difference in this recipe.
  • Let the muffins cool completely before adding the almond paste and whipped cream. Otherwise it will melt.
  • I love adding roughly chopped almonds to the almond paste. It’s optional, but highly recommended. It makes the pastry much more interesting adding some crunchiness and extra texture.
  • Go ahead and adjust the amount of almond paste and whipped cream according to your preferences. That’s what all Swedes do anyways. (Btw Im team almond paste, no question about it!).
  • The muffins are good to store for up to five days in the fridge.
Swedish Semla Muffin (Vegan, Gluten & Sugar Free) see inside

Ingredients for these Swedish Semla Muffins:

  • Apple sauce
  • Aquafaba powder or aquafaba from chickpeas
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Coconut oil
  • Stevia granular sugar
  • Oat flour
  • Rice flour
  • Baking soda
  • Cardamom seeds
  • Almond flour
  • Almonds
  • Fiber syrup or agave
  • Water
  • Coconut cream or vegan heavy cream
Swedish Semla Muffin (Vegan, Gluten & Sugar Free) close up with inside

Other recipe you might like:

Swedish Semla Muffin (Vegan, Gluten & Sugar Free)

This is a muffin version of a classic Swedish Semla. It's a muffin filled with almond paste and topped with chipped cream.
Course Baking, Dessert, Sweet Snack, Sweet Treat
Cuisine Swedish
Keyword Dairy-Free, Easy, Gluten-Free, Healthier, Refined-Sugar-Free, Sugar Free, Vegan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 5 muffins


For the muffins

  • 1 dl Apple sauce
  • 1 Aquafaba egg (1/2 tsp aquafaba powder + 3 tbsp water, or just regular aquafaba)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Coconut oil melted
  • 1 dl Stevia granular sugar
  • 1 1/2 dl Oat flour
  • 1 1/2 dl Rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 3/4 tbsp Cardamom seeds freshly ground

For the almond paste

  • 1 1/2 dl Almond flour
  • 3-4 tbsp Fiber syrup or agave
  • 3-5 Almonds (optional, but recommended) roughly chopped
  • 1-2 tsp Water (if needed to thin)

For the whipped cream

  • 3 dl Coconut cream or any other vegan whipped cream
  • 2-3 tsp Vanilla stevia drops (or vanilla extract)


  • Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celcius.
  • Mix the aquafaba egg (or add three tablespoons of aquafaba drained from chickpeas) and add to a blender.
  • Add apple sauce, melted coconut oil and apple cider vinegar to the blender and mix until smooth.
  • Combine stevia sugar, oat flour, rice flour, baking soda and freshly ground cardamom seeds in a bowl.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until you have a smooth batter. Don't mix for too long.
  • Fill up 3/4 of (silikon) muffin tins with the batter.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for 12-15 minutes.
  • Take out and let cool.
  • Meanwhile combine the ingredients for the almond paste in a small bowl. Add some water if the paste is too thick.
  • Combine coconut cream or vegan cream with stevia drops. Whip using a hand mixer until peaks start to form.
  • When the muffins have cooled down, ease out a small hole in each muffin using a small spoon or a melon baller.
  • Add almond paste to the hole.
  • Top the muffins with whipped cream using a piping tip or just a regular spoon.

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