Fastelavnsboller – Danish Shrovetide Buns


In Denmark it is a tradition to eat special sweet buns around Shrovetide. The tradition has gained some momentum and now Danish bakeries are almost competing to find new ways to make the traditional pastry.

There are different types of carnival buns. This recipe is for the old-fashioned kind made with a yeast dough. The bun is filled with pastry cream and either blackcurrant jam or chocolate.

Temperature control makes it easy both to make the pastry cream for the filling, to make sure the milk for the dough is at the right temperature and to make a delicious chocolate ganache for decoration.


Bake Stable Pastry Cream

40 gram Sugar

20 gram Corn starch

0.5 pcs. Vanilla pod

2 pcs. Egg yolk

2.5 dl Whole milk, 3.5 % fat

Sweet Yeast Dough

125 gram Butter

1.5 dl Whole milk, 3.5 % fat

25 gram Yeast , fresh baking yeast

2 tsp. Vanilla sugar

50 gram Sugar

2 pcs. Eggs

1 tsp. Crushed cardamom

475 gram All-purpose flour

1 tsp. Fine salt

1 pcs. Egg for egg wash


Chopped dark chocolate

Blackcurrant jam

Chocolate Ganache

100 gram Chopped dark chocolate

1 dl Heavy cream 38%

Hazelnuts (chopped) or sprinkles


Make the pastry cream

Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan and whisk briefly to remove any lumps from the cornstarch.

Split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add the vanilla seeds, egg yolks and whole milk to the pan and whisk thoroughly. Then add the vanilla pod.

Turn the heat on to 103ºC. Heat the cream while whisking lightly.

When the cream starts to bubble slightly, cook for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring, until thick and smooth.

Remove the pot from the heat and remove the vanilla pod. Pour the pastry cream into a bowl to cool. Cover with cling film, all the way down so it touches the cream. This is to prevent the cream from forming a skin.

Refrigerate until completely cold, 4-5 hours or overnight.

Make the dough

Add butter and milk to a saucepan and set the temperature to 40ºC. Let it melt slowly.

Pour the milk mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the fresh yeast and mix until dissolved. Then add the vanilla sugar, sugar and egg and mix to combine.

Add the cardamom, flour and salt and knead the dough with a dough hook attachment. Start on low speed until the dough is combined. Then knead on medium to high speed for 8-10 minutes until the dough is soft and elastic.

If the dough is very sticky, you can add a little flour, but the dough should be quite soft and fairly sticky, it will come together when it rests. If the dough becomes too dry, it will be difficult to roll out and it will crack more easily during baking.

Sprinkle some flour on your counter top and pour the dough out onto the counter, tightening it into a ball. The dough is quite soft and a bit sticky, so using a pastry scraper can help.

Put the dough back in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a piece of cling film and a tea towel. Let the dough rise for 45 minutes at room temperature.

Shape the buns

Whisk the cold cake cream with a hand mixer until it is smooth and without lumps.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knock the air out and roll it out into a rectangle 3-4 mm thick, it should measure about 33 x 44 cm, if you want to make 12 buns. Cut the dough into squares of about 11 x 11 cm.

Place a spoonful of the pastry cream on each piece of dough, there should be just enough cream, so divide it evenly between the buns.

Now you can either sprinkle a little chocolate on top or make a small indentation in the cream and add a teaspoon of blackcurrant jam. If you’re not very experienced in closing carnival buns, it’s a good idea to opt for the chocolate, as it’s harder to close the buns with jam inside.

Close the buns by gathering the corners of the dough and pressing the edges of the dough together. It is important to press the dough together really well so that the filling does not leak out. Turn the bun over so that the seams are facing downwards and gently roll the bun so that it becomes round. Don’t roll too much or the dough at the top of the ball will become too thin and risk bursting.

Place the buns on two baking sheets lined with baking paper. Cover with cling film and leave to rise at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Bake the buns

Turn the oven to 185 ºC fan assisted.

Brush the buns with a beaten egg.

Bake the buns for 12-15 minutes until light brown and baked through.

Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Chocolate Ganache

Add chopped chocolate and heavy cream to a saucepan.

Set the temperature to 45 ºC. Stir until the chocolate and cream are melted together and smooth.

Pour the ganache into a small deep bowl with space to dip the buns. Dip the cooled buns into the chocolate ganache, about halfway up the sides. Decorate with chopped hazelnuts or sprinkles.


Instead of chocolate ganache, you can make a simple glaze of icing sugar and water instead. Add some food colouring, if you want it to be extra festive.