Iceland Mag

6 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


A taste of Iceland: Try this recipe for fluffy, Icelandic sweet buns

By Sara McMahon

Icelanders consume an estimated one million sweet cream buns, filled with jam and topped with chocolate on Bolludagur (Bun Day), celebrated on 8 February. The day was originally a Danish or Norwegian tradition which Icelanders began to celebrate in the late 19th century.

There are two kinds of buns on offer on Bolludagur; a more dense yeast bun, and a fluffy water-dough bun (vatnsdeigsbolla). Here’s a recipe for the latter.

4 dl water
100 g butter
4 dl flour
4-5 eggs (depending on size)
Tiny amount of hartshorn* (just a tip of a knife’s blade)

*Hartshorn is a chemical leavener for cooking that was used before baking powder and baking soda became available, appearing largely in older German and Scandinavian recipes.

Heath butter and water in a pot. Add flour and hartshorn and whisk until dough becomes glistening and non-sticky. Leave to cool slightly.
Place dough into bowl and slowly add beaten eggs to mixture.
Place a spoonful of the mixture on to a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Bake at 220 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes – do not open oven while baking as it can cause the buns to drop. Bake for further 10 minutes at 150 degrees Celsius. Leave to cool.

When buns have cooled, cut them in half, dip the top half into melted chocolate or frosting and spread some jam and whipped cream on the lower half. Close the bun and enjoy! 

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