Buns with Cremé, Danish Fastelavnsbolle

It’s time for Fastelavn-Fat Tuesday in English this coming Sunday. Forty days before Easter, on  the eve of Lent, Danish children dress up in costumes. One traditional event is to hit a barrel filled with candy, apples and oranges. The tradition originated in Holland around the 15th century. In the Middle Ages, cats were superstitiously considered to be a symbol of evil, and instead of candy, a live cat was put inside the barrel. The children would then beat against the barrel until it fell apart, at which point the cat escaped and ran away. The idea was to chase away any evil spirits before spring planting. The Danes stopped this tradition around 1880 and nowadays the person who breaks open the barrel is the “Queen of Cats” and the last stick of wood is down, that person is the “King of Cats”. ” After beating on the barrel, the children go from house to house singing: “Fastelavn (Fat Tuesday) is my name, buns are what I want. If I don’t get buns, I’ll make trouble. Buns up, buns down, buns in my tummy. If I don’t get buns, I’ll make trouble.” Years ago, the children would get buns, but now people give them money. On this occasion, Danes of all ages eat custard or crème buns, locally called “fastelavnsboller”. Now mom and dads and grandmothers give the children Buns with Vanilla.

Buns with Creme and Jelly

1 portion pastry dough:

1 lb./455 grams flour

3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt

1 oz. fresh yeast

1 cup milk/8 fl. oz.

1 egg

12 oz./360 grams butter

3 oz./90 grams butter

3 oz./90 grams sugar

1 portion vanilla crème:

1 egg yolk

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. flour

3/4 cup/6 fl. oz. milk

½ tsp. vanilla extract

3 tbsp. confectionary sugar mixed with a few drops of warm water


Preheat  the oven to 425 F.

To make pastry dough, sift flour and mix with sugar and salt. Dissolve yeast in half of the milk. Add yeast, the rest of the milk and the beaten egg to the flour and sugar. Beat until smooth. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of ½ inch Spread small pieces of butter on 2/3 of the dough. The butter must have the same consistency as the dough; if it is too soft it will melt into the dough. Starting on the right, fold 1/3 of the dough over the middle part of the dough and then fold the left side over the dough. So now you have  three layer. Roll out the dough and fold again. Repeat three or four times. Leave in a cold place for 30 minutes.

To make butter filling, combine butter with sugar. Set aside.

To make vanilla crème, beat egg yolk with sugar, flour and milk. Cook over low heat while beating the whole time until thick. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract; then cool, stirring occasionally.

To make bun, roll out dough, spread with butter filling and cut into squares of 4 x 4 inches. Place  crème in the middle. Fold corner to center and press down. Place on a them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave in a cold place to rise for 15-20 minutes, then brush with egg white and bake 10 minutes.

When cool, spread  frosting on top and drop 1 tsp. of jelly in the center of half of the rolls leaving crème exposed in the other half of the rolls.

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