This Sunday, many Danes will celebrate Fastelavn. Traditionally observed on the Sunday or Monday before Lent, this holiday draws parallels to Halloween, in that it has religious roots, but today is more of a festive party complete with costumes and treats.* I’ve never participated in a Fastlavn celebration before, which is why I decided to bake Fastelavnsboller this year.
Fastelavnsboller, or “lenten bun” is a bun or pastry filled with custard, cream or jam, and topped with chocolate icing.
Following what seemed to be the most authentic recipe I could find, I baked my custard directly into the buns. Unfortunately, the yummy custard soaked up into the dough, and was barely detectable when they came out of the oven. Good thing I made a double batch of custard so that I could spoon some into the warm buns and still achieve the creamy center I wanted.
This is the recipe I used:
3 cakes compressed fresh yeast
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons white sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
1 egg, beaten
Dissolve yeast in the warm milk in a small bowl and let stand until it becomes foamy. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, 2 eggs, salt, 2 teaspoons sugar. Then add the yeast mixture until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in flour to form a smooth dough. Cover with a cloth and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats. Punch down the dough, and divide it into two pieces. Roll each piece into a square and cut into 6 even squares. You can pipe the custard filling into each bun, or add fresh after they have baked (I would recommend this.) Brush each bun with the beaten egg and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until the buns are golden brown, and let cool. Makes 12 buns
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the custard, whisk together 1 cup of milk with the cornstarch in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until very hot and steaming, but not yet simmering. Whisk 2 eggs together with 2 tablespoons sugar in a bowl until well beaten. Slowly whisk the egg mixture into the hot milk and cook gently until thickens and begins to bubble. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Set the filling aside to cool.
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon hot water
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
To make the chocolate icing, stir together the confectioners’ sugar, hot water, and cocoa powder in a bowl, and spread the icing onto each bun.
Whether you celebrate Lent and Fastlavn or not, you can’t deny a yummy bun filled with custard and drizzled with chocolate! I’m so glad I came across this holiday and recipe for Danish Fastelavnsboller!
*To any Danish readers, please feel free to correct me on any of this information. My “Scandinavian Holiday” iCal calendar pointed out that Sunday was Fastelavn, and I started doing some research. I would love to go to Denmark someday and experience these traditions and holidays first hand, but in the meantime, I can only hope, dream, and read about them online
OMG can i come eat one???? i love custard in pastries! also want to go with me this summer to denmark?
Are you really going?? To visit the cousins? Or…
Details, lady! Call me!
The Creative Muslimah says
Oooh thanks for sharing 😀 I’ll personally be going to fastelavn tomorrow in the local community. Will take loads of pictures of the cute kids in their costumes and post, so check out my blog tomorrow!
I am waiting patiently TCM! Hope you had a wonderful celebration!!
yea!!! hey you are danish by marriage, that totally counts!! xoxo you are so amazing!