One of the fun things I learned about while visiting my friends, Kayley and Mark, in Örebro was the art of fika and all the Swedish pastries that come with it!
Loosely translated, it means something like a coffee or tea break. However, that isn’t quite the most accurate translation. When I asked my US friends what they thought of when I said coffee break, they said running to grab a cup in under 10 minutes. I personally think of break rooms like in “The Office,” which are pretty bleak and drab.
However, fika is something else. There’s nothing rushed about it. It’s more a time to relax and enjoy, whether you’re at home or in a cafe. We had it at all times of day: midmorning after our Park Run, in the late afternoon when Kayley got off work, visiting some of Kayley and Mark’s friends in the evening… Anytime can be fika time!
What I learned was that the real cornerstone of a good fika is the Swedish pastries that come with! There are so many to choose from, and they all taste so different and unique.
Kayley introduced me to a lot while I was visiting, and I tried a few more on my own in Stockholm. If you don’t have your own friend to show you around, you can always try this guided fika tour in Stockholm to get more of an introduction!
Naturally, I had to make a list of all the Swedish pastries I tried for you guys to reference when you get to experience your own fika!
Swedish Pastries to Try for Fika
These chocolate biscuits are actually pretty light. They bottom is a kind of meringue base topped with some cream and then there’s a chocolate glaze over everything. Makes for a nice treat!
Mazarin is this almond tart that’s basically a filling in a pastry dough shell. I got my mazarin and chokladbiskvi at a random cafe near my hotel in Stockholm when I was picking random sweets to try.
Chokladboll, or chocolate ball, kind of reminds me of the power balls I used to make in Korea all the time (except, more sugar and a lot less protein). Its unique ingredients include coffee, oatmeal, and cocoa, and the kind I like are sprinkled with coconut on the outside. The Araksboll version is covered in chocolate sprinkles.
They’re super rich, so you definitely want to savor them over a cup of tea or coffee!
These brought me back to this treat I loved buying in high school! Basically snickerskakor are made from crushing up some sort of flaky cereal and combining it with a mixture of peanut butter, syrup, and sugar. Then putting a melted chocolate spread over top and letting it cool and harden!
Kanelbullar are simply cinnamon rolls! I didn’t realize this, but apparently cinnamon rolls originate in Sweden. I liked the ones here and in Norway as they’re not as sugary and heavy as the ones I’m used to in the US. If you see it as an option, try the cardamon ones!
I have to say, I think Princesstårta, or princess cake, is my favorite of the fika pastries I tried. It’s sweet but not too much, and I really liked it with the marzipan! The cake is made with different layers of cake, jam, and cream and then it’s covered in marzipan, usually a fun green color.
Apparently, it gets its names because the woman who first published its recipe, Jenny Åkerström, was a teacher of three princesses: Princess Margaretha, Princess Märtha, and Princess strid.
Semla is a sort of sweet roll that’s filled with a sort of whipped cream. Admittedly, this was my least favorite of the fika desserts on this list. I just found it to be kind of fatty with no real interesting taste.
Punchrulle, also known as Punsch roll, kind of reminds me of how cake pops were made. Basically, bakers take cake crumbs and mix them with a paste and then cover them in some sort of icing. Punchrulle isn’t too different! The interior of the cylindrical dessert is made from crushed cookies, cocoa, and punsch liquer, and held together with butter. Then the outside is covered in marzipan and each end is dipped in chocolate. The taste is quite strong, so I think I’d only want one of these at a time!
Vanilhjärta (Vanilla Hearts)
I tried this when I tagged along to a little birthday fika with my friends in Örebro and they had a bunch of pastries for us! How cute is the heart shape? It’s basically a shortcrust dough filled with vanilla cream and sprinkled with powder sugar. Pretty easy!
And those were all the Swedish desserts I tried while I was in Örebro and Stockholm. No wonder I gained weight lol. I’m sure there’s a ton more I’ll just have to return to try!
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