Baking,  Cookbooks,  Norwegian

Norwegian Skoleboller Recipe – Sweet “School Buns” with Coconut and Pastry Cream

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With many families beginning back-to-school season pandemic-style with remote learning, I’m sharing my Norwegian skoleboller recipe in an attempt to add something special to your school-at-home days. I’m trying to think of everything I can do to add a little bit of delight to this inevitably stressful, overwhelming, and uncertain time. While I can’t solve the dilemma of juggling work, school, and All The Things, I certainly hope this helps you slow down and relax with your kids at some point during the school day.

Skoleboller begin with a base of fragrant cardamom buns, which are a favorite in my house! But they’re made especially special with the addition of a rich pastry cream and topping of coconut.

If you have my book Modern Scandinavian Baking: A Cookbook of Sweet Treats and Savory Bakes, you’ll find my Norwegian skoleboller recipe on pages 44-45. If not, I’m including an adaptation here, because we all deserve a little bit of hygge during this season, right?

As I wrote in my book,

“I love baking Scandinavian buns any time of the year, especially in autumn when the days shorten and the weather cools. The scent of sweet yeasted dough, hot in the oven–especially when fragrant with spices like cinnamon and cardamom–creates a warm, welcoming touch to the kitchen. It’s one of my favorite says to create a sense of hygge in my home. It’s apropos, then, that these skoleboller … have a history of finding their way into Norwegian children’s lunchboxes.”

From Modern Scandinavian Baking by Daytona Strong

BONUS: I’ve created a FREE study guide about Norway and its history and heritage for you and your family. Click here to grab yours, and you’ll be on your way to creating warm, loving memories with your family through literature, history, art, recipes, and more.

And now for the recipe:

Sweet “School Buns” with Custard and Coconut (Skoleboller/Skolebrød)

Recipe by Daytona Strong, adapted from her book Modern Scandinavian Baking: A Cookbook of Sweet Treats and Savory Bakes
Course Dessert, Pastry, Snack
Cuisine Norwegian, Scandinavian
Servings 12


  • 1 recipe cardamom buns (use either the recipe on page 44 of "Modern Scandinavian Baking" or the one on this blog at
  • 1/2 recipe vanilla pastry cream (use the recipe on page 45 of the book or the one on this blog at
  • 1 egg beaten

For the icing and topping

  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut for topping


  • Make the buns and pastry cream as directed.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • After the 12 buns have completed their second rise, use your thumb or a small spoon to make a depression in each ball and spoon in a tablespoon of the pastry cream. Brush with the beaten egg.
  • Bake in the center of the oven, one sheet at a time, for about 10 minutes, or until golden on top–watch carefully as they can quickly turn too dark. Rotate if needed for even baking. If they're browning too quickly and the insides need additional time, cover the tops with a sheet of foil. Remove the buns from the oven and let them cool completely on a wire rack.
  • While the buns cool, make the icing. In a medium bowl, gradually whisk the milk into the confectioners' sugar until you have a smooth, thick icing. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla extract.
  • Brush the top of each bun, around the pastry cream, with the icing, then dip into the dried coconut. Set aside to dry, then serve.


As with many homemade buns, these are best on the day they come out of the oven. They also freeze well.
Keyword baking, cardamom, coconut, pastry cream

If you enjoyed this Norwegian skoleboller recipe, you’ll find this and even more sweet and savory treats in my cookbook Modern Scandinavian Baking!

Modern Scandinavian Baking

Excerpt from Modern Scandinavian Baking, by Daytona Strong, published by Rockridge Press. Copyright © 2020 by Callisto Media, Inc. All rights reserved. 

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