I am inspired by the stories and traditions passed down from generation to generation. Norwegian cooking at its simplest and most elaborate. That’s what you will find here. Seasonal cooking, local ingredients, local artisans, and simple gatherings.  READ MORE...

Meet Nevada

order your copy!

My Latest cooKbook:
Norwegian baking

From Norway to your inbox, join my newsletter to receive information on events and recent posts.

a seat at my Table


August 2017

August 17, 2017

Blackcurrant Sweet Buns (Solbærsnurrer)

Found in |


Blackcurrant Sweet Buns (Solbærsnurrer) Blackcurrant Sweet Buns (Solbærsnurrer)As we head into the last weeks of summer, it means final chances to use up the last of the summer berries. And one berry that always intrigues me is the blackcurrant. It’s all at once sweet and tart and has a beautiful deep purple, almost black and glossy exterior. The taste is earthy and leaves you with a lingering aromatic experience. They’re divine eaten directly from their stems and are also a favorite in sauces, jams, jellies and sweet and savory dishes.

Blackcurrants have been known in Norway since the 17th century. They are very popular garden plants nowadays, and you won’t be hard pressed to find a neighbor with a blackcurrant bush if you need some. They are high in Vitamin C and have been a very important and valuable crop for a long time. 

Europe produces 99.1% of the world’s currants (including red and white currants) with two-thirds of blackcurrants produced in Europe being used for juice. In fact, blackcurrant cordial played a vital role in England during WWII as it was given to children to prevent scurvy when boats filled with citrus fruits were unable to enter into the UK.

Blackcurrant Sweet Buns (Solbærsnurrer)My first interaction with blackcurrants was when I lived in England during my university years. I had no idea what they were nor what they tasted like. I was quite surprised that this berry had eluded me in my lifetime, but was even more surprised at why. The reason, interestingly enough, is that blackcurrants were once outlawed in America in the early 1900s because they spread a fungus that killed white pine trees. White pine trees were extremely important to the timber industry so their survival was deemed critical enough to warrant the federal government from outlawing their commercial growth and ensure all plants within the Ribes species were eradicated.

The problem really had to do with the importation of seeds infected with the fungus, blister rust. Farmers with pine tree nurseries could not meet the demand and began to look abroad for cheap planting seeds. Blister rust does not move from one pine to another by itself. In order to spread across the trees, it needs to infect a Ribes specie before returning to the needles of the white pine. This in turn, led to saving the white pines and destroying the Ribes species. It also was followed by a ban on the importation of white pine seedlings from Europe. The battle for the return of blackcurrants and other Ribes is currently ongoing and now left to each State to determine. (Source)

Blackcurrant Sweet Buns (Solbærsnurrer)Blackcurrant Sweet Buns (Solbærsnurrer)Now that I have access to an abundance of the Ribes species, I really enjoy incorporating them into my everyday dishes and baked goods, highlighting their sweet and bitter sides. As the days are getting colder, it’s also nice to have the oven on with the smell of sweet buns in the air.

The snail-like shape of the buns gives them the Norwegian name, snurrerSnurrer can be filled with various things, from cinnamon and sugar to custards and fruits. I also have a recipe for Snurrer with Plums and Almond Custard. This particular recipe has just the right amount of sweetness and tartness with a nice balance from the cream cheese spread.

Blackcurrant Sweet Buns (Solbærsnurrer)If you do not have the ability to obtain fresh blackcurrants, then I suggest looking for a blackcurrant jam to substitute in this recipe. If you are unable to find a jam,  you can use another fruit like blackberries, although you won’t achieve the sweetness and tang of each bite from the blackcurrants.

Blackcurrant Sweet Buns (Solbærsnurrer)
  • 1 cup (224 dl) milk
  • 1 stick plus 1 Tb (125 g) butter
  • 5 cups (600 g) flour
  • 1/2 cup (125 g) sugar
  • 2/3 oz (17 g) dry yeast (about 2 packets + 1tsp)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 8 oz (200g) blackcurrants
  • 2 Tb sugar
  • 1 Tb water
  • 8 oz (200g) cream cheese
  • 1 cup (2 ½ dl) powdered sugar

Warm the milk and butter in a saucepan, until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat.

Place the flour, sugar, yeast and cinnamon into a kitchen mixer with the bread hook. Add in the milk and butter mixture and begin to knead. Add in the egg and continue kneading for 8-10 minutes on medium-low speed. Resist the urge to add more flour. If you do not have a kitchen mixer, just blend everything in a large bowl and knead by hand, around 15 minutes. The dough should be soft, smooth and elastic.

Cover and leave the dough to rise for 1 ½ hours.

Place the blackcurrants, sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a low simmer and cook just until the berries have softened and the sauce has thickened a bit. Try to keep the berries intact. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/ 425°F.  Place the dough on a well-floured surface. Roll the dough out to a large rectangle, about 18×22 inches / 45×56 cm.

Cover the dough with the cream cheese mixture, right to the edges.

Spread the blackcurrant compote on top of the cream cheese in vertical lines (top of the rectangle down to the bottom), evenly spaced across the dough with a little spacing between each line.

Gently roll the dough horizontally, from left to right to form a log. When you have finished rolling, take a sharp knife and divide into approximately 12 pieces. It will be messy, but this is part of the fun.

Divide the buns between two baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake one sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes.



Nevada Berg

Nevada is a utah native and norwegian by heart. When not crafting culinary delights she enjoys her family time and tending to her animals. You most certainly can find her perusing her property for wild berries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Brandon says:

    These look fantastic! When I think of sweet buns, I think of sweet and rich; black currant is a perfect palate cleanser, and their clean, sharp tartness probably juxtapose well with with the richness of the bun.

  2. Anne Wallace says:

    Your site is a lovely beauty! Do you think blackberries can be substituted 1 to 1 for the black currants if unable to locate any:?

    Can’t wait to browse through you recipes and read your stories.

    Anne in Seattle

    • nevada says:

      Hi Anne, thank you so much! You can definitely substitute the blackberries for the same amount as the blackcurrants. I would just reduce the amount of sugar the blackberries are cooked in. Maybe start with 1 Tb instead? Best, Nevada

  3. These are simply beautiful! And I love your description of the flavor and the facts that you shared – so interesting! I had no idea that black currents were outlawed in America.

    • nevada says:

      Thanks Erica, I really appreciate that! The history behind the blackcurrants in the US is really interesting. I hope they make a comeback!

  4. Kamilla says:

    What a beautiful blog! I’m a Norwegian living abroad (Guatemala at the moment), and your blog is the perfect place to look for inspiration and a little piece of home when it feel nostalgic and romantic about my heritage. THANK YOU! Also, it’s so much fun seeing you posting recipes that I grew up with – the things that my grandma used to make and some of them my mom still makes. (I also do – when I found rhubarb in the local farmers market here in Antigua Guatemala I went straight home to make Rabarbrasuppe). I think this is something our culture is loosing – as Norwegians we always look outside of Norwegian cuisine for inspiration, but there are so many fascinating and delicious recipes from our traditional kitchen as well. Thanks for keeping that alive!
    Best, Kamilla.

    • nevada says:

      Thank you Kamilla! I really appreciate your kind words. It’s such a blessing to be able to learn about Norwegian culture and shed some light on the amazing dishes and ingredients here. I’m also a big fan of rabarbrasuppe – I need to post about that next spring. Enjoy your time in Guatemala! All the best, Nevada

  5. Jan Westberg says:

    Where did you get the wood burning stove that you cook lefse on? Thanks!

    • nevada says:

      Hi Jan, these wood burning stoves are quite old. I’m not sure which brand that particular one is, but I don’t think they are so easy to access.

  6. Martin Huang says:

    The best blackcurrant bun I ever had. The perfect way to start of my day with freshly baked bun.

  7. Jessica says:

    My daughter and I made these last night – delightful berry flavor, not overpoweringly sweet. When filling the dough, I forgot we’d doubled the compote to have some for waffles, so they are a vibrant purple lol:p (and a taste to match:)

    We are Kansas kids who fell in love with Alaska and have been here several years. Perusing your blog we found several ingredients that were new to us and have become welcome additions – spruce tips being the most recent – like moose, salmon and black currants:) thanks for sharing your hard work! Best wishes from northern adventures on the opposite side of the globe;)

    • nevada says:

      Hi Jessica! I’m so glad you enjoyed the buns – I also love the color the blackcurrants make when cooked down! There are so many shared ingredients between Norway and Alaska, I’m going to start looking into ways they are used over there for inspiration 🙂 Happy cooking!

  8. Beth says:

    Hi, I look forward to making these. My blackcurrant bush is groaning under the weight of the berries!! What flour did you use for these please (I’m in the UK, so we have a selection) , plain , self raising or strong (bread ) flour?

You might also like...