Gastronomy in Copenhagen
Everything you need to know about Copenhagen’s world-class gastro scene.
It´s actually not until February 19 that Denmark celebrates the Carnival tradition called Fastelavn. But in the weeks before Fastelavn every pastry shop in Copenhagen is fully aware that it´s time for creamy and colorful fastelavnsboller – the hyped Danish carnival buns.
The bakeries in Copenhagen really know how to impress whether they serve the classical, the modern, the vegan, or make their own new takes on fastelavnsboller. In the last few years, there has been a true fastelavnsbolle craze in Copenhagen where the bakeries surpass themselves in new and creative ways of presenting fastelavnsboller – and in front of some of the most innovative bakeries you might have to wait in a long line to get your hands on the most beautiful fastelavnsboller.
Fastelavn is a Carnival tradition that was originally held the evening before the Church's fast. It´s the Danish version of Halloween, where kids dress up and go trick-or-treating in the neighborhood singing a special song. The tradition with fastelavnsboller is that you are allowed to treat yourself before the fast begins, which earlier lasted until Easter. Now we just treat ourselves with fastelavnsboller and forget all about the fast.
Fastelavnsboller are typically divided into two different kinds. The old-fashioned fastelavnsboller are made with yeast and remonce inside. The other kind of fastelavnsboller is made with Vienna pastry and cream inside with whatever kind of flavor the pastry chefs choose
To understand why people are willing to stand in long lines for a bite of this particular and popular pastry, we asked the Head of Pastry at Hart Bakery, Talia Richard-Carvajal, to explain what a “fastelavnsbolle” is and what the fuzz is all about. Because she sure baked a few of these herself (38.000 in 2021, to be exact).
Here is an overview of the bakeries in Copenhagen with a unique take on fastelavnsboller:
Classensgade 33, 2100 København Ø
Jægersborggade 9, 2200 København N
Amagerbrogade 48, 2300 København S
Gammel Kongevej 107, 1850 Frederiksberg C
Meyers Bageri is one of the biggest pushers of fastelavnsboller in Copenhagen. This year they serve a warm fastelavnsbolle with prune compote and vanilla cream and, the old-fashionened fastelavnsbolle baked on a soft yeast dough that encircles a core of remonce and vanilla cream.
They are not afraid to share their secret at Meyers Bageri: ”We believe that Fastelavnsboller is about the right balance between the well-known, classic flavors and a bit of innovation and surprise”. The biggest surprise this year at Meyers Bageri is fastelavnsboller with gold dust: “This year we are also presenting a very special fastelavnsbolle, which is only available on Fridays. It is made from butter-baked pastry dough, which is filled with hazelnut mousse and topped with coffee cream made from caramel chocolate and finally decorated with a light sprinkle of golden cocoa and hazelnuts”
Otto Busses Vej 45, 2450 København SV
Perron in Sydhavnen is based in the new area of Banegaarden. This year they are presenting four different kinds of organic fastelavnsboller. “We have something for everybody; sweet and sour, creamy and crunchy or the well-known vanilla dotted fastelavnsbolle. The most popular is the one with bergamot and salted caramel”. Another popular fastelavnsbolle at Perron is also new this year – it´s made with remonce, coffee praline, mascarpone cream and namalaka, which is a Japanese type of ganache.
Nørrebrogade 62, 2200 København N
Antwerpengade 10, 2150 Nordhavn
Every year the fastelavnsboller from Andersen & Maillard are among the best rated fastelavnsboller in the city. This year they continue their success with two different kinds of fastelavnsboller, that they came up with last year: ”We serve the classical fastelavnsboller in two different flavors. One with vanilla cream, blackcurrant jam, and whipped cream, and one with chocolate/orange ganache with whipped cream”.
Several locations in and around Copenhagen.
The fastelavnsboller at Lagkagehuset are extremely popular. They serve the old-fashioned kind, and they have several different flavors with cream.
The new one this year is all vegan. It´s called Hindbærballade: “Our vegan fastelavnsbolle is a sweet and sour berry symphony made on a Vienna pastry with baked rhubarb, raspberry compote and fromage surrounded by airy raspberry foam and decorated with dried cornflower”. And at Lagkagehuset they know that we all need lots of fastelavnsboller during the dark months of January and February: “Our fastelavnsboller are perfect for hygge on cold winter days,” they say.
Århusgade 48, 2100 København Ø
This year it´s the Swedish inspired Semla fastelavnsbolle you can enjoy at Juno the Bakery. The cardamom brioche forms the base together with rich almond marzipan, Polynesian vanilla syrup and bitter almond. The fastelavnsbolle from Juno the Bakery is topped with roasted almonds and a generous amount of lightly whipped cream.
Thorshavnsgade 26, 2300 København S
Fastelavnsboller at Andersen Bakery are like little works of art in all kinds of colors and flavors. They are made on a base of butter-baked croissant bun with a center of either cream or mascarpone foam topped with a crispy almond biscuit. Andersen Bakery is a Japanese-Danish bakery that opened in 1959, when the Japanese baker Shunsuke Takaki arrived in Copenhagen. The Japanese sense of aesthetics is also present in the hyped fastelavnsbolle, which this year comes in a total of 7 varieties.
Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København
Some of the prettiest fastelavnsboller this year are from the bakery Cakenhagen in Tivoli. They come in a variety of pastel colors, and they are all topped with meringue flowers.
Gammel Kongevej 109, 1850 Frederiksberg
Galionsvej 41, 1437 København K
Hart Bakery in Frederiksberg and Holmen is in a league of its own when it comes to fastelavnsboller full of colors and flavor. This year they have experimented with flavors such as Yuzu syrup, mascarpone and marzipan.
Sjællandsgade 7, 2200 København
The bakery Rondo on the corner of Sjællandsgade and Prisesse Chalottes Gade in Nørrebro are treating us with some Swedish inspired fastelavneboller this year: “Our fastelavnsbolle this year is the classical Swedish semla. A delicious cardamom fastelavnsbolle with almond cream and vanilla whipped cream”. Rondo only use organic ingredients for their fastelavnsboller.
Skoubougade 3, 1158 København
La Glace is the oldest pastry shop in Denmark, and it is always popular often with lines of people in front of the windows waiting for their taste of heaven.
Fastelavnsboller are also a big thing at La Glace. This year they have a big romantic surprise for the lovers of fastelavnsboller:
”Since Fastelavn this year falls in the same week as Valentine's Day, we have chosen to focus on love based on our motto: Cakes, art and love make all worries disappear. It's about the love for everyone you're close to and that's why we have four different kinds of Fastelavnsboller; Rusty Love, Boundless Love, Burning Love and Eternal Love”.
Bredgade 68, 1260 København
This year's fastelavnsbolle in Designmuseum Denmark's museum café Format is something very special: it is the café's first fastelavnsbolle after the museum's reopening in 2022! The museum's pastry chef Mateusz Ulman, known for his legendary croissants, has developed a fastelavnsbolle worthy of a design museum: The fastelavnsbolle with an edge. It is different, exciting, and unconventional - both in taste and appearance.
Mateusz Ulman has combined different textures and flavors, so that sweet, sour, soft, and crisp blend into a higher unity. The fastelavnsbolle at Format is filled with whipped cream and apple compote, in a crispy shell of croissant dough.