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Vanilla Custard and Coconut Sweet Buns (Skoleboller)

Vanilla custard and coconut sweet buns – taking everything to the next level. Sweet, fluffy and moist sweet buns with a woody and creamy vanilla custard center, drizzled in a thin layer of sugar frosting and shredded coconut – it has it all, and you’ll be sorry if you don’t try it.

 

Vanilla Custard and Coconut Sweet Buns (Skoleboller)

 

Vanilla custard and coconut sweet buns has been a Norwegian tradition since WWII. Many people struggled feeding their children enough, so the schools decided to make these buns in order to get the children to eat. That is why they are called Skoleboller, which translates to school buns. Fortunately, they turned out to be the best thing ever.

 

I’ve thought about uploading this recipe since the beginning of Ginger with Spice’s story. The vanilla custard and coconut sweet buns are made every so often in this household, along with cinnamon rolls and Swedish cardamom buns. The recipes have stayed the same for years, and there’s a reason for that – they’re perfect.

 

Vanilla Custard and Coconut Sweet Buns (Skoleboller)

 

The sweet buns are made just like this base recipe. The difference comes after step 6 in that recipe.  Cover with a towel and let rise for about 40 more minutes. And when that’s done, make a hollow in each one. It should be large enough to fill 1 tbsp of vanilla custard.

 

Vanilla Custard and Coconut Sweet Buns (Skoleboller)

Vanilla Custard and Coconut Sweet Buns (Skoleboller)

Vanilla Custard and Coconut Sweet Buns (Skoleboller)

Vanilla Custard and Coconut Sweet Buns (Skoleboller)

 

Meanwhile the dough is rising, you’ll make the vanilla custard:

 

How to Make Vanilla Custard: 2 ways

 

The Super Easy Way

The reason why I have waited so long with sharing this recipe is because of the vanilla custard. I have always made these with a half finished vanilla custard (powder form), and this is because it works like a  charm. I use two packets of these Freia vaniljesaus til koking along with 4 tbsp sugar, 1/2 liter of milk and 2 eggs. Pour everything into a saucepan and whisk until incorporated. You want medium heat, enough for it to start bubbling eventually. Whisk constantly, and when it begins to thicken, place the saucepan in cold water for it to cool quicker.

 

The Easy, Better Tasting Way

As most of my lovely readers are not from Norway, I couldn’t just provide that option. But I promise, it’s a good option, and I’ll continue to use it. But a few weeks back I made Turtle Cakes (Skilpaddekaker) and then I had to make up a rum cream, and the base – you guessed it – a vanilla custard! Right, so finally I had a homemade vanilla custard to show for.

 

It’s made pretty similar as the powder variety too, just a few more steps:

 

Pour the milk, half of the heavy cream and half of the sugar into a saucepan. Cut open and scrape out the seeds of the vanilla bean. Place everything into the saucepan. Heat up to the point of boiling, constantly stirring.

 

In another bowl, whisk together the rest of the heavy cream, egg yolks, cornstarch and the rest of the sugar. Cool the milk mixture a little bit before slowly pouring it into the egg mixture while constantly whisking.

 

Pour this mixture back into the saucepan, make sure you bring with you the vanilla seeds. Heat the mixture back up, until it is thickening. Remember to stir. Place the saucepan into a tub of cold water to cool. If you like vanilla custard, you will also love these vanilla custard filled crescent rolls!

 

Next Step

 
 
Once the vanilla custard is semi cool to cool, take 1 to 1 heaping tbsp of vanilla custard and place it into one of the hollowed out buns. Continue with the rest. Most likely you’ll have a little leftover custard. Brush each buns with a whisked egg.
 
 
Bake in the oven at 230C (446F) for around 12 minutes. Cool completely on a cooling rack before continuing.
 

 

Vanilla Custard and Coconut Sweet Buns (Skoleboller)

 

Dip the Vanilla Custard Sweet Buns in Shredded Coconut

 

Once the buns are cold, you’re ready for the next step. Pour powdered sugar and a little bit of water in a bowl. Mix until you get a slightly thick frosting. It needs to be pliable, and not so runny that it just slides off the buns. Take a butter knife or a spoon and spread the frosting around on the bun (not over the custard). Before it has a chance to dry, dip the bun into a bowl filled with shredded coconut. You want it evenly covered. Let dry on a cooling rack and continue with the rest.

 

Vanilla Custard and Coconut Sweet Buns (Skoleboller)

 

These vanilla custard and coconut sweet buns are nothing like anything else you’ve tasted! They scream comfort food, and are perfectly served with either a glass of milk or with a cup of deliciously hot chocolate or dalgona coffee.

 

I mean it, I always make one batch thinking – oh no I can’t eat them all. And then they’re all out and I cry because I just didn’t learn from the last time I was out. Just a warning. I’m totally making a double batch the next time.

 

Eat one before you do all the dishes and clean the counter filled with frosting and shredded coconut.

 

Vanilla Custard and Coconut Sweet Buns (Skoleboller)

 

If you liked these vanilla custard and coconut sweet buns, you will love these too:

 

 

I’d appreciate any kind of feedback – either in the comment section below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later!

 
 

 

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Vanilla Custard and Coconut Sweet Buns (Skoleboller)

Vanilla Custard and Coconut Sweet Buns (Skoleboller)

Yield: 18 buns
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Inactive Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 32 minutes

Vanilla custard and coconut sweet buns - sweet, fluffy and moist sweet buns with a woody and creamy vanilla custard center, drizzled in a thin layer of sugar frosting and shredded coconut - it has it all, and you'll be sorry if you don't try it.

Ingredients

Sweet Buns

  • 8 cups all-purpose flour* (1000g)
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp sugar (120g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.7 oz (50g) fresh yeast or 14g instant dry yeast
  • 2 1/4 cups milk (500ml)
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp butter (160g)

Vanilla Custard: alternative 1

  • 2 packets 'Freia vaniljesaus til koking' (or other powder form vanilla sauce, 40g)
  • 2 1/4 cups milk (500ml)
  • 4 heaping tbsp sugar
  • 2 eggs

Vanilla Custard: alternative 2

  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp sugar (120g, divided)
  • 1 1/4 cup milk (300ml)
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp heavy cream (200ml, divided)
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch

Coconut Glaze

  • 2 3/4 cup powdered sugar (370g) + water until desired consistency
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded/desiccated coconut (120g)

Instructions

Sweet Buns

  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl - flour, sugar, salt and cardamom.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter, pour the milk in and wait until the mixture is lukewarm at about 100F (38C). Mix with fresh yeast**.
  3. Pour the butter and milk into the flour mixture along with one egg.
  4. Knead together for about 10-15 minutes using a stand or hand mixer. Knead until the dough lets go of the bowl and turns into a ball.
  5. Add a little flour on top, and place a kitchen towel or plastic wrap over the bowl. Leave it for about 1-1.5 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
  6. Take the dough onto a lightly floured surface and start to knead a little with your hands and form a long tube of dough. Cut into 18 equal parts. Start to shape into a ball with your hands and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Cover with a towel and let rise for about 40 more minutes (make vanilla custard now) or until doubled in size again. And when that's done, make a hollow in each one. It should be large enough to fill 1 tbsp of vanilla custard.

Vanilla Custard - alternative 1

  1. Pour everything into a saucepan and whisk until incorporated. You want medium heat, enough for it to start bubbling eventually. Whisk constantly, and when it begins to thicken, place the saucepan in cold water for it to cool quicker.

Vanilla Custard - alternative 2

  1. Pour the milk, half of the heavy cream and half of the sugar into a saucepan. Cut open and scrape out the seeds of the vanilla bean. Place everything into the saucepan. Heat up to the point of boiling, constantly stirring.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the rest of the heavy cream, egg yolks, cornstarch and the rest of the sugar. Cool the milk mixture a little bit before slowly pouring it into the egg mixture while constantly whisking.
  3. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan, make sure you bring with you the vanilla seeds. Heat the mixture back up, until it is thickening. Remember to stir. Place the saucepan into a tub of cold water to cool, remove the vanilla beans.

Baking and Assembly

  1. Pre-heat oven to 445F (230C).
  2. Once the vanilla custard is semi cool to cool, take 1 to 1 heaping tbsp of vanilla custard and place it into one of the hollowed out buns. Continue with the rest. Most likely you'll have leftover custard. Brush with egg wash.
  3. Bake in the middle rack for about 11-12 minutes. Cool completely on a cooling rack before continuing.
  4. Pour powdered sugar and a little bit of water in a bowl. Mix until you get a slightly thick frosting. It needs to be pliable, and not so runny that it just slides off the buns. Take a butter knife or a spoon and spread the frosting around on the bun (not over the custard). Before it has a chance to dry, dip the bun onto a shallow plate with shredded coconut. You want it evenly covered. Let dry on a cooling rack. Repeat with the other buns.
  5. They are definitely best the first day, but delicious for several days. They can be frozen, but without the glaze and coconut (do that when they are thawed).

Notes

* I always recommend using a kitchen scale when baking.

** If using instant dry yeast, combine with the dry ingredients.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or tag @thegingerwithspice on Instagram, I'd love to see!

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James

Saturday 29th of December 2018

I have been craving these from my childhood, but there is nothing like these where I live now. Unfortunately I am not a good baker or cook and I live at altitude (1600m), so this recipe was a bit hard to follow. I am determined to recreated these that look similar to your pictures. I used method 2 for the custard. Next time I think I will substitute vanilla extract, I've never dealt with vanilla beans and it was a pain getting the seeds out. The custard came out lumpy, but still tasty. Not sure what "thickening" was supposed to look like during the final heating/stirring of the custard. Did i have too much heat or not enough time at that heat? I had a medium flame on the gas stove for the saucepan and the lumps were forming on the bottom of the pan as I stirred. Left the buns in the oven for about 15 or 16 minutes and they are a little lighter brown than your pictures. Definitely need a much bigger hole for the custard than what I did, the buns rose in the baking and pushed some of the custard off and didn't leave much room for the icing and coconut. Wish I could send you some pictures so I could get some tips to try again.

Thanks!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Saturday 29th of December 2018

Hello James! Do you have Norwegian family, since these are nostalgic for you? Or do they exist elsewhere too? Anyway, I'm glad you came to me!

But also sorry it didn't turn out as expected. I'm not that experienced with altitude cooking, all I can think of with the lumpy custard is because eggs are quite sensitive to heat and water boils at different temperatures at different altitudes. To get the vanilla seeds out it's definitely a lot easier to use a very sharp knife, or else it will be a pain. But using vanilla extract could work too. I am guessing you may have had too much heat for too long, because it has happened to me too if I do that. Using medium heat shouldn't be too much though, but maybe in high elevation. Thickening looks like in the pre-baked photos, maybe a little thinner as it thickens more when it gets colder. And yes, no problem in making a larger hole, they do tend to rise much and also pushing the custard a little out.

I have made these at an altitude of 730 meters, but used option 1 in custard, but there's still eggs in that custard, and I haven't noticed a big difference. Anyway, a little surprised that it took 15-16 minutes to get a lighter color. I am guessing you used 230C (446F) degrees? That is pretty high, so they should have gotten that color, so the only things I can think of there is that altitude requires higher temperatures or that your oven generally needs higher temperatures. My old fashioned cabin oven needs much lower temperature than my oven at home, and 230 is what I use here at home, maybe 200 in my cabin.

In summary; 1. Vanilla Custard: try lower temperature, constantly whisking, and just when it starts to thicken, remove from heat. 2. Baking: maybe increase temperature to 240-250, but keep an eye on the buns.

I sincerely hope you try again, because these are one of my absolute favorite things in life! Not much beats a vanilla custard coconut bun and a cup of hot chocolate. Have a great day, James!

PS. If you want you could send me the photos (if you had any) on contact@gingerwithspice.com and I could try to give better advice.

camila

Thursday 24th of May 2018

Ohhh awesome! I saw these buns on IG and I was dying at how delicious they are!! And you share even more delicious pics here! Love it

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Thursday 31st of May 2018

Thank you so much, sweetie! Yes, I had a hard time cropping the photos for IG, haha. But I'm so glad you like them! This is one of my all time favorite recipes.

April

Thursday 24th of May 2018

Omg these are the most cutes buns I have ever seen! I think they are too pretty to eat. I want to make these for breakfast once we are settled into our new place. Can't wait to try them!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Thursday 24th of May 2018

Thank you so much, April! Congratulations on your new home, and I hope you'll like these buns!

Stephanie

Wednesday 23rd of May 2018

These look absolutely amazing! I love everything here - the sweet dough, the custard, and the coconut topping!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Thursday 24th of May 2018

Thank you so much! I hope you get the chance to try them!

Samantha H.

Wednesday 23rd of May 2018

Looks totally delicious and so beautiful! This would be amazing for spring brunches or Easter/Mother's Day.

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Thursday 24th of May 2018

Thank you! Yes, I actually do make them every Easter, and any other excuse to make buns really.

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