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Overhead view of saffron buns on a table.

Swedish saffron buns

Lussekatter are the traditional saffron buns served in Sweden on St Lucy's day and throughout Advent. Made with saffron and two raisins, they are a simple but delicious healthy-ish treat.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Scandinavian, Swedish
Keyword christmas buns, lucia buns, lussekatter, saffron buns
Prep Time 13 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Resting time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 262kcal
Author Eva | Electric Blue Food


  • Saucepan
  • Spatula
  • Measuring bowl
  • Kitchen scale
  • Baking sheet


  • 30 g butter
  • 100 ml milk
  • 10 g fresh yeast
  • 25 g sugar
  • 0,1 tsp saffron ground
  • 160 g flour
  • 1 egg
  • 12 raisins
  • pinch of salt


  • Combine butter and milk in a small saucepan, set over low heat and stir until melted. Remove from the heat, stir in the saffron and let the mixture cool to lukewarm. 
  • When cooled, crush the fresh yeast into the milk mixture and stir to combine.
  • Combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Pour in yeast mixture and stir in with a spatula until it starts coming together, then knead until homogeneous. Form into a ball and cover with cling film. Let rest for 40 minutes. 
  • After 40 minutes, take about 1/6 of the dough and roll it into a sausage. Swirl both ends to create a reversed S-shape. Repeat and place each saffron bun on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Leave enough room for the buns to grow as they bake. Proof for 20 minutes.
  • Lightly beat the egg and brush every bun with eggwash. Press a raisin into each swirl. Bake in the preheated oven at 250°C (480°F) for 6-7 minutes.


To make them vegan substitute the butter for margarine and the milk for your favourite plant-based alternative. I have used oat milk many times and I'm always very pleased with the result. Instead of using eggwash, brush the buns with plant-based milk before baking them.


Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 82mg | Potassium: 118mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 287IU | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 2mg