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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 262 kcal
Author Eva | Electric Blue Food


  • 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


  1. 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. 

  2. When cooled, crush the fresh yeast into the milk mixture and stir to combine.

  3. 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. 

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

Recipe Notes

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.


Nutrition Facts
Swedish saffron buns
Amount Per Serving
Calories 262 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 60mg20%
Sodium 82mg4%
Potassium 118mg3%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 287IU6%
Calcium 40mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.