St. Lucia Saffron Buns

12 December 2017

The Scandinavians celebrate Saint Lucia on December 13th. In Sweden and Norway, thsses sweet saffron buns are traditionally emade for this special day, and they are called Lussebullar, Lusseboller or Lussekatter depending on the country or even the region.

If you often read our blog, you may have come across our article about Östergötland, a Swedish region in which I regularly go to see part of my family. These trips have raised in me a great admiration for Scandinavian cuisine over the years, and today, on the occasion of Saint Lucia, I wanted to share with you a very famous swedish recipe. In addition, these buns will be my way to wish happy name day to my co-blogger Lucie, who writes half of the articles of Cosmic Tomatoes.

Let’s get back to our saffron buns now. The name, Lussekatter, means “Lucy’s cats” and it relates to the fact that these buns look like a cat’s tail. Some will also say that the two raisins in the center of the two spirals refer to the craved eyes of Saint Lucia.

There are, in fact, many different theories and stories around the Lussekatter and the feast of Saint Lucia in general. The tradition can be traced back to St Lucia of Syracuse, a martyresse who lived in the 4th century, but also, to the Swedish legend of Lucy as Adam’s first wife. It is said that she was smittened with the devil and that her children were invisible infernals! Thus, the name can be associated with both lux (light) and Lucifer (Satan). Now think about all these emotional stories and myths with every bite of your delicious Lussekatt :))


  • 500 ml Milk
  • 1 g Saffron
  • 220 g Sugar
  • 75 g Fresh yeast
  • 1 kg Flour
  • 1/4 Cc Cardamome
  • 150 g Soft butter
  • 1 Big pinch of salt
  • 1 Handful of raisins
  • 1 Egg yolk


Heat the milk, saffron and 1 teaspoon of sugar together until the milk is warm (but not boiling). Remove from heat and stir to dissolve the sugar.



Sprinkle the yeast over the warm saffron milk and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.


In a large bowl mix together flour, remaining sugar, salt and cardamom.


Make a well in the mixture with the flour and pour the mixture with the milk. Mix everything.


Start kneading the dough. Continue until the dough does not stick to your hands.


Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a large bowl. Then cover the dough with a clean cloth and let it rest in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.


When the dough has doubled in volume, press gently and knead several times.


Tear off a piece of dough and form a sausage between your palms. Stretch the sausage shaped dough to have a length of about 20cm.


Stick the ends in opposite directions, forming an “S” with spirals at each end. Place on a baking tray covered with a baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough.


Preheat the oven on 200 °c.


Place two raisins on each bun (in the center of the spirals ) and brush with the egg yolk.


Place the saffron buns in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes (until golden brown).

smaklig måltid!


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