Swedish saffron buns ”Lussekatter”

A must among most Swedes, at least some time during the Christmas preparation and celebration, is the Swedish saffron bun called ”Lussekatter”. Lussekatter is, in all its simplicity, a beloved traditions and can be varied a lot depending on what you and your tastebuds prefer!

The most important thing to get fluffy perfect buns, except using fresh ingredients – of course, is to be very careful when measuring the flour. Too much flour equal dry and boring saffron buns. If you’re not used to baking, but want to try anyway, be sure to follow the recipe to the nail, and when measuring flour, scoop the flour into the measuring cup using a spoon. This way you’ll make sure the flour isn’t ”pushed” into the measuring cup packing it too tight.

Another tips is to soak the raisins. By doing so, you make sure that the raisins doesn’t soak up any of the moisture from the bun, making the buns more dry in the process.

For me, I love both raisins and pearl sugar on mine, I usually treat myself one home made one during the Christmas preparations. And though I love the classic ones, I have to say…adding a little bit of pearl sugar does transform them to more of a pastry than a simple bun. The saffron buns can be stored in the freezer but as all freshly baked bread or buns, it’s always best the same day or the first day after baking them!

God Jul (Merry Christmas) and Good luck to anyone who tries baking them!

And if you want to see instructions of how to roll them the like the Classic ”lussekatter, check the video below on YouTube about how to make traditional Swedish Lussekatter!

Lussekatter – Swedish saffron buns

gives aprox. 40 buns

200 gram butter

5 deciliter milk

50 gram fresh yeast for sweet doughs

1 gram saffron + 1 tbsp granulated sugar

2 deciliter sugar or white Swedish syrup

1 tsp salt

13-14 deciliter flour

1 egg + 1 tbsp milk or water

Topping :


Pearled sugar


  1. Melt the butter in a thick bottomed sauce pan, when it’s melted, add the milk and heat to 37 degrees Celsius (or 98,5 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. Crumble the fresh yeast into a large bowl and add the butter & milk mixture, stir until fully resolved.
  3. Use a mortar to ground the saffron with about 1 table spoon of sugar and add to the milk/yeast/butter in the bowl.
  4. Add salt, sugar or white syrup (”vit sirap” for baking) and flour a little at a time. Kneed the dough 10 minutes by hand, or 5 minutes in a stand mixer with the dough hook. The dough should be smooth and elastic when done. Attention! The dough SHOULD be a little bit sticky, do not add more flour, this will make the buns dry. I usually go for the smaller amount of flour because I know the result will be the best!
  5. Cover with a clean kitchen cloth and leave it ro rise for about 45-60 minutes, until it has doubled in size. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 250 degrees Celsius (or 225 if you use a convection oven) or 480 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. When the dough is ready, pour out into a clean surface very lightly covered with flour and kneed for a minute or two until smooth and elastic. Divide into 4 parts, moving three to the side, working only with one part of dough at a time.
  7. Use a rolling pin and make a square about 30 x 40 cm (11.8 x 15.8 inches.) Using a pizza slier or a sharp knife, cut/slice the dough in 10 equally large strips. Roll each slice in the same S-shape as the classic Lussekatter/Saffron buns, but with the cut side up. Gently place on a parchment covered baking sheet. Leave to rise under a kitchen towel for about 45-60 minutes.
  8. When it’s about 20-30 minutes left until the buns are ready to go into the oven, place raisins (two for each bun) in a bowl and cover with cold water. This will prevent the raisin to ”suck” moisture out of the bun.
  9. When ready for the oven beat the egg lightly and brush buns with egg. Add the raisins as in photos and sprinkle with pearled sugar.
  10. Bake in the middle of the oven about 5 minutes or until the Saffron buns are golden brown. Short and warm is the key, leaving them in for too long will make them dry.
  11. Let cool on rack covered with a kitchen towel

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  • Reply
    18 december, 2019 at 15:16

    Wow så fina bullar!

  • Reply
    19 december, 2019 at 23:42

    Hej Maria,

    thank you for the passion with which you do what you do.

    Is baking actually fun? I mean, I’ve never baked (I’m ashamed). But of course I like fresh bread and other baked delicacies. And usually there is always a good bakery somewhere nearby where i can buy this. But what do you do if you absolutely want to eat ”Lussekatter” and the bakerman doesn’t know it or recommend something else?

    Maybe there are delicacies in my area that taste similar. But that would not be the same. I will have no choice but to try it myself. 🙂

    Thanks to your instructions and your video, this should actually work. I´m sure that would be fun. And if i can also meditate while “turning the strips”, it will not only spoil my taste buds. I just will have to be careful not to ”fly away” while baking (sry, i know). 🙂

    Although!? … When i see what big heart for birds you have. Even for those with a little less courage. … 🙂

    KRAM! ❤,

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