Lucia Buns

Lucia Buns

These slightly-sweet saffron scented Lucia buns are a Swedish holiday tradition. 

Course Baking
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 24 buns
Calories 214 kcal
Author Katie Trant


  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 Tablespoons active dried yeast or 50g fresh yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 6 cups all purpose flour or a blend of whole wheat and all purpose
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 cube sugar or 1 tsp cognac
  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup flour

For Garnish

  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 48 raisins


  1. Melt 3 Tbsp butter in a sauce pan. Add the milk and heat to room temperature. If you're using active dry yeast, heat slightly more.

  2. Crumble the yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer and add some of the milk, stirring until dissolved. Add the remaining liquid, salt, sugar, and 6 cups of the flour.

  3. Stir to combine, then use the dough hook to knead until the dough no longer sticks to the side of the bowl.

  4. Sprinkle the dough with a little flour, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

  5. Crush the saffron with the sugar cube using a mortar and pestle, or mix with the cognac and set aside.

  6. In a medium bowl, beat 1/2 cup of butter with 2/3 cups of sugar until light and fluffy. 

  7. Add the egg and the saffron. Knead this mixture into the risen dough, then add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour.

  8. Knead until the dough is smooth and is pulling away from the sides of the bowl.

  9. Pre-heat the oven to 250C / 450F. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper, or grease well with butter.

  10. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop, and divide into 24 pieces.

  11. Roll each piece into a long rope, then coil the ends of the rope towards the center from opposite sides. Place each coiled bun onto the prepared baking sheet. Cover and let rise until almost doubled.

  12. Brush buns with beaten egg and garnish with raisins. 

  13. Bake on the center rack for 8-10 minutes. Buns should be puffed and golden, brown on the bottom, and sound slightly hollow when tapped.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Lucia Buns
Amount Per Serving
Calories 214 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Cholesterol 29mg10%
Sodium 158mg7%
Potassium 79mg2%
Carbohydrates 33g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 215IU4%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 31mg3%
Iron 1.7mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.