Go Back
+ servings
overhead photo of swedish saffron buns (lussekatter) on a metal cooling wrack with one bun on a white plate and a mug of tea to the side

Lussekatter - Swedish Saffron Buns

Swedish Saffron Buns, also known as Lucia Buns or Lussekatter, are a traditional part of Swedish Christmas celebrations. These saffron buns are made with part wholegrain spelt flour, but otherwise follow a traditional recipe.
Course Breads
Cuisine Swedish
Keyword Swedish saffron buns
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 24 buns
Calories 214kcal


  • 2 cups whole milk warmed to body temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons active dried yeast or 50g fresh yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups wholegrain spelt flour
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 gram saffron about 1 teaspoon ground saffron
  • ½ cup butter room temperature
  • cup sugar
  • 1 egg

For Garnish

  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 48 raisins


  • Combine the saffron with one tablespoon of water and set aside.
  • Combine the milk and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and let it stand for 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
  • Add the sugar, spelt flour, and half of the bread flour. Stir to combine.
  • Using the dough hook, knead until the dough until just combined.
  • Add the room temperature butter, the egg, the saffron with liquid, and the remaining flour.
  • Using the dough hook, allow the mixer to knead the dough for about 10 minutes. It should be smooth and pulling away from the sides off the bowl when it is ready.
  • Sprinkle the dough with a little flour, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • While the dough is rising, combine the raisins with water and set aside to plump up.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 200C / 400F. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper, or grease well with butter.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop, and divide into 24 pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a long rope (mine were about 16 inches), 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.
  • Brush buns with beaten egg and press a raisin into each end (two raisins per bun). 
  • 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.


  • I used a blend of wholegrain spelt and high gluten bread flour in my Lucia buns. You can also use 100% all purpose flour.
  • Do ahead: These buns can be made, and shaped, then kept refrigerated overnight or frozen for longer. Just be sure they come to room temperature for a final rise before baking. Baked buns will last about 3 days at room temperature in an air tight container, or about 3 months in the freezer.


Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 158mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 215IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1.7mg