Fill your home with the amazing aroma of saffron with these sweet saffron Christmas buns

Lussekatter are a traditional Swedish sweetened bread with saffron we bake at Christmas. These light and delicious buns are perfect with “glögg” (mulled wine) coffee, tea, hot chocolate or cold milk. In this version we have updated the recipe to include orange zest. In Sweden fresh yeast is commonly used but this can easily be substituted for dried. 

Makes appr 40 lussekatter


200g unsalted butter

500 ml full fat milk

50g fresh yeast or 25g dried yeast

2 pinches of pure saffron threads

1 organic orange, grated zest

150ml granulated sugar

1/2 tsp of salt

750g plain flour

Glaze and decoration

1 egg, beaten



  1. Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the milk.
  2. Let cool until a temperature of 37C° or 98, 6 F°.
  3. Crumble the fresh yeast (or sprinkle the dried yeast) into a large mixing bowl and add the milk and butter mixture. Mix until the yeast is dissolved.
  4. Using a pestle and mortar, crush the saffron threads with a little of the sugar and add to the mixture.
  5. Add the orange zest, sugar, salt and the flour and work into a elastic dough, 10 minutes by hand or 5 minutes if using a food processor. The dough should be a little sticky.
  6. Let the dough rise in the bowl, covered with a clean tea towel or cling film, in a warm place for 40 minutes.
  7. Divide the dough in 2 pieces and knead quickly on a floured surface.
  8. Roll each piece into a “snake” and cut 20 pieces each and roll into small “snakes”.
  9. Curl the ends in opposite direction until S-shaped buns with spirals at the ends.
  10. Place on trays covered with baking parchment and let rise under a clean tea towel for 40 minutes.
  11. Preheat oven to 250 C°
  12. Brush each bun with egg wash and place a raisin in each spiral.
  13. Bake for 5-7 minutes and let cool uncovered.
  14. ENJOY!


Recipe and styling: Liselotte Foslin

Photography: Ulrika Ekblom

Get inspired, see more of Liselotte's recipes and Ulrika's photographs here:


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