No ImageSt. Lucia Saffron Buns

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Marija

    I made the rolls and they turned out lovely even though I forgot the sour cream! It was on the counter in front of me too lol! When I started to mix everything it was dry and crumbly and I was wondering what I did wrong so I just added a bit of warm water and managed to create the dough. They still taste great and nice with a cup of coffee. I have a Croatian background and we have a lot of traditional recipes for Christmas so it was nice to add something different!

  2. Alyse Johnson

    What is wrong if the dough is lumpy?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Alyse, you mean lumpy after you’ve kneaded it? It could be because the flour was added too quickly to the dough as it was being mixed, or perhaps the flour was lumpy and needed to be sifted or more thoroughly whisked first.

  3. Danielle

    Could you make these a few days before and freeze them and dethaw in the fridge and then microwave? Or wouldif not that, could you freeze the dough and then make them the day of?

    • Elise Bauer

      I don’t think microwaving would be a good idea. But I do think you can freeze the dough, as long as when you defrost you give it time to rise.

      • Henrik

        Yes you can freeze and microwave them to thaw. However, be VERY careful to serve immediately as they will become bone dry within 15-20 mins after they come out. (Better is to thaw at room temperature for 1-2 hours; then warm up for 1-2 mins in hot oven immediately before serving.)

        Also – recommend doing it like we do in Sweden; dunk in coffee or hot cocoa. Delicious!

  4. Elvina

    How much pre-grinded cardamom seeds would you use in place of cardamom seeds? I do not have a spice grinder.

  5. JB from DC

    Hi there, How much yeast should I use if I have a bottle (not a packet)? Also, same question for if I have bottle of ground cardamom rather than the pods. Thanks!!! :)

    • Debbie

      I have a jar of Red star active dry yest and it says 2-1/4 tsp (two tsp plus one quarter tsp) is the same as one packet.

  6. David

    I am swedish and love lussebullar! I read in a magazine that they will taste even better if you infuse the saffron in some brandy or other liquor. I have not tried it, but I know meatballs taste better with a little cognac in them, so it is worth a try.

  7. Nina

    I am so proud of myself for making these! It was quite a task compared to my regular baking, especially with the yeast and the kneading which I’m not used to. Oh and mine didn’t turn out as pretty as yours; you couldn’t really see the “S” as well (it has the unfortunate resemblance to boobs actually lol!) but I was so proud of how it tasted and that I made bread :)

    • Elise Bauer

      Congratulations! LOL on the “boobs”. I think you may just need to roll out the ropes longer, and then makes sure you have fairly tight spirals.

  8. Maria

    I was born in Sweden and celebrated Lucia throughout my childhood in Sweden and here in the US. I am now trying to keep the tradition alive with my own two kids. I was going to make the recipe from my Swedish cookbook, but this one seemed less complicated – perhaps it was all the photos and clear instructions. The “lussekatter” came out great! Thanks Elise!

    • Elise Bauer

      I’m so glad you made it Maria and the recipe worked well for you!

  9. Amy

    My mom introduced Lucia buns to our family tradition over 40 years ago. Few traditions from Sweden made it through immigration two generations ago with our grandparents, so she thought we’d add this one. We didn’t celebrate on December 13 but on Christmas morning. Because all of us kids would wake my parents up too early (4am?), she made it a rule that we had to make coffee, and warm up Lucia buns, then proceed into their room bearing these items, singing a Christmas song, with a wreath on the oldest girl’s head. A candle could be on the tray. My own children love this tradition in our house today and we enjoy Christmas a little later in the morning.

  10. Espahan

    This looks so good. I love the shape. This is going on my list of breads to make. I love cardamom but prefer it well ground up.

  11. Ida

    In Denmark most schools and churches have a Lucia procession too, but people usually don’t have it at home.

    My mom bakes these too, I think the recipe is a little different – I will have to compare.

    She does make more shapes though, in addition to the S shape, take two strands and put next to each other, and roll all four ends up so it looks like a butterfly.

    A nice reminder of home, thank you!

  12. Marion Olson

    Hi, Elise – I just checked my mother-in-law’s very thumbed Swedish Christmas cookbook and much to my surprise, the recipe for Saffronsbrud doesn’t contain cardamom, although I’m pretty sure we have put it in. It does have a lot more raisins than this one, and chopped or ground almonds to sprinkle on the top. Otherwise it’s just about the same.

    Lucia’s Day means it’s about time to start making the pepparkokor and and the spritz cookies, and for my husband to make his glogg. ‘Tis the season for the meatballs, too. It’s the Dark Season, so we’ll light the candles and have all the festive foods!

  13. semiswede

    Should have mentioned you can also make some great bread pudding and/or stuffing if you end up with an abundance of Lucia buns. The saffron makes both dishes really intriguing!

  14. semiswede

    Nice to see Lucia buns on your site! The video was fun too, hadn’t seen that before. It’s pretty accurate. We have been to two Lucia processions for our 4 and 6 year-olds today, and tomorrow my husband is having a Lucia procession at his office. I love Lucia. This time in Sweden is dark, but cozy. Thanks for sharing the tradition and recipe with the audience on your site. If you are interested, there is a more in-depth history I posted on my site a couple of years ago. It’s rotating as a featured post at the moment.

  15. Isabel in Spain

    I plan on trying this out during the Christmas holidays and like all your recipes I am sure it will be a hit. Also happy that for once I have all the ingredients even the quark a staple here in Málaga in all the supermarkets!! Merry Christmas to all!!

  16. Wendy in Seattle

    I’m pretty sure it is more traditional with cardamom, because, as Diane says, it is a spice used extensively in Scandinavian baking — perhaps THE spice of Scandinavian pastry! (I grew up near Ballard, a neighborhood of Seattle with deep Scandinavian roots; each year they have a Syttende Mai, Norwegian Constitution Day, parade, and some years the King and Queen of Norway have come to be in the parade!)

    • Elise Bauer

      Cardamom is a spice traditionally used in Scandinavian cooking and baking, but not necessarily in these particular buns. Cardamom is terrific in this Swedish tea ring.

  17. Diane

    I would have thought they’d be more traditional WITH cardamom as I was always told it was a spice used extensively in Swedish baking. But then, that’s just an assumption I made. :->

View More