No ImageSt. Lucia Saffron Buns

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Kelly Norberg

    I followed your recipe to the T and these buns were fabulous. The dough was so soft and smooth. I made the night before let it rise and then put in the fridge overnight. I took out the next morning and let it warm up and then I made these. The finished product was amazing…I loved that buns were soft and flaky. I am definitely making these again. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.


  2. Nadine

    I made these today. My dough did not rise to double its size, but I went forward after letting it sit all day. The dough was easy to work with and the “S” shapes were great. Again, the dough did not rise for the hour before cooking. After 11-12 minutes in the oven, I took them out. They were heavy and dense and dough-like (not light and flaky). Taste is there, but not texture.

    (It was new yeast from the store and not expired. It did not seem to be ‘foamy’ as you described after adding it to the warm milk. But I wonder if there was a problem with it.)

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Nadine! Unfortunately, this does sound like a problem with the yeast, even though it was a new packet. That’s such a disappointment, I know! Better luck next time!

  3. Terri

    If I make the dough the night before , do I have to get up 3 hours early to get through the 2 bouts of rising? Or can I do one rising and refrigerate and do last rising in morning before baking?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Terri! You can just refrigerate the dough after the first rise, and then the next morning, you can go straight into shaping the rolls and then letting them rise the second time. Enjoy!

  4. Nicole

    Recipe was perfect!


  5. Jennifer

    Hi! My dough turned out super sticky and I can’t shape the buns. I do not have a standing mixer, other than that, I’m not sure what I did wrong. Can I fix it?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jennifer, as indicated in the recipe, you need to keep adding flour, a tablespoon at a time until the dough is a little sticky to the touch, but not too sticky (“tacky” is the word I think do describe this). Then you need to let the dough sit in a warm place to double in size. After that, the dough should be easy enough to work with. If not, flour your hands before trying to shape the dough.

  6. Christianne

    Very tasty! The dough is very lovely to work with (I knead by hand) and the resulting buns are light, fluffy and flavourful. I made them without the cardamom and subbed plain 6% yogurt for the sour cream.


  7. Cinzia

    Hi, I have made these buns for a few years with varying success. When they work they’re great. When the don’t, I’m sure I did something wrong.

    Anyhow, my husband just was diagnosed with Celiac disease, so now I have to try to make them gluten-free. Anyone tried to substitute the flour with any luck?


  8. Ylva

    I have made lots of “lussebullar” every year since my childhood (I am Swedish). I use quark and eggs in the dough, have done this for the last 15 years. The buns do stay more moist. They don’t get dry if you don’t want to put them in the freezer at once. We like them better this way.

  9. susanne

    Dont use quark/sour cream. Swedish dairy companies had surplus quark and tried to found new uses for it and said it made the buns more moist. But thats not true.
    So quark are no longer used in Sweden because the pastry chefs have debunked the dairy companies.
    Grind whole saffron threads with some sugar in a pestle and mortar before adding it to warm milk.

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. Elvina

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

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