How to Make Amazing Swedish Style Saffron Buns, Lussekatter

Home 9 Festive Breads 9 How to Make Amazing Swedish Style Saffron Buns, Lussekatter

Lussekatter are traditional Swedish Christmas buns usually made on 13th of December for St. Lucia day. Enriched with butter and sugar, and flavoured with saffron, they have a unique taste and extremely soft texture. Their shape is meant to resemble a cat’s tail or a sleeping cat. However, they can be made into many other shapes.

This recipe makes 8 buns. To make more multiply all the ingredients.

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.


For the dough

300g (10.6oz) white bread flour

170g (6oz) milk*

60g (2.1oz) softened butter

50g (1.75oz) sugar

0.5g (0.02oz) saffron

4g (0.14oz) instant dry yeast or 4.8g (0.16oz) active dry yeast or 12g (0.42oz) fresh yeast

5g (0.17oz) salt

1g (0.035oz) ground cardamom (optional)

*To learn more about dough temperature control click here.


1 egg for glazing

Raisins for decoration


The flour I use has a protein content of 13%. If your flour is weaker, then you may need to lower the hydration.

If you are using active dry yeast, then you may need to let it sit in the milk for 10 minutes before adding the other ingredients or else it could take a lot longer to raise the dough.


  1. In a large bowl combine the milk, yeast, salt, sugar and saffron, cardamom. Mix well to dissolve the salt completely. Add the butter and flour. Mix to a dough.
  2. Tip the dough out on the table and knead using the slap & fold kneading method for 10 minutes. *Desired dough temperature 25C – 26C (77F – 79F). If your dough is warmer, then it will ferment more rapidly. If it is cooler, then it will take longer. Adjust proofing time accordingly.
  3. Ferment for 1 hour.
  4. Fold.
  5. Ferment for 1 more hour.
  6. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Pre-shape.
  7. Rest for 20 minutes.
  8. Final shaping (see video).
  9. Final proof 2 hours. *During this time pre-heat the oven to 200C (392F) fan off.
  10. Brush the buns with egg and decorate with raisins.
  11. Bake for 15 minutes.

Leave to cool down slightly and enjoy!


Keep in mind that the conditions in each kitchen are different, so fermentation times may vary for you. It is up to the baker to control the bread and react accordingly.

Your oven may be different too, so your baking time may vary.



Watch the video here

Understanding the principles of bread making will let you be in complete control every time you make bread. It will reduce the failure rate and turn you into an even more confident home baker.

I highly recommend you check out the Learning page where I have detailed, easy to understand explanations on each step of the bread baking process and the principles behind it.

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