St Lucia Buns – Lussekatter

Rate this recipe

I came across a bun that I had never heard of, from Scandinavia, St. Lucia Buns, or Lussekatter.  Usually eaten on 13th December each year, in honour of St Lucia they have saffron in them and sometimes cardamom as well.  Most recipes had a reversed ‘s’ shaped bun, though some had a normal ‘s’ shape.  Some used quark while others used sour cream, double cream, natural yogurt and milk.  So I came up with the combination that would work with what I had in the fridge, which was milk and natural yogurt.

Although they take a little time, and are a little fiddly, most of the time is waiting for the dough to prove.  Certainly once the dough is ready they don’t take long to bake. 

St. Lucia Buns – Lussekatter

Mine turned out very nicely, so I was quite pleased with myself.  They are a lovely soft bun, with a very interesting flavour.  I think they are ideal as a breakfast bun.  I am sure I will make them again since I thoroughly enjoyed the taste.

St. Lucia Buns


  • 240ml milk
  • 60 ml natural yogurt
  • .5g saffron, ground to powder or cut very finely
  • 75g butter, cubed
  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 7g dry active yeast
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cardamom
  • 1 large egg 
  • 24 plump raisins
  • oil for greasing
  • 1 medium egg, beaten, for brushing on top of the buns.


  1. Place the milk and the saffron, together with a couple of teaspoons of sugar, into a saucepan and heat until steaming.
  2. Remove the milk from the heat and put the butter in so that it will melt, and cool the milk at the same time.
  3. Sprnkle the yeast over the milk mixture and stir.  Then leave for 5 to 10 minutes for the yeast to activate and start to froth.
  4. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, add the cardamom and the egg and beat until mixed together.
  5. Add the sugar and beat again.
  6. Add the flour, gradually, in thirds and mix until combined.
  7. Change from the paddle attachment to the kneading attachment and knead for about 5 minutes, until the dough is still slightly sticky, but not enough to completely stick to your hands.
  8. Remove the dough from the bowl and form into a ball.
  9. Grease another bowl and place the dough in it to prove, for between 1 and 2 hours, covering the bowl with clingfilm, until it has double in size.
  10. Remove the dough from the bowl and knock back, to take the air out.
  11. Divide the dough into 12 equal parts.
  12. Roll each part into a snake, about 14 inches long.
  13. Curl each end into a spiral, making a reverse ‘s’ shape.
  14. Place each ‘s’ onto a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. ( I used two baking sheets, with 6 on each)
  15. Cover the dough again, with oiled clingfilm, and leave to double in size.
  16. Whilst they are doing the second prove preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F.
  17. When the buns have double in size brush each one with beaten egg.
  18. Poke a raisin into the middle of each swirl of the reverse ‘s’.
  19. Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes, until the buns have gone a nice golden colour and the underside sounds hollow when tapped.
  20. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *