Desserts and sweets

Swedish buns from Saint Lucia. Christmas recipe

Swedish buns from Saint Lucia. Christmas recipe


  • Half
  • 240 minutes
  • For 8 people
  • € 0.35 / person
  • 296kcal per 100g.

How to make Swedish buns from Saint Lucia.  This dessert is native to Sweden and it is prepared, given as a gift and eaten on December 13, the day of Saint Lucia (Saint of Light). It is a well-established tradition in the Nordic country.

It is a date when youth processions are organized throughout the country. A girl crowned with candles on her head embodies the saint and parades opening the procession, followed by young people carrying candles.

It is a dessert that rivals your apple pie or the famous cinnamon rolls . Also, being a brioche- type dessert, its flavor is similar to our roscón de Reyes. So I’m sure you will like them.

These buns are delicious and are made with a dough flavored with saffron, which gives it a slightly yellowish color (more or less depending on the amount we put).

They are light, fluffy and slightly reminiscent of the dough of Swiss buns , although their most popular “S” shape makes them well recognizable.

Also known in Sweden by ” lussekatter “, which means ” Lucia’s cats” , or ” lussebullar “, Lucia balls, the truth is that we do not care about the name, what interests us is to teach you how to prepare them so that you can enjoy them so much like us.

And if they dry a little, we can always open them in half, toast them and spread them with jam. Or do classic pudding of brioche , type pudding roulade both triumphs at home. Either way, they are yummy.

Preparing the base of the dough for the buns

  1. We open the cardamom pods and remove the seeds. We discard the husks and grind the seeds in a mortar. We reserve.
  2. We heat the milk in a saucepan, without boiling it, and add the saffron threads.
  3. If you really like saffron, don’t be shy about using more. The color and flavor will be much more powerful.
  4. We remove from the heat and allow about 10 minutes to infuse and the milk to take color before incorporating the butter, which will melt under the effect of heat, and the yeast. Mix well until homogenized.
  5. In a deep container, mix the flour with the sugar, salt and ground cardamom seeds.
  6. We make a hole in the center and pour the milk and egg mixture, previously beaten (of which we reserve a small amount to brush the buns before baking).
  7. Stir with a wooden spoon, initially, and finish kneading on a clean work surface.
  8. We do not add more flour, even if it sticks lightly to the surface, and knead until it is smooth and smooth.
  9. We put it in the shape of a ball in a slightly greased bowl, cover with a clean cloth and let it rise until it almost doubles its volume, about an hour.

Molded and baked from the Santa Lucia buns. Final presentation

  1. We pass the dough back to the work surface and degas by pressing with the fist gently.
  2. We divide into eight portions of equal size, we stretch each one in the form of an elongated cylinder and we give an S shape joining the ends well so that they do not open in the oven.
  3. We place the buns on a baking tray covered with parchment paper or baking paper.
  4. We place a raisin on the ends of each bun, brush with the egg that we have reserved and let it rise again for 30 minutes.
  5. We finish the Santa Lucia buns by baking them in the oven, pre-heated to 180º C (with heat up and down, traditional heat), for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  6. Let cool on a metal rack and ready to taste.

Here you have a step by step in photos where I show how to prepare this recipe for buns from Santa Lucia . Do not miss any detail so that it comes out perfect.

Tips for some delicious St Lucia Swedish Buns

  • They are relatively easy to prepare and their dough is very manageable and appreciative. They only require an initial levado and, after the buns are formed, a second levado waiting to go to the oven.
  • In a couple of hours they will be ready, so if you prepare them after eating you can have them for a snack. And what a snack, nothing like a freshly baked bun.
  • Although this does not mean that you can prepare them when you please. They hold well in an airtight container for a couple of days, so they can accompany us at breakfast or mid-morning.
  • As with homemade pastries, the Santa Lucia buns hold up to 24 hours in good condition if stored in an airtight container. They can be frozen individually wrapped in plastic wrap and, when we feel like one, just remove it from the freezer and let it thaw at room temperature.
  • We can finish these buns by sprinkling some granulated almond on the surface or sprinkling with sugar. It is not the most orthodox, but they are delicious.
  • Raisins can be substituted for dried cherries, in fact the latter are the traditional fruit with which they are prepared in Sweden.
  • The raising time depends on the ambient temperature, you can place the dough near the radiator to ensure that it is ready in one hour, the first raising, and 30 minutes, the second.

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