How To Make Lussekatter – Recipe for Swedish Christmas Saffron Buns

lussekatter - best in malmö recipe

Swedish Lussekatter Recipe

No Swedish Christmas would be complete without a big pile of lussekatter or lussebullar (unappetizingly translated to “lice cats” in English). Usually in the shape of an “S” with raisins in at both ends or two “S” shapes crossed over the middle, called a Christmas cross. No matter the shape, these seasonal saffron buns are a tradition in Sweden but enjoyed by everyone.

Pro tip: Lussekatter freeze well so it can be easier to make a large batch once for the holidays and freeze a portion of them to be thawed out when friends or family visit.

This recipe makes up to 40 lussekatter.

All the ingredients you need:

50 g of fresh yeast or one package of dry yeast

1 g saffron (two small packages)

5 dl milk 3%

150 g butter

250 g of kesella (1%) or light yogurt

2.25 dl of granulated white sugar

1 tablespoon ground cardamom (optional)

1 teaspoon salt

16 dl of wheat flour

Rasins for decoration

1 egg (for glazing)


Melt butter in a saucepan.

Pour the milk into the saucepan with the butter, along with saffron and heat until it is warm.

Sprinkle yeast into a mixing bowl and stir in some of the milk mixture.

Add the rest of the milk mixture, kesella or yogurt, sugar, cardamom (optional), salt and most of the flour.

Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and releases from the edge of the bowl.

Let the dough rise covered with a kitchen cloth for 30 minutes.

Put the dough on a lightly floured surface.

Knead the dough lightly until smooth and split into 40 pieces.

Roll each piece of saffron dough into a slight string and then into the shape shape of lussekatter or Christmas crosses.

Put the shaped saffron buns onto baking paper on baking pans and press the raisins deep into the buns.

Let rise for an additional 30 minutes under the kitchen cloth.

Heat the oven to 225 degrees Celsius or 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Brush the lussekatter with egg wash.

Bake the buns for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow to cool and now you can enjoy your traditional Swedish saffron buns.