While lussekatter are traditionally eaten on Saint Lucia's Day in December, we reckon these buttery saffron buns make fantastic year-round treats.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (53 votes)


  • 200 g unsalted butter, plus extra, to serve
  • 450 ml milk
  • 50 g fresh yeast (see Note), finely crumbled
  • 1 egg, plus 1 extra, lightly beaten, to brush
  • 165 g (¾ cup) caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp saffron threads, finely chopped
  • 900 g (6 cups) plain flour
  • 64 (about 85 g) raisins

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Proving time 1 hour and 25 minutes

Drink match Rekorderlig Orange & Ginger Cider, Sweden (500 ml, $8)

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add milk and heat until lukewarm.

Pour mixture into a large bowl and add yeast, stirring to dissolve. Add egg, sugar, saffron and 1 tsp salt. Gradually add flour, stirring constantly, until mixture forms a smooth dough that comes away from the side of the bowl; don’t worry if dough is sticky. Cover bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm, draught-free place for 45 minutes or until dough doubles in size.

Punch down dough and knead on a lightly floured work surface for 30 seconds or until smooth. Divide into 4, then divide each piece into 8. Shape each piece into a 20 cm length, then form into an S shape, tucking ends into dough to form an 8 shape, and pressing to join. Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm, draught-free place for another 40 minutes or until slightly risen.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Place a raisin into each circle created by the 8 shape, then brush with beaten egg. Bake buns for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with butter.



• Fresh yeast is available from bakeries and specialty shops.


Photography Chris Chen