Santa Lucia Buns

The feast day Santa Lucia is celebrated in Sweden on the 13th December as a festival of lights. In the early hours of that December morning, ‘Lucia’ (a young woman dressed in a long white gown with a red sash, and a crown of candles upon her head) delivers freshly baked saffron buns to each house.

Our Lucia celebrations are a little way off, but already there are candles and shining stars in every window, and saffron buns are being baked!

Richard bakes a whole batch with the children every year !

Ingredients for 12 buns;

500g plain flour

10ml dried yeast

125ml natural sugar

5ml saffron powder

180ml warm milk

60ml softened butter

10ml sea salt

60ml raisins

2.5 ml ground cardamom

2 eggs


beaten egg for brushing

30ml chopped almonds

15ml crushed almonds

1) Dissolve yeast, sugar & saffron powder in warm milk. Leave in warm place for 10 mins until frothy.

2) Beat 1 egg and add to yeast.

3) Stir in cardamom, salt & flour

4) Cut in butter and add raisins

5) Knead thorougly, return to greased bowl, cover and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours.

6) Preheat oven to 200 degrees C / 400 degrees F / Gas mark 6

7) Divide dough into 12 pieces. Roll into snakes, coil snakes into a spiraled ‘S’ shape.

8) Put on greased baking tray, brush with egg, sprinkle with almonds and coarse sugar. Let rise for 30 mins more.

9) Bake for 10 – 12 mins until golden brown.

Delicious – especially dipped in hot chocolate or coffee!


5 thoughts on “Santa Lucia Buns

  1. Oh how beautiful these turned out! And I totally love that this is a family project! Kids did a great job! What precious memories you are building together.

    I’ve got this one bookmarked also and I promise – next year when I make Lucy Buns I will definitely make traditional shapes! I can’t wait! Let’s see – only about 340 days + or – til St. Lucy Day!

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