Johan Heibert's Lussekatter Recipe with BlueRedGold Saffron

Swedish Lussekatter (Saffron Buns for Lucia) in a ceramic bowl.

Embracing Swedish traditions: The delight of baking Lussekatter

In the heart of the festive season in Sweden lies a culinary tradition as bright as the winter snow - the baking of Lussekatter. These charming saffron buns, also known as Lucia buns, are more than just a treat; they're a celebration of heritage and warmth during the cold December days. Named after Saint Lucia, these golden-yellow buns are a staple during St. Lucia's Day on December 13th, marking a key part of the Swedish Christmas season.

Rich with the aroma of saffron, Lussekatter are not only captivating for their unique flavor but also for their distinctive spiral shapes and raisin decorations. This delightful pastry isn't just about indulging the taste buds; it's about bringing together families and communities in a centuries-old tradition of baking and sharing.

Join us as renowned chef Johan Heibert guides us through the art of creating these traditional Swedish saffron buns. Whether you're a seasoned baker or new to the kitchen, this journey into Swedish baking is sure to add a touch of Scandinavian charm to your festive celebrations.


  • 0.5 grams of BlueRedGold saffron
  • 250g water
  • 200g sugar
  • 25g fresh yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 100g butter
  • 600g special wheat flour
  • Currants (small, seedless raisins)


  1. Prepare the Saffron Syrup:
    • In a saucepan, combine 250g of water with 200g of sugar.
    • Add 0.5 grams of saffron.
    • Bring the mixture to a boil, then allow it to cool to 30°C.
    • Crumble 25g of yeast into the cooled saffron syrup.
    • Tip: For maximum flavor, prepare the syrup a day ahead and reheat it to 30°C before continuing.
  2. Make the Dough:
    • Pour the saffron syrup into a mixing bowl.
    • Add one egg and 100g of butter to the bowl.
    • Gradually incorporate 600g of special wheat flour, monitoring the dough’s moisture and elasticity.
  3. Skip the First Rising:
    • Instead of a traditional first rise, let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to reduce temperature and relax the dough.
  4. Shape the Lussekatter:
    • Divide the dough into 60g pieces.
    • Round each piece by rolling it under your hand.
    • Roll each ball into approximately 30cm lengths, then twist the ends in opposite directions to form the Lussekatter shape.
  5. Add Currants:
    • Press currants deeply into the center of the spirals. This prevents them from falling out during baking.
  6. Second Rising:
    • Place the Lussekatter in a moist oven at 37°C for 45 minutes for rising.
    • To replicate this at home, preheat your oven to 50°C, place a bowl of boiling water inside, turn off the oven, and then put the Lussekatter inside for rising.
  7. Baking:
    • After they’ve doubled in size, bake the Lussekatter in the oven at 190°C for about 6 minutes.
  8. Final Glaze:
    • While baking, mix an egg with an equal amount of the leftover saffron syrup.
    • Once baked, immediately brush this mixture over the Lussekatter to add moisture and a sweet flavor.

Enjoy these traditional Swedish saffron buns, perfected with Johan Heibert's expertise and the premium quality of BlueRedGold saffron!