Swedish Saffron Buns

Swedish Saffron Buns


"These traditional Swedish-style saffron buns are frequently baked around Christmas time. They are a very tasty and lovely tradition!"

Ingredients 1 h 55 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 169 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 35 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 169 kcal
  • 8%
  • Fat:
  • 4 g
  • 6%
  • Carbs:
  • 29.1g
  • 9%
  • Protein:
  • 4.4 g
  • 9%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 16 mg
  • 5%
  • Sodium:
  • 68 mg
  • 3%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  • Prep

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  1. Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan until the butter has melted and the temperature has reached 100 degrees F (38 degrees C). Crumble the yeast into a bowl, then pour in the warm milk. Stir well until the yeast dissolves.
  2. Stir in the quark, saffron, sugar, salt, and 7 cups of the flour. Mix the dough in the bowl until it becomes shiny and silky, adding more flour as needed until it begins to come away from the sides of the bowl. Cover, and let rise for 40 minutes.
  3. Prepare 2 or 3 baking sheets by covering each with a sheet of parchment paper. Lightly flour a work surface, punch down the dough, then divide into 35 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope, 5 to 6 inches long. With the rope lying flat on the work surface, roll each end towards the center, in opposite directions, creating a curled S-shape. Place the buns on the prepared baking sheets, and garnish with raisins if desired. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes while you preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  4. Gently brush each bun with beaten egg, then bake in the oven until puffed and golden, 5 to 10 minutes.
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Reviews 6

  1. 9 Ratings


A historical comment! These buns are traditionally eaten not for Christmas but for Saint Lucia's day (December 13). She is the patron saint of Sweden, so her day is celebrated widely there. A girl of the family will dress up as St. Lucia wearing a long white gown with a red sash and a crown of holly with candles (nowadays mostly just electric candles) and will serve the "Santa Lucia Buns" to the rest of the family. They can also be made with two overlapping "S" shapes to make a cross with curled ends. I often prefer to make my Santa Lucia buns with just a bit of large crystal sugar or Scandinavian pearl sugar (which is a bit harder to find). I also like the look of longer strands of Saffron, they really do add lovely color and taste to the buns. :) Happy Scandinavian Baking!!!


Excellent old-fashioned recipe, although a bit bland for the seasoned pallet. For the second batch, I added sugar to the top before they went into the oven. A little dip into some butter and they are such a delight. My parents want me to show them how to make them, and they're very picky- so that's saying something!

Trinka G

A wonderful recipe that makes the lightest, most delicate breakfast bread! The saffron gives it a golden hue and the dough is manageable enough to shape into just about any shape you can imagine! We made these to celebrate St Lucia Day but I know we will be eating this bread many times throughout the year now. I may add candied lemon/orange peel next time I bake these to make them into a slightly more sweet breakfast bread...