Vegan ”Lussekatter” – Swedish Saffron Buns

Can you believe it’s already the 1st of Advent (well, almost the 2nd)? I don’t know what happened, to be honest. It has been a few really busy weeks over here, so I guess that could explain why time passed by so quickly. But, it’s officially Christmas time here on The Nordic Kitchen. Are you ready for some Christmas yumminess? You better be, because I’m sharing the first Christmas recipe today and it’s a favorite of mine 😀 I plan on sharing a few Christmas recipes the coming weeks, and I have two super yummy candy recipes coming your way. All vegan ofc. One contains only two ingredients so I think you’ll like that one. Ok, let’s not rush things. First things first, right? So, back to today’s recipe! 

In Sweden, we have a thing for buns. You know about the cinnamon buns for sure, but we don’t stop there. For Christmas we make a different type of bun – the saffron bun, or ”lussekatter” as we call them here in Sweden. It’s basically just an S-shaped, sweet bun flavored with saffron, and with a raisin at each end. But even though they’re rather simple, they’re very tasty and I think most Swedes eat them during Advent and Christmas. 

To make the buns even tastier, I soak the raisins in mulled wine before placing them at both ends of the buns. It adds a little more flavor, which I love. I used non-alcoholic mulled wine, but if you don’t like it or have it at home you can just skip the soaking step and add the raisins as they are. With that being said, let’s start baking! 

Vegan ”Lussekatter” – Swedish Saffron Buns

makes 40 buns

50 g fresh yeast
150 g vegan margarine 
1 g saffron 
1 1/2 dl granulated sugar
5 dl | 500 ml plant milk 
1/2 tsp salt 
15 dl | 900 g wheat flour 


3-4 tbsp melted margarine for brushing
80 Raisins 
1-2 dl Mulled wine


  1. Crumble the yeast into a large baking bowl.

  2. Melt the margarine. 

  3. Grind saffron and 1 tbsp granulated sugar in a mortar and pestle, and add it to the melted margarine. 

  4. Add the plant milk to the margarine and reheat to 37°C. 

  5. Add a little of the margarine to the yeast and stir until completely dissolved. 

  6. Now add the rest of the margarine, sugar and the salt and stir together. 

  7. Stir in most of the flour and work the dough for about 10 minutes. 

  8. Let the dough rise covered until it has doubled in size, this takes about 45 minutes*. 

  9. Place the dough on a floured surface and work it for a minute or so. Add more flour if needed.

  10. Divide the dough into 40 equally large pieces. 

  11. Roll out each piece of dough so that it looks like a long snake, about 1 cm in diameter.

  12. Curl the ends (in opposite directions), forming an ”S”.

  13. Place the buns on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough. Don’t make the buns too large, since they’ll rise to twice the size in the next step. Also, leave some space between them on the sheet.

  14. Let the buns rise (covered) for about 30 minutes. 

  15. Heat the oven to 225°C. 

  16. Soak the raisins in the mulled wine. Set aside while the buns are rising. 

  17. Brush the buns with melted margarine and put a raisin in each end of the buns.   

  18. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 10 minutes (one sheet at a time). 

  19. Let cool under a kitchen towel before serving. 

  20. Freeze the leftover buns as soon as cooled down, it’ll prevent them from becoming dry.

*You can speed up this process by letting the dough rise in the oven. Just heat the oven to 40-50°C, turn it off and open the oven door. Cover the baking bowl with a blanket and let the dough rise for about 30 minutes, with the oven door open. Make sure you use a baking bowl that can stand the heat (even if it’s only 40°C), for example a cast iron pot. 

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