Saffron buns (called Lussekatter) are a favourite Christmastime treat for Swedes. Light, fluffy, and full of saffron infused goodness, these buns are traditionally enjoyed on December 13, St. Lucia Day.
St. Lucia Day is an advent celebration that takes places in Sweden and Norway. Honouring St. Lucia, who was martyred for her faith, girls chosen to play Lucia are dressed in flowing white robes with a red sash and crown of candles. Boys may celebrate by dressing up as “Stjärngossar” or “star boys.” (Take a look at last year’s Christmas video to see what this looks like!) Saffron buns are a major part of the days festivities and are often served for breakfast by the children.
When my husband’s family first introduced me to these buns a few years back, I wasn’t sure how I felt about them. Saffron is a flavour entirely foreign to me (I don’t usually cook with spices that cost more than gold!) But the treat’s unique flavour quickly grew on me.
This year, I decided to treat my husband to a batch of freshly made lussekatter. Given that I am not a baker and did not grow up making these buns, I wanted to find a simple recipe with a non-overwhelming taste.