Swedish St. Lucia Buns


Growing up with a Swedish mom, we had these St. Lucia buns every December 13th.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
1 hr 20 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 10 mins
24 buns


  • 1 cup milk

  • ¾ cup white sugar

  • ½ cup butter, softened

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon crumbled saffron threads

  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast

  • ¾ cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees F/43 to 46 degrees C)

  • 6 ½ cups all-purpose flour, divided

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 1 tablespoon raisins, or as needed


  1. Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat just until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add sugar, butter, salt, and saffron, stirring until butter is melted. Let cool to lukewarm temperature, about 2 minutes.

  2. Sprinkle yeast over warm water in large bowl, stirring until dissolved. Stir in milk mixture and 3 1/2 cups flour until smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in eggs. Add remaining flour gradually, mixing in the last by hand until dough leaves the sides of the bowl and is very soft.

  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover with a bowl and let rest for 10 minutes.

  4. Knead dough with additional flour as needed, about 5 minutes. Place dough in a lightly greased large bowl; flip dough to grease both sides. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 60 to 90 minutes.

  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a baking sheet.

  6. Punch down dough. Take golf ball-sized bits of dough and roll out into snakes. Roll each end in opposite directions to create 'S' forms. Place buns on the prepared baking sheets.

  7. Combine egg yolk and water in a bowl with a whisk. Brush over buns.

  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven, leaving oven on. Quickly place 1 raisin in the center of each 'S' curve.

  9. Return to the oven and continue to bake until golden and cooked through, about 6 minutes more. Let cool on a wire rack before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

198 Calories
5g Fat
33g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 24
Calories 198
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 35mg 12%
Sodium 136mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 5g
Calcium 22mg 2%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 74mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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