Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (2024)

By linda 26 Comments

Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (1) Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (2)Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (3)
I tried combining two Swedish classics in one gorgeous swirly bun, Lucia saffron buns (Lussekatter) and cinnamon buns (kanelbullar) for the first time last year, and I, for the life of me couldn’t remember why I never shared the recipe on the blog. The buns looked absolutely beautiful (more beautiful than these to be honest!). But when I took a bite out of these, I knew. These were SO much better. Like a million times better. Way fluffier with a buttery filling.

This is the second time I’ve tried brushing buns with syrup as soon as they come out of the oven and I think it’s such a great method. It makes the buns beautifully shiny, and I feel like it helps them retain moisture longer. Truthfully, I think that these are the best buns I’ve ever made – and that includes both Lussekatter and cinnamon buns!

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As always, I started baking way too late in the day – I figured, I already had the photos I took last year – I don’t need to take new pictures. But then the buns came out looking so different, I felt I had to take some new photos. So like 5 minutes before the sun set, I managed to snap a couple of photos of these buttery, soft buns. I also wanted to take some tutorial photos of how to shape the dough, but there simply wasn’t time. As always these days, it’s a race against the clock for daylight.

Lussekatter are traditionally eaten on St. Lucia day (December 13) in Sweden, and I somehow always manage to post a recipe like.. the same day. But not this year! This year I’m even early. How unlike me 🙂

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Makes 17

Some notes about this recipe: If you wish to make regular cinnamon or cardamom buns, simply omit the saffron and raisins, and add about 1-2 tsp. ground cardamom in step 2. Should you have any leftovers, make sure to freeze them the same day they are made.


  • 0,5 g saffron
  • 1 tbsp. hot water
  • 25 g fresh yeast
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 90 g (1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp) granulated sugar
  • 400 g (2 3/4 cups) all purpose flour
  • 100 g very soft salted butter, in cubes
  • 1/2 tsp. flaky salt


  • 100 g softened salted butter
  • 35 g (3 tbsp.) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • Handful of raisins


  • 35 g (3 tbsp.) granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp. water


  • 1 egg, for brushing
  • 1 tbsp. milk or water
  • Pearl sugar (demerara sugar would work too)


  1. Combine saffron and 1 tbsp. hot (not boiling) water in a small bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Crumble the yeast into a large bowl. Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat to 37°C (98.5°F). Pour a little bit of the milk over the yeast and stir until yeast is dissolved. Add the rest of the milk, the saffron mix and sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Stir in about half of the flour while working the dough with a dough hook in a stand mixer. Add the rest of the flour, starting with the smaller amount. Add the salt and the bits of butter and work until incorporated, then work the dough for about 10 minutes or until completely smooth and elastic. The dough will be a little sticky to the touch, so don’t be tempted to add more flour – this will make the buns dry.
  4. Cover the bowl with a damp, clean kitchen towel and leave the dough to rise for 1 hour.


  1. While the dough is rising, combine butter, sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl and beat until fluffy. Set aside.
  2. Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with cold water (mulled wine would be delicious too). Set aside.

Shape the dough, make the syrup

  1. Line two baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a 50 x 32 cm (19.6 by 12.5 inch) rectangle. Spread the filling evenly over the dough, almost all the way out to the edges. Fold the dough once across the shorter side (imagine how you would fold a towel or an A4 paper once), so you end up with a 25 x 32 cm (9.8 by 12.5 inch) rectangle.
  3. Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut alongside the shorter side (25 cm) of the dough into 17 strips, each strip will be about 1,8 cm wide and 25 cm long. With the cut side up, shape the strips into an S-shape and place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving some space between each bun. Put raisins in the buns and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise for 45 minutes.
  4. While the buns are rising, prepare the syrup by combining sugar and water in a saucepan. Let the mixture come to a boil and simmer until sugar has melted. Set aside to cool.
  5. Preheat oven to 200°C (392°F).

Bake the buns

  1. Whisk together egg and milk or water in a small bowl. Brush the buns with the egg mixture and sprinkle with pearl sugar.
  2. Bake one sheet at a time, for 9-11 minutes or until the buns are golden brown. As soon as you remove the baking sheet from the oven, use a clean pastry brush to brush the buns with the syrup. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  • Print

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Reader Interactions


  1. Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (13)Bea says

    It’s the same here in the UK, dark at 4pm! That’s always the only thing I can’t get used to in Winter, never enough time for photography 🙂
    They look soooo delicious that I feel like jumping into the kitchen and making them straight away. Sweden has the best buns!


    • Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (14)linda says

      It’s so difficult, isn’t it! And I forget every year 😉 Thank you Bea, I do agree that we have some amazing buns!! Hehe. x Linda


  2. Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (15)Adrienne says

    Great photos!


  3. Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (17)Alexandra says

    Tack för receptet, tror jag ska testa med vaniljfyllning


    • Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (18)linda says

      Vad roligt 🙂 Vaniljfyllning kommer också bli supergott!


  4. Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (19)Britt says

    Ser så gott ut!
    Har du möjligen receptet på svenska? ☺️
    Eller lägger du alltid endast på engelska?

    Tack på förhand!


  5. Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (20)sophie says

    I’ve tried the recipe with dry yeast and i was so scared of the result… but these are the softest buns i’ve ever had in my life! And the saffron make them so specials and different. I didn’t quite manage to get this warm yellow color but it just mean i’ll have to try again! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, they are absolutely delicious


  6. Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (21)Alicia says

    I never baked cinnamon buns before but just by reading this recipe I can’t wait to try it. The pictures of the food you make are beautiful by the way!


  7. Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (22)Kaat says

    Do you think you can can freeze them? Just thinking/cooking ahead for christmas…


    • Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (23)linda says

      You can most definitely freeze them 🙂 They’ll keep for a couple of months in the freezer. I’ve also read that you can freeze them unbaked before the second rise, that is, right after you’ve shaped them. So when you want to eat them, just thaw, let rise and bake – but I haven’t tried that method myself!


  8. Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (24)Sye Ling says

    Hi Linda,
    I am going to bake these lovely buns. May I know if I can’t get fresh yeast, can I replace with dried yeast? And how many grams should I use ?
    Tack tack !


  9. Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (26)Rachel says

    Hey! So I want to start my own blog too and absolutely LOVE your style of a food and photography blog, how did you start and where should I start off? I have been contemplating for a long time, but I need some advice…please help!


  10. Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (27)Marcelo says

    Good Day!

    I am eager to try your recipe yet I am unsure as to the thickness of the dough when you roll it and I think it is important. Would you kindly let me know the suggested thikness?


    • Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (28)linda says

      Hi Marcelo! I’m not sure about the thickness but as long as you follow the directions it will be the right thickness for sure 🙂


      • Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (29)Marcelo says

        Ok, I’ll give it a try.

        PS.: I have already baked the expresso-chocolate muffins and they were lovely! Tks


  11. Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (30)June says

    Hi! It’s so neat! I want to bake this, but do you know how I can convert fresh yeast to dry one?


    • Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (31)linda says

      Thank you 🙂 I think 25 g fresh yeast is about 2 teaspoons dry!


  12. Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (32)Laurie says

    Can you please recommend how to make these in advance so that they can be served on Christmas morning with the least amount of work on Christmas morning?


    • Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (33)linda says

      I would place them in airtight bags and put in the freezeras soon as they are cool after baking! Then just thaw them on Christmas morning 🙂


      • Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (34)Laurie says



  13. Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (35)Laurie says

    Hi Linda,

    I made these buns today. I followed your instructions exactly, except to made them vegan I used homemade almond milk, vegan butter and omitted the egg.

    1. I found my dough quite soft and sticky. It stuck to my rolling pin. As I didn’t want to add too much flour, I used my hands to flatten the dough. Hence, they looked a bit rustic (or messy).

    2. I found some of the curls came apart whilst baking. So, I recommend adding to your recipe to make sure the ends of the curls are well attached. Perhaps, with a little water.

    3. I found some of the buns burnt slightly on the bottom. Have you had this issue?

    4. That said, my five-year old loved them and asked for seconds!


    • Swedish cinnamon bun Lussekatter (36)linda says

      Hi Laurie!
      I’m glad they turned out despite the issues! You are definitely right in that the dough IS very soft! I’ve never had problems with the ends coming apart, I’m not sure why that might be.. perhaps the egg holding the dough ends together? That’s all I can think of! I haven’t had problems with the bottoms burning, but I always did when I lived in an apartment with a gas oven (it was so bad!) since the oven got to hot in the bottom part. I’m so glad your five-year old loved them!!



  1. […] och saffransbullar bakar mer än gärna under hela advent och jul.Receptet kommer från denna blogg men jag gjorde små förändringar vad gäller mängder av mjöl och bytte russin till tranbär. […]


  2. […] Lussekattsbakning med Linda Lomelino […]


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