Swedish Santa Lucia saffron buns

Suitable from 12 months

Swedish Santa Lucia saffron buns
Santa Lucia saffron buns, in Swedish called ‘Lussekatt’ or ‘Lussebulle’, are a big part of Swedish Lucia, celebrated on December 13th and together with advent marking the beginning of Christmas celebrations. The tasty little buns are said to have their origin in Germany in the 16th century, and their name was name was actually not connected to the Lucia holiday, but to devil Lucifer, who in shape of a cat was scaring children, while Jesus in the person of a child gave out buns to well-behaved kids. To keep away the light-sensitive devil, saffron was used to dye the buns bright yellow.

In the end of the 16th century, the saffron buns were brought to Sweden, but it was not until the 18th century, when people in Sweden started to celebrate Lucia, that the buns started to be known across the country and got the connection to Lucia that they have today. In Sweden, Lucia day is a highlight during many childrens’ pre-christmas time, filled with songs, celebrations and lots of tasty Santa Lucia buns, of course!

These buns are great to bake with your kids. While making the dough is mostly adult work, even smaller toddlers can have their go at shaping their own Santa Lucia bun. Decorating with raisins is also a very popular task (although in our house the amount of raisins seems to miraculously decimate during this step).

Recipe tips
Traditionally, Santa Lucia saffron buns are shaped into round curls or two-way curls in form of an S. Baking with your little ones is supposed to be fun, so why not try a butterfly, a snail, hearts or other fun shapes? It’s best to shape the buns out of one piece, as smaller pieces that are added on might fall off during baking. When decorating, make sure to stick the raisins in deeply to keep them from popping out while in the oven.

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