Vegan Lussekatter: St. Lucia’s swedish saffron buns

Lussekatter have a long history of traditions that comes with their sweet saffron scent.
St. Lucia died on the 13th of December 304 A.D. She was a your Christian martyr.
It is said that she was very beautiful, but totally devoted to her faith. In fact, when a suitor complimented her on her eyes, she removed them (hence the paintings with her holding a plate with a set of eyes) and gave them to him, so nothing would come in between her and her religion.
Incidentally, she is also one of the Patrons of my hometown of Perugia.

Recipe in Italian/ Ricetta in Italiano qui:

I will spare you the details of her gruesome death, and focus instead on the sweet saffron breads that bear her name: Lussekatter. The saffron gives the buns a sunny, bright yellow color, much needed in the dark winter days. I think it’s just appropriate since Lucia in Latin means “Lux” or light.
Every year I make these delicious buns, and this year I had a request for a vegan version. To my surprise, they turned out delicious! SOOOO delicious, that I decided to share the recipe with you. In addition this year I made a different shape besides the usual “eyes”. I made the St. Lucia crown.
Pretty cute, but unfortunately didn’t last long and ended up drowned in some delicious tea.
In conclusion, whether you are vegan or not, these easy, clean, delicious Lussekatter buns will be perfect for your holiday breakfasts and beyond.

  • DifficultyEasy
  • CostMedium
  • Preparation time30 Minutes
  • Rest time2 Hours
  • Cooking time25 Minutes
  • Serving6
  • Cooking methodOven
  • CuisineEuropean



1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsps)
1/3 cup Oat milk (Or vegan milk of choice)
1 teaspoon saffron in pistils (or powder)
3.5 cups bread flour (Up to 4 cups)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup aquafaba (from one can of chickpeas, drained)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar (organic)
2/3 cup vegetable oil (best is olive oil)

Shiny glaze

6 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon cornstarch


1/2 cup dry cherries (soaked in warm water for 30 min.)



Prepare the dough

First steep the oat milk with the saffron : after mixing the ingredients place it in the microwave and nuke it for about 1 minute. Let rest 15 minutes or until lukewarm.

Making the dough for the saffron Lussekatte is as easy and straightforward as you imagine:
1-Bloom the yeast with the lukewarm milk and 1 Tbs of the sugar in the bowl of a stand up mixer.
2-When bubby add the remaining ingredients, yes all of them.
3-Mix with a dough hook on medium high speed for about 8 minutes until the dough gathers around the hook. If you need an extra cup of flour you can add it a bit at a time. The dough will be sticky.
4-Let the dough double, covered, in a place warm. (inside the microwave oven is a good place)
PRE HEAT oven to 350F
5-Once doubled, divide the dough into 6 equal parts and shape them as you please.
6-Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden

During the last few minutes of baking prepare the glaze: mix the sugar and cornstarch. Add the water.
Over medium heat, bring to a simmer, until all sugar had dissolved.
As soon as the pastries come out of the oven, brush some glaze over each one. Wait until the St.Lucia brioche have cooled down to taste it.

Vegan dough is best the day it is baked. Alternatively you could freeze the buns and re heat them when needed.

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