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07 Dec Gluten Free Swedish Saffron Buns

This weekend I’ve been baking gluten free Swedish saffron buns. I haven’t done much more than that. (Except for reading the summary of Kafka’s “The Trial” on Spark Notes because I forgot to read the book and I have a Swedish essay due tomorrow 🙁 ) It might sound like I’ve had a peaceful and relaxing weekend but I didn’t just bake saffron buns once, I had to make them again this morning.

When I was filming this tutorial I apparently forgot to press the record button when I shaped all the buns… And that’s like a crucial part of making saffron buns. So I had to do another batch of saffron buns today and my parents thought I was crazy and now our freezers(yep, we have two.) are full of saffron buns. It’s not hard to bake them but it takes time to bake them while filming. Pressing the record button with “dough-y” and “flour-y” fingers is not that easy.

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I’m very pleased with this recipe and it took me a few trials to get it right but it was so worth it! My little sister who’s the pickiest eater ever said she loved them. I’m also glad that I managed to make these without xanthan gum since the only recipes I’ve found for gluten free Swedish saffron buns are made with xanthan gum.

As I mentioned before I made a recipe video for these buns since it can be hard to know what a gluten free yeasted dough should look like. And you’ll also learn how to shape them! You can make so many beautiful shapes of saffron buns and I’ll show you some of my favorites in the video.

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Even though I’m 18 now I can’t buy alcohol in Sweden so once again I had to ask my parents to buy me Rum. To get the most out of the saffron I mix it with rum and raw cane sugar a couple of hours or the night before baking. This really makes a difference and the saffron flavor comes through much more than it would if I’d skipped this step. I hope you’ll make these saffron buns and don’t stress too much these last few week before christmas!


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Gluten Free Swedish St.Lucia Saffron Buns

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 58 minutes

Yield: 24 buns

Gluten Free Swedish St.Lucia Saffron Buns


  • 1 tsp rum
  • 1 tsp fine raw cane sugar sugar
  • 0,5 g saffron
  • 200 g fine raw cane sugar or granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 120 g sorghum flour
  • 120 g buckwheat flour
  • 120 g corn flour
  • 240 g corn starch 
  • 520 g cold full fat milk
  • 215 g cold water
  • 25 g fresh yeast
  • 20 g psyllium husk
  • 10 g psyllium husk powder
  • 80 g softened butter, cut in cubes
  • 1 egg and a handful of raisins


  1. Mix saffron, rum and raw cane sugar in a small glass a couple of hours/the night before baking.
  2. Dissolve the fresh yeast in the cold milk and water in a medium sized bowl. Add the saffron mix, psyllium husk and psyllium husk powder and whisk together. Allow to swell for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together sugar, salt and all the flours. Make a well in the middle and pour in the psyllium husk gel. Mix together with an electric hand mixer with dough hooks until the flour is somewhat incorporated. Add the cubes of softened butter and keep whisking until the dough is lump free and shiny.
  4. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and try to flip the dough so that the bottom faces up. This way you’ll be able to mix in the flour from the bottom of the bowl. Keep mixing until the flour is incorporated. Cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rise for 2 hours.
  5. Scrape out the dough onto a clean and floured work surface. Gently knead it with your hands a to create a smooth and round dough. Divide it in 24 equally sized pieces. Roll each piece to a 30 cm/12 inch strand and roll the ends to the middle, each end to different sides. Dust with buckwheat flour if necessary, be careful not to add too much flour. Place the buns on two baking trays lined with parchment paper. Cover with clean tea towels and allow to rise for another 30 min. Preheat oven to 230°C/445°F.
  6. Brush the buns with a beaten egg and press down raisins in the middle of the swirls. Bake in the middle of the oven for 7-9 min or until golden brown. If you’re making any big buns as well, bake them on a separate baking tray because they might need 1-2 minutes more in the oven. Leave to cool on the tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire racket. 
  7. Freeze the buns you’re not going to eat the same day. Reheat them in the oven at 150°C/300°F before serving.
  • Amanda
    Posted at 17:25h, 08 December Reply

    I am stunned by your video, mezmorized! You are so talented, a joy to follow. I surely need to try these buns and bring out my Scandinavian roots.

    • Thea
      Posted at 17:51h, 08 December Reply

      Thanks Amanda! <3 I hope you'll try the recipe! Didn't know you had Swedish roots 😉

  • Josefine {The Smoothie Lover}
    Posted at 22:54h, 08 December Reply

    Wauw, how delicious does these look. I haven’thad saffron buns since kindergarten where my favourite pedagogue was Swedish. She used to make them for us every year. They are so delicious.
    I’m very impressed by your film. You are so damn talented!

    • Thea
      Posted at 20:09h, 09 December Reply

      Thank you Josefine!!! I hope you’ll bake saffron buns this year 🙂

  • Maryna
    Posted at 15:58h, 09 December Reply

    A total magic!! And this video is incredible! So sweet that you ask your parents to buy alcohol for baking))

    • Thea
      Posted at 20:09h, 09 December Reply

      Thanks Maryna! Haha, I know! 🙂

  • elnos recept - glutenfritt
    Posted at 23:19h, 09 December Reply

    Så fin blogg! Massa inspirerande recept så det verkar som att man kan hålla sig sysselsatt här ett tag! Jag har också bakat lussebullar, fast med mjölmixer som jag tyckte blev väldigt bra. Har aldrig lyckats med naturligt glutenfria bak nästan, men så fint med video och allt här. Kram!

    • Thea
      Posted at 09:55h, 10 December Reply

      Tack Elna!! 🙂 Det funkar jättebra att baka utan glutenfria mixer men jag håller med om att dem ger ett bra resultat.

  • renee (will frolic for food)
    Posted at 23:30h, 09 December Reply

    immmmmmmmm WHAT?!? my eyes just popped out of my head because I can’t even believe these are real! Your video is stunning and you’re right I would have had no idea what a yeasted gf dough would look like otherwise. I really want to try my hand at video and you’re inspiring me to start! making these STAT. you’re a goddess.

    • Thea
      Posted at 09:53h, 10 December Reply

      Thanks Renee!!! I really hope you’ll try these! 🙂

  • Alexandra Bol
    Posted at 22:23h, 18 October Reply

    Hej! Jag älskar din blogg! Jag skulle gärna vilja testa baka dina glutenfria lussebullar. Jag har en fråga vart får man tag i sorghum powder och phyllium husk powder? 🙂 ha en bra dag

    • Thea Tillberg
      Posted at 19:22h, 20 October Reply

      Hej Alexandra! Sorghum flour heter Durra mjöl på svenska och det kan man precis som psyllium husk hitta på bla hälsokosten, vissa mataffärer eller på internet. Hoppas du fick svar på din fråga!

  • Sprouted Fig (The Smoothie Lover)
    Posted at 14:09h, 22 November Reply

    […] LUSSEKATTER – Gluten free saffron buns with raisins to celebrate the Swedish (adopted by the Danes) tradition Lucia. […]

  • Susie
    Posted at 16:04h, 18 October Reply

    Hi Thea, I discovered your blog yesterday as I was making my first loaf of gf sourdough bread. I love love your recipes and pictures and will surely keep coming back! I have a question regarding your use of psyllium husk in this recipe. Why do you use both whole psyllium husk AND psyllium husk powder? So far I’ve made all my gf maked goods with ph powder. Do you find that they have different properties in general?
    Greetings from Berlin 🙂

    • Thea Tillberg
      Posted at 15:19h, 05 November Reply

      Usually I’ll only use either one but I remember when testing this recipe this combination gave the best result. Personally I find they give different textures to the baked goods and when I combined them in this recipe I was really happy with the result. 🙂

  • Swan
    Posted at 19:41h, 18 December Reply

    These were very tasty, but I had a problem with the recipe. It was too runny to shape, so I had to add almost a cup more flour. Also, they weren’t yellow even though I used twice as much saffron. I used coconut milk instead of cow milk. Do you think that could make a difference?

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