Saffron buns or Lussebullar are a Swedish Christmas classic. The traditional kind is saffron flavoured buns with a couple of raisins in them. Through the years, there’s been all kinds of creative takes on them (including a Semla version, which is another classic Swedish bun filled with almond sugar paste and cream), but most people stick to the classic recipe.
I decided to make my own fusion of them. I created a merge of the classic Swedish cinnamon bun and the American cinnamon bun topped with frosting, with the saffron bun as a base.
The result is perhaps not particularly traditional, but I like to think this creation is a trio of classics. Also, frosting. Everything is better with frosting. And saffron buns filled with cinnamon and topped with frosting? Totally freakin’ delicious!
Vegan Saffron Buns
50 g (1.7 oz) vegan butter
0,5 g (a pinch) saffron
2 dl (~2/3 cups) non-dairy milk (I used oat milk)
20 g (0.7 oz) fresh yeast
1 dl (~1/3 cups) vanilla soy yogurt
1/2 dl (~1/4 cup) sugar
pinch of salt
6-7 dl (~3 cups) all purpose flour
75 g (2.6 oz) vegan butter, softened
1/2 dl (~1/4 cup) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
50 g (1.7 oz) butter, softened
6-8 dl (2-4 cups) powdered sugar
juice of 1 lemon
splash of non-dairy milk
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Crush the saffron in a mortel and add it to the melted butter. Add the non-dairy milk and allow the mixture to come to lukewarm temperature.
- Crumble the yeast in a bowl and pour the buttermilk mixture over it, stir until the yeast has dissolved.
- Add the vanilla soy yoghurt, sugar and salt. Stir until combined.
- Start adding the flour and mix with your hands. If the dough is too sticky, add a little bit more flour (but be careful not to add too much). Knead by hand for about 10 minutes, or in a baking machine for 5 minutes.
- Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a clean towel, let rest for 45 minutes.
- While the dough rests, prepare your filling – whip together the softened butter, sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Place paper cups on a baking tray.
- Cut the dough in two pieces and roll it out to a 3mm (0.1 inch) thick rectangle. Spread half of the filling on top. Starting from the short end, roll the dough up and then cut into slices, about 3 cm (1 inch) wide. Place in the paper cups. Repeat with the other half of the dough and filling.
- Cover the buns with a clean towel and let rest for 40 minutes.
- Make the frosting by whipping together the softened butter, powdered sugar, lemon and non-dairy milk. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200 C (392 F).
- Brush the tops of each of the buns with a little bit of non-dairy milk. Then bake in the middle of the oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden on top. Allow to cool completely under a clean towel. Then spread the frosting on top.