Late Night Baking on the Eve of Santa Lucia Day

by | Dec 13, 2021 | Advent and Christmas, St. Lucy | 5 comments


Since 2008 (look how little my girls were back then!) I’ve been baking Saint Lucia’s Braided Bread for the feast of Santa Lucia Day. About five year’s ago one of our daughters started baking the traditional Lussekatter each year as well to add to our celebration of her nameday, the feast day of St. Lucia who is one of her patron saints. Since these lightly sweet S-shaped rolls resemble a cat’s curled tail, the Swedish name for these rolls is lussekatter, which means “Lucia cats.” The Lucia comes from the fact that they are served on St. Lucia’s Day (Dec 13).

Our two toddlers came down with croup this past week, and our older children have been fighting off colds too, so I sent our daughter to bed early to get some extra sleep while I took care of the baking. 

We have a great recipe over at Catholic Cuisine (here is the link) which was sent to me from a friend of mine over in Norway back in 2009, but the recipe my daughter seems to always use is from one of her picture books: Lucia Morning in Sweden

Lussekatter (Lucia buns) 
1 pkg active dry yeast 
1/4 c water, warm
3/4 c milk
1/2 c butter or margarine
1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp powdered saffron
4 c flour
For brushing: 1 egg, 2 T water
Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. 
Warm milk, add butter to melt. 
Place all above ingredients in a mixing bowl using 2 cups of the flour. 
Mix for 3 minutes using a mixer. 
Add rest of flour and beat with a wooden spoon.  (I just continued to knead with my mixer.)
Knead dough, adding a little flour for easy handling. 
Put in a bowl and let rise to double. 
Turn out on floured board and shape into Lussekatter. 
Let rise on cookie sheet and brush with egg and water mixture before baking. 
Put a raisin in each curl and bake at 450º for 10 minutes. 
Makes about 4 dozen rolls. 
It was late and I was a little impatient waiting for them to finish rising… 
They didn’t turn out as well as my daughter’s did last year but they were still delicious. 


  1. Nancy

    They look good to me! Hope everyone feels better soon especially the little ones.

  2. Nancy

    I just looked at your girls from way back when. Can't believe how small they were!

  3. Christine

    Beautiful! Where did you get the hanging frame for your liturgical calendar? I am looking for something like that for ours. 🙂

  4. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you! It's the Wooden Poster Hanger from Sophia Institute Press.

  5. Anonymous

    Hope every one is feeling better. The food looks delicious. Will be copying this recipe. God Bless.
    Joan,Marion and Marilyn


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