Overnight saffron buns (or Christmas star) with white chocolate

ovenight saffron buns kalljästa lussebullar

Have you tried my saffron Christmas star recipe yet? Can of course made in bun shape too. This is the same recipe, but I make a few changes to optimize it for overnight baking. That means that you make the dough the night before you want to eat them. Skip to rise the dough and just shape and fill the buns/star. Place on a baking tray and put in the fridge. In the morning, just bake in the oven and you will have buns with lots of flavour and no effort. Sounds too good to be true? Give it a try and enjoy a really good breakfast the upcoming weekend!

I have got questions about the white chocolate. Many people don’t like white chocolate, but I can ensure you that you will like these anyway. The white chocolate just gives the buns some sweetness.

You can use ground saffron if you want, but I prefer to use saffron threads and use a mortar to grind it together with a teaspoon of sugar. And then I let it rest in a tablespoon of orange juice overnight!

Total time

1h20min + 1 night

Prep time

40 min

Cook time

15-20 min


16 buns (or 1 star)

Recipe for overnight Swedish saffron buns or Christmas Star. (kalljästa lussebullar eller saffranskrans med vit choklad)

  • 100 g salted butter, room temperature (don't melt!)
  • 25 g fresh yeast
  • 2.5 dl milk
  • 0.5 g saffron
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • 1 dl sugar
  • 6-7 dl flour
  • 40 g salted butter, room temperature
  • 100 g white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 egg and pearl sugar for topping (optional)


Crumble the yeast in a bowl. Heat 0.5 dl milk together with the saffron until it is 37 degrees C.  Let the milk cool down to almost room temperature and mix with rest of the cold milk. Pour the milk and saffron mixture over the yeast and dissolve the yeast. Add the butter (soft but not melted).

Then stir in sugar and salt and add as much flour as needed to get a nice dough. Be careful not to pour everything at once. When the dough releases the edges, you don’t need to add more flour. Too much flour means dry buns. Work the dough for at least 10 minutes until you have a smooth and fine dough.

Shaping the Christmas Star:

Line a tray with parchment paper. Watch my video on Instagram (click here) to see how to make the Christmas Star shape. You need to divide the dough in three pieces. Then roll out every piece round and flat around 25 cm diameter. Place the first one on the parchment paper. Spread half of the butter on the dough and sprinkle half of the chocolate on top of it. Cover with the second layer of dough and spread rest of the butter and rest of the chocolate on top of it. Cover with the last layer of dough.

Place a 7-8 cm bowl in the middle and cut 16 slices towards this bowl. Twist two of these cut outs two times outwards and press together the ends. Cover the ends under the bread. Do the same thing with rest of the 14 cut outs, and you will have a nice star! Cover with a plastic wrap and place in the fridge for the night.

Shaping the buns:

Watch this video on Instagram, or follow these instructions. Divide the dough in two parts. Your square should be around 25×25 cm wide. Fold the square twice, once from the upper part towards the middle, and then from the lower part. You should now have three layers of dough. Cut into 8 pieces (3 cm wide). Cut every piece in three long strings (1 cm wide), but  let the top of the piece stay together. Braide the strings. Roll the braid and place in the muffins case. Let the end of the braid be on the bottom of the bun. It sounds difficult, but it’s easy when you make them! Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge overnight.

The next morning:

Take the tray out from the fridge. Let rise while the oven is getting heated. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Mix an egg with a teaspoon of water and a pinch of salt (easier application) and brush the buns/star with it. If you are using pearl sugar, sprinkle some on top of the buns/star. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the middle of the oven, until golden brown. Eat and enjoy!

Variation ideas for this fika

Use your favourite filling. Or just make standard Swedish buns with the dough and add some raisins. You will get the Swedish “lussekatter”.

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