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Date Filled Saffron Crescents 

The 13th of December is St Lucia Day. In Sweden a festival of light. Once celebrated on the shortest day of the year, St Lucia brings light and hope back into the darkness. And believe me, it’s so dark here it’s a necessary reminder! Among other Lucia traditions are the baked goods. You’ll find piles of Saffron Buns speckled with raisins in every cafe, petrol station and grocery store.

As much as my kids love raisins. What do you find them doing as soon as they get their little mitts on a Lucia Bun?

Date Filled Saffron Crescents

They’re picking them out and flicking them away!

Patient a mother as I obviously am (haha – well, I write what I like, it’s my blog after all) there’s only so much raisin flicking a person can take.

But since saffron and dried fruit are such a perfect combination. What about sweet, luxurious flavorful dates – Date Filled Saffron Crescents.


Date Filled Saffron Crescents

Date Filled Saffron Crescents

(Makes 48 crescents)

1 g saffron

150 g butter (5 1/4 oz)

300 ml milk (1 1/4 cups)

200 ml water (3/4 cup)

12 g dry yeast (or 50 g fresh yeast)

1/2 – 1 tsp salt

150 g sugar (1 1/2 dl, 5 1/4 oz)

1 egg

875 g flour – and a little extra needed when kneading (14-15 dl, 6 cups)


Date Filling:

200 g dates (7 oz)

150 ml water (1/2 cup)



1. Pour 100 ml water over the saffron and let it stand (up to a few hours if you have the time).

2. Pour the water over the dates in a pan, simmer on a low heat for about 10 minutes, covered, until the dates have softened. Take a knife and cut the dates in half length ways – the pip will slide right out. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Leave the mix to cool.

3. Melt the butter in a pan and add the milk and the remaining water, heat until lukewarm. Add the saffran and water.

4. Beat the egg. Add it to the liquid.

5. Combine the flour dry yeast, salt and sugar.

6. Make a well in the centre of the flour, pour in the liquid and combine. I usually use the dough paddle kitchen aid or hand mixer,  mixing by hand works great too.

7. Cover and leave to rise for about 30 minutes (or, overnight in the fridge).

8. While the dough is rising, blend the dates with a hand mixer to form a smooth date paste.

9. Once the dough has risen (it should have nearly doubled in size), knock back (punch down) the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead lightly.



Mr M is always particularly concerned when I start modifying classic Swedish recipes! And I’ll admit, my experiments aren’t always ’improvements’. But I’m happy to report, he’d eaten four of them before the night was out. SUCCESS!

What do you think? Is there a Swede out there willing to give them a try? 🙂


Date Filled Saffron Crescents

Linking up my Date Filled Saffron Crescents with: #TastyTuesdays, #CookBlogShare, #SHINEbloghop, #PoCoLo, #FestiveFoodFriday, #RecipeoftheWeek & #MMWBH

Date Filled Saffron Crescents

For fudge crazy festivities, and beautiful homemade gifts check out:

White Chocolate Cranberry Fudge Cheesecake on a Roasted Pecan Biscuit Base

Salted Dark Chocolate Licorice Fudge

And Individually wrapped pieces of White Chocolate Cranberry Fudge



  1. These are so pretty and totally different to anything I’d ever think of baking for Christmas. I love to know how you’re celebrating with food, inspires me to try something new! Thanks so much for linking to #festivefoodfriday.

  2. #CookBlogShare roundup 1-8 December | Super Golden Bakes

  3. December 13 happens to be my name day : ) and ever since I was little and hooked on Astrid Lingdren books I wanted to celebrate St Lucia’s the Swedish way… I love these little saffron crescents and the filling reminds me of Greek Christmas cookies. Altogether wonderful!
    Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare

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