Lucia and Swedish Saffron Bun Recipe

Lucia and Swedish Saffron Bun Recipe

Tomorrow, on the 13th of December, us Swedes celebrate Lucia which is an old tradition that includes wearing a crown made out of candles, eating ginger snaps and sweet S shaped buns with raisins which we call Lussebullar, enjoyed together with Swedish mulled wine (glΓΆgg) or coffee.

What is Lucia

Around Christmas time in Sweden, one of the biggest celebrations is St. Lucia’s Day (or St. Lucy’s Day) which falls on the 13th December. The celebration comes from stories that were told by Monks who first brought Christianity to Sweden. St Lucia was a kindhearted young Christian woman who was martyred, killed for her faith, in 304. The present custom appears to be a blend of traditions and to be honest, it’s a little unclear why we still celebrate Lucia but it is still a Swedish tradition that many Swedes hold dear.

On Lucia we traditionally bake and eat Lussebullar which translates into Saffron buns. Along with Gingerbread, Lussebullar is pretty much synonyms with Christmas for many Swedish people.

What are Lussebullar?

Lussebullar are sweet, tasty and fluffy in their consistency and I (Emelie) try to make them every year to celebrate Christmas even though I now longer live in Sweden. I love this tradition plus it is a good excuse to eat something tasty πŸ™‚

Did you know: Apart from being super tasty, eating saffron has other benefits including:

  • Improving your mood. Studies has shown that Saffron has a positive effect on your mood.
  • Help you get a good night sleep. Saffron is said to have an effect on insomnia and some cultures drink saffron enriched drinks before going to bed as it is believed to help you to get a good night’s sleep.
  • Help fighting diseases.
  • Saffron contains the chemical compound crocin which in some American studies has shown to help prevent ALS and MS.

Even more reason to make this recipe this festive season. This year, rather than following the traditional recipe, I have changed into a vegan version for all to enjoy πŸ™‚






300ml Dairy-free milk (I used Alpro Unsweetened Almond milk)

Β½ g pack saffron

1/2 ground cardamon

75g unsalted vegan butter, cut into cubes

450g self-raising white bread flour

100g golden caster sugar

7g sachet fast-action yeast

24 currants

2 tbsp of Almond Milk for coating


  1. Put your dairy-free milk in a small pan and gently heat until it’s steaming. Use a pestle and mortar to grind the saffron into a fine powder then add the saffron, the cardamon and the butter to the milk. Stir until the butter has melted. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, caster sugar, 1 tsp salt and the yeast together. Once your milk, saffron and butter mix has cooled down, add this to your dry ingredients. Mix together to form a sticky dough, and then set aside for for about 1 hr to let the dough rise.
  3. Set your oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  4. One your dough has risen, divide your dough into 12 equal parts. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll out into a 30cm-long strand. Roll up one end into the middle, turn over and roll the other end into the middle, forming the dough into an S-shape. Place the buns on parchment-lined baking tray and then lightly brush them with some whisked almond milk ( I like to add a little bit of sugar and oil to the almond milk before I brush the dough but this is optional).
  5. Put your tray in the oven and bake for around 15 mins. Allow to cool before serving. Once cooled, serve with a hot cup of coffee or if you are feeling very festive, some mulled wine πŸ™‚
    Let us know in the comments below if you tried this recipe πŸ™‚

Until next time,

The Model Diaries

Vegan Gingerbread Cake

Vegan Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread men must be one of the most Christmassy treats you can possibly have right? In Sweden we are big fans of the traditional gingerbread men and we absolutely love ginger so we thought we would try to make a gingerbread man flavoured cake, vegan style! To make this recipe slightly healthier, we have replaced some of the sugar with agave syrup and a mashed banana which will make this cake really moist (sorry, the only word we could come up with to describe the cake πŸ™ˆ)

We are all for making easy, slightly healthier and comforting recipes so this one is no different.

What you need

  • 150 g self raising flour
  • 60 g soft dark brown
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 100 gram of dairy-free butter
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 6 cubes Crystalised Ginger Stem
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Β½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 (120ml) cup of agave
  • 180 ml water
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


Refreshing Mocktails

We think you would all agree, this summer has been incredible hot and sunny so what better way to cool down than with a refreshing drink? We had a bit of a scan on our favorite inspiration source (Pinterest) and found some really delicious sounding recipes which we just had to try out ourselves. We have however changed the recipes slightly to just reduce the amount of sugar in the drinks but they still taste delicious and as an added bonus, they are slightly healthier than the original recipes.

Watermelon Cooler


What you need

Sparkling water

Lime, a small Melon

Agave syrup (or honey if you are not vegan)



Chop up two cups of chopped watermelon and add to a high speed blender

(we used the Nutribullet)

Squeeze 1 lime into the mix and addΒ 2 tbsp of agave syrup – Stir

Now add about 500ml of sparkling water. Serve with ice and mint πŸ™‚


Elder-flowerΒ fizz


What you need

Elder-flower cordial (we used Belvoir fruit farms)

Apple juice

Sparkling water



Mix 250ml apple juice, 250ml sparkling water, 1/2 cup of elder-flower cordial into a container, mix well. Add mint to taste, stir and serve over ice (add slices of lime and more mint for added taste and presentation)



Blueberry Mojitio


What you need


Agave syrup

Lime juice



Sparkling water


125ml of water


Add 125ml of water to a pan, add 1 cup of blueberries, 2.5 tbsp of stevia and set to simmer for about 15 min over a low heat.

Remove from the pan from the hob and let the mixture cool down. Using a shiv, pour the mixture into a container ( you want to remove all the lumps of blueberries so you only have the liquid left). Add 500ml of sparkling water to your container.

Add 1 tbsp of agave syrup – 1 tbsp of lime juice – stir – serve over ice and add mint, lime and some blueberries to garnish.




Let us know if you have tried one of these or if you have any favorites of your own πŸ™‚

Join us as we make them here Refreshing Mocktails Recipe VideoΒ 

Until next time,

Model D


Vegan Mini Doughnuts

Vegan Mini Doughnuts

This weekend has been a weekend of baking and prepping for the wedding (only just over a month until Emelie ties the knot)

I decided recently to try and bake my own wedding cake and sweet nibbles. I must have spent over 4 hours just looking for inspiration on Pinterest (it’s so addictive!)
And I came across some lovely photos of something I had never heard about before, something called Doughnut Walls. It looked so pretty and to be honest, who doesn’t enjoy a doughnut or two? Doughnuts are pretty easy to make and taste great so I thought I would try out and make some vegan mini doughnuts(I’m a little bit obsessed mini versions of things). In true wedding spirit I decided to go for pastel glazing and have to say they came out great πŸ™

If you are impatient (like myself) or haven’t got time to make some intricate culinary creations, this recipe is for you!

Baked Vegan Doughnuts

1/2 tsp of Vanilla extract

180 grams all-purpose flour

75 grams of confectionery sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/3 tsp nutmeg

150 ml soy milk or oat milk

1/3 tsp cinnamon

30 grams of dairy-free butter

Egg substitute( you need to substitute 1 large egg) we used Orgran Egg Replacer


200 grams of confectionery sugar

food colouring (we used pink purple and blue and made a chocolate glaze by just adding some cacao.

add water as required, you want the mixture to be firm but not hard or solid.




Preheat the oven to 180Β°C and lightly butter a 12-hole mini doughnut pan. Combine the soy milk, the butter, vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Once this is done, add your egg replacer and mix once more. Into a clean bowl sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt, and stir to combine then add our dry mix to your wet ingredients and mix until fully combined.

Pour the mixture into the mini doughnut pan and fill each ring until it’s about half full. Bake in the oven for 7 – 9 minutes.

Remove the doughnuts from the tin and allow them to cool on cake rack.

How to make the glaze

Whisk the icing sugar, a tsp of water and a drop or two of food colouring in a bowl, we separated our icing sugar into 4 different bowls as we decided to be greedy and go for 4 different colours. Dip one side of each doughnut into the glaze and then place in the fridge for 5 minutes to set the icing.

If you feel like saving some for another day, these bad boys will last for about 3 days in an air tight container.



Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies (Sugar-free)

Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies  (Sugar-free)

If you are like us, you are also a fan of quick, easy and somewhat healthier snacks . Just because you fancy a treat doesn’t mean you have to wreak havoc to your normal eating habbits. Creating easy and quick snacks is one of our favourite things to do and we love being creative with recpies we love to make them just that little bit healthier. Disclousure – This recipie is not our own as we have taken inspiration of the famous 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookie recepie and adapted it slightly to be a bit healthier πŸ™‚ Join us as we make these by clicking on the link below πŸ™‚

Healthier Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe Video


This receipie is perfect for all you peanut butter lovers out there and also great for those of you who arent keen on overly sweet cookies!


1 egg

1/2 cup of rolled oats

2 tbsp of Stevia

4 tbsp of natural peanut butter

Salt and cinnamon to taste

Just add all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.

After mixing all ingredients together in a bowl,Β you roll the dough into balls and press them down and flatten them with your hand.

Bake for 8-10 minutes on 180 degrees


Enjoy πŸ™‚

Let us know if you have tried the recepie and if you have any favourite snack recepies of your own πŸ™‚


Until next time,


Model D



Protect Your Skin With These 6 Vitamins And Minerals

Protect Your Skin With These 6 Vitamins And Minerals

Here in the UK we have enjoyed some absolutely amazing weather the last week or so with temperatures reaching 28 degrees 🌞

Wouldn’t you agree that when the weather is sunny and warm, you feel so much better? We certainly think so and we have not shyed away from enjoying it to the fullest. Although the sunny weather makes us feel nice and gives our skin a lovely bronzed glow, it also causes damage to our skin. Applying a broad SPF is essential to protect your skin from damage and as sun exposure is the biggest cause of wrinkles, protecting your skin is important if you want to keep your soon) skin looking younger for longer.

Although SPF is essential to protect your skin from the sun, there are vitamins that will help your skin protect itself from within. By consuming these 6 vitamins and minerals on a regular basis you can help your skin to protect itself from sun damage with a side effect of feeling more energised and healthier and who doesn’t want that?!? 😜

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps your skin protect its cell membranes against free radicals and keeps your skin moisturised and supple. Tip ; Combining Vitamin C & E could “reduce the sunburn reaction to UVB irradiation”

Vitamin C

Vitamin C encourages and increases the production of collagen in your skin which is essential in order to keep your skin looking plump and youthful. Unfortunately sun exposure has got a negative effect on the vitamin c found in our skin. Studies have shown that even minimal sun exposure can decrease the amount of vitamin c in the skin by 30%! Yikes!

Vitamin B

Vitamin B helps our bodies repair and rebuild our skin after damaged caused by internal and external factors such as an unhealthy diet, pollution and excessive sun exposure.

Iron is an essential part of haemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen throughout your body and without having sufficient amounts of iron, your body is unable to transport oxygen as efficiently.

Omega 3 Fatty acids

Healthy fats are so important to your skin and its ability to keep it from becoming dry and flaky. According to recent studies, Omega 3 may also help the skin to protect itself from sun damage.
Theese findings were published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


Carotenoids which are found in tomatoes, carrots and spinach to name a few can provide important additional protection against the damaging effects of UV radiation. By consuming foods containing Carotenoids on a regular basis you can boost your skin’s protection against free radicals caused by sun exposure in a natural way through your diet. Carotenoids are fat soluble and will be better absorbed better when combined with dietary fat.

Top Tip ; Some research has shown that combining Carotenoids and Vitamin E could increase the skin’s protection against UV exposure.

So there we have it 6 Vitamins and minerals that can really help your skin protect itself from sun damage this summer. Eating these vitamins will not be able to replace a good SPF and being sensible when it comes to spending time in the sun but it can boost your protection against the sun’s harmful rays and certainly will benefit your overall health. If you fancy some quick and delicious ways of incorporating these vitamins into your daily diet then here are some delicious, quick and easy smoothie recipes for you to try 😊

Skin Loving Smoothies


Model D