Lemon Sweet Rolls

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Silky sweet lemon curd rolled up in the fluffiest dough and covered in an easy cream cheese icing are calling your name. These Lemon Sweet Rolls will blow your mind (and your taste buds)!

Top view of Lemon Sweet Rolls covered in cream cheese icing in a 9x13 pan

It’s hard to beat the feeling of eating a homemade cinnamon roll straight from the oven. At least that’s what I thought until I made these Lemon Sweet Rolls! These rolls taste like biting into a pillow made of sunshine. They’re amazingly light and fluffy with just enough lemon flavor from my Easy Lemon Curd. These are the perfect dessert to make this summer!

Ingredient Breakdown

Buttermilk – makes the dough so flavorful and fluffy.

Instant yeast – makes the dough rise.

Granulated sugar – sweetens and tenderizes the dough. I originally used less sugar but found that the rolls come out way fluffier after increasing it.

Egg & egg yolk – make the dough so soft and fluffy especially with the extra yolk!

Butter – adds flavor and tenderizes the dough. I always recommend using unsalted butter but salted butter works if that’s all you have on hand, just be sure to omit the 1 teaspoon of salt.

How To Make Lemon Sweet Rolls

1. Make the Lemon Curd: in a medium bowl rub lemon zest and sugar until it looks like wet sand. Add half of the sugar to a small pot and set aside. Whisk the yolks into the medium bowl until well combined. Next, add the lemon juice to the small pot and bring to a boil over medium low heat. Remove from heat and temper yolks by very slowly pouring 3/4 of the boiling liquid into the yolks while constantly and vigorously whisking (this slowly warms up the yolks so they don’t curdle). Add the mixture back to the pot and constantly whisk over low heat until thickened. The curd will be done when it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and mix in cubed butter until fully incorporated. Strain curd and chill with plastic wrap touching the surface to prevent it from forming a skin.

Lemon curd coating a spatula and in a glass container

2. Make the dough: Heat the buttermilk until lukewarm (110°F) then whisk with granulated sugar in a mixing bowl and sprinkle yeast on top. In a separate small bowl melt the butter and whisk with the egg, egg yolk and salt then whisk into the yeast mixture. Place on a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and add about 1/2 cup of flour. Mix on low speed until mostly combined then repeat until all the flour is gone. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl and be slightly tacky but not sticky. Knead dough in the mixer or by hand for an additional 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a large greased bowl then cover and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.

Dough for Lemon Sweet Rolls before and after rising

3. On a lightly floured surface roll dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Evenly spread lemon curd across the dough. Tightly roll the dough towards you then cut 12 even rolls and place in a lightly greased 9×13 pan. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size. Bake rolls at 350°F for 22 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Lemon Sweet Rolls in a 9x13 pan before rising, after rising and after baking
From left to right: before rise, after rise, after baking

4. Make the Cream Cheese Icing: using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer cream the butter and cream cheese. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and milk until smooth. Add lemon zest to taste. Spread over slightly warm rolls. Store Lemon Sweet Rolls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Reheat rolls in the microwave for 15-25 seconds or eat cold!

Pro Tips For Lemon Sweet Rolls

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate; baking is a science after all!
  • Use fresh lemon juice in the lemon curd, not lemon juice from a bottle!
  • Do not overheat the buttermilk or you’ll kill the yeast! Yeast dies at 140°F.
  • Once rolls are filled use dental floss or a sharp chef’s knife for the cleanest cuts. If using a knife avoid sawing the dough and instead try to cut in one swift motion.
  • After slicing filled rolls make sure to give them enough space to grow.
  • Do not over bake. Take out when tops begin to slightly brown to get the softest rolls!

What To Make With Leftover Egg Whites?

Try my Angel Food Cupcakes or S’mores Cupcakes!

If you try this recipe then please leave a rating/comment below to let me know how you liked it and feel free to ask any recipe questions you may have! 🙂

Lemon Sweet Rolls

Maria Azzarelli
Silky sweet lemon curd rolled up in the fluffiest dough and covered in an easy cream cheese icing are calling your name. These Lemon Sweet Rolls will blow your mind (and your taste buds)!
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 22 minutes
Rising time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 22 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Servings 12 rolls
Calories 576 kcal

Equipment

  • Stand mixer
  • 9×13 inch pan
  • Rolling Pin
  • Fine mesh sieve

Ingredients
  

Lemon Curd

  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest about 1 lemon
  • 8 egg yolks save the whites for another recipe!
  • 115 g (1/2 cup) lemon juice, strained 4-5 medium lemons
  • 113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cubed

Dough

  • 240 g (1 cup) buttermilk, 110°F
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 14 g (1 1/2 tbsp) instant yeast (2 packets)
  • 113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 540 g (4 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 56 g (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 210 g (1 3/4 cups) confectioners' sugar
  • 30 g (2 tbsp) whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste

Instructions
 

Lemon Curd

  • In a medium bowl rub lemon zest into sugar until it looks like wet sand. Add 1/2 of the lemon sugar to a small pot and set aside.
  • Whisk the egg yolks into the medium bowl with the sugar until well combined. Set aside.
  • To the small pot add the lemon juice and whisk to combine with the sugar then bring to a boil over medium low heat. Once boiling remove from heat and temper egg yolks by very slowly pouring 3/4 of the boiling juice into the egg yolks while constantly and vigorously whisking.
  • Add the egg mixture to the pot and whisk constantly over low heat until thickened. The curd will be done when it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and mix in cubed butter until fully incorporated.
  • Strain curd into an airtight container then press a layer of plastic wrap to the top (to prevent a skin from forming). Cover with lid and refrigerate.

Dough

  • Heat the buttermilk until lukewarm (110°F) then whisk with granulated sugar in a mixing bowl and sprinkle yeast on top.
  • In a separate small bowl melt the butter and whisk with the egg, egg yolk and salt then whisk into the yeast mixture.
  • Place on a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and add about 1/2 cup of flour. Mix on low speed until mostly combined then repeat until all the flour is gone. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl and be slightly tacky but not sticky.
  • Knead dough in the mixer or by hand for an additional 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a large greased bowl then cover and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.
  • On a lightly floured surface roll dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Evenly spread lemon curd across the dough. Tightly roll the dough towards you then cut 12 even rolls and place in a lightly greased 9×13 pan. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.
  • Bake rolls at 350°F for 22 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Icing

  • Use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer to cream the butter and cream cheese. Mix in the confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and milk until smooth. Add lemon zest to taste.

Notes

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
 
  • Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter. You can use salted butter, just be sure to omit the 1 tsp salt.
 
  • Store Lemon Sweet Rolls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Reheat rolls in the microwave for 15-25 seconds or eat cold!
 
  • Rolls can be made ahead of time: after filling and slicing cover the rolls and place in the fridge overnight. Allow to rise at room temperature for an hour or until doubled in size before baking.
 
  • Nutrition: the provided nutritional information is an estimate per serving. Please read my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.
Calories: 576kcalCarbohydrates: 80gProtein: 10gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 214mgSodium: 299mgPotassium: 154mgFiber: 2gSugar: 44gVitamin A: 846IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 93mgIron: 3mg
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