This delightful Lemon Sweet Rolls Recipe has a bright citrus flavor throughout and a luscious lemon cream cheese icing! If you want to get people out of bed, this is definitely the way to do it!
Talk about comfort food! Lemon Sweet Rolls are pure lovin’ from the oven, like a big hug from your mom! 💝
These lemon sticky rolls are so decadent they’re perfect during the spring. If you have a special occasion like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day brunch, Easter breakfast, or a bride’s or graduate’s luncheon serve these rolls and be prepared for the accolades to start coming your way!
LEMON SWEET ROLLS RECIPE
If you’re new to baking with yeast, don’t be intimidated. As well, refer to this post I wrote, Tips for Baking with Yeast. The main tip to keep in mind is to have patience. You can provide the perfect environment for the yeast to rise, but you can’t make it rise on your timetable. Yeast takes its sweet time, but the final product will be well worth the wait!
INGREDIENTS FOR LEMON SWEET ROLLS
The quantities are listed below in the printable recipe card.
HOW TO MIX THE DOUGH
- First, in a glass bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; set aside.
- In a large bowl of your electric mixer with dough hook attachment, mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt, lemon zest, and egg. (If you don’t have an electric mixer, you can mix it by hand. Just be certain to completely mix the ingredients together until well combined.)
- Next, add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth.
- Add the yeast mixture alternating with the remaining flour and mix until smooth.
- Pour the dough onto a floured flat surface and knead for 5 minutes.
- Place it in an oiled bowl, cover, sit in a warm and draft-free place (like microwave or oven that’s not on), and let rise until the dough has doubled in size (This typically takes about 2 to 2 and 1/2 hours).
- When doubled in size, punch down dough. This literally means punch it to release the air.
- Next, roll or press out dough with fingers to form a rectangle that’s approximately 15 x 9-inch. The dough will be relatively thin and that’s how you want it. It will fluff up on the next rise.
- Now, spread melted butter all over the dough and then spread the lemon and sugar filling mixture evenly over the butter.
- Beginning on the long side of the dough, roll up, jelly-roll style. Pinch ends and bottom of the dough to keep lemon filling inside.
- Cut log into 12 even rolls. Pinch the bottom of each roll slightly to keep filling inside and place them pinched side down in a buttered 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
- If you want to bake them right away, allow the rolls to rise for about one hour or until they have doubled in size.
MAKE-AHEAD & OVERNIGHT INSTRUCTIONS
If you want to wait to bake them, you can cover the rolls with plastic wrap and refrigerate them until you’re ready to bake them.
The next morning (or whenever you’re ready to bake them), remove them from the refrigerator and allow them to rise on the counter at room temperature until they double in size. This usually takes about one hour.
F I N A L L Y BAKE THE LEMON SWEET ROLLS RECIPE
Heat oven to 350°F. Place the risen rolls in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown.
Allow them to cool for about 10 minutes. Finally, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Making cream cheese frosting is really easy. The main thing to remember is to have your butter and cream cheese at room temperature. They will combine much, much easier.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, add butter and cream cheese. Mix until smooth.
Slowly add confectioners’ sugar to the creamed mixture.
Finally, add lemon juice and mix until smooth. You can add more or less lemon juice if needed. You want the frosting to be ‘pourable’ but not too thin.
Pour the cream cheese icing over the lemon yeast rolls and spread evenly over all rolls so that it seeps into all the nooks and crannies.
You can garnish with lemon zest and mint if you desire. Or, you can dig into these luscious rolls without garnishing.
MORE YUMMY RECIPES YOU’LL ENJOY!
- Birthday Cake Cinnamon Rolls
- 5 Ingredient Puff Pastry Pineapple Upside Down Cinnamon Rolls
- Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls
- Snickers Bars Cinnamon Rolls
- Cinnamon Roll Cherry Cobbler
- Old Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls
- Quick Biscuit Dough Cinnamon Rolls
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary based on the products used.
I updated this post from an earlier version dated July 13, 2012. I made new photos and simplified the recipe instructions.
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Lemon Sweet Rolls Recipe
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- ¼ ounce package yeast
- ½ cup warm water 120 - 130°F
- ½ cup warm milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup butter melted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 3 and ½ to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 medium lemon juiced and zested
- 1 cup granulated sugar
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- ½ cup butter real butter, not margarine
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 3 & ½ cup confectioners' sugar sifted
- 1 medium lemon juiced and zested
- Dissolve yeast in warm water; set aside. In a large bowl of your electric mixer with dough hook attachment, mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt, lemon zest, and egg. Add 2 c flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture alternating with remaining flour. Mix until smooth. Pour dough onto a floured flat surface and knead for 5 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size (about 2 - 2 1/2 hours).
- When doubled in size, punch down dough. Roll or press out dough with fingers until approximately 15 x 9-inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over the dough. Top with the filling mixture.
- Beginning on the long side of the dough, roll up, jelly-roll style. Pinch ends and bottom of the dough to keep lemon filling inside. Cut into 12 even rolls. Pinch the bottom of each roll slightly to keep filling inside. Place pinched side down in a buttered 9 x 13-inch dish.
- Cover and let rise until doubled in size about 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the risen rolls in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Let cool then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.
- In a small bowl, mix 1 cup of sugar with the juice of one lemon. Work together until it resembles clumpy, wet sand.
- Depending on how much juice the lemons yield, you may need more, or less, juice.