Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons

Lemon Sweet Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

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Love a fresh, homemade sweet roll? This Lemon Sweet Rolls Recipe is the best! Super soft rolls with a sweet lemon zest filling and topped with lemon cream cheese frosting.

Lemon Sweet Rolls Recipe

Lemon Sweet Rolls Recipe

Fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls are always a breakfast favorite. This Lemon Sweet Rolls Recipe really takes the traditional cinnamon roll idea to the next level with a sweet lemon filling and lemon cream cheese frosting. You will love having a lemon sweet roll with your coffee on a Saturday morning!

While you’re here, check out some of our other wonderful lemon recipes: Mini Lemon Cheesecakes | Lemon Rice with Mint | White Chocolate Lemon Truffles | Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

The Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make the Lemon Sweet Rolls Recipe (the exact measurements and full recipe instructions are below in the printable recipe card):

  • Dry active yeast
  • Whole milk
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs
  • Unsalted butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Fresh lemon zest – you will need 3-4 lemons worth of zest for this recipe.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Cream cheese – this is used in our delicious lemon cream cheese frosting
  • Powdered sugar

ingredients to make Lemon Sweet Rolls Recipe

How to Make Lemon Sweet Rolls Recipe

In a small bowl, combine the yeast, warmed milk (should be very warm to the touch, but not hot), and sugar. Set this aside and allow it to “bloom” which means the yeast will activate. The mixture should look frothy after about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture, eggs, melted butter, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Now you’ll add 4 cups of the flour and begin to mix. This is very easy if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. The stand mixer handles all of the mixing and kneading, which I love!

If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can begin mixing the dough with a handheld electric mixer and then you’ll have to switch to mixing by hand when the dough becomes too heavy for the mixer.

As the dough is kneading in the stand mixer (or you’re kneading by hand), add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour about a tablespoon at a time until the dough is smooth and not too sticky. You’ll want to knead the dough for a total of 5 minutes.

mixing sweet roll dough in a Kitchen Aid mixer

Form the dough into a ball and place in a well greased bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and place the bowl in a warm place in your kitchen to rise until doubled. This will take an hour or more, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.

TIP: Some ovens have a dough rise setting that heats the oven slightly to create a perfect environment for dough to rise. My oven does not have this feature, so I turn it on to warm up to about 110ºF, then I turn the oven off and place the bowl of dough inside with the oven door slightly open. Just double check to make sure you’ve turned the oven off!

Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a floured surface and roll out into a 9×13-inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter over the dough, then sprinkle with sugar, lemon zest, and salt.

dough rolled out on a counter and topped with sugar and lemon zest

Starting at one of the short ends, roll the dough up like a jelly roll. Use a sharp knife to cut the log into 8 equal rolls.

cutting a log of dough into rolls

Place the rolls into a well-greased 9×13-inch glass baking dish. Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until the rolls are nice and puffy.

sweet rolls in a pan

Bake the lemon sweet rolls at 350ºF for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

While the rolls are baking, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and cream cheese, then mix in the powdered sugar, whole milk, and lemon zest. Frost the rolls while they’re still hot from the oven.

Lemon Sweet Rolls

Frosting the rolls while they’re hot allows the icing to melt and run down the sides a bit. So good!

Serve the lemon sweet rolls while they’re warm. They pair nicely with a cup of coffee, hot tea, or ice cold milk.

Lemon Sweet Rolls Recipe with a red and white napkin

Can I Make the Rolls Ahead?

Yes! You can go through all of the steps in the recipe to make the lemon sweet rolls the night before. Once you’ve cut the rolls and placed them in the greased baking dish, instead of letting them rise the second time, cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or 8-12 hours. When you’re ready to bake, allow the pan of rolls to warm up on the counter for 1-2 hours or until they’re puffy and risen enough to bake. Then bake and frost as instructed.

How to Store Leftovers

Keep the leftover rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. The rolls are best when fresh, but you can bring back some of the softness by heating individual rolls in the microwave until warm.

Lemon Sweet Rolls Recipe

More Recipes You’ll Love

Lemon Sweet Rolls

Lemon Sweet Rolls

Published By Jill
Love a fresh, homemade sweet roll? This Lemon Sweet Rolls Recipe is the best! Super soft rolls with a sweet lemon zest filling and topped with lemon cream cheese frosting. 
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Rise time 2 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

Rolls

  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoon) dry active yeast
  • 1 cup whole milk warmed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Filling

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, warmed milk (very warm, but not hot to the touch), and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Set aside to bloom for 5 minutes until frothy.
  • Add the eggs, melted butter, vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon lemon zest and mix until well combined. Mix in 4 cups of the flour and salt (this is best done with an electric stand mixer), then knead the dough until smooth, about 5 minutes, adding more flour 1 tablespoon at a time as needed.
  • Place the dough in a well greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and roll out into a 14x9-inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter over the dough rectangle, then sprinkle with the 3/4 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • Starting at one of the short ends, roll the dough up like a jelly roll. Use a sharp knife to cut the log into 8 equal rolls. Place the rolls in a greased 9x13-inch glass baking dish. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place to rise until risen, about 1 hour.
  • While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the rolls for 30 minutes until golden brown.
  • While the rolls are baking, use an electric mixer to beat together the cream cheese and butter for the frosting. Add the powdered sugar, milk, and lemon zest and mix well. Spread the frosting over the hot rolls when they are finished baking. Cool slightly before serving.
Tried this recipe?Mention @kitchenfunwithmy3sons or tag #kitchenfunwithmy3sons!

Lemon Sweet Rolls

 

about me

ABOUT JILL

I am a mom of 3 awesome boys that love to get crafty with me in the kitchen. Our blog is full of all sorts creative food ideas for the Holidays, Party Ideas, Free Printables, Featured DIY Ideas, Recipes, & Kids Craft Ideas! Read more...

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