sticky lemon rolls with lemon cream cheese glaze

March 26th, 2010

Holy moly! It’s been a while since a) I’ve posted anything here b) I’ve actually cooked/baked/did anything in the kitchen. Boo! Hopefully all that nonsense that kept me away will stay away (i’m talking to you flu!). Anywho, I saw a post on the Kitchn last week and nearly started drooling right then and there. Now I’m a fan of cinnamon rolls like no other, but when I saw this recipe for sticky lemon rolls it just felt like a giant sign that reads “Come on Spring!!”. Quite frankly, I found it hard to wait for either, unfortunately, I can’t control the weather, but you can bet I can make some mean sticky lemon rolls.

I’m not a big fan of waiting for things, in fact some people (mainly Aaron) might even call me ancy, so sometimes I have to trick myself into making waiting fun (or at least bearable). This recipe requires you to make a yeast dough, then let it rise. During this time, you can easily and quickly make the lemon filling by combining lemon juice, ginger, nutmeg, sugar and butter. *Oh, that reminds me, if you’re even thinking about making this recipe, take the butter out of the fridge now, since it needs to be soft (waiting for butter to soften is no fun).*

After an hour or so, the dough will have risen, which means it’s time to roll. After rolling the dough flat and slathering the filling over it, I rolled it up like a jelly roll, then cut it in 12 lovely, if not a bit sloppy rolls. This is when waiting can be a little bit fun. Place the rolls in a 12×9 pan and pop it in the fridge. Now if you’re an early bird and you’re doing this at 7am, you can simply wait an hour and then pop them in the oven, however it’s more fun if you make them the night before and let them sit in the fridge overnight while you dream about delicious sticky lemon rolls. The next morning all you have to do is turn the oven on, pop the pan in the oven and whip up a super quick cream cheese frosting.

What a great way to start the day! Oh these lemon rolls are so delicious. The dough is yeasty and light, laced with a lemony filling, bursting with each bite. The cream cheese frosting brings a richness that keeps you licking your fork and eyeing the pan for seconds. Totally worth the wait.

sticky lemon rolls with lemon cream cheese glaze

from the kitchn | makes 12 large breakfast rolls
Lemon Roll Dough

1 envelope (0.25 ounces, or 2 1/2 teaspoons) yeast
3/4 cup milk, warmed to about 100°F or warm but not hot on your wrist
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 lemons, zested
2 eggs

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer sprinkle the yeast over the warmed milk and let it sit for a couple minutes.2. With the mixer paddle, stir in the softened butter, sugar, vanilla, and one cup of the flour.3. Stir in the salt, nutmeg, and lemon zest.4. Stir in the eggs and enough of the remaining flour (I used 4 cups total) to make a soft yet sticky dough.

5. Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is elastic and pliable. (If you do not have a stand mixer, stir together the ingredients by hand, then turn the soft dough out onto a lightly floured countertop. Knead the dough by hand (see this video for explicit instructions) for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, pliable, and stretchy.)

6. Spray the top of the dough with vegetable oil, and turn the dough over so it is coated in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and let the dough rise until nearly doubled – about an hour. While the dough is rising, make the lemon filling.

7. Lightly grease a 13×9 inch baking dish with baking spray or butter.

8. On a floured surface pat the dough out into a large yet still thick rectangle — about 10×15 inches.* Spread evenly with the softened butter, then pour and spread the lemon filling mixture over top. Roll the dough up tightly, starting from the top long end. Cut the long dough roll into 12 even rolls, and place them, cut side up, in the prepared baking dish.

9. Cover the rolls with a towel and let them rise for an hour or until puffy and nearly doubled. (You can also refrigerate the rolls at this point. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you are ready to bake the rolls, remove the pan from the fridge, and let them rise for an hour.)

10. Heat the oven to 350°F. Place the risen rolls in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into a center roll reads 190°F.

*Because I’m a little on the lazy side, I just laid a sheet of parchment on the counter and rolled the dough onto it. After spreading the filling over the dough, the dough will easily lift from the parchment and you won’t have a messy countertop.

Lemon Filling

1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
2 lemons, zested and juiced *
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft

1. In a small bowl, mix the sugar with the nutmeg and ginger, then work in the lemon zest with the tips of your fingers until the sugar resembles wet, soft sand.2. Stir in the juice of 1 lemon. (Reserve the juice of the second lemon for the glaze.)

Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup powdered sugar
1 lemon, zested

1. While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze. In a small food processor (or with a mixer, or a sturdy whisk), whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy.

2. Add the lemon juice and blend until well combined.

3. Add the powdered sugar and blend until smooth and creamy.

4. When the rolls are done, smear them with the cream cheese glaze, and sprinkle the zest of 1 additional lemon over top to garnish.

Serve while warm.

Comments: 29 Total

  1. meg

    March 26, 2010 at 11:13 am

    I saw these also and am dying to make them! And I have fresh lemons all zested/juiced and ready to go. YUM. Yours look fantastic!

  2. Morgan G

    March 26, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Ooo! These look/sound fabulous. Despite the sad fact that I have a long history of not being able to make dough rise, Illl give this ago…and just eat the glaze if I fail. : )

  3. LadyGouda

    March 26, 2010 at 11:42 am

    oh my gooooooodness. That just made my mouth water. I can definitely see this as a great addition to a Spring or Easter brunch. I can’t wait to try this. I am just mad for lemon!

  4. Alison

    March 26, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Wow. Just…wow.

  5. Kaitlin

    March 26, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    HOLY MOLY is right! Can’t wait to test these out as a possible Easter brunch treat, especially since my lemon tree is full of yellow, plump, ripeness. Thanks so much for sharing, if things go well I might repost on my site!
    PS Hope you feel better, what a shame to be ill at the start of spring!

  6. DailyChef

    March 27, 2010 at 2:43 am

    I love the lemon cream cheese glaze! That looks incredible!

  7. Susan

    March 27, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Sounds great, and I like the fact that I can do all the work the night before. Things tend to be edgy/hectic around here in the morning.

  8. Dana

    March 27, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Double yum! I have made orange rolls that I really liked, but I like lemon so much more. And the gooey stuff on top – yes, please.

  9. Melody

    March 27, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    I can not wait to make these.
    They look and sound equally yummy!

    Happy Easter!

  10. Megan Gordon

    March 27, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Sometimes you and I…we’re on the same dessert wavelength. Remember those popcorn balls we posted on the same day? Well I bought everything to make these when I saw them recently on The Kitchn and it’s just been an insanely busy week. So your post just taunted me a little. They look amazing. Happy weekend.

  11. Tuesday Bassen

    March 28, 2010 at 11:49 am

    I just made these! Truly amazing!

  12. Johanna

    March 29, 2010 at 8:48 am

    These will be perfect to take to Easter Brunch! Thank you!

  13. lo

    March 29, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    I’m with Johanna. Sticky lemon rolls sound just perfect for Easter brunch! Lemon is the one flavor that yanks me right out of my winter doldrums and full-on into spring. And a bit of cream cheese never hurt either!

  14. Josie

    March 30, 2010 at 8:05 am

    ooo! these sound so fantastic

  15. amy

    March 30, 2010 at 9:14 am

    i want one now! they look so comforting and delicious but also refreshing. i think i am going to attempt them this weekend!

  16. Anne

    March 30, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I have dozens of lemons sitting on my countertop. This may be the perfect recipe to use up a few. Other ideas?

  17. elizabeth

    March 30, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    these look/ sound amazing! I am saving the recipe for my daughter in hopes of getting these on Mom’s Day!!

  18. china sim card

    March 31, 2010 at 3:33 am

    I would like to eat it in the summer. That will be more wonderful and delicious,i think.

  19. Morgan G

    April 5, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Kelly, I made these on Friday night/Saturday am. The dough actually rose! A small miracle in my kitchen. They did not come out looking anywhere as pretty as yours did, but, boy did they taste pretty. This will be a family staple. Thanks!

  20. Kelly

    April 5, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    woohoo! that’s so exciting! i’m glad you like them!

  21. links london

    April 6, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    They did not come out looking anywhere as pretty as yours did, but, boy did they taste pretty. This will be a family staple. Thanks!

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    April 9, 2010 at 4:00 pm
  23. Kathleen

    April 24, 2010 at 7:11 am

    Oh wow. I just finished my lemons today. They are going straight back on the shopping list and I cannot wait to try this recipe. Thank you SO much for posting it. The video on kneading bread is really helpful too. Thanks again (and LOVE your blog!).

  24. Pingback: If I had time I’d be making this right now… « The Handmade Experiment

    April 30, 2010 at 7:32 pm
  25. Elizabeth

    May 4, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Your recipes look & sound soooo lovely! Is there a trick of printing them out? The only way I can get it to print has been w/ print screen – and it doesn’t look nice that way. Help!

  26. Teresa

    May 5, 2010 at 9:32 am

    cut and paste to a clean page on microsoft this should work

  27. kimberlee

    May 6, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    I was wondering why there is an * in the sticky lemon filling part after 2 lemons, zested and juiced.

  28. HCG Diet

    June 16, 2010 at 1:09 am

    That is very interesting. It provided me some ideas and I’ll be posting them on my web site eventually. I’m bookmarking your website and I’ll be back. Thank you again!

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