Lemon Sweet Rolls start with a soft, flavorful dough filled with a generous amount of homemade lemon curd, baked to perfection, and drizzled with a sweet glaze. They are a delicious option for breakfast, brunch, or enjoyed as a citrusy treat anytime throughout the day! I also have Lemon Blueberry Sweet Rolls you will love!

Pan of Lemon Sweet Rolls on a white table with one roll removed.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Dough: I have used the same dough for many sweet rolls, including my popular classic Cinnamon Roll recipe. It is baked to a super soft, pillowy texture that is irresistible. Seriously, once you bite into one of the rolls, you will want to try more varieties like my Orange Sweet Rolls and Raspberry Cream Cheese Sweet Rolls. Plus, the dough is easy to work with!

Lemon Curd: For the citrusy, lemon flavor in each bite, spread lemon curd all over the dough before rolling and cutting. Lemon curd is a tart and lemony spread that you can buy at the store or make homemade! If making your own, it can be made up to 2 weeks in advance. Simply store the curd in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Glaze: The sweet, simple glaze is made with confectioners’ sugar and whole milk. For even more lemon flavor, you could use lemon juice in the glaze, too!

Steps for laying out dough, adding lemon curd, rolling and slicing rolls, and then baking them.

Make Ahead Lemon Sweet Rolls

Because these rolls are yeast bread, they will take some time to rise. So, it’s a perfect recipe where you can do most of the work ahead of time, depending on when you want to serve the rolls. Here are make-ahead options for sweet rolls:

  • Refrigerator Method: Prepare the dough. Then, roll it out, fill it with the lemon curd, roll, and cut. Place the unbaked rolls into a greased baking dish. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for 24 hours. When ready to bake, remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature (about an hour). Then, bake the rolls.
  • Freezer Method: Prepare the dough. Then, roll it out, fill it with the lemon curd, roll, and cut. Place the unbaked rolls into a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, place the rolls into a greased baking dish and let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, let the rolls come to room temperature for about an hour before baking.
White plate with a Lemon Sweet Roll on it showing the lemon curd.

Can I Use A Different Fruit Curd?

Absolutely! You can certainly try the rolls with a different fruit curd besides lemon. Try them with orange curd, raspberry, lime, mango, blueberry, or your favorite variety!

How To Store Lemon Sweet Rolls

If you are planning on enjoying the lemon sweet rolls within a day or two, store them at room temperature, covered. For slightly longer storage, you can refrigerate the rolls. However, that may dry out the rolls faster, so it is not the recommended method.

White plate with a Lemon Sweet Roll on it showing the lemon curd.

Freezing Baked Sweet Rolls

If you are planning to freeze the baked sweet rolls, freeze them without the glaze for best results. (It’s easy to make the glaze when ready to serve.) Once the rolls have cooled completely, wrap each roll individually in plastic wrap. Next, place the wrapped rolls in a freezer-safe bag or container. They can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. When ready to enjoy, let the rolls thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Pan of Lemon Sweet Rolls on a white table

Lemon Sweet Rolls

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rising Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Lemon Sweet Rolls start with a soft, flavorful dough filled with a generous amount of homemade lemon curd, baked to perfection, and drizzled with a sweet glaze. They are a delicious option for breakfast, brunch, or enjoyed as a citrusy treat anytime throughout the day!

Ingredients

Dough

  • cup (163 g) whole milk, warmed to 100-110°F
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 packet (2 ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (1 stick / 113 g) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Filling

Glaze

  • 1 cup (125 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons whole milk

Instructions

Dough

  • In a medium bowl, combine warm milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle yeast over milk and whisk to blend. Let sit until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes.
  • Add eggs; whisk until smooth.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar, flour, and salt. Add the milk mixture. With the mixer running on low speed, add butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between additions.
  • Knead on medium speed for 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high. Knead until the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes.
  • To a medium greased bowl, add the dough. Roll it to grease all sides. Cover with plastic wrap.
  • Let dough rise in a warm area until doubled in size, about 1 – 1 ½ hours.
  • When the dough is ready, punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a 10×15-inch rectangle. (It should be about ¼-inch thick.)
  • Evenly spread lemon curd over dough making sure it covers the entire surface.

Rolling, Cutting, Baking

  • Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Starting on the long edge, roll the dough up tightly.
  • Using a very sharp knife, cut the log into 12 rolls. Place them cut side up into the prepared 9×13-inch baking pan. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes.

Glaze

  • While the rolls cool, in a small bowl, add confectioners' sugar and milk. Whisk until smooth.
  • Drizzle all over the warm rolls and serve.

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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:

Autumn

These sweet rolls are pillowy soft and filled with lemon flavor! I loved the homemade lemon curd but you could absolutely just purchase some from the store, too!

Elizabeth

Wow, these are so soft and full of lemon flavor! You really can't go wrong with any of our sweet rolls because of the dough.

Rachael

Light, fluffy, and lemony! I love lemon anything and these are a beautiful lemon sweet roll.

Bella

Mmmm, can't get enough of lemon! These rolls are beautifully soft and tangy. Such a delicious sweet treat!

Selena

These are so fun! I am not usually a fan of lemon things, but I really enjoyed them.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

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