Lemon Rolls

August 21, 2016

Lemon Rolls

Oh boy, it’s been so long since I last posted. I was in Vancouver visiting Tristan’s family and I’ve abandoned my blog for over a month. But I’m back! And since I’m avoiding going through all the photos I took on my trip (we’re talking over 900 photos) I’m back to blogging with a bread recipe.

I recently found bags of Meyer lemons sold at my local supermarket. I rarely see Meyer lemons sold in Japan so I grabbed two bags, a total of 12 lemons, with nothing particular in mind. With Kobe being 96.8°F (36°C) and ridiculously humid, I wanted something that doesn’t take long in the oven or something that can be made without turning on my oven. When I gave Tristan the option of no-bake lemon cheesecake or sticky lemon rolls, he chose the latter. These lemon rolls are fluffy, buttery, perfectly sweet with a bright sunny flavor from the lemons.

Lemon roll dough

These lemon rolls use the same bread recipe as my strawberry chocolate rolls. If you have a bread machine, put all the ingredients into the machine, put it on the dough setting, sit back and relax. What the dough setting does is knead the dough for 10 minutes, let it rest for 10 minutes, knead again for 10 minutes, and lets the dough rise for 30 minutes. If you don’t own a bread machine and you’re not in the market for one, you could do this by hand or with a stand mixer, but you would want to use warm milk, add the dry yeast and let it activate for about 5 minutes before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.

Lemon roll dough

When the dough is ready, take it out onto a floured surface, cover and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Roll it out into a 16in x 11in (40.6cm x 28cm) rectangle. Cover the surface with softened butter, followed by the granulated sugar and lemon zest. Some people like to use melted butter but I find that it gets very messy when I go to cut the dough, so stick to the softened butter. Tightly roll up the dough into a log and cut it into 8 even pieces. Lay them out in a 9-inch pan greased with butter and lined with parchment paper. Cover the pan with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap and let them rise for 30 minutes.

Lemon roll dough

While the lemon rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 392°F (200°C) and bake them for 15 to 18 minutes.

Lemon Rolls

When they come out they should be nice and golden on top and your kitchen should smell like a bakery. While the lemon rolls are cooling, make the cream cheese frosting. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and lemon zest.

Lemon Rolls

All you have left to do is take the lemon rolls out of the pan, smear the frosting all over, and tuck in!

Lemon Rolls

You’ve got to eat at least one lemon roll while they’re still warm. It’s really when they’re at their best. Incredibly fluffy, sticky from the frosting, full of lemon flavor, and just delightful. You have to make them. Bring them to brunch with friends, bring them to work to share with coworkers, or don’t tell anyone you’re baking these and devour them all on your own.

What did you make this weekend?

Lemon Rolls

Lemon Rolls

Lemon Rolls


    For the dough
  • 285g bread flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 38g butter
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup warm milk
  • 1¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
    For the filling
  • 38g butter, softened
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • Zest of 2 lemons (or 2½ meyer lemons)
    For the cream cheese frosting
  • 50g cream cheese, softened
  • 30g butter, softened
  • ½ cup confectioners sugar
  • Zest of ½ a lemon (or 1 meyer lemon)


  1. Grease a 9-inch pan with butter, line the bottom with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Add the dough ingredients into your bread machine and set it on the dough cycle.
  3. Take the finished dough out of the machine, cover and let it rest on a floured surface for about 10 minutes.
  4. Roll out the dough into a 16in x 11in (40.6cm x 28cm) rectangle. Spread the softened butter on the dough and evenly sprinkle the sugar and lemon zest.
  5. Roll up the dough into a log as tightly as you can and slice the log into 8 rolls.
  6. Line up the rolls in the pan, cover and let them rise for about 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 392°F (200°C).
  8. Bake the rolls for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.
  9. In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the frosting. While the rolls are still warm, smear on the frosting.

I’ve shared my recipe on Fiesta Friday! Head on over for many other yummy recipes!

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  • Reply Quinn Caudill August 26, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    I am ready for breakfast and your rolls look so good. Have a great weekend and Happy FF!

    • Reply Ai August 26, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      Thanks, Quinn! Happy FF and have a great weekend! 😀

  • Reply Michelle August 26, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Wow! These lemon rolls are gorgeous!
    Sounds so yummy- I am a fan of Meyers lemons too!

    • Reply Ai August 28, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks, Michelle! 😀

  • Reply Colleen August 27, 2016 at 6:16 am

    These look dreamy! Happy Fiesta Friday!

    • Reply Ai August 28, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      Thank you, Colleen! Happy FF! Have a great weekend 🙂

  • Reply Julianna August 27, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Mmmm, your rolls sound wonderful! Lemon is such a refreshing change from cinnamon!

    • Reply Ai August 28, 2016 at 12:32 pm

      Thank you, Julianna! I definitely prefer these to the classic cinnamon rolls during this time of year. So refreshing!

  • Reply CakePants August 29, 2016 at 2:22 am

    Mmm, these look so delicious and cheery! I too have been avoiding turning on the oven as much as possible, but these look totally worth it.

    • Reply Ai August 29, 2016 at 10:54 am

      Thanks Mara! It’s just so darn hot these days! Can’t wait for fall 😀

  • Reply Sarah August 29, 2016 at 3:16 am

    This looks super delicious!

    • Reply Ai August 29, 2016 at 10:54 am

      Thank you, Sarah! They really were scrumptious 🙂

  • Reply Julie August 29, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Ai these rolls look tender and delicious! Lemon is one of my favorite flavors, but I’ve never put them into rolls like this! Yum!

    • Reply Ai September 3, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      Thanks, Julie! I love lemons too!!

  • Reply Debbie Spivey August 29, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Ai, I always see orange rolls, but never lemon. This is great!

    • Reply Ai September 3, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      Thank you! I love the freshness of the lemon paired with sweet sticky rolls!

  • Reply Jenny August 29, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    These rolls looks wonderful! My kids would love them, and especially with the lemon. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    • Reply Ai September 3, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      Thanks, Jenny! Let me know if you try them out 🙂

  • Reply Petra @ CrumblesAndKale August 31, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    These look absolutely scrumptious, love the lemon in there for extra freshness!

    • Reply Ai September 3, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      I love lemons! So fresh which is perfect for hot summers! Thanks, Petra 🙂

  • Reply Angie September 1, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Beautiful! And that lemon flavor sounds wonderful and fresh. A little different but wonderful all the same. Nice, Ai!

    • Reply Ai September 3, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      Thank you, Angie! Happy Fiesta Friday!!

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