March 23, 2010

Sticky Lemon Rolls

Sticky Lemon Rolls w/ Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

Makes 12 large breakfast rolls (I made 15)

(recipe from thekitchn.com)

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

Sticky 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

Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup powdered sugar
1 lemon, zested

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

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.)

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.

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. Stir in the juice of 1 lemon. (Reserve the juice of the second lemon for the glaze.)

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

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.)

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.

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. Add the lemon juice and blend until well combined. Add the powdered sugar and blend until smooth and creamy.

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.

***The rolls are best served warm on the day they are baked.***

  • Flo

    Can’t WAIT to try these. I heart lemon too. I miss living in Cali where we could get fresh lemons from any number of friends’ backyard trees:(

    Also, I don’t know if I ever caught a glimpse of your kitchen before in the blog photos, but it looks nearly exactly like how we plan to redo ours!
    We have a mid-century ranch with all wood paneling, but we want to do black and white checkerboard and paint the cabinets white with black counter tops.
    We have a HUGE old stove that I’m contemplating having painted either red or yellow:)
    LOVE your kitchen!

  • Jessica Craig

    that last photo of the single roll with just one small flake of lemon zest on the plate is stunning. love love love!

  • amanda

    oh my word these look FANTASTIC. its my hubs’ birthday today and he LOVES cinnamon rolls and equally adores lemon ANYTHING so this looks like a perfect fusion… too bad I didn’t have them ready for birthday morning but I think ill have them ready for him for the day after birthday morning. I love love love your blog, check it daily and am so excited when there is a new post up. Your food always looks SO good and inspires me so thank you for doing what you do!!!

    • Tracy

      thank you amanda! you made my day. it’s comments like this that make it all worth it! lemme know how it goes…and what the hubs thinks! 😉

  • Andrea Mohn

    These look so incredible, I am drooling! I have been obsessed with cinnamon rolls lately, and finding the perfect recipe. Now, I am adding this to my list. I can’t wait to make them! And I think that lavender would be a good addition too!
    Love all your pictures by the way. And you have impeccable taste in decorating. I am going to make some terrariums next week. I loved how yours turned out. Where did you find the white crane to go inside? Very cute.

    • Tracy

      thanks! i got the oragami crane figurine in a very obscure shop in Los Altos, CA. It was like less then 2 bucks too! I bet you could find something like it on the internet, no doubt! Good luck on the terrariums! They are so much fun to make.

  • kickpleat

    When I saw this on the kitchn I was stunned with their awesomeness. And here you go making them. Dangerous I’m sure, but man, I’d love to be your neighbour!

  • michella

    I have been dying to make these!! I really hope I get to this week. I’m a sucker for lemon anything.

  • Jenn

    These look amazing! I can hardly wait to get in the kitchen and try out this one. Better bake these with the intention of taking them into the office…otherwise, I might just sit in the kitchen eating them all out of the pan while it’s still warm 🙂

  • julo

    OMG! Nom nom nom! I saw these on The Kitchn and couldn’t wait to try them. Now I REALLY can’t wait to try them! Man!

  • Esi

    I just made these over the weekend. I wish I could say I didn’t finish them all myself…

  • Memoria

    I saw the same rolls on Dishing up delights today!! These rolls are beautiful! They look so yummy. Great process photos.

  • Cooking Foodie

    Ohh these are delicious… I love lemon just as much as cinnamon…

  • jenny

    i was just reading your post and matt leaned over my shoulder and said, her food photos are so erotic.

    i think we will be making these rolls this weekend.
    heh heh heh. 🙂

  • Dana

    Wow! Fantastic! I’ve made orange rolls before, but I like lemon so much more. It’s great that you can do these overnight. I do so love my neighbor and she will bring over treats now and again, but nothing like these. Maybe I’ll send her the link as a hint. 🙂

  • joy the baker

    i’m pretty sure i just peed my pants.

    i want these. now.

    • Tracy

      i think you should totally make them- but joyIZE them. I bet you could make them even better and then I’ll pee my pants.

  • Linn @ Swedish home cooking

    Sweet and savory and sticky. Mm. Give me! They’re like my Swedish Cupcakes. Almost 🙂

  • Kristen

    oh yums! is the yeast instant or active-dry? what is best?

  • Ann

    any thoughts on subbing lemon extract for the vanilla in the dough?? A good thing or too much of a good thing?


  • Nicholead of l

    LOVED these rolls (great dough recipe). I used orange zest instead of lemon because that is what I had. Excited to try these with lemon next time around!

  • hj

    oo-ar, these look delicious

  • m.e (cathie)

    they look amazing!
    i want to make them now!!

  • Lena

    how many calories does one roll has? it looks really delicious but just concerning of my diet! hmmm,,

  • Meaghan

    Just made these for easter brunch!! They were a big hit!

  • Thea

    Hi hi! Which dough recipe do you prefer (rather, which is the fluffier, more mmm-so-good kind): this dough recipe, or the dough recipe you used in making your cream cheese cinnamon rolls?

    I’m planning to try either of the two out today or tomorrow (but I’ll be adapting the lemon rolls into cinnamon rolls, if i use that recipe).

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