Baking · Bread · Breakfast

Lemon Sweet Rolls

Sticky Lemon Sweet Buns. These soft and fluffy buns are filled with a lemon sugar butter filling and then drizzled with a simple lemon sugar icing. 

Lemon sweet rolls are my idea of the perfect weekend breakfast. What’s not to just love about a soft, buttery bun bursting with tangy lemony flavour and drizzled with sticky lemon icing?

Making the dough is really simple and straight forward. Mix together flour, sugar, yeast, lemon zest and softened butter. When mixed through add the milk and melted dairy-free baking block/spread and knead until soft and elasticated. Leave the dough in a bowl, cover it and then allow to rise until doubled in size.

Once the dough has risen fully, roll it out and spread with homemade lemon sugar butter and then roll up and cut into the rolls. Place in a buttered dish and allow to rise again until joined up. Then all that’s left to do bake the buns until they’re nicely golden!

Your kitchen will be filled with the most gorgeous fragrant lemony aroma! As soon as these buns leave the oven you will be dying to dig in and try one straight away!

But, hold on as the best part comes next. The glaze is sweet, sticky and packed with zingy lemon flavour. Sprinkle with extra lemon zest if you like and enjoy! You won’t be able to resist these! If you like lemon desserts then this recipe is one for you to try.


(Makes 12)



500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for rolling

14g fast action dried yeast ( 2 x 7g packets)

55g caster sugar

85g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

250ml milk, warmed gently

1 large free-range egg, at room temperature

Zest from 1 large unwaxed lemon

Lemon Butter Filling:

45g unsalted butter, softened at room temp

75g caster sugar

1 large unwaxed lemon, zested

Lemon Icing:

Juice of 1 large unwaxed lemon and zest for decoration

200-250g icing sugar, sifted


1. To make the dough: In a large stand mixer, add the flour, yeast, sugar and the zest. Mix gently on low speed just to combine. Then add the butter and rub in fully, until no lumps of butter remain. Now gently heat the milk in a small saucepan until it’s just warm and you can still poke your finger in without it burning. Then on a low speed, gently pour the milk in and add the egg, mix until a soft and sticky dough comes together. Then knead for another 5-7 minutes or until you have a soft and well elasticated dough. Now remove the dough from the mixer and knead gently on a board for about a minute just to bring it together into a ball. Place back in the bowl, cover fully with cling film and then leave somewhere warm for 1-2 hours or until it’s doubled in size.

2. To make the lemon filling: Roll the dough out on a flour surface to roughly 20cm x 50cm. Then for the filling melt the butter gently, then add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the zest and then brush this mixture all over the rolled out dough. Roll the dough up  from one of the longest sides. Then divide into 12 equally sized rolls. Now lightly grease a large baking dish with a little butter. Place the rolls in the greased tin, making sure they’re well spread out. Then cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes or until they’ve joined up and doubled in size.

3.To bake: Preheat your oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes, until they’re lightly golden. They may need a few minutes longer in different ovens and should sound hollow when tapped. Allow to cool completely to room temperature in the baking dish. For the icing, just combine the icing sugar and lemon juice, mix until you have a smooth and drizzling consistency. Then drizzle all over the baked buns. Finish with extra lemon zest before allowing the icing to set. Buns will store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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46 thoughts on “Lemon Sweet Rolls

  1. Ooh Jess I used to LOVE iced buns! I’m definitely keen on the idea of having a go at making these. Actually, there are loads of your recipes that I want to make. The best thing about these is that they really don’t look all that difficult to make 🙂

  2. Are you sure you don’t own a bakery? Or maybe your parents do? ‘Coz what comes out of your kitchen are nothing short of ah-mazing! Like these buns! This one is bookmarked, to be tried when the weather warms. Like you said, would be perfect for breakfast in the sun. Thanks for bringing these to the Fiesta!

  3. These look divine! I am such a fan of sticky buns (I think I’ve posted two recipes of my own so far!) but I am yet to try lemon… may have to add these to the “to bake” list!

  4. woah…these look seriously delicious! I love the addition of the lemon filling. Can’t wait to give them a shot!

  5. These look gorgeous! I love the idea of lemon icing too–an interesting touch that I’ve never seen before. I want one of these for breakfast tomorrow 🙂

  6. Sweet buns are like my favorite thing ever. Don’t they make the perfect breakfast?? Yours look terrific, and the lemony touch is amazing 🙂

  7. Gosh. I’m a sucker for any kind of bakery sweet roll like this. Yours look so delicious 🙂 Glad I found your blog today – so much good stuff on here!

  8. These look AMAZING, I’d love to give them a try! Only one problem, I don’t have a stand mixer and being a uni student means I don’t really have the budget to buy one – is there any way to do this by hand or does it need to be machine mixed? Thanks!

    1. Brilliant, thank you! I’ll definitely let you know – tomorrow I’m trying out your Terry’s Chocolate Orange cupcakes for a friends birthday, can’t wait to see how they come out 🙂

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