Lemon Rolls

This month at LiveJournal’s BakeBakeBake the challenge was to make a baked good using yeast. I was hesitant to partake because last time I tried something involving yeast, it was just a massive fail. I think mostly my last failure had to do with the temperature of my house and less to do with me just sucking. This weekend was the opportune time to make something using yeast. It was hot, but not too hot. And I had time (between reading for classes.)

I actually was convinced these wouldn’t work though. In fact I threw out my first yeast/milk combination because I think I had the milk too hot and the yeast wasn’t having the reaction I wanted it to. When I finally made the dough, I was still convinced these weren’t going to work. In fact, I was so convinced that while my dough was rising I went to Jamba Juice to get something to eat because I just had this feeling my dough was going to end up in the trash instead of the oven.

I am glad I was wrong!

These rolls were delicious. Though similar to the traditional cinnamon roll, these are filled with a butter, sugar, lemon combination. They were so good I couldn’t even take the picture of them without eating one first. Or two. 🙂

Lemon Rolls

1 1/2 large lemons
1 envelope (.25 oz) active yeast
3/4 cup milk, warmed to about 100 degrees
1/2 cup + 3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup white sugar, divided
2 tsp vanilla
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp nutmeg, divided
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp ground ginger
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar


1. Zest and juice the lemons. Divide the zest into three equal parts. Divide the lemon juice into two equal parts.

2. In a bowl of a stand mixer sprinkle the yeast over warmed milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes, until foamy. With the mixer paddle, stir the softened 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup of sugar, vanilla, and one cup of the flour into the milk mixture. Stir in the salt, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and one of the portions of lemon zest. Stir in the eggs and enough of the flour to make a soft yet sticky dough. I used about 3 1/2 cups of flour.

3. Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes.

4. Lightly grease the top of the dough with vegetable oil and turn the dough over so it’s covered in oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and a towel. Let the dough rise until nearly doubled for one hour.

5. In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup of sugar with the 1/4 tsp of nutmeg and ginger. Add in a portion of the lemon zest and combine with your fingers until the sugar resembles soft sand. Slowly pour a portion of the lemon juice into the sugar. Stop when the sugar and lemon juice form a thick, clumpy mixture like wet sand.

6. Grease a baking dish. On a floured surface pat the dough into a rectangle about 10×15 inches.

7. Spread the 3 tbsp of remaining butter evenly across the dough. Spread the lemon-sugar mixture over the top. Roll the dough up tightly, starting from the top long end. Stretch the dough taut as you roll to keep the sugar inside. Cut the long roll into 12 even rolls. Pinch the bottom of each roll closed and place open and cut side up in the baking dish.

8. Cover the rolls with a towel and let rise for an hour.

9. Heat the oven to 350. Place the rolls in the oven and bake for 35 minutes.

10.While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze. In a food processor whip the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the remaining lemon juice and blend until well combined. Add the powdered sugar and process until smooth and creamy.

11. When the rolls are done, smear them with the cream cheese glaze and sprinkle with the remaining lemon zest.

* makes 12 rolls
* Shared with BakeBakeBake, Mealtime Monday, Makin You Crave Monday, & Mix it Up Monday

6 responses

  1. Pingback: Lemon Rolls « debsthoughtstoday

  2. Pingback: Top 12 For 2012 | lawstudentscookbook

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