Soft & Fluffy Lemon Breakfast Rolls

Super juicy, fluffy and lemony breakfast rolls covered in a cream cheese and lemon icing to get your day started the right way.

If you have been around for a while, you will know that I love lemons and I love a good dough, specially (but not limited to) a sweet one. I am absolutely fascinated with the way dough works and I genuinely believe that the possibilities in terms of filling are completely endless.

Although it takes time to make these rolls, they are very easy to make and they don’t take a lot of your time, which means that you can make the dough, do something else while they are rising, come back to them to feel them up and then carry on with your business while the rise again.

About the filling and the icing

With regards to the filling, these rolls are filled with butter, sugar and lemon zest. I like to add the lemon zest to the sugar and “massage it” with my fingers so the sugar gets really infused. The butter makes them incredibly juicy and moist.

The icing is simply cream cheese, a little bit of double cream, more lemon (obviously!) and sugar. The icing is really optional with these rolls because they are absolutely delicious on their own, so if you are feeling hungry just tuck in! One thing I must say (and I always say) with regards to the icing is to give it a try as you slowly add the ingredients, you make like more or less lemon or more or less icing sugar, always make it to your taste rather than sticking exactly to the measurements I give you.

Freezing the rolls

These recipe makes around 12 rolls, so if you feel like it’s too much and don’t want to waste them, you can either freeze them as soon as you have cut them or you can part bake them and then put them in the freezer and finish baking them whenever you are ready to eat them.

If you freeze them without baking, you will have to take them out of the freezer the night before, keep them in the fridge and then take them out, let them rise for 1-2 hours and then cooking them.

If you choose to pat bake them, you’ll cook them in the oven for 10-15 minutes until they get their shape but they don’t brown and then, once they’ve cooled down completely, freeze them. Once you are ready to eat them, take them out of the freezer the night before, let them unfreeze in the fridge and bake them for another 10-15 minutes.

Whatever method you use, I would only leave them in the freezer for 2-3 weeks.

Soft & Fluffy Lemon Breakfast Rolls

Ingredients (makes around 12 rolls):

For the rolls:

  • 260 ml of whole milk
  • 60 gr of butter
  • 500 gr of bread flour
  • 15 gr of dry active instant yeast
  • 100 gr of sugar
  • A pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • The zest of 2 lemons
  • 65 gr of sugar
  • 35 gr of butter

For the icing:

  • 100 gr of cream cheese
  • 30 gr of butter
  • 40 gr of sugar
  • The zest of 1 lemon
  • 30 ml of double cream


  1. Warm up the milk and let the butter melt in it. In the meantime, mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Pour the milk and butter into the dry ingredients and mix them well until you get a dough. Knead it over a floured surface for 5 minutes, then, put the dough in a lightly greased bowl and let it rest for at least an hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Once the dough has risen, mix sugar and lemon zest, I like to “massage” the sugar with my hands so it gets really infused with the lemon zest. Punch the dough to get rid of the air and in a floured surface roll it until you have the shape of a rectangle. If you are struggling to get that shape, just cut the edges so it acquires that shape.
  4. Have the shortest edge of the rectangle closer to you and spread the butter over it leaving some empty space very close to the edges, I usually just use my fingers to do this. Then, sprinkle the sugar over it.
  5. Grab one of the long edges (to your left or right) and start rolling the dough until you get a long log. Cut the top and bottom edge if those edges seem uneven.
  6. Cut the rolls into 2.5-3 cm sections using either a very sharp serrated edge knife or floss (I used floss and found it extremely satisfying).
  7. Place the rolls into a greased baking tray or skillet or cover the tray/skillet with parchment paper. Don’t squeeze them together, leave some space between them to allow them to grow.
  8. Let the rolls rise for another hour.
  9. Once ready, pop them in a preheated oven at 170 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until they start getting brown on top.
  10. Once they are ready or while cooking, make the icing, this can be placed on top of the rolls straight after taking them out of the oven if you are going to eat them straight away. If you are not going to eat them straight away, wait until the rolls are cold to spread it. To make the icing, using a hand mixer beat together the butter, cream cheese, sugar and double cream until light and fluffy, then add in the lemon zest and mix it with a spoon. Spread it over the rolls and enjoy!

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