Meyer Lemon Sticky Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze

Breads, Breakfast and Brunch, Freezer Friendly, Yeast Breads | 38 comments

Last week I had a few “I just had to” moments. First, I just had to buy 2 bags of Meyer Lemons when I saw them at the grocery store. For those not familiar with Meyer Lemons, their defining characteristics are slightly rounder shape when compared with a regular lemon, a thin yellow-orange colored peel, and a sweeter taste than a traditional lemon. They are thought to be a cross between an lemon and a mandarin. Can you see why I just had to buy them?


Then I saw this recipe for Sticky Lemon Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze. Sort of like a spring time version of a cinnamon roll, but without the cinnamon. Yeah, I had to make those. And then I remembered the Meyer Lemons and decided that not only was I going to make those rolls, but I was going to experiment with my new lemons.

I didn’t want them to be too sweet, so I included a bit of regular lemon zest and juice as well. Just look at them. What isn’t to love? Lemony goodness, baked treats, cream cheese glaze. They’re great for breakfast or dessert, or dessert with breakfast, lunch, and dinner if your name happens to be Eric. And they are delicious with a side of juicy blackberries. This recipe for Meyer Lemon Sticky Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze has definitely earned a favored spot in our family. I even made a double batch and froze half of them to enjoy later on, something I will definitely be doing again. In fact, I think I’m going to go clean out the freezer to make a bit more room. Because that second batch is gone already. I wish could have shard them with all of you!


Meyer Lemon Sticky Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze

Makes 12 large breakfast rolls
adapted from TheKitchn

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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
1 vanilla bean, seeds only
4 - 4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 lemon, zested
1 meyer lemon, zested
2 eggs

Sticky Lemon Filling
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 meyer lemon, zested
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft

Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 meyer lemon, juiced and 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 zests. 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.

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 lemon juice.

Lightly grease a 13x9 inch baking dish with baking spray or butter. On a floured surface pat the dough out into a large yet still thick rectangle — about 10x15 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 vanilla, lemon zest and 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. Serve while warm.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Jessica - March 31, 2010 @ 2:09 pm

    Ahhhh those pictures look fantastic. These just sound delicious! Thinking of making them Sunday morning!


  • 2
    Kirsten - March 31, 2010 @ 2:12 pm

    Oh, my. How are we supposed to all fit in our bikinis pretty soon again with such delicious desserts for breakfast? Decided yesterday that the snowsuit will have to do for all four seasons. The Rolls look absolutely delicious!


  • 3
    tspegar - March 31, 2010 @ 2:12 pm

    Looks like we are thinking alike this week :) I just made these this morning! Mine were lemon and a tad different but still… ! YUM!


  • 4
    bunkycooks - March 31, 2010 @ 2:13 pm

    OMG! You had me at Meyer Lemons and then you had to add the sticky roll part! These are to die for!


  • 5
    Maria - March 31, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

    I was waiting for this post:) They look amazing! I will have to give them a go this weekend!


  • 6
    Ashley - March 31, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

    Oh, wow. I don't bake much, but I think I must try these sometime. They look irresistible. I hope I can find Meyer lemons around here. Do you think Sunflower would have them. Are those hyacinths in the photo? That is an amazing photo, Katie!


  • 7
    Katie @ goodLife {eats} - March 31, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

    Ashley – I got them at Sunflower! And yep, they're hyacinths from the backyard. I love them and their smell.


  • 8
    Tongue-N-Cheeky - March 31, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

    Oh, Katie. What an absolute delight. You continue to AMAZE post after post after post! YUM!


  • 9
    ThatsSoYummy - March 31, 2010 @ 3:04 pm

    These look to die for… I am literally drooling!-Natasha


  • 10
    Connie - March 31, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

    Yum! We don't have Meyer lemons here. Is there something special about them?


  • 11
    Cherine - March 31, 2010 @ 3:57 pm

    Your rolls look mighty deliciouuuus!! My mouth is watering! Great shots!


  • 12
    Laura - March 31, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

    Yum! Looks like they turned out fabulous.


  • 13
    Carolyn Jung - March 31, 2010 @ 4:13 pm

    Love that lava-like cascade of glaze running all over the sticky bun. This is definitely finger-licking good. Yum!


  • 14
    Esi - March 31, 2010 @ 4:48 pm

    I love this recipe. Perfect for Easter.


  • 15
    The Sugar Queen - March 31, 2010 @ 5:58 pm

    Those look fantastic!


  • 16
    WizzyTheStick - March 31, 2010 @ 6:46 pm

    A springtime version of a cinnamon roll is an apt description. These are sure to become a favourite since I don't like cinnamon


  • 17
    Katie @ Haute Apple Pie - March 31, 2010 @ 7:55 pm

    Yummm! These sound delicious! Might have to make them this weekend :)


  • 18
    Casi Leigh - March 31, 2010 @ 9:26 pm

    What a LUSH recipe! And just in time for lovely spring brunches.Definitely going to give these a whirl this weekend, vegan-style. (No dairy for me, unfortunately!)I'll definitely let you know how they come out!


  • 19
    Nicole - March 31, 2010 @ 9:51 pm

    It is so great to see another positive post about these lemon rolls. I saw them posted a bunch of places last weekend and immediately ordered a box of lemons to be shipped to Fairbanks. I can hardly wait for them to get here to make these.Yours look lovely!


  • 20
    whisk-kid - March 31, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

    Your photos are always so darn pretty! I saw this recipe and wanted to try them out myself. They look fantastic!


  • 21
    lostpastremembered - April 01, 2010 @ 12:00 am

    There's a lot of work there… but boy do they seem worth it… love turning the old cinnamon roll on it's ear!


  • 22
    Kate @ Savour Fare - April 01, 2010 @ 12:05 am

    I can tell that those are one of those recipes I'm going to studiously attempt to ignore before I make them and try to avoid eating the whole thing in one sitting!


  • 23
    Amy - April 01, 2010 @ 12:42 am

    Oh, that sounds absolutely DELICIOUS, Katie!! I might have to see if I can convert these into a bread machine recipe :) Yum!!


  • 24
    Sagan - April 01, 2010 @ 1:45 am

    That's looks amazing. I wonder what would happen if you added cinnamon into the mix? Hmmm…


  • 25
    Amy from She Wears Many Hats - April 01, 2010 @ 1:45 am

    This is just shy of pure evil – or genius. Man they look good. Wish I had one right now.


  • 26
    Jamie - April 01, 2010 @ 1:55 am

    Wow, I can't even express my *need* to make these…they look amazing!! Well done, Katie!


  • 27
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - April 01, 2010 @ 2:59 am

    Wow… These look incredible! Lovely photos, as always.


  • 28
    Soma - April 01, 2010 @ 3:15 am

    absolutely gorgeous!!!!


  • 29
    Kristen - April 01, 2010 @ 11:53 am

    Delicious!! I was looking for some foodie inspiration this morning. I think I just found it :)


  • 30
    CookiePie - April 01, 2010 @ 1:54 pm

    Oooooh yum. Gorgeous. Bookmarking this for next month, when my in-laws come to visit. My FIL loves anything lemon — and these are such a treat!!


  • 31
    Erin @ Domestic Adventure - April 01, 2010 @ 2:22 pm

    Those look amazing. I definitely want to try this recipe. I hope I can find Meyer lemons here in Maine… Amazing photographs, too!


  • 32
    Zoe - April 01, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

    This looks like a perfect brunch dessert, gorgeous!


  • 33
    marla {family fresh cooking} - April 03, 2010 @ 2:37 am

    Katie, these are gorgeous! The flavors here must be just fab. Cream cheese and Lemon is such a great combo. I love the way the blackberries and the purple flowers play off the bright yellow lemons. xo


  • 34
    Kathleen - April 03, 2010 @ 3:12 am

    Oh my these look super yummy! Your photographs are absolutely stunning! Wow!!


  • 35
    Kerstin - April 04, 2010 @ 5:27 am

    What a lovely spring twist on sticky rolls – they sound amazing! And congrats on your recipe featured in the Costco magazine! I saw it the other day and was like I "know" her :)


  • 36
    Tasty Eats At Home - April 05, 2010 @ 1:58 am

    I love lemony baked goods, and Meyer lemons? Well that's even more delicious! I wish I could find some without having to hunt for them. They're SO good.


  • 37
    Chocolate Freckles - April 05, 2010 @ 2:49 am

    I am totally craving these!!!! I also have a food blog!! We can share recipes!! :)


  • 38
    Katherine - July 14, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

    I made these for my mother's birthday this morning – SHE LOVED THEM. I kicked up the filling by adding white chocolate chips, they were lovely.Thank you so much for sharing!!


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