Lemon Poppy Seed Sweet Rolls

I love sweet rolls. There’s just something about those fluffy spirals and gooey centers that get me every time. And let’s not forget all of that creamy frosting! They’re just heavenly!!! These lemon poppy seed sweet rolls are no exception!

Lemon Poppy Seed Sweet RollsA few weeks ago I bought a big bag of lemons at Target to make these lemon coconut poppy seed muffins. I guess I should have realized that I only needed couple and not a dozen. With a pile of rip e lemons on my counter I had to quickly come up a few things I could bake to use them up! I made lemon bars, lemonade, used one in pesto and the rest went towards these beauties. Like I mentioned above, I love sweet rolls. When I was pregnant I had very few cravings, but cinnamon rolls were one. I will shamelessly admit to eating one at least 3 times a week. The only problem I have with sweet rolls is how long they take to make. I’m an instant gratification type of person. I hate waiting for things, especially food! So when I came across a “quick” recipe I couldn’t resist giving it a try.

Lemon Poppy Seed Sweet RollsTo start off you’re going to want to make the dough, which can be made in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Since I have a stand mixer I used it, but the old fashioned way works just fine too! Once the dough is formed into a ball, you’re going to want to place a piece of plastic wrap over it and let it rest on your counter for 10 minutes. The plastic should get nice and foggy and you should notice a slight rise. Next comes the fun part, rolling it out into a large rectangle and spreading the filling over top. After the filling is on, roll the dough into a log, cut and place into a greased baking dish. Now comes the super duper time saving step. Gently cover them with foil and place them into your oven that was preheated to 200 degrees. Turn off your oven and allow them to rise. Mine had doubled in size by about  35 minutes, but I left them in for 45. It may take up to 1 hour for the rolls to double, that’s ok. Turn on your oven and place the rolls back in to bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Once they’re nice and golden brown, remove them and let them cool.

lemon poppy seed sweet rollsWhile they’re cooling prepare the frosting and slather over the tops of the warm rolls. Garnish with additional lemon zest or enjoy as is! These rolls are absolutely divine! You’re going to love them, i just know it! I couldn’t believe how easy and quick they were to make and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised too! Next time I’m going to try adding some fruit in the filling, maybe raspberries or blueberries? Either way, I can’t wait to make another batch of these light and fluffy lemon poppy seed sweet rolls!

Lemon Poppy Seed Sweet Rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
You're going to fall in love with these light and fluffy lemon poppy seed sweet rolls! They just shout SPRING!
Yield: 12
  • 2¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 package yeast (or 2¼ tsp.)
  • ½ c. water
  • ¼ c. whole milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. poppy seeds

  • Filling:
  • ½ c. sugar
  • ¼ c. (½ stick) butter, room temperature
  • zest of 2 medium lemons + 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

  • Cream cheese glaze:
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ c. whole milk
  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, yeast and salt.
  2. In a small microwave safe bowl (or glass measuring cup), combine the sugar, butter, water and milk. Heat in the microwave until the mixture is hot and the butter is almost melted (it took about 1 minute 30 seconds on HIGH in my microwave). Gradually add the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Add the egg and poppy seeds. Mix until a soft and sticky dough forms.
  3. If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook and set on the lowest mixing setting for 4 minutes or until the dough becomes elastic or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 3-4 minutes. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest on the counter for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  4. Once the dough has rested, roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it measures a 16x9 inch rectangle. Prepare the filling by combining all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl except for the butter. Spread the butter over the top of the rolled dough, then cover with the filling. Tightly roll the dough and cut into 12 portions. I like to use dental floss for this... I also cut it in half, then fourths etc. That way my pieces are all uniform in size.
  5. Place the rolls into a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish and gently press a piece of aluminum foil over top. Turn OFF your oven and place the covered rolls inside to rise. My rolls took 45 minutes to double in size, but they could take up to 1 hour.
  6. Remove the rolls from the oven and turn ON your oven to 350 degrees. Once heated, bake the rolls for 25 minutes or until the centers are lightly golden brown in color. To prevent over-browning, use that same aluminum foil to set over the rolls half way through baking.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before frosting. While rolls are cooling, prepare the frosting by combining all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and beating by hand or with a hand mixer until smooth. Spread over the tops of the rolls and garnish with additional lemon zest, if desired.
-Fresh fruit such as blueberries, strawberries or raspberries can be used in the filling.

Recipe source: adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction, Lemon Sweet Rolls