Lemon Raspberry Rolls

We all love a good cinnamon roll.  The soft dough, warm-gooey-buttery-cinnamon filling, topped with a sweet glaze or cream cheese icing.  The smell of fresh baked breads wafting from the kitchen and the warmth of bread in our tummy are especially comforting as the months turn colder.  Today, however, we are not making cinnamon rolls (that's old hat) but lemon raspberry rolls.  The tang of the lemon and raspberry paired with the sweet glaze is a match made for breakfast.  Or anytime.  Pair it with a cup of tea or coffee and you have all the incentive you need to get out of bed in the morning!

Lemon Raspberry Rolls

Makes 12 Rolls


For the Dough

  • 1 cup milk or water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour + about 1/2 cup for kneading

For the Lemon Raspberry Filling

  • 1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (if using frozen do not thaw)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

For the Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice


Oven 400 Fahrenheit.  Grease a 9x13 in pan.

Make the Dough

In a small saucepan over low heat warm milk until it is about 100 degrees.  Pour milk into a large bowl.  Add the sugar and yeast and allow to sit for 7-10 minutes.  The yeast should foam up a bit. 

Add oil, eggs, zest, and salt.  Add the 4 1/4 cups of flour and mix until combined. 

Flour a clean surface and turn out dough.  Knead for about 8-10 minutes, sprinkling more flour on your work surface as needed.   Dough should be soft and elastic by the end, so don't get too flour-happy. 

Lightly grease or flour a large bowl (the bowl you mixed the dough in is fine) and place dough in the bowl.  Cover with a towel and place in a warm area to rise for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. 

Make the Lemon Raspberry Filling

In a small saucepan melt the butter and let simmer until it starts to brown.  Remove from heat and cool slightly. 

In a medium bowl lightly mix raspberries with sugar, zest, and cornstarch.  It's okay if the raspberries get a little crushed. 

Assemble the Rolls

When the dough has risen, punch it down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead for about a minute, then roll into a large rectangle, about 10x20 in.   

Spread cooled butter over dough almost to the edges, then sprinkle evenly with raspberry mixture. 

Starting from one of the longer sides, roll dough into a spiral, pinching the dough together at the end to seal it. 

Cut the log in quarters, then each quarter into 3 slices.  Place the rolls in a 9x13 pan and cover lightly with plastic wrap and a towel.  Place in a warm area to rise for about an hour.  

Bake for 20-22 minutes, until golden on top and centers no longer look doughy. 

Make the Glaze

In a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice.  It should be thin enough to drizzle but not too liquid.  Add more powdered sugar or lemon juice as needed. 

Drizzle warm rolls with glaze. 

Jenny's Notes:

If you don't have a thermometer handy to know what 100 degrees is, simply warm until the milk feels quite warm, but not hot.  It'll be fine!

You can freeze these rolls once you have sliced them and put them in the pan.  Once removed from the freezer allow to thaw and proceed as normal. 

You could always use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook to knead.  I still recommend kneading it for a few minutes by hand after the machine, I find they are not as thorough as kneading by hand and you want an even rise for your dough.  I usually prefer to do it all by hand.