Move over cinnamon rolls, there are new rolls in town and they’re lemon rolls! It’s no secret that I love cinnamon rolls (and make them often). I was wanting to shake things up a bit so I decided that it would be nice to make Lemon Rolls for a change. Lemon is such a great flavor for spring, but I’ve never tried it in a breakfast type of food. Oh my, I have been missing out. Lemon Rolls rock – you need lemon sweet rolls in your life, trust me on that!
When I was figuring out how to make these, I wasn’t sure what to put in the filling. Cinnamon was clearly not the top choice. So after noodling ideas for a while, I decided to try something a little crazy. A secret ingredient if you will. Sugar and some lemon zest was fine, but just didn’t feel complete. I needed something more for these lemon rolls.
Because I’m crazy and will try anything, I added lemon pudding mix (not made into pudding, just the dry mix) to the filling in these lemon rolls. I had no idea what to expect. But oh my heck, it turned out to be a great idea.
Serious lemon sweet roll deliciousness in that pan right there.
I didn’t leave out the cream cheese frosting, of course! The only thing better than a lemon roll is a lemon roll with cream cheese frosting. So delicious, and absolutely perfect for a spring breakfast or brunch. I’ve already added these to my list of Easter breakfast ideas and Mother’s Day breakfast ideas.
LEMON ROLLS RECIPE
- 1 box of lemon cake mix
- 2 packages of rapid rise dry yeast
- 2 1/2 cups of very warm water
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 cups flour
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- Zest from one lemon
- 1 package Lemon Flavor Instant Pudding Mix
- 1 package (8 ouncePHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese softened
- 1/4 cup (1/2 sticbutter softened
- 2 teaspoons pure lemon extract
- 3 1/2 – 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 3-5 TBSP milk
- Mix yeast and warm water until dissolved.
- Combine cake mix, salt and flour in a large bowl.
- Add warm water/yeast mixture and vanilla to cake mix, salt and flour mixture. Mix well. This may require kneading with your hands a bit to completely combine ingredients.
- Cover tightly. Let rise for one hour. Punch down and let rise again for another 30-60 minutes.
- Divide dough in half. On a floured surface, roll one half of dough into a rectangle shape, approx 1/4? thick.
- Once dough is rolled out, brush with half of softened butter.
- Combine white sugar, lemon zest and JELL-O Lemon Flavor Instant Pudding Mix in a bowl, stirring until well combined.
- Sprinkle half of the sugar, lemon zest and JELL-O Lemon Flavor Instant Pudding mix over buttered dough.
- Starting at end opposite from you, roll the dough towards you until all dough is rolled into one long piece.
- Slice dough into 12 equal sized pieces. Place 12 rolls into a 13×9 inch pan that has been sprayed with non stick cooking oil.
- Repeat process with remaining dough to make the second pan of lemon rolls.
- Cover and let both pans rise until almost doubled in size, approximately 30 minutes. Don’t worry if rolls don’t completely double in size, they will continue to rise while baking.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15-25 minutes or until lightly brown.
- While rolls are baking, prepare your frosting.
- Remove from oven and either frost immediately if you would like frosting to melt into rolls, or wait until rolls have cooled, then frost.
- Beat cream cheese, softened butter and lemon extract in a bowl until light and fluffy. Mix until well combined. Add in your confectioner’s sugar, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Add in three tablespoons milk, and mix until very well combined. If you desire a thinner frosting, add additional two tablespoons of milk, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Store rolls in refrigerator.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Love Lemon? Want to add a little more of this sweet citrus to your table? I’ve got some great lemon recipes that you will want to try! Click on any photo or link to be taken to the recipe post! Enjoy!
Great Lemon Recipes
Want those delicious Girl Scout Lemon Cookies but it’s not Girl Scout Cookie season? Try my copycat Girl Scout Lemon Ups.
This Lemon Cake is a family favorite.
Lemon Cupcakes are perfect little bites of sunshine!
Lemon Loaf Cake is something I could eat every morning.
Lemon Cookies are so fun, great for Easter!
This Lemon Poke Cake is both easy and delicious.
My fellow food bloggers have some great lemon recipes to try as well!
Barefeet In The Kitchen has some amazing Lemon Crinkle Cookies.
This Lemon Cheesecake Crescent Braid from Wine & Glue would also be great for a spring breakfast or brunch!
These Raspberry Lemonade Bars from Tidy Mom make my mouth water!
This Lemon Angel Pie from Your Homebased Mom is such a classic dessert recipe.
And speaking of lemons and pies, how fun are these Mini Lemon Hand Pies from Lemons For Lulu? Love these!
Originally published March, 2015.
Can these be made the night before – no frosting – store in fridge- reheat in morning and then add frosting?
Christi Johnstone says
If you have already baked them, there is no need to store them in the fridge.
These were insanely fantastic. Like, omg…. 🤤
I’ve made cinnamon rolls in muffin tins before (so they all end up with the slightly crusty outside and gooey middle.) I think I might try my next batch of these like that, or even in mini muffin tins. Make bite sized ones. So so good! 🍋 Home run!
Made these today. Substituted lemon juice for milk in the frosting. Delicious!