I bought a bunch of lemons and wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with them. I almost made another curd, but we had leftovers for so long that I wasn’t that tempted. One Saturday, I wanted cinnamon rolls without the cinnamon. So, I subbed the cinnamon for lemon and then made these sweet rolls.
The dough base is the same as my other chocolate chip cinnamon rolls. For the filling, you’ll need the juice from one lemon and sugar. You don’t need the butter that is called for in the other recipe. My first time making them, I tried using the melted butter plus the sugar with lemon juice. It was waaay to liquid-y and the filling slipped out faster than I could roll it. The filling was tasty but most ended up on the counter rather than inside the rolls. With just the juice and sugar, the filling doesn’t leak too much (though I still had a small bit coming out of the seams).
The glaze is definitely necessary with these rolls as it gives it not only another dose of the lemon flavor, but also helps to keep the rolls from being too dry. Normally, I’m give or take some frosting. I mean, I love it and usually add it, but if you wanted to you could leave it. For this one though, I wouldn’t leave without it. If you didn’t want the glaze itself, you could swap for a more cream cheese like frosting. These are a nice alternative to the traditional cinnamon rolls.
Sweet Lemon Rolls
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Makes: about 10 rolls
For the rolls: 2 and 3/4 cups of white whole wheat flour 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar 1 teaspoon of salt 1 package (1/4 ounce) of fast rising yeast 1/2 cup of water 1/4 cup of milk, I used 2% 2 and 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter 1 egg
For the flling: 5 tablespoons of granulated sugar Juice from 1 lemon
For the glaze: 1 cup of powdered sugar Juice from 2 lemons
1) In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine 2 and 1/4 cup of the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Set aside 1/2 cup of the flour for later. 2) In a microwave safe dish, add the water, milk, and butter. Heat in the microwave in 30 second intervals until the butter is melted. You will want to keep an eye on it as the milk has a tendency to bubble over. 3) Stir the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients. Add in the egg and mix well. Add in just enough flour to make a soft dough. I needed all of it. Dough is ready when it gently pulls away from the sides. 4) Gently kneed the dough in the bowl for about 4 minutes. If you need to, you can add a bit more flour for dusting. Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes in the bowl. 5) While the dough is resting, combine the sugar and lemon in a small bowl. Preheat the oven to 200° F and grease a pie dish or other 9 inch pan. 6) When the dough is ready, roll it out into a 14X8 inch rectangle. I like to roll it on my silicone mat since it has a ruler on the bottom. 7) Spread the lemon sugar mixture over the dough and roll it up. 8) Cut into 10 pieces. Place the pieces in the pie dish with a slight space between each roll. 9) Turn off the oven, lightly cover the rolls with aluminum foil, and place in the oven to let rise for 60 to 90 minutes. The rolls should double in size. 10) When the rolls are ready, turn the oven to 375° F and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. I cover the rolls with aluminum foil after 15 minutes to keep the tops from browning too much. 11) While the rolls are baking, make the glaze by whisking the lemon juice and powder sugar in a bowl. 12) When the rolls are out of the oven, cover with the glaze.