Lemon Curd Sticky Rolls have a soft, buttery dough filled with lemon curd, lemony butter-sugar, and are glazed with cream cheese frosting.
Turn a favorite Baked Goods recipe like Cinnamon Rolls into a fruity treat perfect for breakfast or dessert by pairing Lemon Curd with these lemony sticky rolls.
Lemon Curd Sticky Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting are a fantastic brunch time treat. Okay, lets be honest, they are also a delicious lunch, main course, afternoon snack, or any time treat!
The Lemon Curd Sticky Rolls dough is a basic cinnamon roll dough but instead of slathering on the brown sugar and cinnamon, we add in lemon curd and a lemon butter mixture that elevated the rolls to a new height. Top it off with a lemon cream cheese glaze and you’re officially off the charts as the best friend ever for bringing these to a gathering.
If you want to make these Lemon Curd Sticky Rolls for brunch, you can do all the messy prep work the night before and have them ready to go. Prepare to the step where the rolls are in the greased pan, then wrap with cling wrap and a layer of foil and put it in the fridge. The next morning, take them out and let them rest at room temperature for an hour right when you wake up. While you’re getting ready for the day, they will rise to perfection before you leisurely walk back to your kitchen to these beauties ready to go into your warmed oven. You won’t regret the efforts you put into this recipe!
If you love baked lemon treats, next try making Iced Lemon Muffins, Lemon Shortbread Bars, Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake, or Lemon Cupcakes.
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How to Make Lemon Curd Sticky Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze
- For the dough: Sprinkle the yeast over the warmed milk. Let it sit for five minutes (you want it to look foamy). On low speed in your stand mixer, mix the softened butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and 1 cup of the flour into the milk mixture. Add in the salt and nutmeg. Quickly add in the remaining flour to make a soft yet sticky dough. Switch to the dough hook and knead at low speed for about 5 minutes. You want the dough to be smooth, pliable, and stretchy. In a lightly greased bowl put the dough in. Cover with a light layer of oil. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise for 1 hour or until doubled.
- Make the sticky lemon filling: Clean your stand mixer. Add the sugar and lemon and mix for 15-20 seconds just to combine the two and bruise the lemon zest. Add the butter and nutmeg and whip until thick and creamy. Slowly add the lemon juice and whip until fully combined.
- Assemble the rolls: You will do this twice. Butter a 13×9-inch baking dish. On a floured surface, roll half of the dough into a 10 x 15 inch rectangle. Spread the with half the lemon curd. Then layer on half of the sticky lemon filling. Roll the dough up tightly, moving from one end to the other and pulling tight as you go. Using a thread, wrap the thread around the dough in 1 inch to 1 ½ inch increments, loop and pull (just like the first step in tying a shoelace). Cut the long dough roll into 12 even rolls and place each in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Cover the rolls with a towel and let them rise for 1 hour or until puffy and doubled.
- Bake the rolls: Heat the oven to 350 F. Place the risen rolls in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned.
- Make the glaze: While your rolls are baking, whip the lemon juice, lemon zest and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Glaze the Lemon Curd Sticky Rolls: Let the rolls rest for a good 10-15 minutes. Drizzle the glaze over the rolls. Add more zest if you would like. Making it ahead? If you want to make these the day before, refrigerate the rolls before the final rise. Let them rise for an hour in the morning before baking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Try this with orange marmalade, zest and juice. You can also use strawberry or lime.
Use grape jelly instead of curd and in the butter mixture. Then top with a peanut butter glaze by using two tablespoons of peanut butter in the glaze instead of lemon.
Yes! While fresh lemon curd is delicious, you will still have success with this recipe using a jarred lemon curd.
Incorporate ½ c dried blueberries into the dough mixture right before adding the flour, for a sweet, chewy blueberry flavor to complement the lemon. These will resemble cinnamon raisin rolls.
How to Store Lemon Curd Sticky Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze
- Serve: Due to the dairy in the Cream Cheese Glaze, do not leave these at room temperature longer than 2 hours.
- Store: Wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, store Lemon Curd Sticky Rolls in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Microwave for 10 seconds to soften before serving.
- Freeze: It is not recommended to freeze the baked rolls, however you can freeze the prepared dough successfully to bake at your leisure. Once you’ve cut the rolls but before letting them rise, you can put them in the pan you’ll want to bake them in or to save space, freeze them on a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper and once they’re frozen toss them into a big ziploc bag. When you’re ready to eat them, take them out of the freezer and let them thaw out for 3 hours (defrosting and rising time) and cook like normal. Make a fresh batch of glaze for serving.
For the Dough:
- 2 1/2 teaspoons active yeast , 1 envelope or ¼ ounce
- 3/4 cup milk , warmed to about 100 degrees, warm but not hot on the inside of your wrist
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , (1 stick) softened at room temperature for an hour
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 lemon , zested
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
For the Sticky Lemon Filling:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 lemon , zested
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , (½ stick) very soft
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup lemon juice , from 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup lemon curd
For the Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze:
- 1 lemon , zested and juiced
- 8 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
For the Dough:
- Sprinkle the yeast over the warmed milk. Let it sit for five minutes (you want it to look foamy).
- On low speed, mix the softened butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and 1 cup of the flour into the milk mixture.
- Add in the salt and nutmeg.
- Quickly add in the remaining flour to make a soft yet sticky dough.
- Switch to the dough hook and knead at low speed for about 5 minutes. The dough should become smooth, pliable, and stretchy.
- In a lightly greased bowl put the dough in. Coat with a light layer of oil.
- Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.
- Let the dough rise for 1 hour or until doubled.
For the Sticky Lemon Filling:
- Clean your stand mixer.
- Add the sugar and lemon and mix for 15-20 seconds just to combine the two and bruise the lemon zest.
- Add the butter and nutmeg and whip until thick and creamy.
- Slowly add the lemon juice and whip until fully combined.
Assemble the Rolls:
- You will do this twice:
- Butter a 13×9-inch baking dish.
- On a floured surface, roll half of the dough into a 10 x 15 inch rectangle.
- Spread the with half the lemon curd.
- Then layer on half of the sticky lemon filling.
- Roll the dough up tightly, moving from one end to the other and pulling tight as you go.
- Using a thread, wrap the thread around the dough in 1 inch to 1 ½ inch increments, loop and pull (just like the first step in tying a shoelace).
- Cut the long dough roll into 12 even rolls and place each in the prepared baking dish.
- Repeat with the second half of the dough.
- Cover the rolls with a towel and let them rise for 1 hour or until puffy and doubled.
Bake the Rolls:
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the risen rolls in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned.
- While your rolls are baking, whip the lemon juice, lemon zest and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
- Add the powdered sugar and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Let the rolls rest for a good 10-15 minutes.
- Drizzle the glaze over the rolls.
- Add more zest if you would like.
I made these rolls yesterday because I had some friends from the US visiting. Unfortunately, things didn’t work as planned but as I’m from Austria, I think I had a severe case of Austrian/foreign ingredients working against me. Things are different here and US recipes do not always work, especially when it comes to baking recipes (cooking recipes are more forgiving). I like a challenge though, so I just wanted to let you (and all other bakers from outside of the US) know what issues I had:
1) My cream cheese frosting was super runny and I had to add 200g of sugar to make it work (but Austrian cream cheese brands are less dense than US brands, which I found out later)
2) The sweet sticky filling looked like curdled milk and the lemon juice separated from the filling as soon as I stopped whisking (I think I put in the lemon juice too quickly)
3) The sticky filling also melted as soon as I put the rolls in the oven, leaving me with slightly dry rolls cooking in butter rather than the fluffy rolls I was expecting from the pictures. (I usually make Swedish cinnamon rolls and the butter filling kinda oozes into the rolls, making them sticky and gooey from the inside – I was hoping for a similar effect) Maybe my lemons were aso too big and there was too much juice? I’d love some metric measurements instead of “juice of two lemons” because here, lemons come in all shapes and sizes, sometimes even in the same package, but that’s my European love for exact measurements speaking).
My US guests liked the rolls though, so I think I was kinda successful, and I still like the idea of lemon rolls. I might have to tweak the recipe a bit and do some more research on the differences between Austrian and US ingredients before I start a second attempt.
Anyway, thank you for posting this recipe, I appreciate the pictures and the step-by-step instructions. I love lemons and if I ever find out what went wrong, I will let you know.
All the best
I am not one to leave comment.
YET this recipe deserves it..
WONDERFUL RECIPE.. its a keeper.
will make again and again.
My hubby thanks you.
Wow! Thank you so much, what a wonderful compliment! So glad you both enjoyed them!
The recipe says it makes 24 but under ingredients it says 18…which is correct?
It should be 24. Not too sure how that 18 got in there. Thanks for letting me know.
Never making this again. Confusing recipe. Messy. Runny. Makes no sense. Something is wrong with it.
I’m new to this blog – wont be a stranger ever again!!
Welcome, Nancy! I look forward to seeing you around the site.
If anyone is looking for a comment from someone who made this recipe … here it is!
I made these lemon sweet rolls for a family BBQ and they were an absolute hit. I had people telling me they took two rolls because they were so lemony and delicious!
I ended up doubling the recipe to accommodate 30+ people; due to this and the steps involved with rising, it did take me quite a bit of time. However, I started very early in the day and didn’t mind (especially once I got to the baking part and the smell of the rolls filled my house!)
The steps were quite easy to follow. However, the *one* thing I’d caution anyone attempting this recipe is to heed Sabrina’s word regarding the lemon butter filling—make sure you add the lemon juice EXTREMELY SLOWLY! I didn’t add it slowly enough and ended up curdling the mixture. 🙁 I didn’t have enough time to make a new batch, so to make up for things as best as I could, I simply spread a fresh layer of butter on the rolled-out dough, spread a layer of lemon curd on top, and then sprinkled a mixture of grated lemon rind and sugar on top. Luckily, it did the trick and no one at my BBQ was the wiser of my mistake!
100% would make again, either using the lemon theme, making traditional cinnamon rolls, or using some of the other suggestions. From one Sabrina to another, thank you so much for this recipe!
Thank you so much for taking the time to come back and let me know!
i read all of the comments and even though people rated them, no one seems to have tried them. they look good, but i want know if they worked for others.
Can these be frozen??
Yes! Once you’ve cut the rolls but before letting them rise and don’t make the icing. You can put them in the pan you’ll want to bake them in or to save space, freeze them on a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper and once they’re frozen toss them into a big ziploc bag.
When you’re ready to eat them, take them out of the freezer and let them thaw out for 3 hours (defrosting and rising time) and cook like normal.
I’ve frozen them after baking, but they are sort of “eh” when you unfreeze the baked rolls, there is something magical about that just baked experience.
Hope that helps!
Oh.my.goodness! These look absolutely divine, delicious, and dangerous (to my calorie intake). These are definitely going to be on my holiday menu so I can share my good, tasty, fortune. If I were to make them sooner, I’d eat every.single.one.all.by.myself. =/
Awesome! I hope you love them! I was glad I made them for my friends or I would’ve eaten a bunch of them too!
nice recipe and you made it look so easy. Thanks for sharing this.
Oh this just looks so good! I love lemon flavoured desserts.
Sounds all kinds of awesome! I love anything with lemon in it. I’m sold.
For tradition I make cinnamon rolls for the holidays! I am going to try this recipe next time it looks tastes out of this world!
I hope you love them Brandy!
These look yummy! I love lemon pastries, so these are right up my alley.
These look so delicious and simple to make. I am going to try this recipe on the weekend. I am sure they will be a big hit.
You had me at lemon. The sticky glaze is just a HUGE added bonus/benefit. 🙂
Girl, you are o wrong for this. Everything about this looks amazing, I’m on a diet but i must try this.
Hahaha me too!! I had to stop eating them!
Ok, my only question is why isn’t this in my mouth right now?! This looks like heaven on a plate!
Haha, thanks Megan!
My dad has the most amazing lemon tree, and I had thought I had made every lemon dessert imaginable. Here’s one I definitely need to try.
If it is anything like the lemon tree my mother in law had you have to get creative to use up all your lemons!
You had me at sticky rolls. These remind me of sugar buns back home in Jamaica. Mouth watering
Haha you had me at sugar buns! I just googled it 🙂
Wow Sabrina these look amazing!! I would have never thought to make them into rolls!! YUmm!!
Thanks Candy! I had a hard time giving them to friends when I saw how amazing they looked and smelled!
These sound amazing. I have made cinnamon rolls before but these would be new for us. I think the family would love them.
Thanks Val! I hope you get to try them! They’re such a fun change.
My husband is a lemon flavor feign and I find it especially perfect during the warmer weather months. Your sticky rolls are stunning and totally look professionally made!
Thanks Marcie! If he loves lemon you should totally make this!!
Lemon Curd and cheese glaze sounds like a really interesting flavor combination. I am definitely intrigued.
I think that means you HAVE to try it! 😉
This totally counts as breakfast, right? I would devour these rolls in seconds, so good
Not only breakfast but I am 65% sure they have no calories at all 😉
I love cinnamon rolls so this is so good. The lemon flavour would make it so refreshing.
These look like perfect summer treats! I would hardly be able to wait for them to cool off.
These look and sound amazing. They would make a great breakfast. Thanks for the recipe.
This is such an excellent recipe for Lemon Curd Stick Rolls. I am definitely ready to put these items on August’s grocery list and make a batch.
Awesome! I hope you love them Ora!
I’m coming to your house for tea or dessert! That looks so scrumptious – and the cream cheese icing puts it totally over the top.
Wow, these look delicious. Now you have me craving sweets.
Cream cheese icing and glaze are my everything. I’d love these for Sunday night dessert.
I know, right? the glaze is my prize at the end of all the work, haha.
Everything you post makes me absolutely ravenous. You should open a restaurant! I would go there, no matter how far it was!
Haha, friends and clients tell me that a lot. I became a personal chef because no one was waiting for food, I got to take my time. I think I would melt down if I were in the weeds in a restaurant.
Those look so amazing. I can honestly say I’ve never seen a scratch sticky bun that looks this good.
Aww thank you Stacie, that is so sweet 🙂
That sounds absolutely delicious. I can’t wait to make these for my family!
I want to try this recipe with every citrus fruit I can think of!
YES! Then invite me over to help you taste test!
Wow, these combine two of my favorite things- lemon and sweet rolls! I’ve tried orange ones in the past that I’ve loved so I have a feeling I’d enjoy these and can’t wait to try them!
Wonderful! I hope you enjoy them!
I love ANYTHING with lemon, or any other citrus for that matter. I agree that you could easily swap out another fruit for the lemon–but why would you want to?? This looks positively decadent. Yum.
Strawberry-orange makes for a pretty delicious version! But lemon still wins for me!
These look like little rolls of heaven! Amazing!! I love that they aren’t your typical cinnamon roll! Amazing 🙂
Thanks Kaitie! They definitely are not but oh man were they delicious. I think I would need to go back and forth on which kind I make, I love both kinds so much, haha.
Girl you make my mouth water with every post!! Looks amazing! Family is coming into town this weekend and I’m looking at Saturdays breakfast! Thanks for sharing!
Aww thanks Maggie! Mission accomplished, haha!
So glad you intruppted your planned recipe to bring us these gems. I am drooling!
Those sticky rolls look so yummy, I love the tart lemon spin you put on them!
I’m drooling and wishing I had one right now with my morning cup of coffee! These sound amazing!
I wish I did too. The ones I made all went to my friends. I guess I have to make more. I think the next rolls I make are going to be peanut butter and jelly sticky rolls.
This looks delicious! I would love to make it!
I don’t know if this only happens to me, but I get a pop up when I visit your site and it tries to redirect me. It tells me I’m the lucky 100 visitor for the day.
Hey Nikki, so as soon as I saw your comment I ran a scan of my site (that came up clean) and checked a malware scanner from a large blog security company (which also came up with no malware/spam detected). If you see it again you would make my day if you could screen capture it or the link or any data for me that you see. My security guys did mention that since they don’t see it it may be an issue on your computer.
If anyone else sees this comment and has had a similar experience please let me know!
Oh my goodness. Salivation level seven! Bookmarked to try very soon. Thanks much for sharing 🙂
Awesome! I hope you love it Ginnie!