Lemon Sweet Rolls

Serves 10

1/4 cup warm water (about 105°)

2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast

1 tbsp. sugar

3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. vanilla-flavored instant pudding mix

1 cup milk

1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled, divided

1 egg, lightly beaten

3/4 tsp. kosher salt

4 cups flour

1 cup brown sugar

- zest of 2 lemons

- cooking spray

- Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)


In small bowl, combine water, yeast and sugar, stirring to dissolve; set aside until it bubbles (about 5 min.). In another small bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk. Pour pudding into electric stand mixer with 1/4 cup melted butter, egg and salt. Stir together. Stir in bubbly yeast mixture. Stir in flour in two additions. Using mixer's dough hook attachment, knead dough until smooth (about 5 min.). Spin dough in large greased bowl to coat; cover with a lightly damp, clean kitchen towel and let rise in warm place until double (about 60 min.). Punch down, cover and let rise again for 45 min. On a very lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 18x10" rectangle; brush with remaining butter. In small bowl, combine brown sugar and zest; sprinkle evenly over buttered dough. Roll dough up tightly starting at the 10" side; pinch edge of dough to seal. Use a serrated knife to cut 10 evenly sized rolls. Arrange rolls 2" apart in 2 (9" round) nonstick cake pans sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Cover loosely; let rise in warm place until double (45-60 min.). Bake in preheated 350° oven until golden-brown (15-20 min.); cool in pan 5 min. Serve with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (below).

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting: In small bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice, 4 oz. cream cheese, 4 tbsp. softened unsalted butter and zest of 1 lemon with an electric mixer until fluffy and smooth.

Good to Know:

  • This recipe works well with orange zest in place of lemon zest.
  • Do not zest lemon until ready to use, as it will dry out and lose flavor quickly.
  • If you have trouble finding a warm spot for your dough to rise, heat your oven to 200° and then turn it off. Place dough in warm oven. Avoid opening door until dough is fully raised.