Lemon blueberry sweet rolls are just what you need on a Saturday morning (or any day of the week, for that matter). The flavors of lemon and blueberry complement each other so well and we wanted to create a recipe that combined the two. We are obsessed with our pecan cinnamon roll recipe so we decided to try omit the pecans and cinnamon and add lemon and blueberry! This recipe is great year-round but we created it during blueberry season to really maximize the flavor of our blueberries. The fresh blueberries and the tart lemon are rolled into our sweet dough and then topped with a tangy lemon cream cheese frosting. We have to warn you that these can get a little messy but that's what makes them delicious!
The process (simplified)
We start by making our own blueberry "jam." In a medium saucepan on the stove, we mix fresh blueberries, cornstarch, lemon zest and juice, and granulated sugar. The blueberries will start to pop, which is when we mash them to make a chunky jam. This will thicken as it cools.
Next, we prepare the sweet roll dough and roll it out as we would for cinnamon rolls. But instead of butter and cinnamon sugar, we spread out the homemade blueberry filling. Then we roll up the dough and slice into pinwheels and place in a baking dish. We have to warn you that the filling gets messy and will seep out of the rolls but don't worry! They won't look pretty at first but the filling keeps these rolls soft and from drying out.
The secret weapon is pouring heavy cream over the rolls before baking (just trust us). Once baked and cooled, we generously spread lemon cream cheese frosting on top. Although there are a few steps to making these lemon blueberry sweet rolls, we promise they're worth every minute!
Yes! Frozen blueberries will work just as well as fresh. They may make the filling more liquid-y, so you may need to add more cornstarch to thicken it.
You want the dough to be sticky but not too sticky to the point where you can't roll it out. Add 1-2 Tbsp of flour at a time and mix. Keep adding flour until it's sticky to touch but not sticking to every surface.
A few ways!
1. Pouring heavy cream on top of the rolls before baking helps keep them moist.
2. The amount of filling in our recipe seems like a lot when rolling the sweet rolls out, but it keeps them from getting dry.
3. Taking the rolls out of the oven before they look done (but make sure they're cooked!) prevents them from drying out.
Don't worry, this is normal! There is quite a bit of filling but this keeps the rolls moist and gives them the overwhelming blueberry flavor. We recommend keeping a thick edge of the dough rectangle (before rolling) clear of filling to allow for extra spillage. These can get messy so don't worry if filling spills over!
Why we love these sweet rolls
Obviously, they're delicious. They're also a perfect summer recipe because blueberries and lemon just taste like summer. And you can make them any time of year by using frozen blueberries! They're a fun twist on classic cinnamon rolls that will impress your friends and family the next time you offer to make brunch. If you love this recipe, you may also like these:
- Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting
- Limoncello Pound Cake
- Soft Peach Shortbread Bars
- Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries & Almond
Lemon Blueberry Sweet Rolls
This recipe is great year-round but we created it during blueberry season to really maximize the flavor of our blueberries. The fresh blueberries and the tart lemon are rolled into our sweet dough and then topped with a tangy lemon cream cheese frosting. We have to warn you that these can get a little messy but that's what makes them delicious!
- Prep Time: 3 hours
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 9 rolls 1x
- Category: Breakfast, Desserts
- Cuisine: American
For the dough:
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup warm milk (whole or 2%)
- 2 ¼ tsp (1-1/4oz package) active dry yeast
- 2 eggs, room temp
- ⅓ cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tsp salt
For the filling:
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- Zest of 1 lemon (~2 Tbsp)
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
For the frosting:
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 4oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ½ tsp lemon juice
For the dough:
- Warm milk and place in a stand mixer bowl then add sugar and yeast. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until fragrant.
- Add eggs, butter, vanilla, salt, and flour. Using dough hook, knead/mix on medium speed for ~7-8 minutes, until dough is soft and smooth. You can knead by hand if you would like! Dough should be sticky but not sticking to the sides or bottom of the bowl.
- Place dough into another large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel. Let sit in a warm environment for ~1 ½ hours, or until it doubles in size.
- Once dough has doubled, move onto a well-floured surface and roll into a rectangle (~14×9″). If dough is sticking to rolling pin, lightly flour it.
For the filling:
- Combine blueberries, cornstarch, lemon zest and juice, and granulated sugar in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat.
- Let blueberry mixture bubble for 20 minutes. Mash blueberries with the back of a fork or rubber spatula.
- If the mixture is runny and thin, add 1 tsp of cornstarch (or 1 Tbsp chia seeds), stir, and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Repeat this until the filling is thicker and not very runny.
- Evenly spread ¾ of the filling over the dough rectangle, leaving ~1" of dough around the outside. Add remaining filling if needed. Be careful, these next steps will get messy!
- Gently roll up, starting from the 9″ side, until a log is formed. Slice 1″ slices (you should have 9-12 slices). Blueberry filling will spill over the edges and make these hard to roll but that's okay! These don't need to look perfect.
- Prepare a 9×9″ baking dish with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place rolls into dish, leaving some wiggle room.
- Cover dish and let proof again in a warm environment for 45-60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pour heavy cream evenly over rolls until they’re just covered. Bake 30-32 minutes until edges are slightly golden brown.
- Let rolls cool for at least 15-20 minutes.
For the frosting:
- While the rolls are baking/cooling, cream butter and cream cheese together. Add powdered sugar, almond extract, and lemon juice and whip until smooth.
- Spread over rolls, top with extra blueberries and/or lemon zest if desired, and enjoy!
- The frosting recipe will make more than enough; feel free to cut the frosting recipe in half if you prefer less icing.
- You can store extra frosting in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
- We recommend frosting the sweet rolls right before eating.
- Store the sweet rolls in an air-tight container for up to 4 days (the longer you keep them, the more they'll dry out - these are better fresh!)
- Serving Size: 1 roll
- Calories: 507
- Sugar: 54
- Sodium: 327
- Fat: 15
- Saturated Fat: 8
- Unsaturated Fat: 3
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 87
- Fiber: 2
- Protein: 7
- Cholesterol: 81
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