Quick Meyer Lemon Rolls with Zesty Cream Cheese Frosting
cinnamon rolls lemon rolls

Quick Meyer Lemon Rolls with Zesty Cream Cheese Frosting

How has quarantine baking been going for everyone? It’s been a hit and miss for me. Even though I’m home more, I’m finding myself with less baking time that usual *cough* homeschool *cough*. And I’m trying to make less trips to the store, which means I haven’t been baking a ton. Add to that the difficulties of being able to find flour and sugar! Wow! Did we ever think we’d get to a point where we couldn’t find this stuff in the store? Thankfully, it feels like things are starting to level out and we’re seeing stuff in stock again. When I have been baking, I want to make super quick but delicious recipes like these quick Meyer lemon rolls with zesty cream cheese frosting.

How are these rolls different than other cinnamon rolls?

Okay, let’s get to the deets on these. What I wanted to make was something similar to a cinnamon roll but with lemons. Zesty and sweet but not overly spicy. Oh, and they had to be easy, too!

This quick recipe only lets the rolls proof once instead of twice (like normal cinnamon rolls). What’s the benefit of this? Well, you get these Meyer lemon rolls on the table fast! These are easy enough to be whipped up for breakfast or even brunch.

What are Meyer Lemons?

Meyer lemons are quickly becoming one of the most popular citrus fruits to bake with. They’re a mixture of lemons and clementines, so they’ve got a zesty flavor but are more mellow than regular lemons. What if you want to make this recipe but can’t find Meyer lemons? Of course, you could use regular lemons. They will still turn out amazing!

As I’ve mentioned above, this quick roll recipe is a little different than traditional cinnamon rolls. One of the main differences is the addition of the baking powder. This helps to puff up the rolls without adding additional raising time. Basically, its a shortcut that works! Hey, the faster I get sweet rolls on the table, the better for me.

Quick Meyer Lemon Rolls with Zesty Cream Cheese Frosting

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

Quick Meyer Lemon Rolls with Zesty Cream Cheese Frosting

These sweet rolls are quick, easy, and tasty. Perfect for an easy breakfast!

Servings 12 rolls


For the filling:

  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the dough:

  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the frosting:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. First, place 11 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a small saucepan and melt over low heat on the stove. You'll be dividing the melted butter up as the recipe goes on. Then, using one tablespoon of the melted butter and a pastry brush, grease a 9-inch cake pan (sides of the pan should preferably be at least 2 inches tall). Line with parchment paper and lightly brush parchment paper with the butter. Set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the filling and set aside. 

  3. In a larger bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the dough. Start by adding the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine and set aside. 

  4. Add 1/4 cup of the milk to a liquid measuring cup. Warm in the microwave until the mixture reaches a temp of 110 F (should be 15-20 seconds or so, but check every ten seconds). Remove from microwave and add the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar, stirring well to help it dissolve. Let sit until mixture starts to get bubbly, about five minutes. 

  5. Add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients, along with the remaining 5 teaspoons of sugar, 1 cup of milk, and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Mix until combined then turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for two minutes, adding more flour to the counter if necessary to prevent sticking.

  6. Roll the dough into a 12x9" rectangle. Lightly brush with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Spread filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 3/4" border. Roll up the dough, starting at the long side, and pinch to seal the seam shut. Make any adjustments to the log if necessary to even it out, and make sure it still measures 12". If it is longer, you can scrunch it until it measures 12" again. 

  7. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log in half, then cut each half in half. Cut each fourth into thirds. Place the rolls into the cake pan cut side up. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof for 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350 F. 

  8. After the rolls have proofed, brush them with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Bake for 23-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. The tops should be lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.

For the frosting:

  1. In a small bowl, mix all glaze ingredients together until smooth. Spread the glaze over the rolls and serve warm. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

You'll need 4-5 Meyer lemons for this recipe.

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