The smell of these lemon cream cheese breakfast rolls baking in the morning is sure to make every mouth in your house water. They're a bit sweet and dense, the filling is tart and sweet and buttery - they compliment each other perfectly. If you have a favorite cinnamon roll recipe, try this one next time and see how they compare.
These rolls are the perfect compliment to a great brunch or weekend breakfast. The second rise is overnight in the fridge, so it's very easy to just put them in the oven morning of and enjoy them warm. Trust me - they are YUMMY! 😉
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- for the rolls:
- active dry yeast - 1 package (2 1/4 tsp) or 25 g fresh
- sugar - 1 tsp
- water - 1/2 cup, warm to the touch - not hot
- milk - 1 1/2 cups, room temperature
- flour - 5 cups
- sugar - 1/4 cup
- salt - 1 tsp
- baking soda - 1 tsp
- baking powder - 1 tsp
- butter - 1/2 cup (115 g), cold, cut into pieces
- egg - 1 large, beaten
- for the lemon filling:
- cream cheese - 16 oz (400 g), room temperature
- powdered sugar - 1 cup
- flour - 1 tbsp
- lemon - zest and juice of 1
- egg - 1, room temperature
- butter - 1/4 cup (60 g), melted
- for the glaze:
- powdered sugar - 2 cups, sifted
- lemon - juice and zest of 1/2
- vanilla extract - 1/2 tsp
- milk - 3 tbsp
to make the rolls:
- In a medium bowl, stir the yeast and sugar into the warm water, then let sit for about 10 minutes, until foamy.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
- Use your fingers or a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.
- Stir in the yeast water, the milk and egg and mix well, then turn out onto a floured surface. Sprinkle generously with flour and use a pastry scraper to knead the dough about 10 - 12 times by scraping it off the counter and pulling it in towards the center.
(the dough will be very sticky, so just keep adding more flour if you are having problems working with it)
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled large bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and allow to rise in a warm, draft free place for about 2 hours - until doubled in size.
to make the filling:
- In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, powdered sugar, flour, and egg and mix well. Set aside and keep at room temperature until ready to use.
- Prepare two large baking dishes by spraying them with cooking spray or greasing with butter, then set aside.
- When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured surface, dust well with flour and roll out into a large rectangle, about 1/8" thick.
- Brush the melted butter over the surface, then spread the cream cheese mixture on top. You can drop it by the spoonful around the dough, then use a spatula to gently spread it evenly.
- Carefully roll the dough up tightly from the long side of the rectangle closest to you, rolling away from you. Cut the roll into 2" sections and place them close to each other in your prepared baking dishes.
(if you have problems with the dough sticking to the counter, use a spatula or your pastry cutter to scrape it up as you're rolling it)
- Cover the baking dishes with plastic wrap, then let them rise for the second time in the fridge overnight.
- When you're ready to bake them, remove them from the fridge while you heat your oven to 350 F (175 C) and bake for about 35 - 45 minutes, until lightly browned on top.
- Whisk the glaze ingredients together and drizzle over the warm rolls and serve immediately. Garnish with extra lemon zest.
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