Lemon Raspberry Rolls



I love these sweet and tart Lemon Raspberry rolls, flecked with vanilla bean and drizzled with lemon sugar.  I tried them at a coffee shop in Anchorage and was pleasantly surprised to discover that they were lovingly made by a fellow Southerner.  ANNA THOMAS, from South Carolina, bakes everything from maple-bacon biscuits to dark chocolate cherry scones.  She generously shared her recipe with us.


Lemon Raspberry Rolls

Yield: Makes about 20 rolls  |  Total time: 2 hours 30 min
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"Whenever my Mom made sweet rolls for me, I always felt like a million bucks. Not only is this recipe fool-proof, and no-knead but it only messes up one pot, and the result is a delicate balance of airy dough and tart deliciousness.  This is based on a dough recipe by Ree Drummond for Cinnamon Rolls. I wanted to make a light tart treat for spring, so I added fresh lemon juice and zest.  And raspberries.  Experiment with your favorite flavors.  I've made these before with a lemon-cream cheese glaze; orange zest and ginger; and in fall, an apple cider glaze." --Anna Thomas



  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil, preferably organic
  • 2 1/2 cups vanilla sugar*, divided
  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 9 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill unbleached white flour
  • 1 teaspoon homemade baking powder (2 parts cream of tartar and 1 part baking soda)
  • 2 teaspoons fine salt
  • 2 sticks/1 cup unsalted butter
  • Zest of 1 lemon (plus more for glaze)
  • 3 pints fresh raspberries

Lemon Glaze

  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 (2-pound) bag powdered sugar
  • a little milk


  1. Prepare 1 large sheet pan (approximately 12-x-17-inches) with parchment.  Butter top of parchment and sprinkle with sugar (this helps create a crunchy, caramelized bottom); set aside. Combine milk, oil, and 1 cup vanilla sugar in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir to combine.  Heat until steam starts to rise from the surface and it starts to foam on top, being careful not to boil (about 8 to 10 minutes).  Remove pot from heat.  Let cool for about 45 minutes or until mixture reduces to 110°. Sprinkle yeast over mixture and let sit for a few minutes or until it begins to froth.
  2. Add 8 1/2 cups of flour to pot. Stir, using a wooden spoon, to combine.  Dough will be sticky.  Cover with lid or plastic wrap and let rest in a warm, draft-free spot for 45 minutes. It should almost double in size.
  3. Add another 1 cup flour, salt and baking powder, and stir to combine.  Use hands to thoroughly incorporate flour, salt, and baking powder, turning dough over in pot. NOTE: Dough can be made to this point; cover and refrigerate overnight.  Roll out and let rise 45 minutes in pan before baking

lemon.mixingdough4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently shape into a rectangle.   Roll out with a rolling pin.  It should be about 1/8-inch thick and 4 1/2 feet by 1 foot.  Yes, it's big!

5. To make sugar filling, combine remaining 1 1/2 cups vanilla with zest of 1 lemon.  Melt butter over low heat; let cool slightly and then drizzle evenly over dough, spreading as needed with a spatula.  Sprinkle vanilla-lemon sugar evenly over melted butter.

6. Tear raspberries gently with fingers and scatter them evenly over the sugared dough.  Roll lengthwise, toward you, in a jellyroll fashion.  Pinch with fingers to seal dough along the length of the dough.  Cut, using a sharp knife, into 1 3/4-inch rolls.  Place on prepared sheet pans and let rise about 15 minutes.

lemon.cutrolls7. While rolls are rising, preheat oven to 385° and make Lemon Glaze by whisking juice and zest of 1 lemon with powdered sugar and a few tablespoonfuls of milk until it resembles pancake batter.  You can also add a tablespoon or 2 of melted butter to the glaze. Bake rolls 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Drizzle while warm with Lemon Glaze.


Date Published: March 26, 2013

All recipes have been tested by the Test Kitchens unless otherwise noted.

4 comments... read them below or add one


  1. March 26, 2013 5:37 pm by Jennifer Reply

    These are fabulous rolls! I’ve used Ree’s cinnamon roll dough also, and I love working with it. Thank you for sharing this recipe. My kids are begging me to make some.

    • March 26, 2013 9:10 pm by kim Reply

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them and I love that your kids are such enthusiastic and adventurous eaters. I think your kids would have fun making them with you!

  2. July 17, 2013 1:01 pm by Rebecca G Reply

    Which coffee shop carries her rolls? I want to go there!

    • July 18, 2013 1:05 pm by kim Reply

      Hi Rebeccca,
      The coffee house is Steam dot, but the rolls are seasonal and not always available.

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