Try these ooey, gooey, moist lemon danish sweet rolls with their lemon and cream cheese filling! You’ll be hooked after just one bite!
I am totally in love with these lemon danish sweet rolls! The tart lemon curd is balanced perfectly with the cream cheese filling that is all rolled up in a tender roll. Now I’m going to be totally honest here. These are a bit messy to make, but I assure you they are absolutely worth the effort…and the mess. These are perfect for breakfast, brunches and, well, midnight snacks. If you are feeling adventurous and love lemon treats then try these! They will not disappoint.
Before make the roll dough for this recipe, prepare the lemon curd and have it chilling in the fridge. The lemon curd must be 100% chilled before use. If it’s not it will run all over the place.
I prefer to use my stand mixer for my convenience, but this recipe can be done just as well with hand beaters. If using a stand mixer, fit it with the paddle attachment. So in the bowl of your mixer, place the butter, salt, and sugar. In a small pot, over medium high heat, scald the 1 cup of milk. To scald milk, heat it until nearly boiling then remove from the heat. Pour the scalded milk over the contents of the mixing bowl. Allow to cool down to a warm but not hot temperature (a bit warmer than a baby’s bath water). In a small measuring cup dissolve 1 Tbs. active dry yeast and 1/2 tsp sugar in 1/3 cup warm water and let stand 5 minutes until foamy. Pour the foamy yeast, 2 eggs, and 2 cups of flour into the mixing bowl. Mix on low just to get everything mixed together, then beat at a medium high speed for 5 minutes. Don’t skimp on the time. You need to beat the batter for 5 minutes.
Following 5 minutes of beating, add 1 1/2 cups more flour and mix just until incorporated. The left picture above is what your batter/dough should look like. This particular kind of roll is called a batter roll or batter bread. Meaning it is not going to come together in a ball like typical doughs. It will be sticky and gooey. Remove the paddle attachment and cover the bowl with a dish towel. Allow the dough to raise until doubled like shown above in the right hand picture. This should take an hour to an hour and a half. Gently punch down the dough, recover and allow to rise a 2nd time until doubled. This time it will rise in about half the time it took before. While the dough is rising for a second time make the cream cheese filling according to the recipe instructions. Also prepare a 9×13 baking dish by spraying it with non-stick cooking spray and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Dump the risen dough onto a generously floured surface. As you can see in the left hand picture above, this dough is very soft and kind of sticky. Gently knead the dough with a little flour just enough that it is not terribly sticky. Do not add a ton of flour. You really only need a bit. This dough should not toughen up and be a stiff dough like regular bread dough. Roll the dough out into roughly a 20 x 14 inch rectangle on a floured surface.
Spread the cream cheese filling on the top of the rolled out dough first. Then spread the lemon curd. Carefully and quickly roll up jelly roll style. This is where things start to get a little messy.
Using dental floss, cut the rolled up dough into 15 one inch slices. You may end up with more than 15. You must be quick and not afraid about getting your hands sticky here. As you can see the lemon curd tries to ooze out. It’s just the nature of the beast. Slice quick, use two hands to pick up the slices so the middles don’t slip out and place them in the prepared baking dish. I took the pictures above to show these are a bit messy but totally do-able. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes. The rolls should be golden brown. Cool for 20 minutes before drizzling with the icing. Enjoy warm and refrigerate the leftovers.
Makes at least 15 Lemon Danish Sweet Rolls
- 2 Large Eggs
- 2/3 Cup Sugar
- One pinch Salt
- Zest of 2 Lemons
- 1/2 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice (about 3 large lemons) (must be fresh not bottled)
- 6 Tbs Butter
- 8 oz Cream Cheese room temp.
- 1/4 Cup Butter room temp.
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 Cup Butter
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 1 Cup Scalded Milk
- 1 Tbs. Active Dry Yeast
- 1/2 tsp Sugar
- 1/3 Cup Warm Water
- 2 Eggs
- 3 1/2 Cups Flour divided
- 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
I recommend making the lemon curd a couple hours before starting the dough for this recipe to ensure the lemon curd is properly chilled.
In a 4 Cup measuring cup whisk the 2 eggs together. Set aside.
Put the sugar, salt, lemon zest, lemon juice and butter in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Remove from the heat and trickle in a slow stream into the eggs while whisking vigorously until all the hot liquid in whisked into the eggs. Pour back into the saucepot.
Bring back to a simmer over medium heat stirring constantly until the curd is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Remove from heat, pour into a shallow dish and place in the fridge to chill. A shallow dish will make the lemon curd cool faster. It must be 100% cold to make these sweet rolls. If it is not cold it will run all over the place.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (you can make these with hand beaters, too) place the 1/4 cup of butter, 1 tsp Salt, and 1/4 cup of sugar.
In a small saucepan, scald the 1 cup of milk. To scald milk, heat the milk over medium heat high to nearly boiling. Remove from the heat and pour over the contents of the mixing bowl.
Alllow to cool to a warm, but not hot temperature (a little warmer than a baby's bath water). This takes 20-30 minutes.
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and 1/2 tsp sugar in 1/3 cup warm water. Let stand until foamy. About 5 minutes.
Pour the foamy yeast, 2 eggs, and 2 cups of the flour into the mixing bowl. Mix on low just until everything is mixed together. Then beat on medium high for 5 minutes. Don't skimp on the time. You must beat it for 5 minutes.
Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour. Mix until incorporated. This is a batter dough so the dough is going to be sticky and gooey, it will not be a ball of dough. Refer to the pictures included in this recipes post to see what this should look like. Cover the dough and let rise until doubled. This will take an hour to an hour and a half.
Punch down the dough, recover, and let rise a second time until doubled. This will only time 1/2 the time of the first rise.
While the dough is rising for a second time, preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Get your dental floss out and ready for slicing the dough.
Also beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth to make the cream cheese filling.
Dump the risen dough out onto a generously floured surface. Knead gently just enough so the dough is not sticky. This won't take a lot of flour. Remember this is a soft dough and should not be a stiff ball of dough like bread dough would be.
Roll out into a rectangle that is roughly 20x14 inches. Spread the cream cheese filling over the top of the rolled out dough, followed by the cold lemon curd.
Quickly roll up the dough jelly roll style ending with the roll of dough seam side down. This is where things may get a little messy.
Cut the rolled up dough into 15 one inch thick slices using dental floss. Be quick and use two hands to move the slices from the counter to the prepared baking dish. The lemon curd will ooze out some. That is just the nature of the beast.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. The rolls should be golden brown. Cool 20 minutes before drizzling icing on the top. Serve warm and refridgerate the leftovers.
Using a fork, mix together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough milk to bring to a drizzly consistency.
If you have questions, refer to the recipe post for this recipe. There are many pictures you may find helpful.