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Lemon Danish Sweet Rolls Recipe

  • Author: Mindee
  • Prep Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 15 Sweet Rolls 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Try these ooey, gooey, moist lemon danish sweet rolls with their lemon and cream cheese filling! You'll be hooked after just one bite!


Units Scale

Lemon Curd

  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 Tbs. Cold Water
  • 2 tsp Unflavored Gelatin
  • 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

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 oz Cream Cheese (room temp.)
  • 1/4 cup Butter (room temp.)
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Roll Dough

  • 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
  • Milk


Lemon Curd

  1. I usually start the roll dough and then make the lemon curd.
  2.  In a 4 Cup measuring cup whisk the 2 eggs together. Set aside.
  3. Put the sugar, salt, lemon zest, lemon juice and butter in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  4. Just as the lemon liquid begins to simmer, add the unflavored gelatin to the 2 Tbs. of water to soften for about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the softened gelatin to the simmering liquid and whisk until dissolved.
  6. 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 sauce pot.
  7. Bring back to a simmer over medium heat stirring constantly until the curd is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  8. Remove from heat, pour into a bowl.  Place this bowl inside another bowl that has ice in the bottom.  This will cool the lemon curd quickly.  Stir here and there while it cools.  Once cool though, remove from the ice and set aside until it's time to use it.

Roll Dough

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Allow to cool to a warm, but not hot temperature (a little warmer than a baby's bath water).  This takes 20-30 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Also beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth to make the cream cheese filling.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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 refrigerate the leftovers.


  1. 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.

Keywords: lemon, cinnamon rolls