Blueberry Rolls with Lemon Curd
Blueberry rolls with lemon curd are the summertime answer to classic cinnamon rolls. Light and fluffy, filled with cream cheese, lemon curd, and fresh blueberries, all rolled up and baked into a golden treat!
Ooey gooey blueberry sticky buns, loaded with fresh juicy berries and rolled in a sweet dough, are balanced by the citrusy tangy lemon curd. It’s the perfect special occasion breakfast, whether it’s Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or someone’s birthday. Try pairing them with a mimosa or a beermosa, and candied bacon! They’re completely irresistible and probably more addicting than we’re willing to admit, so good luck stopping yourself from eating the whole batch!
About this recipe
This outrageously delicious recipe is a totally different flavor take on cinnamon buns, mostly because there’s no cinnamon in them or anything remotely spiced so they’re a lighter, brighter version. These blueberry rolls are filled with cream cheese, a luscious lemon curd, and fresh blueberries. They’re baked until light and fluffy and then finished with a lemon glaze.
If you love this combo but are looking for something quicker, try our lemon Dutch baby, also served up with lemon curd and blueberries. If you’re looking for an easy shortcut of a traditional cinnamon roll, check out our crescent roll cinnamon rolls.
Smelling these rolls in the oven is exactly what you want to wake up to. They’re a special kind of breakfast and brunch treat because you eat one and then spend the whole day thinking about having one for dessert later!
Lemon and blueberries couldn’t be more different as fruit. One is bright and yellow, the other is tiny and blue. One is sour and citrusy and the other is sweet and juicy. But together? Together they’re magic. They go hand in hand which is why you’ll find this pairing in so many sweets and treats like these lemon blueberry pancakes, and lemon blueberry ricotta pancakes. We even add a little lemon to our blueberry sauce to brighten up the flavors.
These sweet rolls with a delicate lemon glaze come together in a jif but because they’re made with yeast, the dough will need to sit just once to rise. Clearly, it’s worth the wait! This easy-to-follow recipe will guide you on how to work with yeast and how to know if your yeast is still active, how long is too long to let your dough rise, and the steps to making a super simple glaze to top it off. This is a great first time recipe for yeast rolls and one that the kids can get involved in.
Now, the question is, when they’re fresh out of the oven, do you bite right into it? Or unroll it first?
What you need
FOR THE DOUGH
- Butter – Softened, unsalted butter. It will be used to help create a light buttery dough.
- Whole Milk – Used as the liquid ingredient to help blend the dry ingredients. Since there is no water, it’s warmed up to help with the initial activation of the yeast.
- Active Dry Yeast – You’ll know your yeast is still active if it foams when in the warm milk. If it doesn’t, discard it and use fresh.
- All Purpose Flour – Used to create the structure of the roll and the base ingredient of the dough.
- Egg – A medium size egg at room temperature is what you need.
- Salt – This will bring out the flavors of all the ingredients, as salt does. Salt keeps the yeast from going crazy on you.
- Granulated Sugar – Will make a nice sweet dough and helps with the fermentation and activation of the yeast.
- Lemon Zest – A hint of citrus in the dough will give subtle clue as to what is hidden inside.
FOR THE FILLING
- Full Fat Cream Cheese – You want to take it out at least 30 minutes ahead of time. It will make for easier spreading. You can substitute for Neufchatel if you prefer, but we don’t recommend fat-free as the water content is too high and will make the rolls watery.
- Lemon Curd – A quick homemade lemon curd will make all the difference. So much better than a store-bought version, but that will also work in a pinch, of course!
- Fresh Blueberries – Washed and dried. In a pinch you can also use frozen, no need to thaw them first.
FOR THE TOPPING
- Cream Cheese – Adds a bit of a tang that balances out the sweetness in the glaze. It’s so good!
- Powdered Sugar – Powdered sugar blends well and is the sweet component to this glaze. It has a smooth texture unlike granulated sugar.
- Lemon Juice – Gives the glaze a tartness which is what everyone loves about lemons. A bright and vibrant addition to finish off these rolls.
How to make them
As always, this is just an overview of the recipe, scroll down for a full printable version of the recipe.
Proof the yeast by adding it to warm milk and butter (the butter will have melted in the warm milk). Be careful not to heat up the milk too much or it will kill the yeast; it should be just a bit more than lukewarm. Set it aside until the yeast is foamy. If it doesn’t foam up, it may mean it’s expired and you need to get fresh yeast.
Add flour, sugar, salt, lemon zest, and egg into a bowl, pour in yeast milk and knead 5 for minutes until the dough doesn’t stick to the bowl anymore. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for about an hour until it has doubled in bulk.
At this point, the dough should not be sticky, but if it is, add a bit of flour and roll it out into a rectangle. Spread first with cream cheese, then lemon curd, followed by an even layer of blueberries.
Starting from the long side, roll into a log.
Next, cut into 12 slices and place them open side up into a prepared 9×13 inch baking pan and bake on the middle rack until golden brown.
While the rolls bake, whisk together ingredients for the glaze.
Once the rolls have cooled for about 10-15 minutes, drizzle over top and enjoy!
TIP: Easily double the recipe by doubling the ingredients and using 2 pans!
The dough in this recipe is the same dough you’d use for cinnamon rolls. It’s the filling that makes the difference. So, the answer to this question is the same no matter which type you’re making. Technically there is such a thing as allowing the dough to rise too long, in which case the taste and texture will be off because the fermentation process will have gone on for too long. However, on the bright side, if you leave it in the fridge even up to 24 hours, that should slow the process down enough to still be able to bake them without issue.
They are not the same. Lemon curd is made with the lemon juice and zest of a lemon along with egg yolks, butter, and sugar. It’s a thick, creamy, custard-like filling but can definitely be used the same way that jam is used. Jam, on the other hand, is made with the whole fruit that gets cooked down with sugar, and for the most part, gelatin or pectin.
The difference is slight but there is one. Cream cheese is said to be a newer version of Neufchatel cheese that was created by accident when someone was trying to recreate Neufchatel. They can be used interchangeably in most recipes, but the difference is that Neufchatel has a higher moisture content as well as a lower percent of milk fat than cream cheese.
How to make these blueberry rolls your own
- Switch up the fruit and use another type of berry such as raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries.
- Use apples and revert back to a cinnamon bun filling for a fun apple cinnamon version.
- Add some spices like cardamom or mix the cream cheese with some honey.
- Serve with ice cream (vanilla or lemon) or whipped cream.
- Swap vanilla extract for the lemon juice in the glaze for a vanilla cream cheese glaze option.
- Make a blueberry sauce with the fresh blueberries and use that to spread across the cream cheese along with the lemon curd. And then pour some on top too!
Make Ahead Ideas
As with most baked goods that use yeast, these sticky buns will taste best fresh when they are still light and fluffy and warm and…you get the idea. So if you want to serve it to friends or family I would recommend making it the same day. You can prepare the dough a day ahead and keep it in your fridge. Use half the yeast and let it come to room temperature for around 30 minutes before working with it.
This is highly unlikely but if you have leftovers, keep them stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. They also freeze very well. You can freeze the whole pan or portion them out to always have a treat available.
Heating them in the microwave will ensure a softer texture. You might want to add a little extra glaze on top to give it a fresh drizzle.
More blueberry recipes
Have a bountiful supply of blueberries? Try these recipes:
Get the Recipe: Blueberry Rolls with Lemon Curd
For the dough
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (1/2 stick)
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg, medium size, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
For the filling
- ¾ cup full-fat cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup lemon curd
- 1 cup fresh blueberries, washed and dried
For the topping
- 1/3 cup cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Warm up the milk and melt butter in the milk. Be careful not to get the milk too warm, it should just be a bit more than lukewarm (see note 1)
- Stir in the dry yeast and set aside for a couple of minutes until mixture looks foamy.
- Add flour, sugar, salt, lemon zest and egg into bowl, pour in yeast milk and knead 5 for minutes until the dough doesn't stick to the bowl anymore (see note 2).
- Let the dough rise for 60 minutes or until doubled (see note 3).
- Preheat oven to 360°F.
- Roll out the dough to a rectangle. Dough should be easy to work with. If sticky, knead in a bit of flour.
- Spread with cream cheese, then evenly spread lemon curd, and top with blueberries.
- Roll from the long side and cut into 12 slices – a serrated bread knife works best.
- Place slices open side up into a greased 9×13 pan and bake on middle rack for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, mix ingredients for the topping with a whisk and drizzle over rolls after they have cooled for 10-15 minutes.
- Note 1: I microwave the milk quickly for 30-45 seconds. It should not get warmer than 116°F otherwise it will kill the yeast and the dough won’t rise.
- Note 2: If it doesn’t come off the bowl after 1 minute of kneading, add another 1 or 2 teaspoons of flour and keep kneading.
- Note 3: The dough is heavier due to the egg and the butter than pizza dough for example, so it won’t rise as much and it feels a bit denser/heavier. It’s great to work with though. You should not need any flour to work with it or only very little.
- Make-ahead: Like most baked goods with yeast this will taste best fresh, so if you want to serve it to friends or family I would recommend making it the same day. You can prepare the dough a day ahead and keep it in your fridge. Use half the yeast and let it come to room temperature for around 30 minutes before working with it.
- Freezing Directions: The baked rolls freeze very well. You can freeze the whole pan or portion them out to always have a treat available.
- To Double: Just double the ingredients and use two pans.