Lemon Cheesecake Morning Buns
Lemon Cheesecake Morning Buns

You know the saying, “Don’t dress for the job you have; dress for the job you want”? I like to adapt that statement for my own ridiculous purposes on occasion.

Lemon Cheesecake Morning Buns

The other day it was roughly 40 degrees outside, which is basically winter-in-Antarctica weather for me (some New Englander with a snowdrift the size of a Hummer outside their door is about to beat me up). Despite being pathologically repulsed by cold weather, I was too lazy to put on a coat. I ran out in a gauzy t-shirt and jeans to pick up some dinner.

When you make a wardrobe choice like this, you can’t curl up in a ball on the sidewalk, acknowledging defeat. You have to grit your teeth and pretend your choice was appropriate for some secret reason only you are aware of. I therefore ignored my goosebumps and impending hypothermia as I walked along the sidewalk to the restaurant, swinging my arms as if enjoying a gentle summer breeze. Upon noticing a guy in a t-shirt clearly doing the exact same thing, I gave him a nod. “We’re dressing for the weather we want, not the weather we have. It’s strategic!” I yelled toward him.

He responded, “Exactly. And it’s only 40 degrees. We’re not even cold, right?”

“NOPE, not one bit.”

Lemon Cheesecake Morning Buns

I also often bake for the weather I want, not the weather I have. Naomi at Bakers Royale just acknowledged she sometimes uses out-of-season produce, so I might as well make my confession, too, though I might get excommunicated from the blogosphere. I promise I do care about being green and supporting local business. But sometimes I also want raspberries. My lifestyle is admittedly imperfect.

Now that we’ve gotten that admission out of the way, I can tell you that I’m baking for spring.

Lemon Cheesecake Morning Buns

When it’s cold and rainy like it has been in Charlotte lately, my already sun-sheltered apartment windows let in an even more dreary landscape than usual. The courtyard of my apartment complex, where the grass has stubbornly refused to take root, becomes a muddy landslide. My morale slides right off into the stormdrain along with the river that forms in my parking lot.

On days like this, I need some lemon. And some bright summer berries. (And a sunlamp and some vitamin D and maybe a tropical vacation, but I digress.)

Lemon Cheesecake Morning Buns

Since I first made Savory Sweet Potato & Chorizo Cinnamon Rolls and Buttery Coconut & Almond Morning Buns, I’ve been looking for new ways to use my favorite overnight yeast dough. I could’ve just made buttery lemon-glazed rolls, but I decided stuffing some tangy lemon cheesecake in my morning buns was a better idea. This yeast dough is a cinch to whip up and is so forgiving — and its second proof takes place overnight in the fridge. The resulting rolls are soft, buttery, and tangy. They almost have the texture of a flaky bread pudding. And needless to say, they’re delicious. I served them with some raspberries and a tall glass of cold milk. Enjoy!

One year ago: Thick Chocolate Cake with a Big Red (Velvet!) Heart
Two years ago: Heart-Shaped Palmiers and a Pesto Giveaway
Three years ago: Billion Cheese (Heart-shaped) Ravioli with Red Pepper Pancetta Sauce

5 from 1 reviews
Lemon Cheesecake Morning Buns
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These Lemon Cheesecake Morning Buns could easily double as dessert. They are fluffy, gooey, tangy, buttery, and beyond delicious. I hope you’ll find a space for these rolls on your breakfast or brunch table. They definitely belong in the spotlight.
Serves: 24
Roll Ingredients:
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (100-110 degrees F)
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 cups milk minus 2 tablespoons, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup cold shortening
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted, for after baking
Filling Ingredients:
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • zest of 1 lemon (reserve a little for topping)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 stick salted butter (or 1 stick unsalted butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt), melted
Glaze Ingredients:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 table lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • about 1/4 cup milk
  • extra lemon zest
  1. Note on proofing: This yeast dough proofs for a couple of hours after you mix it up, and then the assembled rolls proof in the fridge overnight, so allow for this when planning to make this recipe. With most cinnamon rolls recipes you could switch this and proof in the fridge overnight and then assemble and proof on the countertop, but I opted to switch that method with these because I didn’t want the cream cheese filling sitting out too long.
  2. Note on yield: I don’t recommend halving yeast recipes; instead, if you don’t want 24 rolls at once, consider freezing some for later.
  3. Note on freezing: To freeze some of the unbaked rolls, just wrap them well before the second rise and freeze them. Once frozen, pop them out of the pan all together and store in the freezer, wrapped in plastic wrap and in a zip top bag or wrapped in foil. When you want to bake them, stick them back in a greased pan, thaw them in the fridge overnight, proof for the instructed amount of time, and bake like usual.
  4. Mix the warm water and yeast in a medium bowl and let the yeast foam for about 10 minutes. Put 2 tablespoons white vinegar in a measuring cup and then add milk up to the 2 cup line. Set this aside. In a separate large bowl (or the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook), whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and cut the shortening into the mixture with two knives or a pastry cutter until the shortening looks like small peas. Stir yeast mixture and milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well, kneading just a few turns. Transfer the dough to a bowl lightly sprayed with cooking spray, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and proof in a warm, draft-free place (such as a closed, turned-off oven), for around 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  5. After proofing the dough, lightly spray two 9 x 13-inch baking dishes with cooking spray. Cream the softened cream cheese in a medium bowl until fluffy before adding lemon zest, sugar, lemon juice, and the egg. Mix together until well combined.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle about 1/8-inch thick (I carefully cut the dough in half and worked with half at a time to make it more manageable; if you do this, just spread on half of the filling ingredients for each half you roll). Spread the melted butter over the surface of the rolled dough and then dollop the cream cheese mixture all across the surface, spreading gently to create an even layer. Gently roll the dough up into a spiral (I find using a bench scraper to encourage the dough to roll up during this process incredibly helpful) and cut it into 2-inch rolls, placing them close together in your prepared baking dishes (at this point, you could wrap and freeze the rolls for later if you wanted).
  7. Cover the rolls let them rise in the fridge overnight (they will have nearly doubled.) When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, letting the rolls rise on top of the preheating oven covered by a clean dish towel. Bake them for about 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned on top (don’t underbake or they’ll still be doughy in the center). Brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter and return to the oven for 1 more minute. Whisk together the glaze ingredients and drizzle the glaze over the warm rolls. Sprinkle with reserved zest and serve immediately.


120 Comments on Lemon Cheesecake Morning Buns

  1. Kara
    February 12, 2013 at 4:45 pm (11 years ago)

    I’m sayin that it’s prime citrus season. Even if that weren’t the case, these would still be just as delicious, I’m sure.

  2. Natasha
    February 12, 2013 at 4:46 pm (11 years ago)

    I love this post for a few reasons. First, the accidentally weather-inappropriate attire. I cannot tell you how many times I do this. I simply think because the sun is shining, it must be warmer or because it’s rainy, it must be colder, despite the fact that I could simply look at the weather on my phone. Then I wander out and people look at my like I’m a crazy person. Good to know I’m not alone in that.

    Secondly, thank you so so much for the honesty about not always going seasonal. In real life, it’s hard to do that. Lately, I’ve been making lots of things with berries, which are clearly not in season right now. But, I just friggin love berries, and ya know, sometimes I just want stuff with berries.

    Thirdly, these look crazy delicious. I love the idea of putting the cream cheese in the filling rather than turning it into icing to go over top. Lovely!

  3. Brittany from Counting My Cupcakes
    February 12, 2013 at 5:01 pm (11 years ago)

    Ok. I love this. I love your story about going out in the cold and seeing a guy doing the same thing. Too funny! And I just love love love these rolls. They look amazing. Bring on SPRINGTIME!

  4. Karly
    February 12, 2013 at 5:27 pm (11 years ago)

    Hahahaha! I am always being yelled at by everyone for not wearing a coat. I’m totally use that line next time.

  5. Wawa
    February 12, 2013 at 5:30 pm (11 years ago)

    These look like the lovechild of a cheese danish and a cinnamon bun. Pure genius. totally making these.

  6. Sharla
    February 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm (11 years ago)

    You know what they say – if you’re really craving something your body must really need it! Perfect excuse for out of season produce! These look amazing btw – try to stay warm. I detest winter as well.

  7. A_Boleyn
    February 12, 2013 at 6:53 pm (11 years ago)

    I want to wake up at your house to the smell of these buns baking in the oven and then totter to the table for a wake up cup of coffee and a bun. They look so decadent regardless of the time of year you serve them. 🙂

  8. Saeriu
    February 12, 2013 at 7:43 pm (11 years ago)

    I’m definitely making these tonight. I’ll make up the whole roll recipe and bake half of them tomorrow morning. Maybe, since my husband is in love with regular cinnamon rolls, I’ll make the second half just regular cinnamon rolls. These look fantastic! How do you think they would turn out with orange instead of lemon? I don’t have any lemons at home and we’re trying to make only 1 trip to the grocery store each week.

  9. Eileen
    February 12, 2013 at 8:04 pm (11 years ago)

    These rolls look like the most decadent breakfast ever! I can definitely get behind all that tart lemon flavor. 🙂

  10. Sarah
    February 12, 2013 at 10:33 pm (11 years ago)

    Sometimes a raspberry in Winter is just the only option. I get it! I totally do! It’s like an elaborate rain-dance-type ritual, in an effort to will Spring into coming sooner! Maybe if we all do it, it will work!

  11. Monica h
    February 12, 2013 at 10:52 pm (11 years ago)

    Simply Gorgeous!

  12. Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen
    February 13, 2013 at 3:06 am (11 years ago)

    I secretly buy berries in the winter sometimes too…I try not to…but it’s hard! These buns are gorgeous and look super delicious!

  13. Amanda @ The Dormestic Goddess
    February 13, 2013 at 12:45 pm (11 years ago)

    I’ve been racking and racking my brain about what to do with the lemons in my fridge…and *now* I know. These look sinful and delicious and ohmygoodnessgood.

  14. Sandra
    February 13, 2013 at 12:50 pm (11 years ago)

    These are amazing and are now on my what’s happening list.

  15. Sprigs of Rosemary
    February 13, 2013 at 3:20 pm (11 years ago)

    Okay . . . so Lent just started and my husband always gives up sweets. Does this count? I’m pretty sure I can convince him that this is breakfast, and, anyhow, the grandkids are coming this weekend, and I have lemons — so there you have it. Breakfast Saturday morning.

  16. Cathie J
    February 13, 2013 at 6:17 pm (11 years ago)

    Mmmmmm, these sound so good.

  17. Alissa
    February 13, 2013 at 11:50 pm (11 years ago)

    These look delicious! Do you think I could make the dough part in my bread machine? I think I may try it and find out!

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      February 14, 2013 at 2:22 am (11 years ago)

      I’m not sure, but I’d love to know how your trial goes!! Hope you enjoy 🙂

  18. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    February 14, 2013 at 4:30 am (11 years ago)

    The heart wants what it wants, and so does the belly. Sometimes you just have to succumb! I can only imagine how fantastic these buns taste – I just might have to try them for myself. They’d surely help to pull me from my warm bed in the dark cold mornings we’re still having around here.

  19. PapaLos @ The Man, The Chef, The Dad
    February 14, 2013 at 6:30 am (11 years ago)

    Wow, these are just screaming spring! While I can appreciate you cooking what you feel, I’m the type that loves to cook in the season. I would love to make this for spring, but in the winter I prefer to do more hearty things. Maybe it’s because I spent so long in Florida, now that I’m somewhere that actually has 4 seasons I like to take advantage of it.

    Doesn’t matter what season it is though, these look amazing. Loved the story and your writing style. I have to come here more often!

    And hello from a fellow NC blogger 🙂

  20. Colette @ JFF!
    February 15, 2013 at 12:17 am (11 years ago)

    Fresh take on the usual cin-raisin rolls, just in time for Spring!

  21. Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen
    February 16, 2013 at 8:11 pm (11 years ago)

    Julie! These look too incredible! I try to use in-season ingredients as often as possible, but am not afraid to make what I crave…

  22. Jenny @ BAKE
    February 17, 2013 at 5:10 pm (11 years ago)

    I’ve been doing the exact same thing today! it will be spring! these morning buns look incredible!

  23. Ging
    February 17, 2013 at 5:33 pm (11 years ago)

    Oh man, i want to come to your place and have some of these. I’m not that good of a baker but these just look sooo good i’m just sitting here drooling. Thanks for the recipe. I’m going to have to at least give it a try making these. They just look too good..

  24. Becky
    February 18, 2013 at 2:55 pm (11 years ago)

    I am sitting here, having just polished off my first of these buns in about 3 seconds flat. These are amazing. I make cinnamon buns for the holidays and after last year’s dough fail, decided I needed to find a new recipe. This dough is it. And the lemon cheesecake part is absolutely perfect for a cold winter morning when everyone is sick of winter. Genuis!

  25. Lisa
    February 18, 2013 at 4:05 pm (11 years ago)

    Put these together last night and baked a pan of them this morning – delicious!!!!! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  26. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen
    February 18, 2013 at 5:08 pm (11 years ago)

    I am right there with you baking for spring! I am so lemon obsessed right now and I want these rolls!

  27. Linda
    February 19, 2013 at 5:01 am (11 years ago)

    …..left the printout of this rrcipe at the office, scrolling thru on my cell phone at home…totally left the shortening in the freezer and ended up adding it after the milk/yeast mix…..we’ll see how they turn out….rolled uo half the dough around jalpeno cheddar sausage links…I’ve been hunting for the perfect Kolache dough and if I remember this dough from your almond breakfast buns, it’ll be perfect. next timr…..shortening added at the proper time!!

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      February 19, 2013 at 5:08 am (11 years ago)

      Oh gosh, hoping it works!! Let me know! I think you’re right about it being perfect to wrap around the jalapeño cheddar sausage links — that sounds AMAZING!

      • Linda
        February 19, 2013 at 6:28 pm (11 years ago)

        They didn’t turn out too bad, (they were freaking delicious!) and would have been even fluffier if I had incorporated ingredients in the proper order.

        The ‘Kolaches’ I made out of them…..guessing the dough didn’t puff up nearly as much as the cheesey buns did because of the inherent grease in the sausage….They were still good, Next time, will slice up the sausage into either a thinner strip or little bite sized chunks, because that thang was HUGE and the dough just slipped right off, I ended up eating it with a knife and fork.

        My oven may be too hot….The tops of these were crusty/hard….will check that temp next time I bake…..it is a digital controlled oven, not a manual knob, so I don’t know how to calibrate the temp. so will adjust as necessary….Thinking of baking with a lid on the baking dish until the last 10 minutes or so, but would this trap all of the steam and they would be all soggy….? Now I need recruits to eat all the stuff I baked so I can give the recipe a proper stab 😀 oh…and I added a coupla tablespoons of honey to the milk mixture, as I was looking for a bit sweeter dough. Did the trick. Valero Convenience Stations bake in-house the absolute BESTEST Kolaches….theirs are a sweet dough, a little firmer than a hot dog bun…that’s what I’m trying to emulate. This is pretty darn close

        • GrimFix
          April 15, 2016 at 9:33 pm (8 years ago)

          Oven thermometers are cheap but a true kitchen gadget.

  28. Sarah
    February 21, 2013 at 9:55 pm (11 years ago)

    I’ll probably be excommunicated from the blogging community too but I often cook out of season. My cravings don’t know what season it is! 😛

    These look SOOOO delicious. I am desperately racking my brain for an upcoming excuse to make these.

  29. Mari @ Oh, Sweet & Savory
    February 22, 2013 at 6:54 pm (11 years ago)

    I love nothing more than sweet buns for breakfast. A little bit of infused lemon will make for a bright & cheery morning. Perfect!

  30. Catherine
    February 23, 2013 at 2:55 am (11 years ago)

    I want to plant my face in that dish. Stunningly great job on the photographs! I think I’ll make these with Key Limes.

  31. Christine
    February 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm (11 years ago)

    Those look amazing! Just as important, tho, where did you get that adorable napkin? That fabric is super cute!

  32. Ginger
    February 23, 2013 at 1:31 pm (11 years ago)

    Well. I just have to that we are just finishing up our breakfast. I did add blueberries (which my 7 year old said, “frankly, they look like craisins mom, but good idea. They taste yummy.” Really? What 7 year old uses the word “frankly,” and uses it correctly?)

    Anyway, the overall consensus at our house is these were yummy, but very labor intensive. Glad I froze half so that I don’t have to make them again for a while. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      February 23, 2013 at 1:33 pm (11 years ago)

      I’m glad you enjoyed them, Ginger! I love making rolls with this yeast dough because it becomes second nature, but I agree it can be a weekend or special occasion treat — they’re definitely harder than some recipes!

  33. paula hennig
    February 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm (11 years ago)

    I’m from southern AL and 40 degrees is dead cold winter! Hating this cold rainy weather we’ve been having too. Those rolls look like a ray of sunshine!Yummy. I could use some sunshine and flipflop weather right about now!

  34. Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen
    February 24, 2013 at 8:51 pm (11 years ago)

    These look amazing! Definitley putting them on my to bake list! I totally am with you for dressing for the weather you want. Here in Southern California I am always walking around in flip flops even when it’s raining. And too often I grab a light sweater when it’s in the 50’s and then freeze! Ha!

  35. Abigail
    February 25, 2013 at 1:38 am (11 years ago)

    Hey! These look amazing. Found a link to them on pintrest. I am new to your blog but so far I like it. I’m curious if you could substitute puff pastry for the dough, I know they would be different but I don’t even keep regular flour in the house. Were a mostly gluten free household.

  36. Carla @ Gluten Free Recipe Box
    February 27, 2013 at 12:24 pm (11 years ago)

    I wish I had some cream cheese right now because these look amazing! I found out about them from a Pinterest email I just received in the section, Pins You’ll Love. I definitely have to convert these to gluten free. I’ll probably use my Fluffy Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls Recipe that I created, and replace the millet flour with more rice flour to make them fluffier. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. The photo is stunning!

  37. Gail Brown
    March 1, 2013 at 7:23 pm (11 years ago)

    These are delicious, Julie, thanks so much. The only problem was that mine did NOT double in the frig overnight so I didn’t get to have one for breakfast today as planned. I let them rise for a couple of hours in a closed oven and then had one for lunch instead! Will definitely use this sweet roll dough again; it’s easy to work with and tasty too.

  38. Kristin
    March 4, 2013 at 2:39 pm (11 years ago)

    I made these last night/ this morning for a work meeting and everyone loved them and wanted seconds! They are delicious; thank you for sharing! Next time I’ll have to try a different combination to experiment.

  39. Karen
    March 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm (11 years ago)

    These were really good! My dough came out being sticky so I just added a little more flour and it seemed to help.

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      March 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm (11 years ago)

      It’s a sticky dough, but I just flour my surface well and it works perfectly — so you did just the right thing 🙂

      • GrimFix
        April 15, 2016 at 9:36 pm (8 years ago)

        To ease rolling of the dough, put the dough on waxed paper and roll like sushi.

  40. Deborah
    March 6, 2013 at 9:05 pm (11 years ago)

    I haven’t even read through the whole thing yet and I’m already thinking lemon…orange….raspberry….what else?

  41. Deanna
    March 6, 2013 at 10:48 pm (11 years ago)

    So I just made these on family vacation and I am NOT a baker so I was skeert.

    OH MY GOODNESS HOLY SWEETNESS. They were amazing.

    I had never even used yeast before so my expectations were low but they were super easy (from a yeast/rising/real-grown-up-baking perspective) and I didn’t screw them up.

    So thanks.

  42. Elizabeth Anderson
    March 7, 2013 at 8:21 am (11 years ago)

    Loved you ricipe for Lemon Cheesecake Morning Buns.
    Can you mail me the recipe with out all the rest of the comments
    Can’t wait to try them on my friends
    Thank you

  43. Lindsay Badertscher
    March 7, 2013 at 5:58 pm (11 years ago)

    These sound sooo good I can’t wait to make them for a mimosa brunch party I am having in a couple of weeks. Do you think I could use butter instead of shortening and would it be the same ratio?! Thanks!

  44. Averie @ Averie Cooks
    March 12, 2013 at 11:58 pm (11 years ago)

    I just spied these on pinterest and promptly repinned. You outdid yourself, Julie! I would love one to magically appear in front of me right now! 🙂

  45. Anela
    March 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm (11 years ago)

    My rolls are sitting on the preheated oven now. I’m afraid I made them a bit too tall and not wide enough, but hopefully they’ll work it out in the oven. Thank you for the fun recipe. I made them for my staff and I have one person who is allergic to cinnamon, so I’m sure she’ll be grateful!

  46. Katie
    March 20, 2013 at 1:17 pm (11 years ago)

    I never comment on blogs but I just made these and OMG were they good! This was my first time baking from scratch so I was really nervous but you made your directions very easy to follow – so thank you!! I just did a trial run because I am making them Easter morning and now I’m thinking I might experiment with one batch like this and the other cinnamon!

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      March 20, 2013 at 1:19 pm (11 years ago)

      I’m SO glad to hear that you mustered the courage to tackle these after never having baked from scratch Katie — that is high praise for me! Thank you! This dough also makes my family’s absolute favorite cinnamon rolls — we melt 2 sticks of butter (a lot, but don’t skimp, trust me!) and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar generously all over the surface. Roll up and bake like normal, top with a simple powdered sugar and cream/milk glaze, and you’ll be in heaven. I’m so excited that you’ll be enjoying them for Easter!!

  47. Elizabeth Walker
    March 26, 2013 at 10:15 pm (11 years ago)

    How much is a “stick of butter” from the filling ingredients list? I buy butter in a brick that is a total of 2 cups. I am guessing that I am not supposed to use that entire thing…
    I am so excited to make these, they look divine!

    Thanks for your help!

  48. Amanda
    March 28, 2013 at 11:24 pm (11 years ago)

    Love these!! I really want to make them for dinner. 🙂

  49. Aviva
    March 29, 2013 at 12:40 pm (11 years ago)

    OMG! I have been waiting for Passover to end which will be next week to make these! How long can they be kept unbaked in fridge like if I wanted to put it all together Wednesday night or Thursday morning and bake Friday afternoon would that be to long? Also someone asked about butter instead of shortening you said fine but will it produce the same results? Would you freeze butter first? PS will be making these with homemade Creamcheese! Thanks can’t wait to make these I feel like its a lite luscious yummy dough!

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      March 29, 2013 at 12:44 pm (11 years ago)

      Hi Aviva,

      I would schedule them so they finish being put together sometime Thursday afternoon — then they can rise in the fridge overnight. Using butter instead of shortening will not produce exactly the same results — the texture will be different. I do recommend the shortening. Haven’t tried it with butter, though 🙂 Freezing the butter/shortening to make it very cold is a great idea.

      I can’t wait to hear how they turn out!! Enjoy!

  50. amy
    March 30, 2013 at 9:35 pm (11 years ago)

    i’m ashamed to make this comment, but i need help with the recipe. my dough was so sloopy i could barely roll it. the dough rose no problem. but when inturned it over into the flour covered counter top it was too sloppy. couldnt roll it out. added some more flour but was afraid to add too much. i used “ALL PURPOSE UNBLEACHED FLOUR”. is this why i had a problem?

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      March 30, 2013 at 10:37 pm (11 years ago)

      Hi Amy, This is a sticky dough, and sometimes I know I’m a little skimpy with the flour on the countertop and dough when I’m trying to roll, but this is a time when you want to be generous — if you really flour your board, dough, and rolling pin I think it’ll be much nicer for you! Let me know if you think this might be the issue. (The unbleached a-p flour is perfect.)

  51. Sarah Perkins
    March 30, 2013 at 10:50 pm (11 years ago)

    These are amazing! I have made them twice now and my entire family goes nuts for them. I am making some right now for Easter. I think they will be a tradition!

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      March 30, 2013 at 11:54 pm (11 years ago)

      Aw, that is so good to hear, Sarah!! Thank you for letting me know! Happy Easter!

  52. Deb A
    April 1, 2013 at 1:43 am (11 years ago)

    Made these for Easter breakfast and they were fabulous! This is a sticky dough but I worked with it cold and with the help of the recommended bench knife didn’t have too much of an issue. These are extremely light and fluffy, my family loved them. I will definitely be making them again ( and again).

  53. michele
    April 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm (11 years ago)

    these are WONDERFUL messy to make, but worth the mess.

  54. Ashlee
    April 10, 2013 at 3:26 pm (11 years ago)

    I am so excited to give these a try for our church breakfast on Sunday! I will be gone from the house most of the day Saturday so I was thinking of giving the freezer method a go.

    How long should I let them rise after they have thawed in the fridge overnight? I was thinking at least an hour but figured I should ask just to make sure!
    Thanks! Ashlee

  55. Aviva
    April 11, 2013 at 8:52 pm (11 years ago)

    First off i must say this dough is very “sexy” LOL! Hope that is not weird!It is just so smooth and soft i have never had a dough that easy to work with. It stretched when i wanted it just did what i told it!The rolls are in the fridge proofing for tomorrow, can’t wait! I was going to freeze one tray but i just know we will have to taste them when they come fresh out of oven and then have them for breakfast Saturday morning too (baked Friday because of the Sabbath!) Just wanted to let you know they were made with homemade “Cream Cheese” will let you know how they came out can’t wait 🙂

  56. Lethea B
    May 1, 2013 at 12:38 pm (11 years ago)

    I made these this morning & they are FABULOUS!!!

    • Julie Ruble
      May 1, 2013 at 12:57 pm (11 years ago)

      Yay, that is so great to hear, Lethea! Thank you for letting me know!

  57. Melissa
    May 9, 2013 at 7:24 pm (11 years ago)

    I’m planning to make these this weekend for Mother’s Day – for myself! – but definitely wouldn’t think twice about making them any other season 😉 I’m going to bake one pan and freeze the other, one question about the thawing/second proofing process – if I pull them out of the freezer before bed and pop them right into the fridge overnight, is that enough time for them to thaw AND rise? or should I put them in the fridge earlier in the evening and/or sit out longer on the counter in the morning before baking? Just want to make sure I don’t ruin the second pan, otherwise I’ll just bake them all this weekend and treat myself all week! Thanks so much for your time and delicious recipe!!

  58. Angie
    June 2, 2013 at 6:51 pm (11 years ago)

    These were super good. They made so many, we froze one. And those thawed and rose well and tasted just as good as the first batch!

    • Julie Ruble
      June 2, 2013 at 9:25 pm (11 years ago)

      I’m so glad to hear that, Angie!!

  59. Melissa Buddin
    June 13, 2013 at 2:09 pm (11 years ago)

    Oh my gosh… I’ve been in a baking mood the past couple of weeks and have been attempting to make a ‘perfect’ cinnamon roll. Got bored with that and was thinking I needed something a little more “summery” so I got to googling and stumbled across your blog. Interesting since I live right down I-77 from you in Rock Hill, SC! Anyway, I made these last night and baked them this morning for work. They are amazing! Everybody here is so impressed with my baking ability!! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe!

    • Julie Ruble
      June 13, 2013 at 5:06 pm (11 years ago)

      Hooray!! I’m so glad to hear that, Melissa!

  60. carrie
    August 13, 2013 at 8:18 pm (11 years ago)

    I panicked without reading the comments….I saw there were no eggs. So upon googling I noticed most sweet dough recipes had eggs. Ok, I added 1 egg, definitely became a moist dough. Added about 1 1/2 c more flour..
    I hope they turn out. I hate myself for second guessing. Can you knead too much before a dough gets tough? I have been out of the kitchen for years. It was always my passion just never gave holidays off or paid the bills. So now married with children working part-time I am trying to get my groove back.

    • Julie Ruble
      August 14, 2013 at 12:28 am (11 years ago)

      Hi Carrie,

      I hope it works even with the egg, but if it doesn’t, I hope you’ll try again. When a recipe does fail, I find it so discouraging, but if I make myself try it over again shortly afterward and it works out, I feel that much more victorious — perfect for getting groove back 🙂 Let me know how it goes!

      P.S. You can knead too much, but I don’t think you will with this dough. It’s pretty forgiving in my experience.

      • carrie
        August 21, 2013 at 4:32 pm (11 years ago)

        It worked with the egg too. :)))) this was truly the best dough ever!!!! Today I will use the “true” recipe ( minus my egg mishap) and try to create some blueberry roll. You are a goddess for sharing such an easy dough recipe!!!! Thank you. I will totally be watching your blog.

        • Julie Ruble
          August 21, 2013 at 7:37 pm (11 years ago)

          Aw, I am so glad to hear that, Carrie!! I love this dough, too! I use it every chance I get 🙂 HOORAY for you having the same great experience.

  61. Siao
    August 23, 2013 at 2:43 pm (11 years ago)

    Will the cream cheese filling work without eggs? Or is there some substitute I could use? I have an an egg allergy so was delighted to see a dough recipe without eggs! So hoping I can make them 🙂

    • Julie Ruble
      August 23, 2013 at 4:44 pm (11 years ago)

      The egg is the binder that makes the cheesecake filling firm up instead of just melting out of the buns, so I don’t *think* it would work without it. What I might do is make the buns with more (a lot) of melted butter, lemon zest, and sugar as the filling. Then after they’ve baked, I would pipe a cream cheese mixture into the folds.

  62. PJ
    September 21, 2013 at 5:08 pm (11 years ago)

    We made these a couple of weeks ago–they were heaven on a plate. The best.

    • Julie Ruble
      September 21, 2013 at 5:21 pm (11 years ago)

      Thanks, PJ! I’m so glad you liked them!

  63. Danielle
    October 3, 2013 at 6:07 pm (11 years ago)

    These are so good! I made them last Spring for book club. My friend asked me for the recipe last week, so I went searching for your site. I am now looking at these again and remembering how wonderful they are. Took lots of work, but so worth it in the end. I am planning on making some batches to freeze when I have company. I am looking forward to trying some of your other recipes. If they are half as good as this one, I am hooked! Thanks so much!

    • Julie Ruble
      October 3, 2013 at 6:50 pm (11 years ago)

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them, Danielle! They’re one of my favorites!

  64. gg
    November 2, 2013 at 12:32 am (11 years ago)

    Ok,here is the deal. …Southern breed. ..luved in nasty Pennsylvania weather for 8 months. .. so depressed the doctor told me to go to a tanning bed daily. I never read the blog schmog on these recipes I want to try however, I feel like you are speaking educated words from my southern mouth right now!crazy!folks in the north just don’t understand what creamy food can do for the soul. We sweat like dogs 10 out of 12 months,and starve ourselves to be near short wearing condition for the other. … but those 2 months of chilli and bread and rolls and creamy soups. . not to mention this wonderous sin you have given us. I am calling you out!adding berries to it only makes us think it’s 1/2 Ok. .. BUT I LOVE IT!

  65. Marla
    January 1, 2014 at 8:38 am (10 years ago)

    These are amazing. Because I didn’t take inventory, I only had one bar of cream cheese. To late in the evening to go to the store, so I split the dough and made one half lemon cheese, the other half I smeared the butter, covered with grated parmesan, havarti and shredded ham. My husband loved them. I love the dough, the ease to make them. I wouldn’t change a thing. Thanks for a great recipe.

    • Julie Ruble
      January 5, 2014 at 7:10 pm (10 years ago)

      I LOVE THE WAY YOU THINK! 🙂 What an amazing meal. So glad you enjoyed the buns!

  66. sarah-jane monro
    March 15, 2014 at 2:17 pm (10 years ago)

    I was so excited to make these as the lemon tree outside is now bursting with fruit – the dough was very sticky as previously mentioned [so I added more flour in the rolling etc ] and didn’t really double in size. Any idea why not? I followed as instructed …
    Also is the filling meant to be runny?? it was more like a sauce than to be “dolloped” ..and was just running out of the dough as i rolled it….they are in the fridge now to hopefully double overnight so lets hope they do – or breakfast is not going to be good!! …….. will definately try again though as they smell soooooo good!

    • Julie Ruble
      March 15, 2014 at 2:23 pm (10 years ago)

      Hi Sarah-Jane, Don’t worry about the doubling. Just let them proof the appropriate amount of time and they should be fine (unless your dough didn’t rise AT ALL, in which case your yeast might have been bad. It should have foamed when left in the warm water).

      The filling should not be runny, however. It’s not thick, but shouldn’t be a liquid. Did you let your cream cheese soften at room temp? Don’t use the microwave, because if you overheat, the cream cheese does get runny. Hopefully the fridge will help and you’ll enjoy them very much 🙂

      • sarah-jane monro
        March 17, 2014 at 9:36 am (10 years ago)

        Hi Julie – well they didn’t rise in the fridge so put them in a warm place for an hour and that helped – I didn’t soften anything in the microwave not sure why it was so liquid…..the filling had just run out of them though and when cooked they ended up more like a lemon bread pudding…which I have to say wasn’t horrible and soon got eaten!!! . I am determined though as they look so much like the buns we had on holiday in the states and we all adored!!! Will try again next weekend! 😉

  67. J Feistner
    July 23, 2014 at 1:08 pm (10 years ago)

    Instead of cutting the crisco with a knife in the dry ingredients I use my electric hand mixer. I saw another baker do that on Youtube and that’s how I have done it since as well. It is so much faster and not as laborious. Hope that helps. 🙂

  68. Jen
    August 3, 2014 at 12:51 am (10 years ago)

    In regards to the milk/white vinegar mixture – could I use buttermilk instead?

    • Julie Ruble
      August 3, 2014 at 12:53 am (10 years ago)

      Probably, but I’ve never tried.

  69. PJ
    September 21, 2014 at 9:23 am (10 years ago)

    I am going to ask something insane (or maybe I am)–has this recipe changed from the original version? I ask because I couldn’t find the one I previously printed. I’ve made this one several times and it was amazing, light and airy –but this time around, I could barely finish one roll, it was so heavy due to the cheesecake filling. If I remember correctly, the original version of this recipe only called for one bar of cream cheese. This is really bugging me, so if I’m wrong, at least it would put my mind at rest.

    • Julie Ruble
      September 21, 2014 at 11:36 am (10 years ago)

      Not that I remember, PJ! That’s weird. The only thing I can think is that maybe when I VERY first published it, I had the filling recipe for a half batch on here and I changed it quickly once I realized? But this is the correct recipe for a full batch, and it’s what I actually made (pictured above.) You can always half the filling if it suits your tastes better, though!

  70. ashleigh
    February 18, 2015 at 10:35 pm (9 years ago)

    The first time I did this recipe I didn’t pay attention that it was supposed to be 24 rolls and I over cooked them. In all fairness i was nervous because I was making them for my in laws. The second time they came out so perfect that we nicknamed them sunshine in a baking dish.

    • Julie Ruble
      February 18, 2015 at 10:44 pm (9 years ago)

      I’m so glad you gave it another shot and loved it, Ashleigh! This is one of my favorite recipes. Thanks!

  71. pam (Sidewalk Shoes)
    March 10, 2015 at 7:56 am (9 years ago)

    These look so bright and cheery, definitely would wake you up!

  72. Susan | LunaCafe
    March 11, 2015 at 1:05 am (9 years ago)

    You had me at “flaky bread pudding.” 🙂 These almost sound like cream cheese Danish. Can’t wait to try them.

  73. Trish
    September 5, 2015 at 11:55 am (9 years ago)

    This looks beyond amazing and my mouth is watering, already!

  74. Catherine
    July 2, 2016 at 6:43 am (8 years ago)

    I was wondering: could I use wholewheat flour instead of all the purpose one?
    Or should I change a bit the quantity of the liquid ingredients?

    • Julie Ruble
      July 2, 2016 at 9:14 am (8 years ago)

      I haven’t tried it but I think you could sub out half of the flour. I wouldn’t sub all of it. Hope you enjoy!

  75. Mary Lynn Ferry
    September 8, 2016 at 8:34 am (8 years ago)

    Directions for baking frozen Lemon Cheesecake Morning Buns are not clear. I understand you thaw them in the fridge overnight but exactly how long do you proof them ??? no time is listed in the recipe. It says let them rise on top of a 400 degree preheating oven.

    • Julie Ruble
      September 8, 2016 at 10:40 am (8 years ago)

      After they’re thawed, the proofing and baking instructions are the same as unfrozen rolls. The proof you’re referring to is just while the oven preheats.


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