These Raspberry Lemon Sweet Rolls are made with a pillowy soft make-ahead brioche dough that’s simple enough even for beginners. A mixture of raspberries, vanilla, and lemon zest bakes into the most delicious, jammy filling! Top it all off with a quick cream cheese icing, and prepare to fall head over heels for these incredible swirls of goodness!
Do you believe in love at first bite? Hehe. I do after tasting these sweet rolls! I wish I could find the words to describe how delicious these are, but you’ll just have to make them and find out for yourself! There are three parts to this recipe – the dough, which can be made ahead, and then the simple filling and cream cheese icing. Let’s walk through each part! I’m confident that this recipe is simple enough for even a novice baker to pull off.
How to make Brioche Dough for Sweet Rolls:
The dough is a simple, no-knead dough made with flour, water, yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and butter (and it comes from the “Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day” cookbook). It’s a brilliantly easy dough, and it can be made up to 5 days ahead and kept in the fridge until ready to use.
How to Assemble Lemon Raspberry Sweet Rolls:
Once you’re ready to make the rolls, roll out the dough into a rectangle.
Spread softened butter evenly over the entire piece of dough, then sprinkle on the brown sugar.
How to make the Lemon Raspberry Filling:
For the raspberry lemon filling, stir together frozen raspberries, vanilla, sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, and a bit of corn starch (to help thicken the filling while it bakes). Spread this over the dough, and roll it up as tightly as you can!
Slice the rolls into 12 equal pieces, and place in a buttered 9×13 pan to rise. It’s okay if you have some messy raspberry juices in the pan.
And, the filling will release quite a bit of juice during the rise but don’t worry – this will thicken up as it cooks and you won’t have soggy rolls.
Make Ahead Tips:
The dough can be kept for up to 5 days in the fridge before using. You can also assemble the cinnamon rolls fully, cover with plastic wrap, and chill overnight in the fridge. Then all you have to do the next morning is let them sit on the counter to rise before baking! The overnight option makes these sweet rolls such a great make-ahead option for brunch or any occasion.
Here are our rolls fresh out of the oven, just waiting to be topped with that icing!
How to make Cream Cheese Icing:
Make the icing with a bit of softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream. Spread this on the rolls while they’re warm, and sprinkle on some lemon zest for the perfect finishing touch! The flavor and creaminess of the icing is the perfect compliment to the sweet rolls!
These rolls are SO incredibly flavorful – the raspberries bake up into the most beautiful jammy saucy filling, with just the right amount of sweetness. The dough is pillowy and soft, and the icing on top ties everything together beautifully.
Although these are, of course, best fresh from the oven, we kept some leftovers in the fridge and they were still very good (gently reheated in the microwave) up until the 5th day. Happy baking!
More Brunch Recipes to love:
Bakery-Style Jumbo Blueberry Muffins – Moist and fluffy, with tons of juicy blueberries, and a crunchy cinnamon-sugar top
Restaurant-Level Stuffed French Toast -Fry up a cream cheese-stuffed brioche bread until golden brown, and top it with homemade whipped cream, fresh berries, and plenty of maple syrup.
One-Bowl Chocolate Chip Banana Bread – Made in one bowl in just 5 steps, with simple ingredients! It’s perfectly soft and moist, and loaded with chocolate chips.
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Raspberry Lemon Sweet Rolls
For the Dough
- 3/4 cup salted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 and 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 and 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water
- 3 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For the Raspberry Lemon Filling
- 6 tbsp salted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp brown sugar, packed
- 10 ounces frozen raspberries don't thaw them!
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp cornstarch
Cream Cheese Icing
- 3 ounces full fat, block-style cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 tbsp heavy cream or milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- lemon zest, for topping
- Mix up the Dough: Melt the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl until completely melted. Whisk in the eggs, then whisk in the honey, yeast, salt, and lukewarm water. Stir in the flour last, until completely combined. Loosely cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let rest at room temp for 2 hours. Then, cover tightly with a lid or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (dough should be completely chilled through) or up to 5 days.
- Assemble the Cinnamon Rolls: Butter a 9x13 pan well and give it a light spray with nonstick spray. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Once the dough has chilled, flour your counter and dust a bit of flour over the dough. Shape the dough into a ball as best you can, then roll it out with a lightly floured rolling pin, into a rectangle that's about 12" x 18" and about 1/4" thick. Spread the softened butter evenly over the dough, using a silicone spatula to avoid tearing it. Evenly sprinkle on all of the brown sugar. Mix all of the raspberry filling ingredients in a bowl, and sprinkle evenly over the dough. Roll the dough up, as tightly as you can. You can always break some of the larger raspberries in half to help the dough roll easier. Slice the little nubby bits off of the ends, where it's just dough. Slice the dough log with a sharp serrated knife. These rolls can be made the night before! Simply prepare them as directed above, then cover tightly with plastic wrap, and pop in the fridge overnight (I did this around 9-10pm, and set them out to rise, as directed below, at about 8-9am the next morning). Place in prepared pan and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise on the counter for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours. The rolls should be puffy and will visibly have risen (see photos).
- Bake: Bake the cinnamon rolls for 27 - 37 minutes. They will be lightly browned, and the centers should be set when poked with your finger. (Mine always take on the longer side.) You can also stick a toothpick into the center of one to make sure the dough is cooked (you should see some fluffy crumbs - not wet dough). Let them rest about 5-10 minutes before icing and serving.
- Make the Icing: Make the icing while the cinnamon rolls bake. Beat cream cheese in a medium bowl with electric mixer. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined and creamy.
- Serve + Store: Enjoy the cinnamon rolls while they're warm from the oven! Top with the icing and a pinch of lemon zest. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days (gently reheat leftovers in the microwave).
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