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lemon buns

Lemon Buns with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

Lemon Buns with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing are a delicious alternative to the classic cinnamon roll.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword Lemon Buns with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 673kcal
Author Cathy


Lemon Bun Dough:

  • 2-1/4 tsp (1 package) instant dry yeast
  • 1 cup whole milk (lukewarm)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • vegetable oil for greasing


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened enough to spread

Lemon Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 6 tbsps butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice



  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add warmed milk, a teaspoon of sugar, and yeast.  (You can take a tsp of the sugar out of the 1/2 cup of sugar for the dough.) Set aside. The yeast will start to get foamy.   
  • Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together sugar, butter and salt until well combined. Add eggs one at a time and continue beating until eggs are fully incorporated. Turn the mixing speed down to low and slowly add flour until fully incorporated.
  • Switch out the paddle attachment for the dough hook and pour the yeast-milk mixture into the flour mixture. Using the dough hook, knead the mixture until a soft dough forms (you'll know it's ready when the dough pulls away from the sides).
  • Grease the inside of a clean medium-sized bowl with vegetable oil. Add the dough to the bowl and flip it over to make sure the dough is oiled on both sides. Cover with a tea towel and let it rest in a warm spot until it doubles in size (approximately 1 hour).
  • While the dough is rising, make your filling. In a small bowl whisk together sugar, vanilla and lemon zest. Set aside.
  • Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • Once dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle that is approximately 1/4 inch thick. 
  • Before sprinkling your filling mix onto the rolled out dough, spread the softened butter onto the dough using the back of a spoon or a spatula. Leave about a half inch around the edges without butter. Sprinkle the filling mix on top of the butter evenly. 
  • Starting with the long edge of the dough, carefully roll it up, tucking as you go. Use a serrated knife and cut the roll into eight even slices, approximately 1.5 inches wide. Place the sliced buns into the greased baking dish. Let the buns again in a warm area, covered, until once again doubled in size. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place baking dish in the oven (middle rack) and bake for approximately twenty minutes or until golden brown.


  • While the buns are baking, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar to taste (you don't have to add the full cup if you prefer it less sweet) and then add lemon zest. Mix until smooth.
  • Let buns cool for 5-10 minutes before spreading icing with a spatula.  
  • Extra delicious when served warm. Heat in the microwave for 15-20 seconds when eating from cold.  


Calories: 673kcal | Carbohydrates: 86.9g | Protein: 9.5g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 18.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1.7g | Cholesterol: 127.6mg | Sodium: 430.9mg | Potassium: 84.4mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 41.6g | Vitamin A: 86.1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25.2mg | Iron: 0.2mg