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Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Sweet Rolls. The perfect brunch roll for the spring and summer months ahead. Soft buttery dough swirled with sweet blueberry jam and baked with a sticky honey butter glaze that allows each roll to become a little caramelized and sticky on top. Each sticky sweet roll is frosted with a light, creamy, whipped ricotta icing. There’s nothing not to love about these lemony blueberry rolls, they’re better than the bakery.

forward facing photo of blueberry rolls with multiple rolls in photo

When I say I worked weeks on these, I really do mean it. I first attempted these rolls (or buns) over a couple of weeks ago, before I left for the east coast portion of the book tour. I wasn’t happy with the recipe, so I had to put a pin in it for when I returned.

When I returned I started off with these as my first recipe back in the kitchen. And yet again, I still wasn’t happy. It took me 3 more failed attempts to finally come to this recipe, which is crazy seeing as the recipe itself is not very difficult!

But that’s my process, these needed to evolve with each failed attempt. I started with a straight lemon roll and ended with a sweet, sticky blueberry roll instead. And I’m finally so excited to share these! Thankfully, just in time for Easter Sunday.

blueberry jam on dough before rolling

Here are the details

These are not your typical sweet roll. I wanted them to be extra soft, hinted with lemon, and full of blueberries.

To make the dough, simply mix flour with a bit of instant yeast, a touch of cardamom, and a pinch of salt. Add warm milk, eggs, salted butter, and some lemon zest. Then mix until smooth and let the dough rise until it doubles in size, usually about an hour.

rolls before baking without honey glaze added yet

Once the dough has doubled in size, roll the dough out, spread it with a small amount of butter, then top with a thick, high-quality blueberry jam. You want the jam not to be runny. I used a runny jam during one of my trials and it just made the rolls really difficult to roll. Still delicious once baked, but trickier to work with.

Add lots of fresh lemon zest, then roll the dough up into a log, cut into rolls, and place each roll into a muffin/cupcake pan cup. Using a muffin pan allows the rolls to roll nicely and get really big in the oven. They come out more bakery-like.

rolls before baking with honey glaze on top

Make the honey butter glaze while the rolls rise.

This is just honey and butter boiled together. I brushed it over each roll before baking. The glaze helps the roll caramelize in the oven and gives them a bit of a sticky bun feel and taste, which I love.

overhead photo of rolls before baking

While the rolls bake

Whip the ricotta into cream. Most lemon rolls are served with a cream cheese frosting, but I wanted to switch it up. Take ricotta cheese and whip it in the food processor until creamy, then add powdered sugar and a splash of vanilla.

Simple, simple and so creamy.

Note: If you don’t have a food processor, I would recommend topping with whipped cream or whipped cream cheese. Either would also be good!

I love to enjoy the rolls, warm out of the oven. And to be completely honest, they really don’t even need the icing. But of course, I also have to say that the icing makes them better. Just a touch more special, which if you’re serving these for Easter, is perfect!

overhead photo Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Sweet Rolls with multiple rolls in photo

Looking for other brunch recipes? Here are some favorites:

Bakery Blueberry Vanilla Crunch Muffins

Berry and Cream Cheese Croissant French Toast Bake

Blackberry Lavender White Chocolate Scones

Baked Blackberry Ricotta French Toast

Lastly, if you make these Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Sweet Rolls, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Sweet Rolls

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 12 rolls
Calories Per Serving: 495 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Ricotta Icing

Instructions

  • 1. To make the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the milk, yeast, and honey. Let sit 5-10 minutes, until bubbly on top. Add 3 ½ cups flour, the cardamom, salt, eggs, melted butter, and 1 tablespoon lemon zest. Using the dough hook, mix until the flour is completely incorporated, about 4-5 minutes. If the dough seems sticky, add the remaining ½ cup of flour.
    2. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
    3. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 12-cup muffin pan.
    4. Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Turn out the dough, punch it down, and roll it into a rectangle about 10 x 16 inches. Spread 2 tablespoons softened butter evenly over the dough. Spread over the jam, then sprinkle the lemon zest. Starting with the long edge closest to you, carefully roll the dough into a log, it's going to be a little messy. When you reach the edge, pinch along the edge to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 12-16 rolls. Place the rolls in the prepared baking dish, they should just fit, but it's ok if they seem slightly big. Cover and let rise 10 minutes.
    5. Meanwhile, melt together the honey and 2 tablespoons butter. Bring to a boil, cook 1 minute, then remove from the heat. Brush/drizzle the honey over each roll. Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Watch towards the end to make sure they are not getting too dark on top.
    6. To make the icing, whip the ricotta in a food processor until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and lemon zest, then gently pulse until just combined. If the icing is runny, add additional powdered sugar.
    7. Spread the icing over the warm rolls. Serve warm and enjoy!

Notes

Overnight Rising: Cover the rolls and transfer to the fridge to rise overnight. In the morning, remove the rolls from the fridge and let them come to room temp while the oven preheats. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Bake the rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Trouble Cutting Rolls:  if you’re log of dough is very warm, chill it in the fridge or freezer for 20 minutes, before cutting into rolls. 
 
To Make Gluten Free: Use an equal amount of your favorite gluten free flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour. I recommend Cup4Cup gluten free flour
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overhead photo of rolls with glaze

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    They turned out fantastic! Ricotta icing is a fresh change. Watch out for them to run over in the oven.
    I have had really good luck with your roll recipes. Taming my fear of yeast.

    1. Hey Dawn,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for making it! Have the best weekend:) xxT

  2. 3 stars
    I was so excited about these – blueberry pastry is one of my favorite treats – but it just didn’t quite land. While my dough was soft & slightly tacky, and felt well hydrated, they were pretty dry after only 20 minutes in the oven (with very little browning or even golden color on top). I was hoping the frosting would mask the dryness, but when I whipped my room temp ricotta (TJ’s Whole Milk Ricotta), it instantly separated and never came back together, even after about 10 mins of whipping. I tried again with the other half of the tub and the same issue, it split right away. The good news was the actual texture & crumb of the pastry was nice (just dry), and the blueberry flavor was bright.

    1. Hi there,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try, sorry to hear you had some issues! What kind of yeast did you use for the dough? Anything you may have adjusted? Did you use a food processor for the ricotta? It should take less than a minute to whip it, 10 minutes is way too long. Let me know how I can help for next time! xxTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    My daughter and husband made these for me for Mother’s day. They were delicious! They accidentally rolled the short side but it just made for nice big soft rolls!

    1. Hey there,
      Wonderful!! Thank you so much for making the recipe, I am so glad to hear that it was enjoyed!! Have the best week:) xxT