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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. If substituting cream cheese in place of the ricotta, is 8oz or 1C the proper amount? Excited to make these for Mother’s Day!

    1. Hi Maggie, you can use an equal amount of cream cheese, so 1 cup. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

    1. Hey Stacy,
      I’ve never used a bread machine for this recipe, it really isn’t necessary so I would just follow the recipe as is:) Let me know if you give it a try, I hope you love them! xTieghan

    1. Hi Connie,
      I did not use instant yeast in this recipe, so you can follow as is:) Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love the rolls! xx

  2. 5 stars
    These are super delicious and bake so beautifully!! I added a couple tbsps of cream cheese to the ricotta & blended it for more of a cheesecake icing taste. I also only used 1c of powdered sugar and it was almost too sweet for my taste. Tip: put a pan underneath the muffin tins while baking to catch any jam drippings.

    Thanks for this great recipe!!

    1. Hey Viviane,
      Wonderful!! Thank you so much for trying this recipe out, I am so glad to hear that it was a winner! xxT

  3. I made these for Easter breakfast. They were easy to make and delicious! I made them the night before following the over night instructions – they were perfect. I used preserves for the filling because that’s what I had however I would not recommend. I’ll use jam or make my own filling next time.

    1. Hey Jessica,
      Wonderful!! Thank you so much for trying this recipe out, I am so glad to hear that it was a winner! xxT

  4. Do you have any recommendations for alternative mixing options? I don’t have a stand up mixer but really want to make these!

    1. Hey Nanci,
      You can mix with a wooden spoon and knead by hand. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xx

  5. Made these for Easter morning and they were amazing!! The icing was the perfect touch. The balance of flavors with the lemon and blueberry was just right! A little messy to make like you said but 100% worth it!

  6. 5 stars
    They were a hit!. I used cinnamon instead of cardamom because I couldn’t get it. It was delicious with the cinnamon. My only issue was my buns didn’t pop up like yours and some of the jam was left in the muffin tins. I would pinch the bottoms next time to keep the jam in place. But, regardless, overall a big winner. thank you

  7. 5 stars
    Made these for Easter brunch and they were delicious! Also surprisingly easy to do considering the dough is from scratch. Only thing I would change would be to add more jam next time. But regardless they were amazing!

    1. Hey Alexis,
      Perfect!! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a go, I am thrilled to hear that it was a winner! Have the best week!🌸 xT

  8. 5 stars
    Made these for Easter Brunch, they were delicious! I did have to use 5+ cups of flour in dough to get to a good consistency.

    1. Hey Jocelyn,
      Perfect!! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a go, I am thrilled to hear that it was a winner! Have the best week!🌸 xT

  9. Do u add vanilla to the frosting or not? In the recipe it says to add 2 tsp but then for directions it doesn’t say to add it…

    1. Hi Annie,
      Yes, you will add the vanilla in step 6. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  10. 5 stars
    Made these yesterday for today’s brunch. Very easy to follow the recipe and make. I put them in the refrigerator overnight after I put them in the cupcake tins, took them out this am and brushed them with the honey melted butter mixture. After I baked them I brushed them again with the butter honey mixture and didn’t make the ricotta icing. They were delicious so lovely to look at. Thanks Tieghan.

    1. Hey Sandie,
      Perfect!! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a go, I am thrilled to hear that it was a winner! Have the best week!🌸 xT

    1. Hi Nathan,
      Sorry for any confusion, 2 tablespoons of honey for the dough and 1/4 cup of honey for the honey butter. I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    Made these last night for our family’s Easter weekend get together. It was a hit! The leftovers were great with our coffee this morning too.

    1. Hey Sophie,
      Perfect!! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a go, I am thrilled to hear that it was a winner! Have the best week!🌸 xT

  12. 5 stars
    I love that this uses honey as sweetner vs granulated sugar. These were so delicious! I had to buy cardamom specifically for this recipe, but it was worth it. I do think the icing made way more than needed. I drizzled a few lines of icing on and it was plenty sweet. This was such a unique recipe! I look forward to seeing what other recipes I can try of yours.

    1. Hey Ginger,
      Happy Sunday!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so glad to hear that it was enjoyed! xx

    2. 5 stars
      These were great! Made for Easter morning. My icing was very thin but I did not want to keep adding powdered sugar, as I feel this alters the taste a lot. Fluffy, golden, fruit loaded! Not overly sweet. Perfect. Next time, I would add just a bit of sugar with the blueberry preserves for a bit of added sweetness. To each their own.

      1. Hey Katie,
        Perfect!! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a go, I am thrilled to hear that it was a winner! Have the best week!🌸 xT