Blueberry Lemon Sweet Rolls are my answer to a sunny summer weekend breakfast! Bursting with plump blueberries, the zip of lemon and soft herbal notes of fresh thyme, these are simply scrumptious!
Sweet Rolls with Blueberry + Lemon
Yep…another sweet roll! Why not? You start with a basic dough, and from there the possibilities are endless! With every season, the options for fillings and flavorings change and that’s what makes them fun! Or, is it that they’re so delicious that makes them fun?
Blueberries and lemon are a classic combo for summer, but I’ve got a bounty of tender thyme growing in the garden and it just seemed right to add some in. The icing adds another layer of zippy lemon, but is mellowed by mascarpone cheese. So good!
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How to Make Sweet Rolls
Mix the Dough
The dough will need to rise for an hour, so start by making that first. This is the same dough base I use in my other breakfast roll recipes, and there are detailed photos and steps in the Spiced Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls post.
A stand mixer with a dough hook attachment is helpful, but not necessary (especially if its arms day…you’ll get your workout mixing this by hand.) I do recommend a candy thermometer so you can get your milk mixture just right.
Make the Filling
While the dough proofs, combine the filling ingredients in a medium bowl. If the idea of adding thyme to your sweet rolls seems weird, you can leave it out. Buuuuuut, I urge you to give it a try. Definitely only use fresh thyme, and the only the leaves. I added 2 tablespoons, so if you aren’t sure, start with 1 tablespoon this time around.
Assemble the Rolls
Lightly dust a work surface and rolling pin with additional flour. Punch down your dough and turn it out on the work surface. Roll into a rectangle about 14” x 16”. I actually use a crafting ruler to help get to those rough dimensions. I keep it in my utensil drawer — it comes in handy all the time!
Spread butter over the rolled out dough and then sprinkle your blueberry mixture over that. Starting with a long end, roll the dough into a cylinder. Take your time to get a fairly tight roll without tearing the dough.
Cut the roll into 16 equal pieces and transfer them to a lightly greased baking dish. I used a 9”x13” pan here and kind of had to squish in one row. They looked a little monstrous after rising again, but they still go down the same way, right? I have a 12” square pan — and think I’ll use that next time!
After another rise, bake them for 20 to 25 minutes at 350°F. While they bake, make your icing by combining room temperature butter and room temperature mascarpone with icing sugar, vanilla and lemon juice.
Allow the sweet rolls to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before icing them, then dig in!
This recipe calls for the zest of 2 lemons. The zest of one goes into the dough and the other goes into the filling. You’ll likely only need the juice of one lemon (you can save the other lemon for another recipe). Juice the lemon into a small bowl and measure from there for the filling and icing as needed.
* Even though you’ll be warming some of the butter in a saucepan, it’s best to start with room temperature butter so it melts completely before the whole mixture reaches that 120-130° range.
* For the filling, spread room temperature butter over the dough instead of melted to reduce mess.
* When making the icing, room temperature butter will mix and blend easier with room temp mascarpone for a smoother result.
Want to save a step in the morning? Mix the dough the night before and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Instead of proofing it on the counter for an hour, cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to rise overnight. Proceed with remaining steps in the morning.
Can’t Get Enough Breakfast Rolls? Try these, too:
- Spiced Cranberry Orange
- Orange Carrot with Cream Cheese Icing
- Prosciutto + Parm Brunch Rolls with Fig Jam Drizzle
Blueberry Lemon Sweet Rolls with Mascarpone Icing
- microplane grater or zester
- candy thermometer
- 9×13 or 12×12 baking dish
- 4 cups + 2 Tbsp, bread flour divided, (plus more for rolling)
- 2¼ tsp active dry yeast or 1 packet
- 1 zest of lemon
- 1 cup 2% milk
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter room temperature, divided (1/3 cup for dough, remainder for icing)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 zest of lemon
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves chopped
- ½ stick unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 oz mascarpone cheese room temperature
- 1½ cups confectioner's sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- pinch kosher salt
- Into the bowl of stand mixer, pour 2 cups of flour, yeast and the zest of 1 lemon. Use a fork or whisk to evenly disperse the ingredients throughout the flour.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm milk, sugar, 1/3 cup of butter, and salt until it reaches 120-130 degrees. Add this to the bowl of flour. Using the dough hook attachment, mix it on low speed for 15-20 seconds.
- Add the 2 eggs. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scrape down the sides and beat on medium for about 3 minutes.
- Add the remaining 2 cups of flour, 1 cup at time. Beat just until each cup is incorporated and scrape down the sides in between. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl, but still be a little sticky.
- Dust a work surface with the remaining 2 Tbsp of flour and turn your dough out. Knead by hand for 3 to 5 minutes, incorporating all the flour.
- Shape it into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Turn it over once to coat, cover and set in a warm, dry spot for about 1 hour. It will double in size. (If the room is cool, I like to proof mine in the oven with just the oven light on.)
- Meanwhile, make the blueberry filling by combining blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and fresh thyme in a medium bowl.
- Lightly dust a work surface and rolling pin with flour. Punch down the dough and turn it out on your work surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 14" x 16".
- Spread 1/2 stick of room temperature butter over the dough. Top that with the blueberry filling. Starting with a long edge, roll the dough into a cylinder. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the dough into 16 equal rolls.
- Place the rolls into a 9"x13" cake pan (or 12"x12" pan), lightly greased. Cover them and allow to rest for another 30-45 minutes. They will expand to fill the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. After the rolls have rested, bake them for 20 minutes. Check them for doneness. The dough around the edges of the pan may turn a very light golden brown. If they are still pale, bake them for up to 5 minutes longer. Remove them to cooling racks.
- Prepare the icing by combining what's left of the stick of butter with the mascarpone cheese. Mix them together with a whisk until smooth. Add 1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar and mix. Add the vanilla, 2 Tbsp of lemon juice and remaining cup of confectioner's sugar. Mix until smooth.
- Drizzle icing over the rolls and use an offset spatula or back of spoon to spread.
- The rolls can be stored at room temperature in an air tight container for 2-3 days, or in the fridge for up to one week.
Nutritional values are estimated and provided as a general guideline only. I earn a commission from Instacart from qualifying ingredient purchases.