Overnight Lemon Rolls

a glazed lemon roll on a plate.

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Lemon rolls with a tart lemon curd filling and a lemony glaze are a perfect springtime breakfast or brunch treat. Make the rolls the night before and leave them in the fridge overnight. Pop them in the oven the next day and serve them warm from the oven with the glaze drizzled on top.


  • 1 (1/4-ounce) packet active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup lemon curd
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons milk, half and half, or heavy cream


The Night Before

  1. Pour ¾ cup lukewarm water (between 98 and 105°F) into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the water and leave it for five minutes.
  2. Add the sugar, salt, and butter to the yeast mixture and stir. Add the flour and stir until the dough comes together. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so all of the flour is incorporated.  The dough will be a little sticky.
  3. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and place it in a warm area for about an hour or until the dough is doubled.
  4. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Knead the dough 10 to 12 times until it’s smooth and no longer sticky. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 12” long.
  5. Spread the lemon curd in an even layer on top of the dough. Starting at one end of the dough (one of the short sides), roll the dough up into itself like a jelly roll.
  6. Using a serrated knife, slice the roll into eight equal-sized pieces. The easiest way is to slice the log in half, then each half in half, and then slice each piece in half again so you have eight rolls.
  7. Coat a 9” round pan with cooking spray. Place the rolls in the pan so they are spaced apart. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate the rolls for 12 hours.

The Next Morning

  1. When you’re ready to bake the rolls, take them out of the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. Leave them out at room temperature while the oven heats.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the rolls for 25 to 35 minutes or until they are puffed up and lightly golden on top.
  3. While the rolls bake, mix the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and cream in a small bowl. The glaze should be thick but spreadable. If it’s too thick, add a little more cream. If it’s too thin, add a little more powdered sugar. Spread the glaze over the warm rolls before serving.


Use the spoon and level method when you measure the flour. I like to stir the flour in the container, lightly spoon it into the dry measuring cup, and level it off. This will ensure you don’t add too much flour, which will make the rolls dense.

I knead this dough by hand because you only need to knead for a couple of minutes. If you want to use a mixer instead, fit it with the dough hook and knead the dough until it is smooth. It won’t take long with a mixer.

If you’re not sure if the rolls are done, you can test the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. They’re done once the temperature is 190°F in the thickest part.

Scroll below this recipe card to see more photos of the ingredients and recipe steps and get more tips!