Raspberry Lemon Poppy Seed Rolls

We all love cinnamon rolls, but have you tried lemon raspberry rolls?! These amazing Raspberry Lemon Poppy Seed Rolls are a tart and fruity twist on the classic and are guaranteed to fill your morning with bright flavors and delight. 

Lemon poppy seed dough is rolled with a sweet filling made of fresh raspberries and topped with a tart lemon glaze for a tasty and unique breakfast treat.

Raspberry cinnamon rolls in a white baking dish.

I don’t care whether we’re in the summer months or the dead of winter. I crave lemon-raspberry anything all year round, and these raspberry lemon poppy seed rolls are the perfect balance of warm and comforting while also invigorating and fresh.

Make them ahead for a quick and easy breakfast, or enjoy them right away for a special and indulgent start to your day. 

If you’ve never made homemade rolls before, don’t feel intimidated — the prep work is simple to follow and actually quite fun! The only time-consuming part is waiting for the dough to rise, but you can just go about your business while it does its thing. Trust me, these rolls are well worth the wait!

Raspberry Lemon Poppy Seed Rolls – What You Need

  • 2% milk: Warmed milk is a key component of creating a soft dough for these rolls. Make sure it’s warmed to 100-110℉.
  • Quick-rise yeast: We used quick-rise yeast in this recipe to speed up the prepping process because I don’t know about you, but we want to get to eating these delicious tart rolls ASAP.
  • Lemon: Lemon zest is used for making the dough and icing, while lemon juice is used for the filling and icing. 
  • Poppy seeds: Poppy seeds go famously well with lemon and also add great texture to these rolls.
  • Raspberries:  The tartness of the raspberries pairs deliciously with the lemon, creating a perfect balance of flavors. 
  • Sugar: We used both granulated sugar and powdered sugar for this recipe. Gotta make it sweet!
  • Stand mixer w/ hook attachment: Make sure you have a stand mixer with a hook attachment to ensure the dough gets properly mixed.
Raspberry roll ups in a white dish.

Ingredient Swaps & Variations

Missing an ingredient or want to add your own spin to these raspberry lemon poppy seed rolls? We totally encourage you to experiment with different flavor combinations! 

Instead of frozen raspberries, use raspberry jam for the raspberry filling. It will not be as thick as the homemade filling, but it’s a great alternative. Don’t have any poppy seeds on hand? You can also substitute them with chia seeds or leave them out altogether. 

You can also mix things up by using different citrus fruits like orange or lime instead of lemon, or even add in some different spices like ginger or cardamom for a unique twist.

Raspberry cinnamon rolls with lemon icing.

Top Tips for Raspberry Lemon Poppy Seed Rolls

If your icing is too thick, add another tablespoon of lemon juice. If it is too thin, add another ¼ cup of powdered sugar.

To make these rolls in advance, wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in the fridge for up to 12 hours. Bring the rolls to room temperature (about 30 minutes) when you’re ready to bake, and then skip to step 14.  

For best-rising results, make sure your yeast is fresh and hasn’t expired. You can test the yeast by dissolving it in warm water with a pinch of sugar. If it starts to foam up after a few minutes, it’s good to use.

A plate with a raspberry roll and a fork.

Storage + Freezer Directions

Store the baked rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. You can also store them in the fridge for up to 5 days, but be aware that the texture may change slightly. 

To freeze these raspberry lemon poppy seed rolls, let them cool completely before wrapping them in plastic wrap and storing them in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months.

When ready to serve, thaw at room temperature and heat in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.

A slice of raspberry roll with a fork on a plate.

What to Serve with Lemon Poppy Seed Rolls

Whether you’re planning to brunch out with friends or just indulging in a luxurious breakfast at home, these raspberry lemon poppy seed rolls are perfect on their own or paired with some other breakfast delights. Here are our top recommendations:

A plate of cinnamon rolls with raspberries and lemon.

Raspberry Lemon Poppy Seed Rolls

These raspberry lemon poppyseed rolls are delightfully tart, fluffy, and bright, making them a perfect option for breakfast or brunch. Make them ahead for busy mornings, or enjoy a fun weekend baking project with the family!

Prep:2 hours

Cook:22 minutes

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1.25 cups 2% milk warmed to 100-110℉
  • 2.25 teaspoons quick-rise yeast
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

Icing

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar

Instructions 

  • Make the cinnamon rolls. Add the warmed milk, yeast, and sugar to a large bowl. Set aside until the yeast has bloomed/bubbled — about 5 minutes.

  • Next, add the melted butter, egg, vanilla extract, and lemon zest to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix to combine.

  • Once the yeast has bloomed, add it to the stand mixer and mix to combine.

  • Using a stand mixer on low-medium speed with the dough hook attachment, slowly stir the flour and salt into the wet ingredients. Once all of the flour has been added and a shaggy dough has formed, knead for 2-3 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic (it should bounce back when you poke it).

  • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap and then a tea towel. Place it in a warm place to rise until doubled in size – about 1-⅕ hours. While the dough rises, you can make the filling and cook the raspberries.

  • Make the raspberry filling. Add the raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice to a small pot. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to a gentle boil and continue to stir often. Cook for about 10 minutes. The raspberry sauce should thicken. Refrigerate to cool.

  • Make the icing by placing all ingredients into a bowl, starting with 2 cups of powdered sugar. Mix to combine. If the icing is too thick, add another tablespoon of lemon juice. If it is too thin, add another ¼ cup of powdered sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

  • Assemble the rolls. Once the dough has risen for 1 to 1.5 hours, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.

  • Roll it into a rectangle that is approximately 18” long, 12” wide, and ¼” thick.

  • Spread the cooled raspberry sauce evenly over the rolled-out dough. Then roll into a tight log, starting at one of the long sides.

  • Slice the log into 1” rolls. This will yield about 12 rolls, depending on how tightly you roll your log and whether you start rolling at a long or short side of the dough.

  • Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish or line it with parchment paper. Add the rolls to the dish, making sure they just barely touch.

  • If you’re making the rolls in advance, wrap them in plastic and place them in the fridge for up to 12 hours. Bring the rolls to room temperature (about 30 minutes) when you’re ready to bake, and then skip to step 14.

  • If you aren’t making the rolls in advance, cover them with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise until the rolls begin to touch. About 30 minutes. While the rolls rise, preheat your oven to 350℉.

  • Bake for 18-22 minutes (depending on your oven) or until the centers are set, be sure not to over-bake.

  • Allow the rolls to cool for 10 minutes before icing.

Tips & Notes

  • ⅓ – ½ cup of raspberry jam can be substituted for the raspberry filling. It will not be as thick as the homemade filling, but it is a great sub.

Nutrition facts

Calories: 339kcal Carbohydrates: 63g Protein: 6g Fat: 7g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 29g

Photography: photos taken in this post are by Ashley McGlaughlin from The Edible Perspective.

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