Bread, Breakfast

Lemon Poppy Seed Sticky Buns

May 29, 2013




This week has been sort of blah – it hasn’t stopped raining in Vancouver since Sunday night. Three of my baseball games have already been cancelled this week. Classes have been dragging on as we sit and stare out the window at the gloomy grey clouds and constant rain. I haven’t even had a chance to ride my shiny new bike this week once. 

I’m hoping this weekend is going to clear up, and I’m wishing for sun on my birthday next week. When I was younger I always loved that my birthday was a June birthday. I always considered June part of summer, the beginning of summer (though it doesn’t start officially until June 21st), and I was happy that we were still in school for my birthday so that I could celebrate it with all of my friends. I guess I self-proclaim myself as a summer baby.

However, I was reminded of the term that surfaced last year during this type of weather. Juneuary. We had a horrible June last year. I graduated from university with my BA a week after my birthday, and it was an outside convocation. Needless to say it was so cold, that the blankets they set out for the guests weren’t warm enough. It was windy and freezing. My biggest mistake was wearing a cute little dress under my robe – which no one saw anyways. FYI to anyone graduating outside: Wear a sweatshirt and leggings. You won’t regret it – and no one knows what your wearing underneath. I can attend my second graduation ceremony in October this year for my second bachelor degree, my Bachelor of Education, which I’m thinking might be warmer than last June with our wether here in Vancouver.

I’ve seen a trend on twitter this week with my blogger friends – we’ve all reverted back to warm and comforting dishes. Stews, soups, and carbs. Whenever the weather gets cool and grey we want comfort and warmth. I actually made these for our mother’s day brunch we held a couple weeks ago, along with my Vegan Carrot Cake. These are a spin on the traditional cinnamon buns/sticky buns. Adam’s sister loves lemon desserts, and so does my brother’s girlfriend’s mom so I thought I would make something each of the moms loved. I decided to add poppy seeds, because lemon and poppy seeds usually go together. And I like poppy seeds.


These sticky buns are soft, fluffy and have a delicious lemon filling. I used almond milk instead of regular milk, because it’s all I have on hand. It worked quite well still – so don’t worry about which kind of milk or milk alternative you use.

lemon sticky roll



Lemon Poppy Seed Sticky Buns
recipe adapted from here


1 envelope (or 2 1/2 teaspoons) yeast
3/4 cup almond milk, warmed to 100°F
1 stick butter, very soft
1/4 cup white sugar
4 – 4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 lemons, zested
2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
2 lemons, zested and juiced
3 tablespoons butter, very soft
1-2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 lemon, juiced and zested


In the bowl of a stand mixer sprinkle the yeast over the warmed milk and let it sit for a couple minutes. With the mixer paddle, stir in the softened butter, sugar, vanilla, and one cup of the flour. Stir in the salt, nutmeg, and lemon zests. Stir in the eggs and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft yet sticky dough.

Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is elastic and pliable.

Spray a large mixing bowl with cooking oil, and place dough inside, coating well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and let the dough rise until nearly doubled – about an hour.

In a small bowl, mix the sugar with the nutmeg, then work in the lemon zest with the tips of your fingers until the sugar resembles wet, soft sand. Stir in the lemon juice.

Lightly grease a 13×9 inch baking dish with baking spray or butter. On a floured surface pat the dough out into a large yet still thick rectangle — about 10×15 inches. Spread evenly with the softened butter, then pour and spread the lemon-sugar mixture over top and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Roll the dough up tightly, starting from the top long end. Cut the long dough roll into 12 even rolls, and place them, cut side up, in the prepared baking dish.

Cover the rolls with a towel and let them rise for an hour or until puffy and nearly doubled. (You can also refrigerate the rolls at this point. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you are ready to bake the rolls, remove the pan from the fridge, and let them rise for an hour.)

Heat the oven to 350°F. Place the risen rolls in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into a center roll reads 190°F.

While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze. In a small food processor (or with a mixer, or a sturdy whisk), whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest and juice and blend until well combined. Add the powdered sugar and blend until smooth and creamy.

When the rolls are done, smear them with the cream cheese glaze. I cut mine into squares for a large crowd, or you can serve an entire roll. Serve while warm.



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  • Reply Josie Penner May 29, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    I will have to make these for Harry. His favorite muffin is lemon poppy seed so I am sure he would love them. They do look yummy!

  • Reply Gloria February 23, 2015 at 5:27 AM

    Re: Lemon poppy seed sticky buns
    No poppy seeds are listed in the recipe

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