Soft, fluffy, and oh so tender, these blueberry sweet rolls are studded with sweet blueberries and lemon zest, topped with a buttery streusel, and a sweet/tangy lemon glaze!
This is one of my Breakfast recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
Time to stock up on summer produce and make a special treat!
These lemon blueberry sweet rolls are baked until light and fluffy, topped with a sweet crumble and drizzled with a lemon glaze… and I promise you, they’re every bit as delicious as they sound.
This recipe is a little more involved than my usual recipes, but I promise two things. First, you can absolutely do this… even if you’ve never worked with yeast before. And secondly, it will be SO worth the extra effort.
I promise these sweet rolls are the perfect breakfast or brunch, and one that your whole family will absolutely love waking up to!
How to make blueberry sweet rolls?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Warm the milk and bloom yeast. This activates the yeast, and makes sure it’s good to use.
- Add butter, eggs and salt.
- Add flour. Add flour in 1 cup increments, mixing after each addition.
- Knead dough. Increase mixer speed to medium and mix/knead about 5 minutes, until dough is soft and tacky, but not sticky.
- Turn out dough and form into ball. Transfer ball to greased mixing bowl.
- First rise. Let dough rise for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
- Punch down dough. This deflates the dough so it can be rolled.
- Turn out dough and roll into rectangle. Your rectangle should be approximately 12×18″.
- Spread softened butter on dough. I prefer to use an offset spatula for this, but a butter knife, or just your fingers will also work.
- Add the filling. Sprinkle with sugar, lemon zest, and blueberries.
- Roll dough up into a log shape.
- Slice into rolls. Add them to the baking dish to rise again.
- Sprinkle with streusel.
- Bake. Then drizzle with lemon glaze.
I’ve tested this recipe with both fresh and frozen blueberries, and it works well with either variety. If you’re using frozen berries though, make sure they’re thawed.
Variations of this recipe
- Overnight – this recipe is very easily adapted to an overnight recipe! See the “make ahead” section below for all the details.
- Filling options – if you’d like to really double up on the blueberry, try adding a thin layer or blueberry jam to the dough before you roll it up. You could also try adding additional lemon zest.
- No streusel – while I love the buttery streusel crumb topping, if you’d prefer not to use it, feel free to omit it.
- Glaze – to add extra lemon flavor, feel free to add the zest of one lemon. You can also add a touch of vanilla extract.
The filling and topping are different, but the recipe for the dough of these sweet rolls is identical to my cinnamon roll dough. You could say sweet rolls are cinnamon rolls, but without the cinnamon.
As I mentioned earlier in the post, yes, frozen blueberries can be used. I do recommend them being thawed and patted dry though. Otherwise, the filling may be overly wet and seep into the dough too much.
Making blueberry sweet rolls ahead of time
This recipe, along with most other sweet roll recipes, can be adapted to be made ahead of time. You may have seen recipes like that called “overnight” sweet rolls (like my Overnight Cinnamon Rolls).
Making the dough and slicing them into rolls is great because this lets the dough rise slowly, which not only gives you more time, it lets the flavors of the dough develop a bit more.
You’ll add the sliced rolls to a prepared baking dish. Cover the dish well, you don’t want dried out rolls, then refrigerate for 8-18 hours.
The morning you want to bake the sweet rolls, remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and let it sit in a warm spot for 1-2 hours, until puffy.
Once the rolls have risen, preheat the oven to 375°F, then bake as directed.
You can also prep parts of this recipe ahead of time!
How to prep ahead for this recipe:
- Filling – the sugar and lemon zest can be combined and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Streusel – the streusel can be made and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.
I haven’t tested freezing them unbaked, but baked sweet rolls can be frozen for 2-3 months. Make sure to wrap them tightly with foil and place in an airtight container for freezing.
Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator, then warm them up and enjoy!
Leftover sweet rolls should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
You can refrigerate them to make them last another couple of days, but that can dry them out. So use your best judgement when it comes to storing.
Tips for working with yeast!
If you’ve never worked with yeast before, it can be a little intimidating. But I promise it’s not quite as difficult as it may seem, and you CAN do this!
- No stand mixer – you don’t have to use one, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t own one. You just use a bowl and wooden spoon, but you’ll have to knead by hand until the dough comes together.
- Proof your yeast – after sitting with the warm milk, the yeast should be frothy and foamy looking. Sometimes yeast can be older than we think, and it just won’t activate and work. Proofing means you don’t have to make the whole dough before finding out the yeast was dead! If it doesn’t foam up, then that yeast is likely dead and won’t work for this recipe. Start the recipe over with a new batch of yeast.
- Make your own warm spot for the dough – most people, myself included, don’t know where a naturally warm spot is in their kitchen… or maybe it’s the dead of winter and there’s no warmth anywhere. No worries! Preheat your oven to 200°F and let it preheat for about 3-4 minutes. Then turn your oven OFF, don’t let it get all the way to 200°F. Place the bowl of dough in the oven to rise. Alternately, you can turn on the light in your cold oven and add the bowl of dough to the oven with the door shut.
- Easy slicing – Slicing the dough into wheels can be tricky. Use a very sharp serrated knife, or some unflavored dental floss (seriously, make sure it’s unflavored – no one wants spearmint flavored rolls!). Slide the floss underneath the log, bring both sides up, cross them over each other, and pull tight. Easy slices
- Not picture perfect – don’t worry if your sweet rolls aren’t absolutely perfect in shape. Odds are, they won’t be… or at least mine never are anyway! Homemade treats are supposed to be a bit rustic, and once people take a bite, they won’t care what they look like… trust me!
- Just breathe – first things first, take a deep breath. If you’ve never worked with yeast before, you can still make these. Working with yeast isn’t as difficult as it’s made out to be… it just takes some time. You have to have a little patience.
My Favorite Yeast!
Of course you can use any yeast you’d like, or feel comfortable using, but this is my all-time favorite yeast… and the kind I use for all my recipe development and testing.
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp instant or active dry yeast (approximately 2 standard packets)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened and cut into 5-6 pieces
- 2 large eggs room temperature is best
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 – 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3 – 4 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
Sweet lemon glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar whisked to remove any lumps
- 1 fresh lemon juiced
- 1 – 2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
- Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with a drizzle of vegetable oil and set aside.
Make the dough
- Heat milk until about 95°F (where milk is warm to the touch but not hot), using either the stove or microwave. Add to bowl of a stand mixer, add warm milk, sugar and yeast. Stir and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
- After 5-10 minutes, the mixture should be foamy and smell “yeasty”. This step to to activate the yeast and make sure it’s still good. If mixture doesn’t look foamy, discard and start over with new yeast.
- Fit the stand mixer with the dough hook attachment and add butter, eggs and salt, then mix on LOW speed until combined.
- Gradually add the flour, in roughly 1 cup increments. When 4 cups of flour has been added, increase mixer speed to MED and knead about 5-6 minutes, until a soft dough forms.
- Dough should be soft and smooth, slightly tacky but not sticky. If dough is too sticky, add extra flour, 1 Tbsp at a time, and mix until it’s soft and smooth. If dough is too stiff, add some water, about 1/4 tsp, and mix until dough is soft.
Knead the dough
- Lightly flour your counter or other flat surface and transfer dough onto it. Dust your hands with a little bit of flour and gently knead the dough for a minute or so.
- Form into a ball and transfer to prepared mixing bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Place bowl in a warm spot for about 2 hours, or until roughly doubled in size.
Roll the dough
- Punch down the dough, then turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle, roughly 12×18” in size, and even in thickness.
Make the filling
- Spread softened butter on the rectangle of dough. In a small mixing bowl, combine granulated sugar and lemon zest, stirring well with a fork.
- Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the top of the butter, then sprinkle the blueberries over the top of that.
- Starting with one of the longer sides of the rectangle, roll up tightly into a log shape. I find starting to roll one side, rolling away from you once, then moving down the line a bit and doing the same thing, repeating until you’re all the way across gives you the most even rolling method.
- Once you have an 18” log shape, carefully slice into 12 evenly sized rolls.
- Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×13” baking dish. Arrange rolls in baking dish, cut side up.
- Cover rolls loosely with foil and let rise in a warm place for 45 min – 1 hour, until large and puffy.
Make the streusel
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Add streusel ingredients (minus the butter – so just the flour, both sugars, and salt) to a small mixing bowl, then stir in the melted butter until crumbly.
- Sprinkle the streusel over the top of the puffy rolls.
- Bake rolls for about 25 minutes, until golden. Halfway through, cover loosely with foil so the tops don’t brown too much.
- Let baking dish of baked rolls cool on a wire cooling rack for about 7-10 minutes.
- Add the powdered sugar and lemon juice to a small mixing bowl, then add 1 Tbsp of heavy cream. Whisk until smooth, and add another tablespoon of cream if you’d like the glaze to be thinner.
- Drizzle over the top of the baked sweet rolls.
- Serve sweet rolls warm or at room temperature.
Want to save this recipe for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own recipe box!
- My favorite yeast is Red Star Platinum, but any yeast will work.
- Fresh blueberries are my preference, but frozen berries will also work (just thaw them and pat them dry).
No Stand Mixer:
- If you have one, by all means use it! But you don’t have to use one, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t own one. You just use a bowl and wooden spoon, but you’ll have to knead by hand until the dough comes together.
Check Your Yeast:
- After sitting with the warm milk, the yeast should be frothy and foamy looking. If it doesn’t, then that yeast is likely dead and won’t work for this recipe. Start over with a new batch of yeast.
Make Your Own Warm Spot for the Dough:Most people, myself included, don’t necessarily know where a naturally warm spot is in their kitchen… or maybe it’s the dead of winter and there’s no warmth anywhere. No worries!
- Preheat your oven to 200°F and let it preheat for about 3-4 minutes. Then turn your oven OFF, don’t let it get all the way to 200°F.
- Place the bowl of dough in the oven to rise.
- Alternately, you can turn on the light in your cold oven and add the bowl of dough to the oven with the door shut.
- Slicing the sweet roll dough into wheels can be tricky. Use a very sharp serrated knife, or some unflavored dental floss (seriously, make sure it’s unflavored – no one wants spearmint flavored rolls!).
- Slide the floss underneath the log, bring both sides up, cross them over each other, and pull tight. Easy slices!
To Make Overnight Sweet Rolls:
- Complete steps up to the second rise (but don’t do the second rise). Place the rolls in the baking dish, cover tightly with foil, and refrigerate 8-18 hours.
- Remove baking dish from refrigerator and let rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, then uncover and bake as directed.
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.
Leave a Comment