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Lemon curd buns with creamy lemon icing

October 28, 2011

lemon bunsWhen I took on the Chelsea bun challenge I knew I’d be the only one to eat something with dried fruit in it so did a chocolate and cinnamon version with cream cheese icing that got hoovered up immediately.  Therefore, when Claire suggested we make cinnamon buns I cast about for an alternative flavour.  Sorry Claire, my ‘cinnabon’ recipe is now in the hall of fame in our household and there will be no usurpers tolerated by my younger daughter.  Thinking of the icing I knew that lemon would be good but would it work as a filling?  I tested two ways; one using a lemon, butter, sugar combination and one with copious amounts of homemade lemon curd – after all it’s made with the constituent ingredients.   Light, fluffy, lemony with a seriously addictive topping, they were eaten before I had time to take extremely pretty pictures.  So you’ll just have to imagine the doughy interior soaking up the citrus juices bathed in a blanket of cream cheesiness.  Americans seem to have this sort of bun for breakfast but I would say it’s a tea-time treat (or anytime you just have to dip your finger into the icing).  Home-made lemon curd recipe to follow very soon (or use a good shop bought version).

Pop over to Fresh From The Oven in a day or two to see all the other lovely cinnamon buns (with my rebel version included).

Lemon buns

Lemon curd buns with creamy lemon icing – recipe adapted from Cinnamon buns by Things We Make

250ml lukewarm milk
2 sachets of instant yeast (14/15g)
1 tablespoon caster sugar
2 egg yolks
50g Melted Butter
400g strong white bread flour
200g plain flour
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
1/2 teaspoon salt


approx 150ml lemon curd

55g unsalted butter at room temperature
55g cream cheese at room temperature
190g icing sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

Making Lemon buns


  • In a jug mix the yeast, warm milk and tablespoon of sugar.
  • Leave to froth for 10 minutes if you have time then add the melted butter and egg yolks.
  • Mix this into the flours, with the salt.
  • Knead for 5-10 minutes on a floured surface or in your food mixer with a dough hook for 5 minutes.
  • Put in a large bowl with a plate on top and leave in a warm place until doubled in size (1-2 hours)
  • Knock down and flatten out until it’s about the size of a large baking tray.
  • Slather with the lemon curd
  • Roll up so you have a long swiss roll type thing.
  • Slice into 2″ slices and place in a deep cake tin
  • Claire used a 26cm Kaiser tin, with a bit of butter rubbed into it, I used a rectangular baking dish.
  • Allow to rise for another 1/2 hour.
  • Bake at 200 C for 10 minutes
  • Cover loosely with foil and bake for another 15 minutes or so.
  • At this point I brush it with a little melted butter and put it back in if not quite cooked through but it’s probably not necessary. I am a born fiddler.
  • Tip out straight away – using a plate to tip it onto then back onto a 2nd plate.
  • To make the icing: Mix the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high-speed. Add the icing sugar and mix on low-speed until the sugar is incorporated, then add the lemon juice and zest. Mix on high-speed again until the icing is smooth and fluffy.
  • Top with the icing and leave to cool….as long as you can bear it.
  • They are still good on day two (and even better when warmed for 20 seconds in the microwave)
Lemon buns

I love the swirls left in the dish

What brings out the rebel in you in the kitchen?

  1. October 28, 2011 4:47 pm

    Oh I love the swirls left in the dish too! That’s art!
    You know, I think I will try this too – I love lemony stuff and that just sounds divine. You are so imaginative.

  2. October 28, 2011 4:56 pm

    Oh wow these are calling my name! I simply adore lemon anything, but lemon sticky buns? You just took me over the edge!

  3. October 28, 2011 4:58 pm

    Absolutely heavenly!
    Have a super weekend.
    🙂 Mandy

    • October 31, 2011 8:56 am

      Thanks Mandy, Belinda and Lou – appreciate your comments.

  4. October 28, 2011 5:18 pm

    Wonderful! I love lemon flavored treats.



    • October 31, 2011 8:55 am

      Gosh so do I Rosa – it’s my favourite flavour in the kitchen.

  5. October 28, 2011 9:28 pm

    I always saw a rebellious streak in you. I made regular cinnamon rolls today for a party but I still have some space in my tummy for a lemon version. Very innovative!

    • October 31, 2011 8:55 am

      Ha ha – I have many dark secrets Sukaina. Would love to taste your cinnamon rolls…perhaps we should do a swap.

  6. SarahJ permalink
    October 28, 2011 11:23 pm

    Love the idea of using lemon! I’m looking forward to your lemon curd recipe so I can try these!

  7. October 29, 2011 5:23 am

    Great idea! Love lemony things, lemon curd being the king of all things lemon; to combine this with soft buns is brilliant! They look scrumptious.

    • October 31, 2011 8:54 am

      Is lemon curd the king of all things lemon? You’ve got me thinking. Having demolished a large jar almost unaided over the last fortnight, you could be right. Lemon tart and lemon meringue pie are close rivals. Oh and lemon mousse… lemon a good, light, fluffy one.

  8. October 29, 2011 6:43 am

    Oh my…they look wonderful, Sally! My husband would devour those! 🙂

  9. October 29, 2011 10:46 am

    They look fantastic!

    • October 31, 2011 8:51 am

      Cindy, Celia and Jenny – I wish I could send you some.

  10. October 29, 2011 4:02 pm

    God I love carby pastry bready poofy anything, and I mega love lemon curd. This is tea time time on steriods. I demand a bite of this at our gingerbread making session. (shameless = me.)

  11. October 29, 2011 5:25 pm

    this looks absolutely amazing! For breakfast, for tea…i don´t care!

  12. October 29, 2011 6:09 pm

    Gorgeous, Sally!

    • October 31, 2011 8:48 am

      Thanks for dropping by Silvia, Marta and Arva. Always appreciate your feedback.

  13. October 29, 2011 7:45 pm

    This look somehow lighter and less fattening that the cinnamon ones. I am sure that’s not the case but shall we go with it anyway?! I bet the cream cheesey topping gives them a great tang too. Thanks for baking them Sally.

    • October 31, 2011 8:48 am

      Ha ha ha – I suppose they might have more Vitamin C in them but I would never claim that this is diet food Claire 🙂 Loved this challenge – thanks for the inspiration.

  14. October 30, 2011 1:06 am

    Cinnamon sticky buns are the favorite at my house, but after seeing these lemon buns with cream cheese frosting I will most definitely have to try your recipe! Fabulous!

    • October 31, 2011 8:47 am

      Very easy and satisying baking.

  15. October 30, 2011 10:43 pm

    I don’t know How i missed this!!!! Amazing! I have to try it, my husband is a huge cinnabon fan and looks like i cud end up being the lemon bun fan!!! very innovative..drooling!!

    • October 31, 2011 8:43 am

      My daughter adores cinnabon but I distrust the dough that makes up the baked goods in the big chains ( incl. Krispy Kreme). Just had a guest here from the baking industry and he told me all the extras that go into them. If they have to have sweet treats I’d rather make them – not very healthy but without dough improvers, bleaching agents, E numbers and the likes.

  16. October 31, 2011 3:06 am

    these do look delicious! very moreish…

    • October 31, 2011 8:39 am

      It’s the icing that is truly addictive – both vanilla and lemon versions.

  17. October 31, 2011 10:27 am

    Ooh, these are mouth-watering photos! They look absolutely delicious! Thank you for joining October’s Post Of The Month Club 🙂 Yum! XOLaura

  18. November 1, 2011 9:58 am

    I love your rebel buns!

    • November 1, 2011 12:54 pm

      Thanks Tandy – what prompts the rebel in you?

      • November 2, 2011 7:36 pm

        Just dare me is all it takes (and a drink or three)

  19. November 1, 2011 2:25 pm

    I love making homemade lemon curd and these sound amazing! Thanks for this recipe.

  20. November 2, 2011 1:19 pm

    The lemon curd filling sounds great, a nice zingy and creamy filling for the buns.

    • November 2, 2011 3:59 pm

      Yes it’s the zinginess I like Sylvie.

  21. November 2, 2011 1:44 pm

    These look amazing. I have some blackcurrant curd left so might have to have a go!

    • November 2, 2011 3:56 pm

      Blackcurrant buns – ooh now you’re talking.

  22. November 3, 2011 8:20 pm

    These have me salivating right now…I LOVE lemon and will be making these, STAT!

  23. November 4, 2011 8:28 pm

    These buns look so good!!

  24. November 13, 2011 4:24 pm

    Oh,I will just have to make these – I can julst imagine the aromas!!! It looks delicious!

    • November 25, 2011 1:19 pm

      Let me know how you get on.

  25. November 24, 2011 12:35 pm

    Ooooh , these look good , I love lemon treats , have to make them .

    • November 25, 2011 1:05 pm

      I’m with you with lemon treats – one of my favourite flavours.

  26. Adrienne permalink
    August 12, 2012 7:34 am

    Sally – I made these this weekend. The lemon flavour is fantastic but the bun is very firm and chewy. Any ideas what I’ve done wrong?

    • August 12, 2012 11:54 pm

      Hmmm – thrilled that you tried the recipe. Using strong flour does lead to a chewier dough – these are a substantial bud but they should be quite flakey in texture. Maybe you didn’t knead the dough for long enough? Underproving could also have caused this. The dough should be soft – I now knead without any additional flour – a wet dough will be lighter.

  27. January 15, 2013 3:52 pm

    These buns look very delicious!

    • January 15, 2013 3:55 pm

      Thanks – the sweet/sharp combination does it for me.

  28. November 16, 2013 6:15 am

    Pardon, my ignorance, but what is “strong white bread flour”? Is it the same as white bread flour (in US)? Do I need to look for a particular gluten amount? Thanks!

    • November 16, 2013 12:54 pm

      I think bread flour and strong bread flour are the same or similar enough to use. Love to know how you get on.


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