Vegan Lemon Rolls with Sticky Lemon Glaze

Insanely lemony, delicious and fluffy, these vegan lemon rolls with a sticky lemon glaze make a perfect start to the day. They are a terrific dessert to sleep on as well!

A vegan lemon sweet roll with sticky lemon glaze on a blue and white china plate with rolls in the baking dish and a lemon in the background.

Breakfasts and desserts around here often tend to be lemony, because lemons and sugar? It’s a combination that infuses any food with sunshine. And of late, we can’t stop grooving on these vibrant Vegan Lemon Rolls with a Sticky Lemon Glaze.

The rolls are fluffy and tall and they are infused with lemon at every stage. There’s lemon zest and lemon juice in the dough, in the filling and in the glaze. You can cut down on the lemon if you want them less lemony, but why?

Cardamom adds a sweet note to perfectly complement the lemon.

The rolls are also amazingly easy to make although they are yeasted rolls, so they will require two rises, one before and one after shaping the rolls. But it’s just about two hours in all and it goes by pretty fast. I’ll also have tips for you below on how you can prep these the night before and pop them in the oven the morning you want to devour them.

If you try these sweet lemon rolls, I’d love to know, so come back and tell me all about it! Or take a photo, post it on Instagram, and tag me @HolyCowVegan.

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Fluffy sweet vegan lemon rolls in the baking dish with a sticky lemon glaze.

How to make the vegan lemon rolls

  • You will need about four large lemons for this recipe–the juice and the zest. Try and use organic lemons whenever you’re consuming the zest. The lemon in the dough and the filling seem to mellow quite a bit during baking, but if you want to cut down on the lemony flavor just use less lemon juice in the glaze.
  • Begin the recipe by making the dough. There’s yeast, sugar, vegan butter, lemon juice, zest, cardamom, vegan yogurt, nondairy milk, tapioca starch and all purpose flour in the dough. I also add a bit of baking soda to make up for the fact that there’s no rise from eggs in this vegan recipe.
  • Knead the dough for five minutes after everything’s mixed in. When done the dough should feel soft, not stiff, but it should also not be sticky.
  • While the dough is rising, make the filling–sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and cardamom.
  • Also prep a 13 X 9 inch baking pan by spraying the bottom with cooking spray, then lining with parchment paper and spraying the parchment and sides of the pan.
  • Let the dough rise for an hour or until it has doubled in size. Roll it into a rectangle about 16 X 12 inches. Arrange it so the 12-inch long side is facing you before you start adding the filling.
  • Rub a bit of vegan butter over the rectangle, then spread the filling evenly on top leaving an inch border along the border that’s away from you.
  • Roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Using a serrated knife, cut the cylinder into 12 even pieces.
  • Nestle the rolls, cut side up, in the baking pan. Cover loosely with a towel and set aside for an hour in a warm place until they have doubled in size.
  • About 15 minutes before the rolls have finished rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the rolls in the preheated oven and bake 32 minutes or until golden on top.
  • While the rolls are baking, make the lemon glaze by mixing lemon juice, sugar and pure vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.
  • When the rolls come out of the oven let them stand about five minutes, then pour on the glaze. Let the glaze harden for another 15 minutes or so, then serve warm. These taste great at room temperature as well.
Baking dish with vegan lemon sweet rolls.

Make ahead tips

  • If you plan to make these for breakfast and don’t want to start the whole process in the morning, which is understandable, make the rolls the night before and place them in the refrigerator, covered tightly with cling wrap.
  • Bring them out in the morning and let them stand a little longer in a warm spot if they have not doubled. Then bake. You may need a slightly longer time in the oven in this case.
  • You can also refrigerate the dough for a couple of days during the first rise. Before making the rolls let the dough stand for a few minutes until it reaches room temperature and has doubled, and then proceed.
An overhead shot of a perfect golden vegan lemon roll glazed with a sticky lemon glaze with bits of lemon zest.

Storage tips

These rolls taste amazing warm from the oven. But they store quite well too. Make sure you put them in an air-tight container, or alternatively cover the baking dish with the remaining rolls tightly with cling wrap. Refrigerate. Warm through before serving.

To freeze the rolls, let them reach room temperature, then store them in an airtight container. Be sure to separate the rolls before you freeze them. Thaw completely before eating and warm in the oven or microwave.

More vegan rolls recipes

Closeup of a perfectly fluffy and light vegan lemon roll with a lemony sugar glaze.

Love these vegan lemon rolls? Check out more vegan dessert recipes on Holy Cow Vegan!

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