Crazy for Crust

Jan 23

Easy Lemon Sweet Rolls

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Lemon Sweet Rolls

I am always sometimes impatient. I want things to happen now. Yesterday! Jordan is just like me, but what’s funny is that she has more of a “hurry up and wait” attitude. Like, “I’m totally impatient and I want to be a rock star RIGHT NOW but I really don’t want to take guitar lessons and do I have to go to dance class today?”

Having only one kid, I only have one example, but have you noticed that your kids’ personalities are like they were from birth (or before)? That is totally the case with Jordan. She’s had that “hurry up and wait” attitude since she was in the womb.

We’ve never talked births here. {Don’t worry, I’m not going too.} The long and short of it is that I woke up, 10 days before my due date (and believe me, we knew my exact due date) running to the bathroom because my water was breaking. Hurry up mom! I want to get out of here and meet you!

By the time my husband got home from work (a 40 minute drive he had just completed the second I called him) and we got to the hospital, I was at, like, 1cm. Which is where I stayed forever, even with the drugs. Finally the nurses to pity on me at 4 cm and gave me an early epidural.

10 days early, starting with the water breaking (which, people, against what the classes tell you, does happen outside the hospital), and I got to be in labor for 20 hours, and push for 3. She finally decided she preferred the warmth inside and didn’t want to come out, but the doctor suctioned her out to force the issue.

So yeah, she’s impatient. And stubborn. From before day one. And she gets it from me.

Lemon Sweet Rolls

Something I’m also impatient about? Dough. I love a homemade cinnamon roll, but jeez. All that waiting drives me crazy when I want breakfast and I want it now!

It was one of those days I created these.

When I received my tons of lemons back at Christmas (I still have some in my fridge, FYI) I was turning out lemon stuff like it was going out of style. I wanted to make sweet rolls, like Sally does, or like Karly did, but I was too impatient to wait for the yeast.

So I used crescent rolls. The next best thing in 5 minutes flat. Seriously, that’s how long it took me to make these, not including the baking.

You simply unroll your crescent roll dough and press all the seams together. The filling is a little butter and a bunch of sugar and lemon zest mixed together. (Some of the best smelling stuff ever!) Roll, slice, bake. DONE.

lemon sweet rolls

Of course, I made a lemon drizzle for the top. It added some more sweet and tart to the sweet rolls. You can’t have sweet rolls without a drizzle!

These rolls are SO good. Tart, sweet, fluffy, and best of all, easy. And I love how lemony they were. Totally brightens up those cold, wintery January days.

lemon sweet rolls

Because, as usual, I’m impatient for January to be over. Patience really is a virtue…but when you don’t have any that’s okay. Make easy, no-rise sweet rolls. You’ll be happy you did!

Easy Lemon Sweet Rolls

Easy Lemon Sweet Rolls


  • 1 tube Crescent rolls (8 rolls)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Butter
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Carefully unroll the crescent rolls, being sure to keep them in a rectangle. Do not separate them; press together the seams of all 8 rolls to form a large rectangle.
  3. Spread with a small amount of butter (light butter spread is fine too). Mix granulated sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the rectangle of dough, being sure to go right up to the edges.
  4. Starting at the short end, tightly roll the crescent rolls back into a roll, pressing together seams as needed. Slice into 8 equal sized pieces and place on prepared cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for about 12 minutes, until browned. Prepare glaze while they are baking.
  6. Whisk powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl. Drizzle onto hot rolls when the come out of the oven. Rolls are best warm.
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Other Lemon you might love:


Lemon Meringue Pie Fudge


Lemon Meringue Pie Fudge by | A tart lemon fudge with a lemon shortbread crust topped with a marshmallow fudge swirl!


Lemon Cream Pudding Cookies


lemon pudding cookies

Sweets from friends:
Lemon Cheesecake Bars from The Domestic Rebel
Zinger from Something Swanky
Lemon Drop Cupcakes from Julie’s Eats and Treats

This post may be linked to: Chef in TrainingLil’ LunaBuns In My OvenChic-and-CraftyI’m Lovin’ it FridaysStrut your Stuff SaturdayWeekend Wrap Up PartySundae Scoop Link Partyand all of these too!

75 Responses to “Easy Lemon Sweet Rolls”

  1. Jenn posted on January 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm (#)

    Oh my gosh, love lemon! Great pics!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 23rd, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      Thank you Jenn!

  2. Heather @French Press posted on January 23, 2013 at 5:08 pm (#)

    these look SO good – and are the exact opposite of my 4 hour baguettes from today:)

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 23rd, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      LOL! I love a yeasty roll, but sometimes I just want something NOW. :)

  3. aimee @ shugarysweets posted on January 23, 2013 at 5:25 pm (#)

    OMG these are one of our favorite breakfasts. The only difference is I have a jar (okay 3 of them) of Pampered Chef Lemon Sprinkle mix. SO easy and delish!!! Yours are so pretty!!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 23rd, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      Oh, I must look in to that Pampered Chef stuff! That sounds amazing!

  4. Tonii posted on January 23, 2013 at 5:51 pm (#)

    I am SO glad you posted these…such a fantastic idea to use crescent rolls! I NEVER have the time or patience to make regular cinnamon rolls, and the lemon in these looks amazing…making these tomorrow!! Thank you!!!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 23rd, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      You’re welcome! I hope you enjoy. Fast = awesome. :)

  5. Nicole @ youngbrokeandhungry posted on January 23, 2013 at 6:31 pm (#)

    Ask my mom, I am also annoyingly impatient which is why I have never made cinnamon rolls or any kind of recipe that takes longer then an hour to make. I love the sound of these Lemon Sweet Rolls though and since they are made with crescent rolls, you can count me in!

  6. Shannon posted on January 23, 2013 at 7:41 pm (#)

    I love lemon and I love easy to make rolls. My mom-in-law makes orange rolls so I can’t wait to make these for her.

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 24th, 2013 at 6:40 am

      I need to try orange! That’s next on my list. :)

  7. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel posted on January 23, 2013 at 7:44 pm (#)

    These are SO tasty looking. I want five of them right now! And I mean NOW. :)

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 24th, 2013 at 6:40 am

      I should make you some. Happy Birthday girlie!

  8. Susan posted on January 23, 2013 at 7:53 pm (#)

    I just bought a bag of lemons, so tomorrow…maybe Lemon Rolls! XOXO

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 24th, 2013 at 6:40 am

      I still have lemons. I have so much to make! :)

  9. Kristy @ Sweet Treats & More posted on January 23, 2013 at 7:55 pm (#)

    You are speaking to me here! I’m such an impatient baker so these are right up my alley!

    Isn’t funny how we know exactly what our kids are gonna be like just from the pregnancy and delivery! My oldest is a stubborn one too!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 24th, 2013 at 6:39 am

      It’s so strange, but I guess stubbornness runs deep, lol. Thanks Kristy!

  10. Demi Spencer posted on January 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm (#)

    Yum! Love all the pretty lemons!

    Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to try out some of these recipes!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 24th, 2013 at 6:39 am

      Thanks Demi!

  11. Sue {munchkin mnchins} posted on January 23, 2013 at 8:50 pm (#)

    Citrus in the middle of winter sounds perfect!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 24th, 2013 at 6:39 am

      It totally brightens up a gloomy day, for sure!

  12. Averie @ Averie Cooks posted on January 23, 2013 at 9:12 pm (#)

    Fun shortcut and yes, sometimes a can of crescent rolls is SUCH a lifesaver. Loving the lemon, too! And the lemon cookie linkbacks. I want to try some…one day…:) So many things I want to make!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 24th, 2013 at 6:37 am

      Oh, me too Averie. Like, so much I’ll never make everything…

  13. Kristin posted on January 23, 2013 at 9:29 pm (#)

    Amazing. Is there anything better than Pillsbury dough? Idontthinkso.

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 24th, 2013 at 6:37 am

      Nope, not that I can think of! :)

  14. pannifricius delicius posted on January 23, 2013 at 9:50 pm (#)

    my daughter borned like yours :-) these rolls seem so good… i’d like one…. no… any more ;-)

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 24th, 2013 at 6:37 am

      Thank you!!! :)

  15. sally @ sallys baking addiction posted on January 24, 2013 at 5:25 am (#)

    Did you shoot these in M as well Dorothy??? I AM SO IN LOVE with these photos!!! And this recipe too of course. I still have your lemon meringue pie fudge in my mind. I love lemon baked treats/desserts SO much!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 24th, 2013 at 6:34 am

      No, these were Aperture mode. Thank you Sally! Coming from you that means a lot. I think my new lens is helping, if I can figure out how to use it properly, lol. I totally thought of you when I made these. :)

  16. sue @ cakeballs, cookies and more posted on January 24, 2013 at 5:38 am (#)

    firstly, those look great and yummy how easy! Secondly, my birth story is close, but my kid was 2 weeks late, water broke at home then over 24 hours of labor never getting past 4cm. But I had to have a c section, my kid is always impatient unless it involves actual work. I am the same way actually, but I blame hubby for it.

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 24th, 2013 at 6:33 am

      Ha! Me too! I always blame it on the husband…but I have a lot of her traits too, lol.

  17. Karly posted on January 24, 2013 at 7:32 am (#)

    I’m pretty impatient myself. As soon as I’ve decided I want something, I want it RIGHT THIS SECOND. It makes my husband insane.

    Gorgeous rolls!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 24th, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      Thanks Karly! I’m a little too much like my daughter…

  18. Deborah posted on January 24, 2013 at 9:23 am (#)

    These are just too easy – dangerous!! (and with my third, my water broke at home. So I believe you – it totally happens!!) I’d love to have you come and link up at Taste and Tell Thursdays!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 24th, 2013 at 6:36 pm

      Totally too easy, lol! Thanks Deborah!

  19. Julie @ Julie's Eats & Treats posted on January 24, 2013 at 9:37 am (#)

    Thanks so much for linking me up! Lemon in the middle of winter…MIGHT get me through this bitter cold. And yes I’m impatient too. My daughter I fear is on the same road. Her Dad frequently says oh you got an attitude like your Mom…I want it NOW!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 24th, 2013 at 6:35 pm

      LOL, you’re not alone. Lemon will brighten up a dreary January anytime!

  20. ButterYum posted on January 24, 2013 at 12:55 pm (#)

    Would you get a load of how darn cute these are?!!! Totally going to make these – love them!!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 24th, 2013 at 6:35 pm

      Thanks so much! :)

  21. michelle posted on January 24, 2013 at 1:26 pm (#)

    you never see lemon rolls, i love this! pinning!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 24th, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Thanks Michelle!

  22. Meghan @ The Tasty Fork posted on January 24, 2013 at 1:55 pm (#)

    YUM!! I’m such a fan of lemon. And these little rolls are too cute! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Totally pinning!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 24th, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Thank you Meghan!

  23. Karen posted on January 24, 2013 at 3:05 pm (#)

    Your lemon sweet rolls sound delicious and can’t wait to try them; am with you re impatience and these are also wonderful when guests visit, fast. Wonder how it would be to use lemon curd as the filling?

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 24th, 2013 at 6:33 pm

      Oh, I bet you totally could. I’ve wrapped Nutella in them before, not that different a texture!

  24. Baking Serendipity posted on January 24, 2013 at 4:57 pm (#)

    These look delicious! I love how simple they are :) I’m patient with baking, but not when breakfast is involved. I wake up one hungry lady! PS: I jumped over to your linked post about infertility. I’d never seen it before, and have such great respect for you as a mom. I have a friend who went through it all, and know how difficult it was for her.

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 24th, 2013 at 6:30 pm

      Thank you Sarah! Whenever I am atmywitsend I remind myself of all I had to do to get her. :)

  25. Brenna @ Life After Laundry posted on January 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm (#)

    My son is the same way. In fact my water broke 4 weeks before my due date only to be induce for 18 hrs. It’s not supposed to happen that way! I’m a little bitter still. But, anyway, the lemon sweet rolls look great. Can’t wait to try them out.

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 25th, 2013 at 6:35 am

      4 weeks? I’d be bitter too! ;) Thanks Brenna!

  26. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life posted on January 25, 2013 at 6:47 am (#)

    I am such an impatient person too…and I am seeing it in my kids. Not a good trait to pass on. The only way I make cinnamon rolls is the quick easy way or like you and use crescent rolls. All that rising and punching down of dough is too much for me :-) These sound like a great breakfast I can make up the day before for the kiddos!!!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 25th, 2013 at 6:52 am

      Totally! Then just heat for a few seconds in the microwave, and ta-da! Breakfast. :)

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  28. Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen posted on January 27, 2013 at 6:56 pm (#)

    6 ingredients? Bam! Sounds easy enough.

  29. Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking posted on January 29, 2013 at 6:04 pm (#)

    the more I read the more I wondered if you’re talking about my daughter. She’s always in a rush! I have no idea where she gets it from, since I’m probably the slowest person I know.
    Your rolls turned out great, love the lemon-y touch

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 30th, 2013 at 7:36 am

      I think it must be a kid thing! They don’t want to miss anything. :)

  30. Justin posted on February 19, 2013 at 8:26 pm (#)

    I have a slight obsession with treats made with crescent rolls so I will definitely be making these!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 21st, 2013 at 5:51 am

      Me too! Enjoy them Justin!

      • Justin replied on February 21st, 2013 at 4:14 pm

        I definitely will Dorothy, and when I do I’ll share them on my blog with a link back to you!

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  34. Hani@haniela's posted on May 11, 2013 at 7:11 pm (#)

    Yum, I just bought like 4 pounds of lemons. I’m so addicted to lemons, I use it in everything, cooking, baking, drinking. I’m always grateful to find another use for lemon. Love the sound of these plus I’m just starring at your lemon cream pudding cookies and I would love of those just about now. Thanks for sharing all these lemony recipes.

    • Dorothy Kern replied on May 12th, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      Every time my MIL brings me a huge bag I cry a little. :) Thanks Hani!

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  38. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious posted on September 13, 2013 at 7:54 pm (#)

    Amazing! Love how easy this is!

  39. LoverOfAnythingChocolate posted on September 22, 2013 at 12:11 pm (#)

    MMMM! Sounds good, but I’ll use my homemade dough- because it tastes better than store bought- but use your filling and topping! Bookmarked!
    Sounds good! Can’t wait! Thanks!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 23rd, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Enjoy! I love homemade dough too, when I remember to make it in time to rise!:)

      • LoverOfAnythingChocolate replied on September 23rd, 2013 at 1:54 pm

        I know the feeling! :) But it’s worth the wait! Good quality things need patience-most of the time- :)

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  41. Meredith posted on January 21, 2014 at 5:01 am (#)

    I just made these and they’re sooooo good…. thank you!

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 21st, 2014 at 7:19 am

      I’m glad you liked them!! :) Thank you for letting me know!

  42. Angelica - cucina russa posted on February 9, 2014 at 1:30 pm (#)

    Great recipe!:) i love it and i love lemons..! so i’ll try it;)

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